Date Night Ideas and Tips

Guys! I love Date Night!  And having Valentine's Day this week really has strengthening marriages on my mind. ❤️


Getting that precious time, one on one, to talk about adult things and to reconnect and have fun together is so important! Kyler and I are the biggest believers in making your marriage as strong and awesome as possible, and regular date nights absolutely help with that.

We definitely understand how hard it can be to make them happen though, especially if you have tight finances or young children at home, but don't give up hope! Date nights are still possible, even in those situations! 

So, here is a list of some of our favorite date nights that we've done in the past, split up into several different financial/situational categories to apply to the different stage of life you may be in. I've also got some advice and tips through out and at the end for how to get the most out of your date nights and how to make them as regular as possible. :) We definitely aren't perfect in our marriage (like, not even close 😂) but we do love date nights and have felt a huge benefit within our relationship when we prioritize them! I'd love to hear your date night ideas and tips as well so comment at the end if you have any! :) 


Free or Cheap Date Nights

- Go play at the park! Sounds silly, but the playground can be pretty dang fun with the love of your life  

Cheesey, yes, but I love this picture all the same :)  

Cheesey, yes, but I love this picture all the same :)  

- Grab a camera and take "couple pictures" with the timer setting. Call us crazy but doing this has been one of our favorite date nights because we have fun thinking of good and dorky poses and just goofing off together :)  

- Get some ice cream! Even just getting out of the house for an hour or two for a small little ice cream cone and some good conversation can make all the difference in your relationship 

- Go thrifting! (Pretending that's a word if it's not🙊) Somehow we end up at DI (a thrift store in Utah) at the end of at least half of our dates ha! We love finding good deals and if you check regularly enough you can find some pretty neat stuff. :)

- If tight on money, eat dinner at home and then go out to a nicer place just for dessert! Still feels like you went out but you only had to pay for the cheaper part of the evening! 

Hello windy night ha ha  

Hello windy night ha ha  

- (if LDS) Go the temple together! ❤️ 

- Go for a walk or hike in nature and watch the sunset together 




At Home Date Nights

 - Play board games! We have a lot of fun being teasingly (okay, sometimes seriously😅)  competitive with each other. 

- Have a fancy dinner date at your own kitchen table! Make a favorite meal or order take out, break out the fine china, light some candles and dress up all fancy. 

- Ask each other questions about your childhood, time during school, favorite memories while growing up etc. Kyler and I talk about pretty much everything and it always amazes me that we still have so much new information to share with each other. I once heard that you should seek an education in your spouse. Example- maybe when you are married you have a high school diploma or maybe even an associates degree in regard to how well you know each other- well keep continuing the education! Keep learning and growing and get as many "degrees" in each other as you can. :) 


- Watch a show or movie together. Now this one I share with caution though. I personally don't think that Netflix and Redbox should be your date night every week. It becomes really easy, especially as young parents with babies who go to bed early, to just go on auto pilot and watch a ton of TV and to never actually talk to each other or deepen your relationship with one another because you're tired and you just want to zone out. I get it! As a woman who needs 9 hours of sleep at night to be a happy human (and who rarely gets that amount every night because #pregnancyinsomnia,) I really get it! But I've learned that marriages don't stay at one level all the time. They are constant work. 😬 I often think of the analogy of marriage as an escalator heading downwards and that we are walking upwards with our spouse. If you stop putting effort into your relationship by no longer taking steps upward (symbolizing effort and progress) and just do whatever is easiest all of the time, your awesome marriage won't stay awesome! Your relationship will start to lower on the escalator. Although movies and TV shows can be a really fun way to bond with each other, I highly suggest you don't let that be the only way you bond. And while watching, I suggest you put away your phones, cuddle right up next to each other or hold hands and make sure you really CONNECT. Don't put your marriage into the hands of your television. :) When we were poor and in college we totally would watch movies together frequently, but I dare you to at least limit it to only one, maybe two weekends a month. Force yourself to get creative and avoid the easy idea every time! :) 

- If you have kiddos asleep, have one person go pick up dinner or some delicious special treat and eat it together on the porch on couch 

- If it's warm enough, lay out on a blanket in your backyard and look at the stars and talk together.  

-Make a list of meaningful songs you both love and spend time cuddling and listening to them together  

- Have a theme night! Dress up as a cowboy and girl, watch a western movie and order some KFC! Or wear kimonos, learn how to fold origami and watch The Karate Kid. I once decorated our house with candy and dressed up like Willy Wonka and we watched Charlie and the Chocolate factory 😂 This concept is fun because you can mix it up in a million different ways and it's just fun being ridiculous and goofy together! 

- Make a treat together: cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, some fancy cake you've never tried before etc 


Out on the Town Date Nights  

- The classic dinner and a movie  

- Try a new restaurant every time  

- Laser tag

- Play at an arcade  

-  Go buy a new outfit for each other 

- Check out a comedy show  

- Get tickets for local theater performances   

- Attend a concert  


- Do a seasonal activity like walking around Christmas lights, go sledding, attend an outside concert, go swimming, try snowboarding or skiing, go to a Pumpkin Patch, walk around a park with all of the new flowers blooming, play on the sidewalk with chalk etc 

 - Go to a foreign market and buy a bunch of different types of candies and treats and do a taste night! 


Random Tips  

-If money is so scarce and there is no room in the budget at all for baby sitters, try doing a date night swap with other couples that have kids! Take turns babysitting for one another so the other couple can have a kid free night.  

One of the best triple date nights ever!  

One of the best triple date nights ever!  

- Double dates can be so fun, but make sure you're still getting one on one date nights most of the time! You are strengthening the relationship of the people you are spending time with, so if you are on a double date you are strengthening your relationship most with the other couple right? And that's not bad at all! But make sure you still get that time in that is 100% focused on just you and your spouse, because that prioritized time alone is what makes strong marriages! But also, occasional double (or triple) dates can be a super fun way to mix things up and create fun memories with friends! ❤️

- Set a monthly Babysitter and Date night budget! When life got busier for us with Kyler's job and church responsibilities, we decided to make Date Nights with a babysitter a top priority so our marriage wouldn't get lost amongst the chaos. We decided on a set amount to put in each budget (and we do cash budgets where we literally get cash out and put it in envelopes) and if there is any left over at the end of the month, we roll it over to the next month! By budgeting for it, it's made it 100% easier to get Date Nights in! We're also lucky to live in a neighborhood with a lot of cute, responsible teenage girls we can hire as cheaper sitters so that's been super lucky for us as well! I love the monthly cash budget concept for this though because you could put aside as little as $5 a month for each budget and save it up and go out once it's big enough for something you two want to do. (Or even just save all of your pocket change and see how quickly you can build it up for a night out!) No matter the amount you set, it's just nice knowing you have a date night coming up. And if it's budgeted for you don't have to worry that a date night will blow all your money either! Win win! 


- Don't be afraid to get vulnerable on date night! Some of our best talks about how our relationship is doing have been over dinner or in our car eating a treat together. Dates are meant to strengthen our marriages, not solely to have fun (although that's definitely a plus!) Ask each other if you are truly happy. Talk about how needs are being met (or not.) If you'd prefer not to have serious conversations during a date night, set aside a time to have these talks regularly. I've been so grateful for these deep, meaningful talks Kyler and I have shared together and I think they've always made our bond stronger. They can be uncomfortable at first and sometimes we just want to avoid any issues or sweep them under the rug, but the closeness you feel in your marriage as you bridge those gaps is irreplaceble! (We're totally not perfect at this, but we're trying to get in a lot of practice with our communication so that maybe one day we will be! Ha ha!) 

- Before marriage, I was always told to make sure my date and I had a plan before going out. I think that was smart advice for that time of my life, but in marriage I think the most important thing you can do is just GET OUT and make Date night happen. If you get a sitter and you pull away from the driveway and say "okay.. now what?" kudos to you for taking the first step and just making the date even possible! Start out with dinner and then you can decide what to do from there. I mean, yes, planned dates are also awesome and I highly suggest those. All I'm saying is don't let the lack of a plan or some huge exciting activity stop you from even trying. Some of our best date nights have begun without a plan! Just get out of the house and celebrate that freedom and alone time together! 

- When in doubt, remember that the goal of date night is to strengthen your relationship with one another! If the date night isn't doing that, it's not a date night.


Apparently we take 9 million close up selfies like this on our dates 😂 

Apparently we take 9 million close up selfies like this on our dates 😂 

I hope this was helpful for some of you! :) Marriage can be so hard but it can also be such a blast, and I know regular date nights have helped keep our relationship positive and close despite the craziness that life brings! Any other awesome tips or ideas we're missing out on? Tell me below! ❤️👇🏻 

Preparation Ideas before Baby

Since I've been getting ready for this baby boy over the last few weeks, I've had a lot of preparation ideas and tips bouncing around in my head that I thought I'd share in case anyone else could benefit from them! I'm a nerdy planner and I love to think of what I can do to prepare in order to maximize my time with my newborn instead of having to do housework/food prep/last minute store runs etc once he's here. Of course don't feel like you have to do any of these things though! The world will keep turning and everything will be just fine no matter how you go about it. These are just my favorite ways to personally feel a little more ready for when baby comes. :) 

Snuggling with newborn baby Henry! 😍 

Snuggling with newborn baby Henry! 😍 

If there's something you do to prepare that I don't already mention below, please share in the comments! I would love to learn from you! 

1- Freezer Meals


I already wrote up a post of tips and my favorite ones to make here, but really, there is something so wonderful about not having to make dinner when you are freshly postpartum and trying to enjoy those precious and quickly fleeting first days. A lot of the meals I listed in that post even create enough for two dinners, and you'll have leftovers most nights too! 

2- Stocked freezer and pantry

Freezer meals will save you a lot of work for dinner, but so will having a stocked up fridge, freezer and pantry! On nights when I don't want to cook, we'll occasionally have tater tots, freezer pizza, nuggets or something similar to those things. I try to stock up on these things and have them ready and available to have in between freezer meals, which just stretches the time out until you have to cook dinners again, huzzah! It's also nice to have plenty of snacks in stock to keep the nursing mama and young kids happy, as well as having ingredients for quick and easy dinner ideas ready to go in the pantry in order to keep drawing out this calmer period of life! 

3- Pack a day bag for your kiddos


Since Rose came just after Midnight, Kyler spent the first night at the hospital with me but then the following night he came home to stay with Henry. This meant we mainly only needed sitters during the day after Rose was first born. For the most part Henry was watched at our home, but just in case they relocated, I had a day pack packed for him with diapers, changes of outfits, snacks and some instructions about his naps/eating etc. This was nice to have all ready to go so the sitters could find things in one place and it didn't have to be any more crazy for them than it already was. :) Plus it helped me to not worry while I was in the hospital, feeling like my precious boy was taken care of and had what he needed! 

4- Thank You cards/gifts for the nurses and doctor 

Got these cute card packs in the Target dollar section! 

Got these cute card packs in the Target dollar section! 

I like to bring empty note cards and write each nurse a personal thank you for taking care of me while I'm there. (I don't sleep very well in the hospital so this helps fill time when the baby is sleeping ha ha.) I also bring a big box of fruit snacks (or some other type of snack) with a general "thank you" on it that I give to the labor/delivery team and then a second box to the postpartum team. I also write a "thank you" beforehand to my amazing doctor and try to give her something a little extra special (like a gift card or some nicer gift). They are pretty awesome for always doing such a great job when taking care of me and my new babies! 

5- Study Breastfeeding

I love to research things! Before having Henry I was so nervous about breastfeeding so it really calmed my fears to read about it and learn as much as I could. I like to review all of that research before each baby so I can have a little refresher, because it's kind of insane how much you forget inbetween kids. (And mine our only 20 months apart! 😅 Mom brain problems!)

As odd as it sounds, what I found to be the most helpful for me was to watch YouTube videos of women breastfeeding (obviously educational videos, not just random creeper videos 🙈) so I could visualize what it looked like to help the baby latch/unlatch, learn different feeding positions etc. Here is my favorite video, it is so helpful! The woman narrating is kind of funny with her facial expressions and some of her opinions too. 😂 I've been so lucky to never experience a blister or sore from nursing and I think this video has a lot to do with that! Plus it also helps that I just got super lucky that my babes were amazing little eaters! Praying this next little one follows suit 😅)

I also love the website Kelly Mom for all breastfeeding information. This site is full of great advice that they base off of science and various research studies. Before every baby I like to go over information about what it's like when your milk comes in, how to avoid clogged ducts and mastitis, cluster feeding, what foods/medications could damage milk supply, what increases milk supply, how to know if your baby is getting enough milk etc. It's a fantastic resource! (And it has way more info than what I just mentioned.) 

6- Study sleep  

There are so many varied opinions on sleep training, cosleeping, bedsharing etc and honestly, I don't think it matters what you do as long as it works for you and your family! However, I do suggest that whatever you choose to do for your and baby's sleep, study it out first! Learn the ins and outs of what you want to do, safety protocols, risks etc so that you can make decisions about sleep based off of research and preparation instead of stress, exhaustion and desperation. I've personally found that having purposeful preparation in this area, you will avoid so much stress postpartum when you're just wanting your babe to sleep so so badly and you're not really thinking straight. It's also helpful to have a few different ideas studied out in case your plan A doesn't work out. :) Some books we've found helpful is The Happiest Baby on the Block, Baby Wise, and Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. I review my favorite chapters that I found to be the most helpful before each little ones arrival. (I know, I know, nerd alert!)  

7- Postpartum preparation for Mom  

You will get a ton of things from the hospital to take care of you after baby but here are some things I like to have a stock of as well!  


-thick pads or depends. I haven’t tried Depends yet for postpartum but have heard so many good things about them that I'm super excited to use them this time around, as odd as that sounds! They look awesome! (Update- tried these with Eli and they were amazing! I bought 2 boxes and wish I’d had one or even two more. They were amazing!) 

- underwear you don't mind getting messy/ruined  (especially if you are LDS and wear garments and you don't want to ruin them in those first few weeks of heavy bleeding.) I have liked these ones

-padcicles. Here is a site that tells you what these are and how to make them. It's always nice to have something cool and soothing when you're healing, especially if you have a lot of stitches afterwards! (Tip though, don't sleep in these or wear them once they start to feel warm and are no longer like an ice pack. Otherwise you could give yourself a yeast infection since yeast love wet, warm places! 😬Speaking from unfortunate personal experience!) 

-stool softener and preparation h cream. TMI but most mamas I know have had hemorrhoids after having a baby and it can be so painful to have a bowel movement for quite awhile after a vaginal birth! The hospital gives you some stool softener usually, but I buy extra and probably use it for 2-3 months after baby. If you start feeling pain or experience light bleeding etc after bowel movements, preparation h cream can help soothe and heal the area! This stuff has been a life saver for me! 

-lanolin. This is so great to put on your chest and nipples (I kinda hate that word 😬) after nursing sessions for those first few weeks. Ask the hospital if they have any samples you can have, but having some at home as well is awesome! I use it mainly as a preventative measure to help avoid sores and blisters but you can also use it once you've gotten sores to help heal and soothe the area. It's extra awesome because it's totally fine for baby to have on their lips or for them to nurse after you've put it on. (Although I put it on after a feeding usually so it's pretty much gone when it's time for the next feeding.) 

-fenugreek. This is an herb supplement that helps increase your breast milk supply. It's really nice to have on hand in case your supply isn't keeping up with baby and you need a supply boost. 

-breast pump. Most insurances either pay for an entire pump or cover a lot of the cost. I highly suggest you start off with a new one when you have your first babe instead of a very well used hand me down because it's the worst if your pump is slow or doesn't work very well. Even though my plan is always to start out nursing my babies, it's just smart to have one in case those plans change or if you want to pump a bottle so daddy can help feed every once in awhile. I accidentally damaged my supply when nursing Henry (PSA- avoid Sudafed while nursing!) and my pump was so helpful in getting my supply back. I also suggest you get a pump that is automatic instead of manual, because having to pump by hand all the time is exhausting, and before baby you truly don't know how much you may need to use it. 

8- Postpartum preparation for Baby


I like to stock up on things like Desitin, gas drops, baby lotion, gripe water etc in case baby needs to use any of those when you guys are home! It's the worst when it's 2 am and your baby is acting like their little tummy hurts and you don't know how to fix it! I didn't have to use gas drops/gripe water for Rose but for Henry they were life savers so I stock up on them just in case!

It's also nice to start off with a box or two of diapers and wipes. I have always been too nervous to stock up too much on certain sizes of diapers because you never know what size your baby will be at first or how fast they'll grow but I've heard most stores are pretty easy about exchanging them for you if needed! (I'm also just a weirdo and hate going to the store if I can avoid it, especially for exchanges!) I also wash clothes/blankets etc and make sure baby has a place to sleep all ready for them. 

9- Postpartum prep for older children  


Quiet boxes, bagged up snacks that are ready to go, PB&Js made beforehand and frozen (just set them out to thaw the morning of, they taste freshly made and delicious by lunchtime!) etc are so helpful to have made up and ready for your older kids before baby comes! Spend those first few weeks snuggling your little ones instead of having to use the little energy you have doing this kind of stuff!  

10- Gifts for your kids from new baby  

I've found it can help the transition for little ones when they get a new sibling to get a new toy or activity that they are excited about! (especially since my kids are both so young still.) If it comes from baby brother or sister, I think it's easier for them to keep feeling favorable towards this new little creature that is hogging Mom and Dad because they thoughtfully brought them something fun to play with. :)  

11- Pack hospital bag  


I like to have my bag around 36 weeks because you just never know when baby might make their appearance! Obviously you can't pack everything that far in advance so I write a list of what else I need to add so I can remember for when the time comes, plus it's nice to have in case my husband has to pack it for me if I'm having terrible contractions or something. I had looked up a billion blogs on Pinterest about what to pack for the hospital before I had Henry and let me just tell you, I wayyyyy over-packed! Here are the basics I've found myself using with my first and second deliveries: 


little hand mirror  


makeup (no judgement please if you think it's ridiculous to put that on after having a baby- we all have different things that help us feel normal after such a crazy transition! No mom shaming! :) ) 

comfy pjs  

nursing bra

shirt that's easy to nurse in  

warm socks for cold feet (I always have cold feet!) 

light jacket  

earplugs (it's always kinda noisy in the hospitals and with baby right next to you, you'll definitely still hear them when they need you. In my opinion anyway :) )  

the best quality camera you have to document those precious first hours and days  

coming home outfit for baby

cute swaddling blanket for baby  

thank you cards/gifts for staff

gifts for your kids from baby  

wallet with drivers license/insurance card

baby's car seat (at least have in the car)  


You might want more or less but this has been the perfect amount of things for me! The hospital has pretty much everything else you might want for the most part. I also try to get out of the hospital asap and am usually only there for 24-30 hours max so keep that in mind with my list as well. :)  

12- Invest in a baby carrier of some sort

I love wearing my newborn babes! It's honestly the best to have them snuggled up close to you and to have your hands free so you can get things done around the house if needed or if you want to do something with your older children. They are also so helpful for those times of day when baby is fussy and nothing will calm them down. The 4th trimester is REAL and in my experience I've found that it helps to wear your baby to help them adjust to this crazy new world. I personally LOVE baby wraps for a carrier and also just bought a ring sling to use for this new babe. I'm super excited to try it out! I also have a Baby Bjorn and an Ergobaby carrier and love them as well. 


Hopefully you found this helpful! Any thing else to add? Tell me below! 👇🏻

And just for fun, here are some pictures of some of those sweet moments after Henry and then Rose were born. ❤️ 


My little Henry  

My little Henry  

My baby boy first meeting my baby girl 

My baby boy first meeting my baby girl 

Father and son snuggles  

Father and son snuggles