By Mindy Van De Graaff
1. Bookstore date.
Go to the bookstore and browse together through some of the following options: an interesting magazine to browse, a cookbook recipe to make, a favorite picture book from your childhood, a travel book for a country you'd love to visit someday, some funny jokes in a joke book, etc.
2. Movie night.
Surprise your husband or wife with some sparkling cider, popcorn, and a movie. Or blow up an air mattress in your front room, or cuddle on the couch as you watch a Redbox rental and eat popcorn. You could even check out a movie for free from the library. Keep a running list of movies you want to watch together.
3. Re-create your first date (or really any special date) together.
What were you wearing? Where did you go? What did you do or talk about?
4. Get fit.
Exercise to a workout dvd together. Then enjoy a protein shake or fruit smoothie afterwards!
5. Indoor campout.
Cook tin foil dinners in the oven, make s'mores with your broiler, read a book by flashlight, and sleep out in your front room!
6. Play games.
Buy a new game to play or enjoy one you already have! Have treats to go with it and maybe even make a bet for what the winner gets.
7. Dollar date.
Grab food at a fast food restaurant’s dollar menu and then go to the dollar store to pick something out for each other with a certain money limit. You could even go to the dollar movies.
8. Take an online personality test.
Click here to take a free personality test to get your four-letter personality type. It even tells you famous people that share your type along with where you thrive and where you struggle. Once you have both of your types, you can even click on “Jung Marriage Test” to read about your compatibility as a couple just for fun. This is very fascinating and insightful!
9. Bake cookies together and make homemade ice cream sandwiches.
10. Dinner & jar of questions.
Before your date, print out interesting, fun questions and place them in a jar. Make a fun dinner recipe together. While you eat, pull out questions that both of you have to answer. Some examples are: What are some of your fears? Describe your relationship with your parents. What are five passions that you have? What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced? What are the five things that make you most happy right now? What are ten things you would tell your sixteen-year-old self, if you could? List three people have have influenced you and describe how. What are some of your pet peeves? What do you think are some of your greatest strengths/weaknesses? How do you want to be a better spouse? If you were an animal, what would you be and why? What is the thing you most wish you were great at? Describe three significant memories from your childhood. If you could have one superpower, what would it be? List your top five hobbies and why you love them. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be? What is your favorite part of your body and why? What do you think people misunderstand most about you? List some things you would hope to be remembered for…
11. Paint something old.
Pick out a cheap piece of furniture at a goodwill or from a yard sale, and re-paint it together. Or paint something you already have and fix it up! Or grab some cheap canvas and paint away.
12. Travel from your home:
This fun date night can be done multiple times with different countries you are interested in. All dates could include eating food from that country, learning interesting facts about the country, watching a movie based there or about it, learning a few phrases in that language, printing off some pictures, watching a short YouTube tour of that country or famous city, and maybe even dancing to their music! For examples:
*France: Put out cheeses, fruits, French bread, etc. Dance to French accordion music. Google before your date, “interesting facts about France.”
*Italy: Make homemade pizzas together, play Andre Bocelli music, and enjoy painting!
*New Zealand: Eat Kiwis, learn cool facts on Wikipedia, watch Lord of the Rings…
13. Create a vision.
Brainstorm your current goals and vision for the future. Use materials you already have to create some kind of display to put on your refrigerator or in your bedroom.
14. Light some candles, give massages, and have a spa night.
15. Pick out a book.
Find a book that you would both enjoy and start reading it together.
16. Plan for a run.
Find a 5k, 10k, or ½ marathon to sign up for together. Decide on your training plan. You can even go on Gmap Pedometer to find out how many miles there are on certain nearby runs.
17. Plan an upcoming trip together, whether it’s just a one-day adventure or a mini vacation with your kids.
18. Test your "love language."
Click here to test your top love languages. Afterwards, take turns doing something in each other’s love language!
19. Future dream house.
Walk/drive around a fun neighborhood and dream about what you do/don’t like for your future home. Or, draw out your ideal floor plan and talk about each room.
20. Piggy bank.
Create some kind of “piggy bank” where you can start putting all your spare change. Decide as a couple something fun you want to start saving for!
21. Bring a blanket to a fun park and lay down and talk under the stars.
22. Videotape each other.
Pull out the video camera, or use your phone or iPad, and record yourselves asking each other various questions. Some examples are: What was your hometown like? How well did you get along with your siblings, parents, teachers? If you could re-do anything from the past what would it be? What were you like in elementary, junior high, and high school? What are some of your happiest memories from your childhood? What are two of your favorite breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, and desserts? Name some of your hobbies. How did you meet each other? Name three of your favorite traits of your spouse. List some of your favorite traits of each of your children. What is your favorite color, animal, book, movie? What was college like? What is the craziest thing you have ever done? What are some of your dreams for your family? List three pieces of advice...etc.
"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person."
- Mignon McLaughlin
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