10 Eco-Conscious Date Night Ideas – Without Leaving Home!

Hey everyone, I hope you’re well. With most of the world confined to their homes on lockdown at the time of writing this, I hope you’re managing to stay sane and not missing those candlelit restaurant dinners and cinema date nights too much. Today I wanted to share with you some date night ideas that don’t involve leaving home and that are eco-conscious too.

We all find ourselves in an extraordinarily different situation at the moment, and date nights can be the first thing to slip when we’re creating a new routine. Whether you’re stuck at home with your spouse 24/7 and they’re driving you slightly mad, you’re juggling homeschooling with working from home and shopping for vulnerable relatives, or maybe you’re working extra hard as an incredible keyworker (thank you!!) and trying to find ways to relax and unwind with your other half when you grab a spare few minutes, these date night ideas are on hand to ensure that quality time together doesn’t slip you by. Each of these suggestions can be extended to involve the whole family too, so if you’re struggling for new activity ideas within the home I hope these help you to keep those little’uns entertained and create lasting family memories.

As always, I like to think sustainably as much as I can and encourage others to do so too. Many of these ideas consider their impact and I’ve added a few suggestions of how you can make these indoor date night ideas more eco-conscious, although staying in already helps to minimise our impact somewhat! (Believe you me, I can’t wait to go out once I can though!)

If you’re reading this once lockdown is over, then these ideas still remain just as valuable. We all need some time to relax with loved ones at home from time to time, plus staying in is definitely the new going out and is more budget savvy too!

Grab a cuppa and settle in as you scan these ideas to find one, two, or all ten that would be perfect for you. I hope these date nights give you the quality time together that we need now more than ever.

A mug saying Happy Camper being held up whilst in a woodland background

Camp Out

Do you have that tent up in your loft or that camper on your front drive feeling a little unloved at the moment? If you can’t go on holiday, then get the holiday to come to you and embrace the ‘at home’ adventure! (This one does rely on you having a bit of your own outdoor space and a tent, but if you are missing one of these key elements, there’s a solution for you in the next suggestion).

Enjoy putting the tent up or setting up your campervan at a leisurely pace, then make it a home, well, slightly away from home! Drag the duvet outside, plump up those cushions, gather a book and boardgame, get the BBQ or Trangia going, and settle into the chilled out camping lifestyle. Make your favourite camping dinner and toast those marshmallows or indulge in delicious smores and you’ll forget you’ve not left home! There’s no need to stress about what you might have forgotten and no uncertainty about the quality of the facilities when you arrive, just the joy of quality time together whilst relaxing outside … and if your furry family members are anything like our family dog used to be, they’ll be the first ones out there exploring the new addition to the garden and muscling in on date night!

Den Building

So, you might not have a tent or motorhome to hand, or the luxury of enough outdoor space, but that doesn’t mean camping can’t happen! Let that inner child out and crack on with building yourselves an indoor den. Upturn those sofa’s, gather those blankets and, insider tip here just for you(!) … brooms, dining chairs and clothes airers do just the job when you’re looking for that structural integrity.

Once you’ve masterfully created your new abode, pad it with cushions, grab your favourite snacks and bask in the silly carefree memories of childhood. Let your mind go back, reminisce, and chat about those times, after all we don’t tend to take the time to think that far back and share stories with our partners or spouse about the times before you knew each other. It can be so enlightening to let them into your childhood world, I bet you’ll find out some brilliant similarities that explain why you just click so well!

Couple with their backs to the camera stood close and helping each other to cook

Ready Steady Cook

You might already take it in turns to cook, but why not make this a more mindful, challenging and fun exercise for date nights. Draw straws to see who gets the main course and who’s prepping dessert or take it in turns to cook for each other over the space of a few date nights. Then take a look at what’s already in the house, what’s deep in those cupboards or has the shortest shelf life in the fridge? To add an extra eco-conscious twist to date night, what could you get creative with that you might normally discard such as the broccoli stalk or those cauliflower leaves? Make this one as challenging and adventurous as you wish; maybe choose 2 key ingredients for each other and then be flexible to add your own additions, or be stricter with a limited shopping bag and only basic extra essentials just like the TV format used to take  … what weird but wonderful concoctions will you come up with? p.s. please ensure you are safe and sensible with your ingredients!

Make a Playlist

Whatever your music tastes, we sometimes find ourselves getting a bit bored with a particular music collection or the hits being played on your radio station of choice. So, why not spice it up a bit and take the time to create your own epic playlist together? Using your preferred music service, start with a song that’s iconic, means something to you both and never fails to get you up on your feet, and then go from there. See what randomly plays next, or see where the mood takes you! Maybe you are planning your wedding at the moment and need an evening playlist, maybe you’re 30 years into marriage and could put together a playlist that reflects your whole relationship, or maybe you’ve got a holiday you’ve had to delay and need a playlist to brighten your mood and to become the soundtrack of your trip-to-be. It goes without saying really doesn’t it, but grab a drink, grab your date, and dance the night away to your own playlist as though no one’s watching (although if you’re making this one a family date night I can’t guarantee the kids won’t be cringing!)

Learn a New Skill Together

Now, this could last for several date nights, or if time allows be turned into whole date days! Is there something you’ve both always said you’d like to learn or improve on … maybe dusting off that DSLR and sharpening your photography skills? Or picking up on some key language phrases ready for your honeymoon or trip of a lifetime abroad later this year? Do you have some tired furniture and have been meaning to look into upholstery or upcycling? Whatever it may be, now is the best time, don’t let it keep being pushed to the back burner.

Lots of skill and education websites, online tutorials and video streamers are creating lots of content at the moment and sharing it for free, a reduced price, or offering amazing fundraising and donation opportunities instead, so get searching and spend some quality date night time together following those goals and dreams. My partner and I have always said about wanting to build our own house together one day, so maybe we should get swotting up on bricklaying!

Couple cuddling with their backs to the camera sat upon a rug whilst outside star gazing

Star Gaze

If you’re anything like me, you’ll love the night sky! I find it so captivating, so magical, but rarely do I take the time to wrap up warm and go outside to enjoy it. Now’s our chance! The skies are somewhat clearer at the moment in the UK due to lowered pollution and we’ve been blessed with some gorgeous sunny spring days and clear nights, so let’s embrace this opportunity. Make decadent hot chocolates for the whole family (sprinkles and all) or treat yourself to a coffee liqueur/hot toddy. Next, gather those cosy blankets, or even your duvet if you fancy it, and pull up a chair, whether they are your camping chairs, dragged out from your dining room, or the ultimate lounging beanbag. Get perfectly snuggled up and star gaze to your hearts content. An added beauty of this whole setup? You’re never far from a warm house, so sneak back inside when you start to really feel the nip, and let the snuggling resume!

Don’t have a garden or outside space? No problem, follow all of the steps above, then turn off the light switches, huddle at the window, let your eyes adjust and see just how much is out there when you take the time to look. Can’t see the stars? Appreciate the stillness of nighttime on your street, look at how the moonlight falls on the neighbours house, record any nocturnal wildlife you are lucky enough to spot. The night has so many secrets for us to enjoy!

Look Back Through Photos

Now, this might bring you an evening of broad smiles and a warm fuzzy feeling, or it might exacerbate any current sense of isolation or of missing those you love and cannot see at the moment, so please use your own judgement to know when or if this suggestion is right for you. But, if you fancy it, why not spend a date night together looking back through all of those photos that, if I know you well, are still stored away on your phone from that amazing holiday 4 years ago and have never made it into an album! Those family snaps, those selfies, those special places, special parties, and special people, captured but not reminisced on for ages. Take a look, rediscover those stories, laugh at forgotten mishaps and get excited for those perfect photo opportunities to come. I know I for one have noticed how few family photos I have from recent years and will be on a mission to correct this as soon as lockdown is over!

If you really enjoy looking through your past memories, why not take it a step further. Print your favourites or ones that remind you of a special someone and send it to them with a little handwritten note directly on the back of the photo (eco-consciously minimising paper usage and keeping the image and note together forever!). I’m sure they’d love to hear from you and refresh the images in their photo frames. No printer? Get online and send it via email, WhatsApp, or any other means and let them know you’re thinking of them. Share the love, share the memories, spread the smile.

Join In With Each Other’s Hobbies

You’re sure to have things you love doing together, but what about letting your significant other into your own world and your individual hobbies? Across 2 or more date nights, take it in turns to try your hand at the others’ hobbies, their indoor/at home ones at least. Teach and share, engage with each other’s passions, sharing is fantastic at bringing you closer together.

For me, my other half is a keen gamer, and he’s been trying to get me into gaming for ages. Now, it’s just not my thing, or at least not something I want to spend lots of my time doing, but last week we finally spent an evening gaming together after saying I would for months. Whilst it hasn’t converted me forever, it was good fun to take a night off together and get absorbed into his gaming world for a while, and I now have a new appreciation for how much you can get lost in those games for hours at a time! What hobbies could you let them in on?

A notebook, pencil and small envelopes ready for writing and collecting date night ideas

Create Date Night Envelopes

Spend an evening planning, dreaming, thinking of those things, big and small, that you’d like to do together, and not just within the home. Now is the time we start to really realise what we’re missing and what our favourite dates outside of the home entail, so make sure you include lots of these to make up for this lockdown period afterwards! Find or save up 12 envelopes, reusing those ones from the pesky bills gives them a happier afterlife, and gather some scrap paper, then get writing those ideas down.

Date night ideas can be anything you fancy, but I’d recommend a mix of higher and lower budget ones, a mixture of things to do at home, things in the local area, and a handful of more adventurous ones. Think eco-consciously too… what local independent and sustainable businesses are you really looking forward to supporting again as soon as you can?

Write as many as you think of but then take a look back and shortlist those that you think would be achievable to spread across a 12 month period, considering your personal budget and time constraints. When we do this we personally aim for 4 date night ideas per month, a list of 48 total, with lots of relaxed home based ones included in there to suit our busy lives.

Once you’ve got your list compiled and saved your reserve ideas for future years, cut them up, give them a fold, then randomly distribute them between the 12 months. If you know December is always a tougher month to find time for date nights, or maybe work is always exceptionally busy in June, then factor this in and personalise your envelopes however best suits you. There you have it, date nights sorted for the next 12 months and you get the joy of finding out what they’ll be at the beginning of each month. Now, the challenge is sticking to doing those ideas each month!

Set up a Domino Run

Come on admit it, we’ve all been fascinated by those well planned out domino style runs we’ve seen in videos before … the small ball that you set off throughout the house with tunnels, strategically placed obstacles and a small goal at the end for the ball to precisely and spectacularly drop into! Think of those childhood marble runs but on a larger and more homemade scale and embrace being big kids together!

This one takes a bit of planning in advance, but it’s great at making you think about the multiple uses different everyday objects can have, a great skill when thinking more sustainably (albeit in a more silly way in this example!). Schedule this date night in and start looking at all of your recycling items with fresh eyes over the next few weeks … suddenly those toilet roll tubes, cardboard cereal boxes, and yoghurt pots will have a completely different purpose before making their way to the recycling bin! Get creative combining these with other household items such as board game components or even the dustpan, then let the teamwork and planning commence. How adventurous will you both get, who will come up with the most outlandish ideas? Hours of fun will ensue, I’d love to see your finished masterpiece!

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Found these eco-conscious date night ideas useful? Pin them for your future reference!

So, there you have it, 10 ideas for date nights that don’t involve leaving home and are eco-conscious too. I’d love to hear which ones you decide to give a try, and above all I hope they bring you both a smile.

If you’re currently spending date nights planning your own wedding then check out my Wedding Wisdom 1:1 option and make use of my advice, reassurance and planning support tailored just to you and your special day.

Sending my love and best wishes to you all, stay safe and stay at home!

Image credits (top-bottom):

Jonathan Borba on Unsplash | Dominika Roseclay from Pexels | Soroush Karimi on Unsplash | Niklas Tidbury on Unsplash | Leon Rojas on Unsplash

- Hannah -

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