Creative Date Night Ideas for Cash-Strapped NP Students

Are you and your spouse long overdue for a date night? If you’re a busy nurse practitioner student, committing to regularly scheduled date nights with your significant other can feel impossible to do. And costly. Before you know it, you look back at your calendar to find it’s literally been six months since the last time the two of you had a night out. 

Quality time is vital to a healthy relationship but it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Perhaps you can’t find a decent babysitter or afford both child care and evening of entertainment. Or maybe you’re on-call often, which makes a night out all the more difficult to coordinate. Whatever the reason may be, you’re desperate for an opportunity to reconnect with one another. A cost effective date-night-in may be just what you’re needing!

Binging on your favorite shows together can be really nice after a long day, but sitting on opposite ends of the couch doesn’t really ignite any flames. Instead, consider one of these creative ideas for a fun date night at home with your love.

Play a game together

A little friendly and flirty competition is surprisingly a great way to rekindle the flames in your relationship. Choose an old-school card or board game like Monopoly, or if knowledge and trivia is your thing, purchase an Echo button to play one of the forty different games on your Amazon Echo. Find whatever game best suits your couple-style and have a little fun together!

Do a puzzle

If getting competitive with your spouse leads to more hurt feelings than it does fun, or if you’re simply looking for something more relaxing and quiet to do together that isn’t another night of Netflix, give a puzzle a try. The activity is a great way to still enjoy a subdued environment but one that also gives the two of you plenty of opportunities for good conversations. Leaving a puzzle unfinished is a little nerve-wracking if you have kids; preserve your masterpiece with a puzzle mat so you can work on it again together on your next date-night-in.   

Watch a movie outside

Speaking of binging on Netflix, if you’re pretty engrossed in a series together right now or have been dying to see a newly released movie, try mixing up your usual routine by watching it outside in the backyard. The setup can be as simple or as fancy as you’d like but all you really need in order to make it more romantic than setting your laptop up outside is a white sheet, an inexpensive portable projector and comfy blankets and chairs.  

Attend a private tasting party for two

Bar hopping like you did together before kids may no longer be on the table as a date night option but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a few drinks together after dark (if you’re not on call). Buy a few different wines, craft beers or other spirits you enjoy together and have your own tasting. If the weather is conducive, fire up your chiminea, plug in your Bluetooth speaker and take your little tasting soiree out under the night sky for an even more romantic evening.

Make a bucket list

Talking about your deepest dreams with one another is a great way to bring back some intimacy in your marriage. The exercise of making a bucket list with your spouse can help you more openly share your goals and visions for your life together, ultimately drawing you closer to one another and helping you focus on the common interests you share.

Have a karaoke night-in

If you and your spouse are karaoke junkies but making it to karaoke night is a thing of the past now that you’re parents, or you’re simply working adults who can’t go out boozing on a weeknight, set up your own karaoke bar in your garage or in another secluded area of your home with a simple set up like this. Then pour yourself a couple of cocktails or mocktails, and bring down the house like you used to!

Cook a unique dinner together

Have you been wanting to try a cooking class together but can’t find one that fits into your busy schedules? This may be a little tricky if you have kids who don’t go to bed until later, but if you can hold off until then, cooking a unique dinner together is a great way to have some fun and bond with one another, especially if you’ve been dying to try a new recipe but have picky eaters in your house.

Take a “midnight” swim

If you’re fortunate enough to have a swimming pool in the comforts of your backyard or a body ofwater nearby, take a dip after dark together; either relax and enjoy the quiet of a kid-free swim or channel your inner child by playing a fun game of Marco Polo, water volleyball, or by having a belly flop contest with one another. Even if all you have is a blow-up kiddie pool, you can still partake; set it up after the kids go to sleep and enjoy a soak under the stars.

Plan your next vacation

When you’re married with kids and busy in your NP program, finding stress-free opportunities to talk about things other than work, the kids and finances are few and far between, so it’s understandable that talking about where and when you’re next vacation will have yet to be discussed, let alone planned out. Use a date night in to finally plan the vacation you’ve been longing for.   

How do you and your sig-o find time to connect amidst life as a busy nurse practitioner student?