When was the last time you and your partner spent a romantic evening together, just the two of you?
If you think "date night" requires a lot of money or even leaving the house, think again. Modern couples are making their backyards into romantic getaways. All it takes is a little bit of planning and a sense of adventure to reconnect with the person you love most.
The kids should be gone for the evening so you can focus on one another; see if another family is willing to host a sleepover if you return the favor the following week. Then, schedule the date in your planner — no excuses! Block out a time so that you can tell your boss and anyone else that you've got an important meeting with the most important person in your life.
When it comes to date night, it's the thought that counts. Agree to swap planning responsibilities, so that each person can have a turn at being surprised with what the other has in mind. Need some inspiration? Here are 6 ideas that can bring the spark back into your relationship — without having to leave home.
1. Pizza and a Movie
Getting delivered pizza and watching Netflix isn't anyone's idea of romantic and creative, but you can surprise your partner with a modern approach to this classic date night. It all happens right in your backyard.
First, light up your table BBQ grill. Did you know you can grill pizza right on the grates? If you'd prefer a less-messy approach, invest in a ceramic pizza stone and preheat it before adding your dough. Once you've flipped the dough, you can add your favorite toppings so it can be ready for showtime.
Don't go inside to watch a movie. Instead, set up a cozy area filled with cushions outside. Simply string up a white sheet in the corner of your yard and use a Bluetooth projector to display whatever movie you'd like. We recommend a rom-com!
2. Backyard Spa Retreat
Who doesn't like a little pampering? Plan a spa getaway in the privacy of your own yard. Start by creating a secret area that's enclosed by flowering bushes in planters, bamboo fencing, or another natural barrier so your neighbors can't see. Add a small fountain and gentle music to drown out any surrounding noises.
Then, lay out clean, comfortable robes to wear during the date. Slice cucumber and infuse a large jar of water to sip during your "spa getaway." Have bits of dark chocolate and a fresh salad on hand to enjoy together.
During your spa night, you could enjoy a restorative yoga class streamed online. Or, if you know massage therapists who do house calls, consider hiring them to provide a couples massage in your backyard. Another option? Purchase some fragrant oils and trade luxurious, full-body massages.
3. Picnic in the "Park"
Want a romantic picnic that doesn't include strangers or a car ride after a bottle of bubbly? Just head out to the backyard. Pack a basket filled with treats picked up from the deli, or just get everything ready to fire up the table BBQ grill. Don't forget to chill the wine and a jug of water. The idea is to have everything you need for a quaint meal without having to go back inside.
As you walk into your backyard together, pretend like it's your first time. Pick a spot together where you can spread out a blanket. Bring a few cushions so you can get comfortable on the ground. Then, take your time. Enjoy making bites for each other and noticing the natural beauty around you both.
4. Share a Dance
If you have a Bluetooth speaker or two, you have the makings of an evening dancing cheek-to-cheek. Start by making a playlist of all your favorite songs and staging the speakers outside. Next, work on lighting. String lights through the trees and around your outdoor patio so you can have a soft glow.
Be sure to light your table BBQ grill and have a bottle of wine or your favorite beverages chilled nearby. Then, ask your partner to dress up for a night out on the town, only to leave them outside to your backyard. Once you've had your fill of dancing, grab seats by the fire and bask in the glow of your love.
5. Camping Out Back
Another fun way to share an adventure without going far is to set up a tent in your backyard. With a blow-up mattress, pillows, and blankets, you'll be comfortable outdoors for the evening — and the change of scene from your bedroom can often be what's needed to heat things up. Be sure to have a flashlight and anything else that's needed so you can stay outdoors.
Don't forget to light the fire! A table BBQ grill is much safer than an open fire, but you can still grill just as you would if you were camping in a state park. Be sure to end the night with a sweet treat of roasted marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate for smiles and memories to last a lifetime.
6. Games Under the Stars
It really doesn't take much when you both agree to spend quality time together. Sometimes it's as easy as breaking out the board games. If you're already tired of the selection of games at home, start your planning by heading to the store. Pick up a couple games that are classics, like Twister, or games that encourage players to reveals secrets about themselves.
Or, if you'd like to be a little more active, set up a croquet set or bocce ball court in the backyard. Bet each other a kiss for whomever wins!
It can be fun to pretend to be kids again. Continue the date by whipping up some milkshakes and grilling burgers. You can even make French fries using a grill basket over your table BBQ grill. You can even invite another couple over for a double date — or savor the time for just you and your love.