Sometimes, being in a relationship can put a strain on your wallet. You want to try the newest restaurants in Toronto and treat your significant other to fun date activities around the city, but your bank account doesn't feel the same. However, you don't need to spend all your money on pricey date nights to have a good time.
Quality time spent together, regardless of price, is what matters most in a relationship. You don't always have to go to some bar or fancy event to have a good time; cozying up inside can be just as fun and even more relaxing. Here are 36 stay-at-home date ideas to do with your significant other.
1. Have a board-game night.
There's nothing like good old-fashioned fun. Whether you like Monopoly or Balderdash, board games always make for an eventful night.
2. Host a wine tasting with various cheeses.
You go out to restaurants with your friends for wine all the time, so why not indulge in a (less costly) wine-and-cheese night at home with bae?
3. Have a cooking competition.
Treat it like an episode of MasterChef and race to create delicious meals. After, you can enjoy each other's dishes over candlelight.
4. Create a home workout routine.
There's no need to go to the gym when you can exercise and pull a sweat at home. (No need to use the gym showers, either.) Create a workout plan and then burn some calories together.
5. Build a fort in your living room.
Relive your childhood memories and build a pillow fort in your living room. You can just relax in its comfiness and pretend the two of you are camping.
6. Have a video game marathon.
Maybe you're not up to par on your video game skills, so why not have your S/O teach you? Once you get the hang of things, challenge them to a little friendly competition.
7. Create a memory book/photo album.
Spend time reminiscing on your firsts together and compile all of your photos, movie tickets, dinner receipts, etc. into a memory book to look back on.
8. Have a sketching competition.
Take turns drawing one another. Even if you're not an artist, the two of you can laugh about each other's pictures after.
9. Have an at-home spa day.
Spend some quality time making DIY facials and relaxing. You don't have to shell out big bucks at an expensive spa when you can set one up at your own place.
10. Read aloud to each other.
Pick your favourite books and read aloud to each other. It'll be a nice break from reading separate books on your own. Plus, you'll get to learn more about what makes your S/O's brain tick.
11. Play a game of strip poker.
Learn the rules, grab some poker chips, and layer up. Strip poker is always a better idea than regular poker.
12. Watch Sunday football together.
Make a plate of loaded nachos and enjoy some time cheering on your favourite teams. After all, sports bring people together.
13. Have a fondue night.
Don't waste your money at a pricey restaurant just for melted cheese. Set up your own fondue night and devour as much ooey-gooey goodness as you want.
14. Have breakfast in bed, for dinner.
Yeah, breakfast in bed is cool — but breakfast in bed for dinner is even better. Everyone loves this classic, tasty meal that allows for tons of creativity, so why not whip it up one evening once the sun sets?
15. Work on a home improvement project.
Repaint your apartment walls, build a new headboard, or finally get around to fixing your coffee table. Regardless, working on a home project together is fun and builds teamwork, which is essential in any relationship.
16. Make sushi together.
No need to visit a restaurant to enjoy good sushi. Test your culinary skills and make your own sushi rolls right in the comfort of your own kitchen. Bonus: You know the ingredients are fresh and you can use whatever you want!
17. Have a massage night.
The most sensual, effective way to unwind, reconnect, and set the mood after a long week. Light some candles, put on some music, whip out the oil, and go to town! Doesn't get any sexier than this exquisite treat, am I right?
18. Have a backyard picnic.
You don't have to travel to a park just for a picnic. Grab a bottle of wine, a blanket, some snacks, and enjoy an evening stargazing in your backyard.
19. Make homemade pizzas.
There's no need to spend your money on gourmet pizzas when you can make tasty, customized bad boys topped with all your favs, and pop them into your own oven.
20. Do a puzzle together.
Challenge yourselves to one of the daunting 1,000+ piece puzzles. Working together in any situation helps improve communication and strengthen your relationship. Plus, being proud of your final product is just plain awesome.
21. Take YouTube dance lessons.
Don't sign up for beginner salsa classes, just YouTube them. By doing it at home, you'll save yourselves money and the possibility of public embarrassment.
22. Play a card game.
Bring out old favourites like Crazy Eights or Go Fish and make a night of it. You most likely haven't played a sober card game in a while, so give it a try.
23. Take a romantic bubble bath together.
There's nothing like relaxing in a warm bath after a stressful day about work. You can vent about your boss or just enjoy the bubbles and the company, it's up to you. Pop some bubbly and light a candle to make it extra romantic.
24. Petsit for a friend.
Offer to take care of a friend's dog for one night. Your friend gets time off to go out while you two get to play with an adorable puppy. It's a win-win.
25. Have a YouTube karaoke night.
Don't go and embarrass yourself at some bar's karaoke night. Just search "karaoke" on YouTube, pick your fav tunes, and you're all set to go. The laughter that'll ensue will make you both feel great.
26. Play a game of Twister.
Twister is a classic you probably haven't played in a while. So spend a night in and brush up on your contortionist skills. Who knows? It could lead to some interesting midnight bedroom play.
27. Host a beer tasting with homemade pretzels.
Act like you're travelling through Germany by baking some homemade pretzels and washing them down with a variety of brews you've never had before.
28. Spend an afternoon reading newspapers and magazines.
Grab all your favourite magazines along with a few newspapers and enjoy an afternoon of reading. A little culture never hurt a relationship. Plus, you'll have tons of topics to discuss.
29. Make ice cream sundaes.
Sundaes are actually the key to happiness. So grab a bunch of toppings and ice cream flavours, and have a delicious blast as you scoop, drizzle, and sprinkle together.
30. Decorate coffee mugs.
Spend an evening making personalized coffee mugs for your apartment and test them out the next morning over coffee. Every time you both reach for those mugs, you can fondly remember that special evening of creativity.
31. Take an online personality test together.
This could be risky business, but if you're both just doing it for fun then who cares? Consult this online quiz and see if your personalities really do match up.
32. Have a themed movie night.
Shake up your normal movie night and organize a themed marathon instead. From genres to directors, tackling a bunch of classics or never-before-seen flicks this way is a game-changer that allows you to rank and compare your picks.
33. Bake and decorate festive cookies.
Whether or not there's an upcoming holiday, get in the spirit and bake some tasty treats together. Grab some icing and sprinkles to make Halloween or Christmas cookies. After all, the best treats are holiday ones, right?
34. Take a virtual tour of a museum online.
Save your pennies and bring the museum to your own living room. You can tour the Louvre, the Smithsonian, and many other museums online here.
35. Get a large canvas and have your own paint night.
Get creative with each other and have an at-home paint night. There's no need to spend money to do this at a studio when it's easy enough to replicate in the comfort of your own place with a cup of tea or a cocktail — and snacks — lots and lots of snacks.
36. Roast s'mores over the fireplace.
Forget travelling or camping somewhere just to make s'mores. Just layer some marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers and sit in front of your fireplace (or stovetop) to enjoy these tasty treats.