Duet? Do it!
Maybe you won’t win this season’s TV talent show, but you and your spouse can be superstars in your living room! Choose a favourite song and look up the lyrics online. Spend an evening at home learning to sing the song with your spouse. Sing with gusto, laughing as you squeak on the high notes. If you’re great singers, try squeaking anyway – aim for playfulness, not perfection! For a bigger challenge, attempt a two-part harmony.
Adopt an accent
French is the language of love, but you and your spouse can determine your own accents of amore! Commit to speaking in an accent for your entire date, and go to a restaurant or shopping mall where you know you’ll be heard by passersby! Whether your dialect of choice is romantic, quirky or completely made up, feigning an accent is playful and exciting!
Real estate date
Whether you’re on the house hunt, or comfortably settled in your home, perusing real estate listings with your spouse is free, fun and a great way to spark conversation! From home or a coffee shop, search online real estate websites such as Realtor.ca. Browse a variety of price ranges and property sizes, and brainstorm your plans and preferences for the architecture, interior design and landscaping of your dream home!
Break out and work out
Tired of being cooped up inside all winter? The next time you have a weekend with good weather, take advantage of the outdoors together. Do anything from a picnic or a bike ride to bird watching or a photo shoot at a public garden. Have fun creating new memories as you celebrate spring’s arrival.
Back to the dating days
Think back to some of the earliest dates you went on with your spouse. Set aside an afternoon, evening or an entire day to recreate these memories. Want to go an extra mile? Bring along a camera and then compare the pictures to the ones you took on those first dates, and celebrate how far you’ve come in your relationship.
A tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t still go out for dinner. Lay an old sheet down on your backyard or deck, place a couple couch cushions on top of it and then top it off with a comforter. Make dinner ahead of time and go enjoy a meal on your cushy make-shift restaurant booth. You can even light candles to create a romantic atmosphere.
Dates that support your resolution(s)
Are two of your resolutions to go on more adventures and save money? Plan a date night using online coupon sites like Groupon, Dealfind or LivingSocial. Look for discounts to local restaurants, art studios, dance classes or live entertainment. You’ll save money, create memories and discover more about the area where you and your spouse live.
Creative chatter around the Christmas tree
As you’re setting up your Christmas tree this year, share some of your favourite family traditions with each other. Can’t think of a tradition? Tell your spouse about your most memorable Christmas as a child.
Wireless date night
Go out on a dinner date and turn your phones to silent. Don’t check your phones until you leave the restaurant. Enjoy a distraction-free date and get to know your spouse even better. Need conversation starters? Check out our list of heart-to-heart questions.
Drive-in movie night in your car
Pick a movie, charge your laptop or portable DVD player, pack some blankets and snacks and drive to a favourite park. Enjoy a movie night in the comfort of your own car.
Serve up some love
Does your church facilitate regular outreach opportunities? Sign up to serve as a couple, extend the love of Christ to others and rekindle your love for one another.
Encouragement via driftwood
Find a flat piece of scrap wood and use a permanent marker to write out your favourite Bible verses. Take it to a nearby beach, river or lake and toss it in the water. This may be of great encouragement to whoever finds it later on.
Remember how fun it was to go down a slide as a kid or see how high you could swing? Fill two travel mugs with your favourite warm beverage, find a nearby park with a playground and let loose your inner child! Share your childhood playground memories with each other. You may learn something new about your spouse!
Quick road trip
Road trips don’t always have to be extravagant. Drive to a nearby neighbourhood. When you get to an intersection, one of you will say “straight,” “left” or “right.” At the next intersection, the other person will decide. Continue for as long as you like. Enjoy this time exploring your surroundings and creating memories as a couple.
Pick a new restaurant
Do an Internet search of restaurants in or near your neighbourhood. Try some place neither of you have eaten at before. This is a fun way to explore different cuisines – you may even find a new favourite!
Travel vicariously through film
Do you and your spouse have a favourite travel destination? Still planning a dream vacation? Find a movie set in the country or city of your choice, make some classic movie snacks and travel vicariously through the film. If it’s a movie you haven’t seen, check out Pluggedinonline.ca for a review.
Write questions from our Heart-to-Heart list on small strips of paper and put them in an envelope. Keep the envelope in your car and pull them out to read while you are your spouse are running errands together. Who said a trip to the grocery store can’t be romantic?
Make a 2011 time capsule
Fill a glass jar with objects that represent your year with your spouse. Items can include ticket stubs from a favourite movie, restaurant receipts from memorable dates or photos from a vacation. Bury it in your yard and then dig it up the following year. This is a fun way to relive your shared memories each year!
Thrift store makeover
Go to a local thrift store and pick out a piece of furniture (bookcase, end table, picture frame, etc.). Next, buy a can of spray paint to match your find to your house’s style. Sand down the surface of your purchase, paint it and let it dry. You’ll then have a new piece of decor that looks good as new – and it costs next to nothing!
Dinner date via garage sale
Gather up some stuff that you’ve had for ages but rarely use – kitchen supplies, chairs, lamps, books and movies. Have a Saturday garage sale and use whatever money you make to go out for dinner that night – even if just for a fast-food dining experience.
Geocaching uses your handheld GPS device or smartphone and turns the world into one giant treasure hunt. This adventurous date idea gives you a chance to enjoy the spring weather. Visit geocaching.com to get started.
Make fast food romantic
The next time you and your spouse dine under the golden arches, bring a tablecloth and a candle. This bold move shows off your creativity and adds an element of fun and romance to your otherwise ordinary date.
Plant a garden
Doing a creative task together helps couples grow closer. Create a backyard garden or, if you live in an apartment, a container garden. Enjoy the creative process of shopping for seeds or plants and working the soil.
Go off Broadway . . . even further
Forget expensive Broadway tickets, or even Off Broadway shows. Instead, support Off Off Broadway: your local community theatre. You’ll find the classic shows you both love, plus modern plays, and all at a wallet-friendly price.
Be a city nomad
Buy a day pass for the bus and take the public transit around your city with your spouse. You’ll see sights and sounds that you wouldn’t ordinarily notice while speeding through in your car. Jump off whenever you see something that catches your fancy. You never know what you’ll discover – or rediscover!
Four festive fall ideas
As the air takes on a crisp nip, celebrate God’s handiwork in the changing seasons with four fun ideas perfect for the start of fall.
Head to a pumpkin farm and pick out a couple pumpkins to carve together. It’s budget-friendly and lets you show off your creative side. For example, each of you could carve a scene from one of your first dates, or inscribe a scripture that reflects a quality you see in your spouse. Remember to save the seeds, which make for an easy snack. Scatter the seeds in a single layer onto a baking sheet and roast them in an oven set to 75 C for 15 minutes
Make a corn cob bird feeder, then spend an afternoon together as birds flock to your backyard. The birds will appreciate the gesture as natural food sources dwindle. To make a feeder, eat all the corn off of the cob and let it dry for a day or two. Spread peanut butter on the cob, then stick bird seeds into the peanut butter. Hang it from a tall tree branch or the eaves of your roof.
Explore a corn maze. The sense of adventure can be a great bonding experience. If you have older children, the twisting corridors of the maze can also be entertaining for them while giving mom and dad some alone time.
Build a friendly scarecrow with each other. It can lend a festive, fun look to your front yard or patio. Stuff old clothes with hay or straw, available for free or at a low cost at many farms, feed stores and hobby outlets. Tie the ends of the garments shut with twine. For a head, use a small pumpkin or a pillow case.
Watch a moon rise
September is the last month of summer. Take advantage of the warm evenings before we enter the crisp days of fall. Pack up a blanket, some hot chocolate and snacks and take your spouse to a nearby park or open hill to watch a moonrise. This month’s full moon takes place on September 23, though the lunar orb will be shining brightly in the days leading up to it.
Christmas in . . . August?
Why wait until December to bless your spouse with a special gift? Catch him by surprise with an early “Christmas gift”! You don’t need to spend a lot of money to treat your sweetheart to an unexpected surprise – even something small is bound to impress! Or, plan a day together when you can both exchange gifts, celebrate each other and thank the Saviour for His ever-constant love!
A trip down memory lane
Help your spouse get to know you even better by sharing with her some of your favourite spots from the past and the memories that you associate with them. If you live in the same town where you grew up, bring her to your favourite childhood haunts – whether a pond, playground or corner store. Other ideas include: your favourite highschool hangouts, a walk through your college or university campus, the special place you used to go to spend quiet time with God, and so on.
Spice it up!
If you’re bored of your recipe repertoire at home, take this opportunity to learn how to make new and exciting dishes with your spouse. Try community centre cooking classes that offer different ethnic foods and spend each week learning something new to try at home with your spouse. Learning a new skill, plus having the added bonus of tasting the outcome of your efforts, can spice up your weekly routine – and your relationship!
Remember the early days when you and your spouse were first dating? Recreate the excitement of your first encounter with a date pretending you don’t know each other. For example, set a time and place with your date for your “chance” encounter. On the big night, dress to impress before you head out. When at your meeting location, keep an eye out for your love and be ready with some smooth (or corny) pick-up lines. Then, spend the evening flirting and getting to know each other all over again!