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This post contains a sponsored inclusion of La Crema but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.

5 At-Home Date Ideas That Are More Romantic Than a Candlelit Dinner Out

written by EMMA GINSBERG

This post is sponsored by La Crema but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.

The Everygirl’s product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.

As an introvert, there are few things anyone could ever say to me that would be hotter than “Let’s stay in.” While I love an adventurous and spontaneous date as much as the next gal, I also know for a fact that most of the romantic dates I’ve been on in my life have rarely involved venturing outside of my own four walls. There’s just something about a thoughtful night in—with a curated playlist of songs that you both love, a shared activity, and free-flowing conversation—it sparks romance like nothing else.

Whether your night-in with your partner is inspired by terrible weather, or simply by the desire to get away from the crowds for a little while, there are so many ways to have a dreamy evening right from your own living room. Here, we’ve rounded up five at-home date ideas that are just as swoon-worthy as a night on the town—because connecting with your partner should be just as easy from home.

Source: Meagan McCormick

1. Do an at-home wine-tasting

If you asked me how many couples I’ve seen get engaged after a wine tasting at a vineyard this summer, I honestly would lose count—obviously, there’s something about a wine tasting that is inherently romantic. For those of us who are not getting engaged (or who simply don’t want to make the trip to a vineyard), thankfully, having an at-home wine tasting is as simple as ordering a selection of your favorite bottles and setting a date. We recommend selecting 4-5 bottles of La Crema’s unique wines in order to have an exciting range of notes and undertones for your tasting. When selecting your wines, make sure to hit the classics like a Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc, and then round out the group with more out-of-the-box choices like their Late Harvest Riesling or Marsanne Roussanne.

Tasting various wines is a fun night in and of itself, but make sure you’re getting the full experience by printing out the tasting notes for each wine from La Crema’s website (and definitely print them out so you can have a phone-free date night) and comparing them with the flavors you notice. Use our free wine-tasting printable to track your tastings and make note of your favorites! During the tasting, you’ll also want to have plain crackers to nibble on or coffee beans to sniff to clear your palate between tastings.

For dinner, you can simply set out a plate of your favorite charcuterie (girl dinner, anyone?!) and get to tasting. If you want to take it to the next level, however, you can make a series of small dishes that pair well with each of your selected wines (look for the pairing tab each of La Crema’s wines has on their website for inspiration) and taste them alongside each wine to see how it enhances the flavors of the dish. This is a great way to turn a simple date night idea into a full experience.

To make this date night a regular thing (and save some coin in the process), join La Crema’s wine club. Three times per year you can order six bottles of wine for 20% off. Order six different bottles each time so you always have something new to try on date night.

La Crema
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2. DIY a paint-and-sip class

Paint-and-sips are the kind of date that you and your partner will always swear you’re going to do eventually and just never get around to booking. Take the pressure (and the cost) away by doing your own DIY paint-and-sip at home. Pour a glass or two of your favorite wine (perhaps from the at-home La Crema wine tasting we recommended above), cover the dining table in paper, and paint to your heart’s content. You can follow a kit to see how you both approach painting the same scene, take a stab at recreating one of your favorite photos together, or even paint portraits of each other. If painting yourselves sounds awful, you can also pick a subject you both love like your pet. That way, no matter how creative… it turns out, you’ll still love it.

You don’t have to paint on large canvases either. A tiny canvas can make a cute keepsake you can keep tucked away in a memento box rather than something large you feel obligated to find wall space for. If you want to get really creative, you can thrift some glassware (we love a sustainable option) to paint fun designs on and keep for all your date nights to come.

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Source: Stocksy

3. Cook a fancy meal together

There’s nothing better than cooking a delicious meal with your partner, so why not make a real night out of it by stepping your cuisine up a notch? Break out some matching aprons and your nicest table settings and brainstorm a delicious, restaurant-worthy menu that will taste even better because you made it yourselves, together. You can pick something totally outside of your comfort zone or take a new spin on a classic. You can make a pizza from scratch starting with the dough, make your own noodles for a pasta night, or try recreating your favorite takeout dish. That last option is excellent because you may even find you like your own version more than the restaurant version. If you want even more inspiration, we’ve compiled a list of dinner recipes that are perfect for a date night at home no matter your skill level.

Crafting a new recipe from scratch will take some time, so don’t be afraid to make an experience of it! Set out some snacks and appetizers to eat while you cook—because there’s nothing worse than trying to cook with someone while you’re hungry. The date part of this evening is the act of cooking, so really make sure you savor it. This time together will only be enhanced when you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor by candlelight.

You’ll also want to select some wine to sip on while cooking and have with your dinner. Choose a wine that pairs well with your meal of choice to elevate the experience and play sommelier for an evening. Not sure where to start? Match the color of your meat to the color of your wine—white meats like chicken with white wine (think Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc) and red meats like ribs or steak with a red wine like Pinot Noir.

Whatever direction you go here, the idea is to step out of your comfort zone in the kitchen and try something new with your partner. If anything, dinner will feel less like a chore and more like an event for this night of the week.

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Source: Alaina Kaz

4. Have a themed movie marathon

Movie nights as a date get a bad reputation because they can often feel low effort. But trust me, it’s worth putting energy into romanticizing your movie nights with your partner by making them into dedicated marathons. You can revisit an old favorite series (Harry Potter is always a good idea), have a marathon of each other’s favorite childhood films, or dive deep into a specific genre or director’s work.

While you could just snuggle up on the couch, I recommend taking it up a notch. Get a projector and screen to make it extra special—it’ll be like a drive-in but you’ll actually be able to get comfy. Bring in all of the classic movie snacks: your favorite candy, hot dogs, and popcorn. The best part about this is you can elevate each snack to your personal tastes with special popcorn seasonings, your favorite hotdog toppings, and candy you just can’t get at a theater. An added bonus? This route is so much more affordable than a trip to the theater. Movie theaters are great but if you think too long and hard about how long your “fresh” snacks have been sitting out, it makes the already exorbitant prices that much harder to swallow.

After you’ve set out your snacks and selected your main feature (or features), set the scene by turning off all the lights and lighting some candles for ambiance. Leave your phones in another room too so you can focus fully on the movie and your partner. Suddenly, this “simple” movie night might become one of your favorite things to do with your partner.

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Urban Accents
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Source: Ashley Selleke

5. Throw your own game night

My favorite second-date spot of all time is a bar that has tons of board and card games available to rent and play while chatting and sipping some fun beverages. However, there’s no reason why you can’t have the exact same experience (but maybe even rowdier behavior if it gets really competitive!) from the comfort of your own home. You’ll want to have a variety of card and board games on hand to keep the fun going all night.

Not sure where to start? Here’s a list of games that can be played with only two players:

With the games ready to go, you’ll also want to put out bowls of all of your favorite snacks. Since it’s a game night, you can lean into the nostalgia and prepare some of your favorite childhood snacks. Think pizza rolls, Dunkaroos, Gushers, Pop-Tarts, animal crackers, and dino nuggets.

This is such a fun date night that you can turn to any time you and your partner can use a little fun. I particularly love this idea for a Friday night pick-me-up after a long week of work. You might just find out that you have a knack for a game you’ve never played before, or that your partner was hiding that they’re secretly amazing at Clue. Plus, a little friendly competition never hurts to spice up a date.

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16 Dinner Recipes That Are Perfect for a Date Night at Home
Not sure what to make for dinner? We've curated a list of recipes perfect for a date night at home.
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This post contains a sponsored inclusion of La Crema but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.