Dates at home can be very romantic and help your relationship flourish even during a recession. You can have a good time while still cutting back on fancy restaurants and babysitters. Try these ideas for sharing a wonderful time with your partner and making simple enjoyments more memorable.

Romantic Ideas for Dates Indoors: 

Serve breakfast in bed.

One of the most romantic ways to start the day is breakfast in bed.  Prepare a tray with fresh squeezed juice, seasonal fruits and breakfast pastries.  Decorate it with a small vase of cut flowers.  Read the newspaper to each other or browse through vacation brochures. 

Stage a movie night.

Select a romantic film you've both enjoyed in the past or pick a title you've been waiting to see together.  Make a bowl of popcorn more elegant by adding some olive oil and rosemary.  Curl up under a soft cashmere throw.

Share a candlelight dinner.

Set the table with your best china and silver.  Arrange fresh flowers and candles.  Prepare your favorite dishes or select a recipe that sounds romantic like seafood paella for two.  Finish up with champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. 

Make your own ice cream sundaes.

It's easy to have a good time when you're eating ice cream.  Buy some gourmet flavors and toppings.  Melt a little dark chocolate and milk for a rich hot sauce.  Slice up some fresh fruit.  Spoon your sundaes into fancy glass bowls.

Watch an opera.

If you can't afford to go to the opera, you can bring the opera to you.  Record an opera performance on your local PBS station or get a video from the library.  Select a romantic title like The Marriage of Figaro and read the libretto together.


Romantic Ideas for Dates Outdoors: 

Throw a pool party.

Lounge side by side in matching chaises with tropical drinks.  If you don't have an in-ground pool, you can still have a party.  Drink your margaritas while you cool your feet in a small inflatable pool.

Go camping.

Pitch a tent in your backyard and break out your sleeping bags.  You can tell each other ghost stories or pick up a pocket book of poetry.  Bring out some mugs of hot cocoa topped with gourmet marshmallows in exotic flavors.

Share a picnic.

Spread a blanket and lie out in the sun.  Make your own roast chicken and potato salad or visit your local market for prepared dishes if neither of you likes to cook.  If you don't have a backyard, use your balcony.

Play games.

Go back in time with a leisurely game of lawn tennis.  You can dress up for each other in long linen shorts and straw hats.  When you're ready to take a break, snack on tea and lemonade with cucumber and watercress finger sandwiches. 

Promise each other a rose garden.

Start a rose garden together that you can watch grow in the years ahead.  It's surprisingly easy even for inexperienced gardeners.  Prepare the soil a few days in advance to get the messy steps out the way.  Then you can enjoy planting your flowers together and watering them daily during the important first weeks.


Romantic dates at home can help bring you closer together even if you don't have a lot of money to spend.  Plan activities that you both enjoy and use your imagination to make every moment together even more special.