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Your Handy-Dandy List of Catholic Date Nights on the Cheap

Recently, I wrote about 19 Shockingly Simple Ways to Live Your Crazy Catholic Life. When I was satisfied with the post, I clicked the schedule button, lined it up and then said to myself, I said

SELF, you know…you should probably say more about that whole go on date nights bit.*

I know in our early years of marriage, my husband and I were kind of misers when it came to spending babysitting money on sitters – we reasoned it wasn’t ALL that important. There was ultimately a price that was paid for not making that kind of time to be with each other. We were always go go GO with the kids that we never put our marriage and each other first. Ah, so young and so naive. I would go back in time and smack our younger selves and remind us that we need to put each other first, and that no children ever suffered from parents who love each other and take time to nurture their relationship.


And so, I give you a random list of ideas for you and your sweetheart to pick from for any occasion, any day of the week. Though these are primarily aimed at married couples, a good deal of these can easily apply to you dating Catholics. 😉 For some of these ideas, especially the staying in ideas, you will want to treat the kiddos to an early dinner, and go through the usual evening routine of prayers and then shuttle them to their rooms so you can enjoy your time together before it gets too late and your date night turns into an early bedtime because you crashed on the sofa. You’re nodding your head, yes? Yes. 😉

This list is not exhaustive, but simply serves as a means to give you some ideas, while getting the creative juices going. The idea behind this post is to help inspire you to take time out for you and your spouse, to nurture your marriage through various ways.

Let me start by sharing what we do for evenings when we stay in. We don’t always stick to this, but it happens more often than not. Then, I’ll move on to some ideas broken down by different categories.


* Feed your kidsThen, pray over and bless them before you send them to their rooms by 7 p.m. {WHAT? you are saying to me in a loud whisper scream!!} Yes, 7 p.m. They are free to stay awake and entertain themselves with books or whatnots, but it is understood in no uncertain terms that they are to remain upstairs unless there is bleeding or someone’s hair is on fire. A lot of times, if their rooms are decently picked up {meaning, I may have checked their progress}, we will give them the Wii bar to hook up and play games while we have our date night downstairs.

* Many of our date nights are in the home, which means less $ spent on babysitters.

* Date nights should be relatively low cost.


* Bake a cake from scratch.

* Play cards.

* Grab a $3 bottle of wine {my friend who owns Personal Wine will not like my saying that, lol!} from your local grocer and play a board game such as chess, checkers, Scrabble, etc.

* Work on a puzzle.

* Pick up a couple of cheap {but good quality} steaks and/or fish for a surf and turf dinner – pair it with baked or mashed potatoes, salad and one of your cheap bottles of wine. 😉

* A blanket, a bottle of wine {see a theme here?}, and a little stargazing out in the backyard.

* Find a project to work on – my husband and I tend to find weird things to work on – it’s not quite date night material so much as it’s a let’s build our children a playscape for Christmas with all this random lumber I ordered from work, isn’t this fun? WEEEEE! kinda thing. You might choose something that needs to be done, and find a way to make it quality time with each other.

* Movie theme night! We love the Rocky series {and have yet to do this}, so this serves as a reminder for me, too! 😀

* Talk! Seriously, you’ve got uninterrupted time – CONNECT with each other! Below are just a few conversation starters…

1. Who was your Confirmation saint? Why did you choose him/her?

2. What time of day is best for us to talk?

3. If we were totally spontaneous, what would we drop everything and do?

4. Where do we excel in our marriage? Where can we improve?

5. How was your day?

6. Do you remember what I wore when we first met?

7. As a wife/husband, I really need you to…

8. If I could be a roadie for any musical talent, it would be…

9. I feel most loved by you when…

10. Do you remember that funny thing that happened on our first date?


A truck, a few pillows, some wine...driveway dates are great for summer, too.
A truck, a few pillows, some wine…driveway dates are great for summer, too.

* Beer tasting {husbands will appreciate this one!}

* Wine tasting {wives will appreciate this one!}

* Picnic lunch at the local park.

* Geocaching.

* Miniature golf.

* Tubing down the river with a cooler of beer, or wine…or bottled water!

* Meet your spouse for lunch.

* Revisit a place you went during your courtship – one of the first places I took my husband when we first met IRL {in real life – yes, we met online} was to a famous Austin haunt, Mount Bonnell. We picked up some Taco Cabana and headed up the steps of Mt. Bonnell to eat and look at the spectacular view of the lake and the 360 Bridge.

* Check out a local concert.

* Sign up for a cooking class together.

* Sign up for a dance class.


* Spend time before the Tabernacle together, praying for your marriage, each other, your children.

* Make a weekly/monthly date to go to Adoration together.

* Attend your parish Adult Faith Formation classes together {we did this for the Fall 2011 and 2013 semesters}.

* Go for a rosary walk around your neighborhood, praying for each neighbor as you pass their house.

* Visit your local monastery.

* Go to Vespers at the Dominican Sisters convent, or any local monastic community.

* Watch a movie about the Faith, such as Pope Pius XII or Vivo Cristo Rey.

* Visit local churches and learn the history of each.

Talk about father’s recent homily.

* Go to a local museum that displays religious art.

* Volunteer to help serve the poor together, through a soup kitchen or prison ministry.



* Go bowling.

* Go tandem sky-diving.*

* Test drive a sports car!*

* Visit an amusement park.*

* Play paintball.

* Go hunting together.

* Go rock climbing.

* Go roller skating.

*not necessarily cheap ideas


* Go to your parish Knights event and make a plan to meet up with friends

* Meet up for chips and salsa – maybe some margaritas – at your local favorite Tex Mex restaurant

* Grab some dessert and coffee at a local restaurant

* Get together to play some TV Ball or some other sport

* Go window shopping at your local outlet mall. Ladies, remember to retrieve your husbands from the benches after you’ve finished ogling all the cool finds in the various stores 😉

* Go to the local rodeo.

* Meet up for brunch one Saturday morning – if your kiddos’ sports or extracurricular schedule doesn’t conflict!

Now it’s your turn! Have any suggestions you’d like to add? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

In the time that I worked on this post, newcomer Ink Slinger Christi, came up with a wonderful post on date nights as well. Please read it for additional ideas on how to connect with your spouse.

Are you new to the Catholic dating/courting scene? Or, are you moving towards marriage? Please visit our Pinterest board, The Road to I Do for all kinds of wonderful ideas.