We’ve come up with some fun, romantic ways to spend time with your spouse. Check back often to see our new date ideas! And if you have any date suggestions of your own to share, we would love to hear from you! Email your tips to [email protected]

Fun and creative

Make a list (and check it twice!)

Make a list of six things that make you feel energised and six things that deplete you of energy and swap with your spouse over dinner one evening. Then, when you sense they’re feeling stressed, encourage them to do more of what fills their tank to find balance in their life.

Take a personality test

This can be fun simple quiz you’ve found online or a more in-depth tests such as Myers-Briggs. Taking the time to go through and better understand yourself and each other will help you two connect. Plus it’s fun to keep learning!

Discover your spiritual temperaments

Set aside time to read the article “9 paths to spiritual intimacy” and figure out which temperament you and your spouse are – perhaps one of you is a naturalist and the other is a caregiver. Once you find out who you are, go out and encourage each other in your unique spiritual pathway.

Tackle a DIY project

Many of us have big plans for DIY projects but we never get around to them. With your spouse, pick one you’ve been meaning to do, gather supplies and get to work! Whether it’s an outdoor bench or a lamp, make your DIY a date night and have fun!

Plan a date you know they’d love

Is there an activity that your spouse loves to do that you maybe love a little less? Put your spouse first by planning a date night all about them. They’ll love the selflessness of your actions and you’ll love seeing the look on their face.

Go on a double date

If you’re a younger couple who wants to learn from an older couple you admire, or you’ve been married for a while and want to help newlyweds who are starting out, go on a double date! Whether you’re out for dinner or playing mini-golf, it can be a great opportunity to share some insights and learn from others.

Try something new

“Sometimes doing something new, exciting and unexpected can create more vivid memories than repeating the same thing year after year,” Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley write in Take the Date Night Challenge. So step outside of your normal dinner-and-a-movie routine and try something new!

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!

Break a record

Bond with your spouse by breaking a Guinness World Record – or at least trying! It’s easy to get started. Just visit Guinnessworldrecords.com and search for records that you think you have a shot at. Maybe you can eat the most grapes in one minute? Or spin a coin for the longest time?

Terrible tourists

Walk around your town visiting some not-so-typical tourist attractions. Unabashedly snap photos of random objects – the duller the better. That bench outside of the grocery store and the stain on the park trashcan are masterpieces! Sure, you’re a terrible tourist, but you and your spouse will have a blast spotting zany photo ops!

Forget your age

Date like you’re from the generation older or younger than you actually are. Eat ice cream cones and rollerblade in the park for a date fit for teenagers. If you prefer senior-style fun, eat applesauce, play bingo and watch a black-and-white movie.

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 realestate.com.au. 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!

"Happy 100 List"

Stay positive in your marriage by focusing on the good things in life. Ask your spouse to write a personal “Happy 100 List” of things that inspire their happiness. For example, they could list warm slippers or cheesy lasagna, morning coffee or midnight moonlight. As your husband or wife reads their list, take note of ways you can kindle their joy – you’ve 100 to choose from!

Playground date

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!

Surprise date adventures

Keep your spouse guessing by turning date night into a surprise adventure. To begin, make a set of cards (either decorated and written by hand or done on the computer) with one activity listed on each. For example, one could list a movie, and the others could list a restaurant, a dessert café, or a stop by his or her favourite store to pick out a small treat. Each card would then be sealed in an envelope. Present the envelopes to your date and have them choose one out of your hand. Whatever they pick, do it! Repeat the process until all the date options have been chosen.

At-home spa

Give your love some tender care by planning a relaxing massage date. To create your at-home spa, set up a quiet room with candles, flowers and light, classical music. Fill the room with a light scent, preferably an essential oil burning in an infuser. Then, have your spouse lie on the bed with fresh sheets, and begin with a head and neck rub, followed by a back massage. Be sure to take your time and ask your spouse what pressure they prefer and what spots need the most attention. If you want help with your massage skills, there are plenty of books available to give you tips. But don’t worry! Whether you know how to give a perfect massage, giving a gift of loving touch is a surefire way to convey love and care to your mate.

Comic couples

When was the last time you and your spouse shared a good laugh? Plan a comedy-themed date with the goal to laugh all evening. Before your date, ask your love to collect silly jokes and think of funny childhood memories to share at dinner. For more laughs during your meal, play the straight-faced game – see who can hold their serious expression without laughing first. Try it multiple times: Winner gets a big bite off the other’s plate! If you don’t care about the other diners watching your silliness, sit side-by-side so you can take photos of yourselves making the goofiest faces. Top off the evening with a side-splitting time at a local improv show.

The more the merrier

A double date with a twist! Have the husbands become one date-planning team and the wives become another. With your date-planning partner, collaborate your ideas for a super-secret creative date for your spouses. Who knows what new and exciting ideas you’ll come up when you brainstorm date ideas with a friend? Throw in a little friendly competition by setting the expectation that each team should try to outdo the other on their turns to impress! This way, your double dates might just get better and better each time!

A Valentine’s surprise

Are you looking for a creative Valentine’s date idea beyond just a dinner and a movie? Add some excitement to your special night by planning a surprise scavenger hunt for your love. Before leaving for work in the morning, give him or her the first clue, and tell them not to open it until they get home or until a certain time. Then, plant their favourite treats, special gifts and love notes around the house stashed with the next clues, which will eventually indicate the restaurant where you’ll be waiting with flowers.

Literary adventures

For a simple date, cozy up with your spouse at your local library. But instead of going your separate ways to find a book for yourselves, both of you will choose ones you think the other would enjoy. Mix it up! Choose your favourite books, ones you enjoyed as a child (like picture books and young readers) or even books you’ve never read before. Reading something new helps spark new ideas, new thoughts and reactions. You never know: your husband may end up loving your favourite, Pride and Prejudice (albeit, secretly), and your wife may come to share your childhood love for The Hobbit. Whether you end up loving or disliking a book, both of you will have engaged in sharing yourselves with each other. It may be a great way to sharpen your minds, but it also provides a chance for you to flex those communication and imagination muscles.

Play "First Words"

Want a glimpse into your spouse’s mind? Make 20 or so slips of paper and write one word on each slip. You could write, for example, children, museum, free, music, career or talent. Take turns pulling a paper from the pile and reading it out loud so the listening spouse can respond with the first words that come to mind. Play as fast as you can!

Create a care package

Mail a care package to a friend or family member living across the country or across the street. On your date night, collect and prepare snacks, trinkets and notes to include in the package. You could do bit of shopping at the dollar store, or simply collect items from around your house to send. This small gift will bless the recipient, you and your spouse!

Food flirtation

Bake treats for your neighbours

This is the perfect time of year to bake up a storm, so why not combine that with getting to know your neighbours? Pick a favourite cookie, bread or cupcake recipe and have a fun baking session together! Then hand-deliver them to your neighbours and see the delight on their faces.

Go for brunch

Have you been wanting to try a new restaurant in town? Want to enjoy breakfast and coffee you didn’t make yourself? Treat your spouse to a mid-morning date by going out for brunch!

Bring your favourite restaurant home

Many restaurants have put out cookbooks, and you can borrow them from the local library for free. Pick a cookbook, choose a recipe and have fun! Buy new ingredients together, work through the recipe step-by-step and enjoy the result together.

Try pajamas and take-out

After you put the kids to bed, don’t start on chores and to-do list items you know you should get done. Instead, don some comfort clothes, order your favourite take-out food and enjoy the guilt-free simplicity of an evening in.

Cooking childhood recipes

What was a favourite meal or snack in your family or origin? Crêpes for breakfast? Cinnamon toast for a Friday night munch? Cook each other’s family favourites to reminisce and pay homage to the past – and enjoy some delicious eats while you’re at it!

Go on a progressive dinner

Mix up your dinner routine and patron three of your favourite restaurants in one night! Have appetisers at one restaurant, entrees at another and finish the night with dessert at a third. Feeling extra creative? Make it a multinational feast, beginning with sushi, then burritos and finishing with gelato.

Sundae fun day

Going out for ice cream with all the fixings can be expensive. As a money-savvy alternative, purchase a tub of ice cream from the grocery store and forage for toppings in the bulk bins! See who can be the most adventurous with their mix-ins and enjoy a bowl of custom ice cream with your sweetie.

Backyard restaurant

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 of couch cushions on top of it and then top it off with a blanket. 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.

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 article of heart-to-heart questions.

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!

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.

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.

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!

Lunch date

Break up the midday gloom with a lunch date with your spouse. If you’re fortunate enough to live close by your spouse’s workplace, take them out to a cozy café or restaurant. But instead of treating it merely as lunch, treat your outing as a date – meaning, get dressed up a little, flirt with each other and avoid talking about what needs to get done at home. Why wait until evening to reconnect with your love, when you can do it at noon?

Fond memories

Revisit your premarital training

If you still have your premarital booklets or even if you never had premarital training, take a step into the past knowing what you know now. Pull out your old answers or start anew! Go through the questions again and see how far you’ve come – or what you still need to work on.

Back to the future

Years from now, when you look back at this point in your marriage, what kind of memories will you have? Dr. Gary and Barbara Rosberg suggest going somewhere that’s special to you and your spouse and taking the time to talk about your memories – both good and bad. Then find out what you can do to make good ones now.

Photo memories

Go through each other’s phones, computers or photo albums together looking at pictures of your past. And while a picture may speak a thousand words, be sure to tell your spouse the story behind the snapshot. Spend the time learning about each other and sharing some laughs – and perhaps tears – along the way.

"I do" . . . again

Whether you’ve been hitched for two years or two decades, make a date to renew your wedding vows with your spouse! The ceremony doesn’t have to be extravagant, but it should be special. Dress your best, play your favourite love song and choose a meaningful place to stand hand-in-hand with your spouse as you reaffirm your “I dos.” To take it one step further, frame and hang your vows to serve as a daily reminder of your promises to each other.

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.

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 and Scoopon. 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.

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 high school hangouts, a walk through your TAFE or university campus, the special place you used to go to spend quiet time with God, and so on.

Make a 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!

Hello again

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!

Blast to the past

Who knew that looking at old junk could be so fun? Spend the day with your date at a flea market or antique store, and see what kinds of unique and funny items you can find. It’s a great way to learn something new about your spouse: You’ll never know what stories they may have about an old antique or toy from their parents’ childhood.

A picnic full of memories

This year, treat your Valentine to a carpet picnic . . . in your living room! Instead of making an extravagant meal, separately buy each other’s favourite appetisers and finger foods. Try to pick foods that hold certain memories about them – like a flavour you had on your first date or the time your wife was pregnant and craved only salt and vinegar chips. At home, serve the items on little plates on a blanket laid out on the floor. Light candles while you dine, and share memories of your life together according to the food you bought!

Great outdoors

Watch a final summer sunset

Have you taken the time this summer to watch the sunset with your spouse? Summer’s not over yet, so there’s still time to enjoy one last evening appreciating the beauty of God’s creation. Make an evening of it and pack a picnic, get take-out or sit on your porch to make it special.

Be a tourist in your own area

Is there somewhere nearby where you’ve always wanted to go? It can be easy for us to plan dream vacations to places far and wide, but enjoying something in our own backyard can be just as fun! Find something local and make a day of it.

Plan a garden

When the first day of spring is upon us, take a break from the winter chill by planning what your garden will look like. Take a stroll through a botanical garden, wander through a plant nursery or flip through gardening magazines to dream up your ideal spring garden.

Go to an outdoor event

With the summer in full swing, outdoor events are everywhere. From movie screenings to music festivals, farmer’s markets to fireworks, there’s no doubt something in your community you can get out and enjoy. Find a babysitter if you need to and enjoy the summer with your spouse!

Walk and talk

Now that the weather is warming up and the days are growing longer, take your conversation outside as you enjoy an evening stroll. Be sure to set aside any technological distractions and use this time to reconnect with your spouse as you walk around your neighbourhood.

Follow the stars

On a clear, summer night, take your love on a stargazing adventure. Start by picking a big, bright star, and follow it on foot while holding hands and talking. At any point, stop for ice cream or dessert, at a park, or anything you come across along the way. Follow your star until you can’t follow it anymore, then pick another star to follow. For a surprise, take your spouse to a different neighbourhood or part of town, and use this activity to explore it together!

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.

Berry picking

Take your spouse on a berry-picking date and delight in God’s artistry and provision. For your date, bring plastic containers and long-sleeved clothing you don’t mind getting stained and ripped. Gloves are also a good idea to protect you from raspberry and blackberry thorns. While you’re enjoying all this wonderful fruit, try to find the juiciest, sweetest berries, and give them to your loved one to enjoy. Or, have a contest to see who can pick the most berries or find the biggest one. Then, take your fruit home and eat them fresh with ice cream or on their own.

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.

Summertime festivals

With great summer weather comes outdoor festivals, providing creative options for a date with your spouse. Many towns and cities often hold different cultural events during the summer, like jazz and folk festivals, fireworks shows, ethnic celebrations, free outdoor concerts or movies under the stars. Some cities even hold summer night markets where street vendors sell food and interesting knick-knacks for a bargain. Of course, events will vary according to where you live. Start by doing an Internet search for what’s happening in your area, then make plans with your spouse to experience some new festivities together. Bring a blanket or your walking shoes, and enjoy what your town has to offer under the long summer sun.

Go geocaching

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.

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.

Row, row, row a boat

One of the great things about summer is that the evenings stay bright. Take your spouse for an evening paddle in a canoe, paddle boat or double kayak. Many lakeside and seaside marinas rent boats by the hour and provide all you need, from life jackets to paddles, for your water adventure. Pack a snack and choose a destination where you can enjoy your time together at a park or on an island or isolated beach. If it’s warm enough, go for a swim or just enjoy the solitude of your location together.

Springtime blooms

Take your loved one on a date to your local botanical gardens, parks or plant nurseries. Trade the dreariness of winter for the colourful offerings of spring’s first blooms. If visiting a botanical garden, find out what is growing there beforehand and ask your date to learn the names of the flowers. Then, during your date, see who can identify the most plants. Or if you plan to visit a nursery, take a few seedlings home with you and plant them together in your garden to enjoy.

Movie moments

What’s old is new again

In light of the nostalgia that comes with transition from the past year into the new one, try to remember what the very first movie was that you watched with your spouse. Dust off that VHS (or buy it new) and take a stroll down memory lane for a date night in.

Something old, something new

Since we live in the age of the remake, why not combine a viewing of a recently remade movie with its original counterpart? Settle in with a bowl of popcorn and compare the two – laugh at the poor graphics of the original or the over-the-top graphics of the remake and enjoy an evening in with your spouse.

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.

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.

A movie under the stars

In today’s multi-screen movie theatres, it’s next to impossible to avoid the gaggles of teens and crowds of parents with young kids. Instead of facing the bustle of an evening film showing, try a drive-in theatre where you and your spouse can experience the big screen from the privacy of your own car. Even if you don’t have bench seats, you can still cuddle up in your vehicle under cozy blankets. If you own a station wagon or SUV, take advantage of your boot space by turning it into your own romantic theatre seating. Back your car into your spot, pop open the trunk (while turning off all inside lights) and lay down blankets and pillows. The same can be done with a hatchless truck. Or, bring lawn chairs to prop by your car and have a true outdoor movie-watching experience. Either way, watching a movie under the stars can refresh your indoor theatre routine and give you ample excuse to stay up late and snuggle.

Behind-the-scenes movie

Choose a DVD or Blu-ray film – one that you’ve seen before works best – and watch the special features with your spouse. The director’s commentary is particularly fascinating! Together, you’ll learn a lot about your chosen film and the film industry as a whole.

In town

Go "sale-ing" – to yard sales!

Spend a few hours on a Saturday morning bonding and bargaining at garage sales! Just pack a pocketful of change and you’re ready for the hunt! Drive around looking for signs, or plan your route using a yard sale app or website. With a keen eye, you’ll find hobby or household supplies at a fraction of retail cost.

Cheer for a team, or both teams

Attend a local school or community sports game. If you aren’t huge sports fans, search online for a glossary of lingo and common cheers (e.g., “Good eye!” at a baseball game). Write a few phrases down and be the most enthusiastic fans at the event. Cheer for the same team, or for opposing teams to spark some friendly competition.

Tour open houses

Do an Internet search to find upcoming open houses. Map out the local listings and spend a morning or afternoon touring these homes as a couple. Imagine what it’d be like to live in each home. Point out which bedrooms the kids would be in and where you’d mount the TV in the living room. As you tour, gather interior design inspiration for your own home!

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.

Romantic errands

Write questions from our Heart-to-Heart article, 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?

Volunteer ventures

Are both of you passionate about a similar cause? For your next date, try volunteering together to reinforce your parallel interests and to give back to your community. For example, serve at your local soup kitchen, get involved in an outreach ministry or help organise a community event. You’ll not only expand your local involvement, you’ll find your marriage stronger because of the impact you’re both making together!

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.

Hop on, hop off the bus

When the weather outside is frightful and going out by car provides a challenge, try a low-key date using the public transit in your city or town. Rapid transit, buses or tram cars are an excellent alternative to driving and allow for more focussed conversation without the distractions of traffic. When it’s not rush hour, you’ll be more likely to find a double seat to yourselves. Hop on a route you’ve never taken before or explore an area of town you don’t visit often. And since no one is driving (or back-seat driving), you can both kick back and enjoy the sights as someone else takes care of dodging traffic. If there’s a street you know with lots of places to eat and things to see, add spontaneity to your date by getting off any time there’s a place either of you want visit. Then, take the time to explore the area before hopping back on the bus and discovering your next venue.

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!

Cash investment

Go on a money date

Robbye Schroeder, author of Managing the Marriage Purse, recommends having a money date with your spouse where you talk about your budget and address any concerns. “The money dates [help] eliminate secret expenditures,” Shroeder says, while also creating accountability and teamwork.

Five-dollar date

For a simple and economical date, take your spouse to a farmer’s market, flea market or antique shop with only five dollars each. Together, scour the stalls for the perfect five-dollar gift for each other. Unusual or quirky items make good gifts, as do market foods, used CDs, jewellery, books, records and small antique items. And be sure to be sneaky and buy your gift when your mate isn’t looking so you can unveil your treats for each other together.

Shall we dance?

Great for double dates or just the two of you, dancing lessons can be a lot of fun and inexpensive. By nature, dancing is a romantic activity where you can spend plenty of time in close proximity with your spouse while establishing a connection in your movements. Formal dancing lessons can cost more, but many community centres offer informal drop-in lessons for beginners wanting to learn more traditional folk dances, such as Scottish Ceilidh (pronounced “kay-lee”) dancing, square or line dancing. Some locations even offer drop-in beginner lessons for slightly more complicated dances like swing and salsa dancing. Even if you feel insecure about your coordination, taking your loved one dancing is a creative way to interact with your spouse, hone your verbal and non-verbal communication skills and have fun. Like marriage, dancing requires both of you to learn your individual roles, which you must then learn to use together in performing the dance. Most importantly, success in dancing relies on attentively listening to your partner’s physical cues and verbal instructions. These are definitely useful skills to practice and apply to marriage! Remember, it’s not about how coordinated you are, but how much fun you have in the process together.

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!

Go off Broadway . . . even further

Forget expensive tickets. Instead, support your local community theatre. You’ll find the classic shows you both love, plus modern plays, and all at a wallet-friendly price.

A day at the zoo

Who says the zoo is just for kids? Consider taking your spouse on a date to your local zoo for a picnic and to pick out your favourite animals. With plenty of walking paths and exotic animals to see, the zoo offers a great place for you and your spouse to marvel at God’s creativity. Petting zoos can be great fun for adults, too. These are typically smaller and offer up-close opportunities to interact with the animals. Going to the zoo may seem like child’s play, but sometimes that’s what it takes to help couples release the pressures of everyday life and to have fun! Go ahead, monkey around!

Autumn fun

Extend your summer

March is the perfect month to do something you talked about doing all summer but never got around to – especially because a lot of places get less busy when school is back in session. So go out and see that show, go to that museum, or do that hike you were meaning to do with your spouse!

Autumn photo shoot

Take advantage of the autumn palette for a fun autumn photo shoot! Afterwards, find a cozy café, and get to know your mate’s creative side as you share your images over a steamy cup of hot chocolate.

Harvest bounty

Being harvest season, autumn offers plenty of options for a great date with your spouse. Crisp, cool weather is the perfect temperature for a bike ride through leaf-covered paths or a stroll through a wooded area bursting with bright red, yellow and orange trees. Or, take a drive out of town for a mini-getaway to explore the countryside while keeping the destination a secret from your spouse. Places to visit could be an apple orchard or festival where you can sample local varieties and fresh apple cider. Another idea is to drop by an autumn fair, which usually showcases local livestock, produce, baking and crafts. Better yet, sample the cooking contest entries and taste some of the best apple pie, home-made preserves, pies and breads in the town. Afterwards, hop on a hayride with your spouse to enjoy life and each other at a slower pace. Whatever you choose to do for your autumn date, you’ll find plenty to see, taste and do during this season of harvest abundance.

Celebrate Advent together

As you count down the days to Christmas this year, take the time to gather together with your spouse each day and meditate on the Scriptures together. If you’re looking for direction, you can download our free Advent calendar to find 23 days of Scripture readings and daily devotions.

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.

Festive photography

During the Christmas season, the streets are usually decked with lovely decorations. What better time than now to try a creative photography date with your spouse? Armed with a digital camera, set off together to one of your favourite spots in town. But instead of shooting photos of each other in standard poses, find items you think describe the other person or select an abstract theme (like “irreplaceable,” or “hope”). For example, if you choose to describe your wife, you might take a picture of a glittering ornament, one of her favourite things, or even a collection of your wife’s facial expressions – just for fun. Be creative and think outside the box!

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!

© 2018 Focus on the Family (Canada) Association. All rights reserved. Edited and used with permission.

Focus on the Family Canada

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