For Christmas this year we decided to keep things simple and not to spend much money (if any at all). I wanted to do something special for the Tall One that was creative and extra romantic (first Christmas and all that) so I decided to gift him with my time. Pre-planning a series of relatively inexpensive dates that we would go on once a month for the whole year!!
That was the easy part, the hard part was then finding 12 dates that were local, interesting for us, fun, AND inexpensive. So far I think the most we’ve spent on a date was about $25 so we are on a good roll. The fun thing is you can either pre-pay for the dates or slip the money into each envelope as you have it. We choose to take it out of our fun money just because that’s what works best for us! Search Groupon, local tourism sites, Pinterest, etc for what’s in your area. I liked to choose a mix of things we already enjoy doing, things I really want us to try together, and new adventures that could either be a total disaster or be a great new hobby.
Each date then goes in an envelope I had fun coloring the front of mine and seeing if he could figure out what the date was from the picture. So far he is like 50/50 which is impressive since my artistic skills are terrible. I wrote a short note with each date describing it and giving the specifics (if there were some). And then at the beginning of each month we pull out the envelope for that month and discover what fun thing we will be doing. We’ve got a little backlog since this summer has been incredibly busy, but we’ve actually be doing really good.
I can’t share all of the ideas yet since the year isn’t over, but this is what we’ve done so far.
Ice themed- ice skating, Ice Sculpture Competition and seeing the movie Frozen in theaters (the last part wasn’t originally planned but just so happened to work out nicely with the theme!) Still probably one of my favorite dates of the year! Strapping on skates and bumbling around together, extra excuses to hold hands (like we need any) and watching the ADORABLE little kids learning to skate. This is one we have added to our go-to date night ideas.
(yes we’re always this silly)
Range Date! Got a great Groupon deal for our favorite range and got to go out and rent a couple of guns, shoot for an hour and have a great time together. (This is another one that’s become a regular thing for us)
(my man has skills!)
Movie date- Were going to see the Veronica Mars movie because I am a total Marsh-mellow but they weren’t playing it in a theater near us. So we went and saw something else. I can’t remember what now but movie dates are always fun. To make it even more economical go to a matinee or second run theater.
April- (I seem to have lost the original envelope for the date, which is disappointing since this was the easiest picture. My Lego’s actually looked like Lego’s). Local museum that was having a Lego exhibit!! Took our God-Daughter and had a blast! We are big fans of Lego’s around here and it worked out perfectly that the exhibit was in town and I was able to keep it from Dustin before we opened our envelope.
Cooking class- (this is one we’re behind on), another find from the internet, this time Amazon Local. We will be going to make homemade pasta at The Local Epicurean and have a meal there and then we get to bring our freshly made pasta home with us.
Horseback riding!! Again, this one is behind. We’re heading to South Haven to go trail riding. It’s been years for both of us since we’ve been on a horse so we are both pretty excited. Waiting for the humidity to cut just a little bit before we do this one. Hopefully we’ll be adding this one to our regular date nights as well. It’s on the more expensive end, but totally worth it since we both have fond memories of riding.
ZOO Date! This was one of my favorite ones to plan. We’re really lucky to have a fantastic zoo nearby. It’s not too big that you’re exhausted but still has a good amount to see and do. This was one we actually went and did, today in fact! Best part for me was getting to pet the goats. But just walking around with Dustin and being there early enough that it wasn’t busy was great we had a really good time.
Here are the pictures of the envelopes for the rest of the year. I’ll come back and update this as we do them. But I can’t let the cat out of the bag or it’ll take all the fun out of it (not really, but I do really enjoy seeing what Dustin guesses the date will be. Can you figure it out from my ‘awesome’ pictures 😉
August-*Dustin guessed Beach day
September- *Canoeing…or something
October-*No ruddy idea, pictures..of people…
November- *Going out, fancy schmancy
December- *A House…No idea…
The best part about this present is the fun times we get to share together throughout the year. I had a great time researching ideas and figuring out what cool, inexpensive things there were to do locally. And then figuring out a picture for each month!! Dustin was super impressed and now I’ve definitely put myself in a position where it will be hard to top this year! Guess I’ll just have to come up with 12 more dates! Another great benefit is the fact that we know each month we will have a special date or activity to do together. This is great for keeping us from getting into a rut, and for those of you who have been together a longer time it’s a great way to try new things and share new adventures with your partner!
So help me out, what are some fun date-night ideas you and your partner like to do? Or some fun inexpensive Christmas ideas? All this July heat and humidity is driving me crazy and so I am definitely looking forward to Christmas.