Thursday, December 15, 2011

48 Free/Cheap Dates Part 2: Winter Edition

I was supposed to write this last night, but I totally forgot! Ah! I have a massive day today so I'm trying to get it written out this morning as quickly as possible. You'll have to forgive me :)
If you live in colder climates, you know that we've entered the season (much longer than three months...) where we're all forced indoors until the world finally thaws into something much more comfortable. In honor of that, and because the last blog about free dates was such a hit, I decided to do a part two and the feedback was to make it more wintry for those of us who can't really (or don't really) want to venture out. God speed to all of you who love driving in terrifying conditions or enjoy winter sports. This is clearly your perfect environment. I'm still trying to figure out why *I* live here, as neither of those statements personally apply.
So, here we go! Some of these are more like marriage/relationship enhancers than dates... but they're fun ways to add life and depth to your partnership.
1. Invent your own game!
This is a great way to entertain yourselves. We constantly make our own games up. One of them is super embarrassing and on-going. It has no end. I can't share it because of my obligation to John, but it is awesome. Think of some game you can play, even in public, and go for it! Make it physical, or tricky or a mind game or whatever.

2. Be Musical Together!

Karaoke, or if someone can play an instrument- do that. Games like Singstar are so fun! Music really is merry. If you want to be super adventurous, go caroling together... though that involves leaving the home AND being outside.

3. Make a Code.
This is tiny, but make a little code that only you understand. My grandparents had a set of letters  (HSLPH) that they promised each other. They never told us what each letter stood for, but it was the covenant of what my grandfather would provide for my grandmother if she married him. Very, very sweet. Decide what your promise is to each other and make it prominent in your home. Make art out of it or just write it everywhere as a reminder.

4. Count the...
Bet on how many things are in the house (towels, spoons, sweaters, shoes, pieces of candy... you get the idea). Set a number together and then one person takes over and the other person takes under. If it's over the listed number, over person wins. If it's under, then the under person wins. If it's exact... well. You both win?

5. Hide and Go Seek!
Yes, we frequently do this in our tiny apartment. I promise... it is so fun.

6. Name that Tune
John and I played this when we first started dating. Actually, on our first date! Open i-tunes or your music player. Take turns choosing a song.. the opponent gets 3 (adjustable to your skill) seconds to ID the song based on either the intro or a random spot you choose. Keep score!

7. Internet Trivia
Go to an internet trivia site and square off!

8. Childhood survey
Spend an evening going through all of your childhood things together. Yearbooks, photos, mementos... It's really fun to see where your person came from. Plus you're bound to hear some interesting stories. I recently shared my most embarrassing first grade story with John... it is way funnier now than it was then!

9. DIY Hot Chocolate
Invent your own hot chocolate recipe. Here is a standard to start from, take it and then make it your own. Add spices, add caramel, do whatever you want to make it your own special recipe. Kick off the winter season each year by making it! 
Auna's Hot Chocolate Recipe:
1.5 cups of milk (any you'd like. Whole milk gives the creamiest texture, but any milk substitute will work well, too)
1.5 tablespoons of dark chocolate baking powder OR 3 tablespoons of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
4-5 large marshmallows.
Place everything in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until melted. Makes one serving, double for two. Make your own marshmallows, too... I love this recipe for vanilla bean agave mallows.

10. Create a "Favorite Places" Binder
Spend an evening putting together a binder of your favorite places to eat, go, be... etc. You can make a section for places you'd like to make your favorite as well :)

11. Reenact Your First Date
Go where you went, wear what you wore (if possible...) and have fun! Think of how much easier it is now than it was then ;)

12. Poems + Library
Head over to your local library, cozy up to the fireplace (ours has one!!) and read your love poetry.

13. Make a Love Calendar
Make a calendar with all of your important dates ... first date, first kiss, engagement date, wedding day... all of that! Anything significant to you. Celebrate those days every year.

14. Write a Love Song Together

15. Personal Cookbook
Scour the internet or your own cookbooks to make a binder full of YOUR favorite recipes. Add in little notes of how you perfect them as a couple. 

16. Hide the Note
Hide little notes or photographs around your home for your loved one to find. You could spend an hour writing and hiding them and then reap the benefits for the next month!

17. Breakfast In Bed
Spend an entire day/morning/afternoon... whatever you can give... in bed! Eat breakfast there, watch cartoons, play games... have fun!

18. Create a Ritual
Make a winter ritual. One day per week (MTWRF- make it consistent), go to the same restaurant, or take a winter stroll, watch a certain show... etc.)

19. Play the "See How Much I Love You" Game
I learned this in a book about marriage. A couple used to write the acronym SHMILY everywhere (in the sugar, under chairs....) throughout their home for the other person to find. Maybe take the acronym from above and do the same thing. Every day you'd each write it some place and the first partner to find it wins.

20. "Reminder" Folder
Create folders for each other, dazzle them up, and then every time you see an article or have a thought that reminds you of the other person, store it in there for them. On your date night, go through your folders together.

21. Purge Your Closet
Purge your closet together and sell the clothes to Plato's Closet (or similar). Use the money for something totally fun and unnecessary to do together or have that you've wanted.

22. Wash the Hair
It used to be a way OUT of a date. Make it a way INTO a date. Take turns washing each other's hair, giving a nice little head massage. It's very relaxing.

23. Indoor Picnic
Pack yourselves a little picnic, spread a blanket out on the floor and enjoy!

24. Invent Your Own Language
Use Morse code like Jim and Pam or use actual words you create. My friend and I spent a long time developing our own written code and it was super fun. It would be even MORE fun with John. Then you can communicate in public without anyone knowing... it's intimate and fun!

25. Coupon Book
Make a coupon book for each other and then spend the night redeeming them. They can include anything you want to give your spouse or that s/he has asked for. 

26. Pinterest Together
I love pinning things with John! We discover goals, similar taste, all sorts of things when we pin together. Try it out. And make sure you spend that evening actually CREATING something you saw there- whether it was a craft, photograph or recipe!

27. Create a Christmas Advent

28. Make a Wishlist
Create a wishlist of things you want, 5 each. Then decide how you'll get them and in what order. 

29. Wii/Video game night!
Maybe you already do this... it's rare for us. Take back the gaming system from the kids (or borrow one!) and take your partner now!

30. Conversation Game
Play the Heart 2 Heart game together or a similar conversation game. If you can't find the game, then just invent your own questions you've always wanted to know and ask each other. Make them background, story, etc. related.

31. Research Your Family Tree
Get online and see where your roots came from!

32. Deck of Cards
Poker, Go Fish.... whatever. It's fun!

33. Nerf Attack
Pick up some nerf guns and destroy each other!

34. Online Dance Classes
Check out youtube for some online classes (Salsa, anyone??). It will be way less embarrassing to practice behind closed doors... once the snow melts, blow everyone away with your new skills :)

35. Limbo!
Bust out the Hawaiian music and go for it!

36. Indoor Bowling
Free! Line up some empty 2 litres and use a old ball or orange. You can put liquid in the 2 litres depending on how difficult you want the game to be.

37. Sculpture Night
Bust out the playdough or clay and sculpt something together!

38. Truth or Dare
Yes. For real. Ps- this isn't the time to interrogate your partner about what happened last year... keep it fun, people!

39. Youtube Laugh-a-thon
Take turns showing each other your favorite funny virals, or discover new ones together!

40. Marshmallow Creations
Armed with mallows and toothpicks, see what you can create! and then eat...

41. Facebook Stalk
This sounds really bad. But show off your favorite or influential people (this person taught me to... or he and I used to...). 

42. Tea Party
Whether it's mad hatter themed or much more British (complete with scones!) have a tea party together!

43. Hair & Tats
Do each other's hair in various or weird ways. Test out how you'd look with a tat by drawing on each other with a sharpie, washable marker or eyeliner. You never know... it could turn into a trip to the salon or tattoo shop!

44. Childhood Fun
Play your favorite games as kids, watch your favorite childhood movie, eat your favorite snacks.. you get the idea.

45. Arabian Nights
Learn to belly dance with a DVD, get some Aladdin inspired attire. Eat appropriate food... have fun!

46. Ice Cream Sundaes!
Create the largest, most intense ICS together and then devour it!

47. Budget Travel
Set a budget travel ($10, 15... whatever you can afford). See how far you can get on it, extra points if you use a bus or train!

48. Fitness Night!
Work out together! I may have done this before... but oh well. It's worth it! Working out together is fun, plus you won't have to worry about "losing weight" as a new year's resolution if you keep it off together :)

Ok... well... I can't come up with two more! That was super hard. The first list has some great winter activities, but I didn't want to repeat, so you can feel free to click this link for even more. I believe in marriage, strong and healthy and forever marriage... I hope this helps to make yours even better!
As always, thanks for reading. Pin It

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