One of the most frequently done date nights ever is the movie date. If there’s a study on what kind of date couples go on, movie date will probably take the top spot. A classic movie date is usually preceded by dinner. Reasonably so, because it just doesn’t feel romantic when you’re hungry. In fact, you don’t feel anything at all except maybe the feeling of hangry. That said, there is definitely more than one way to have a great movie date night. For instance, watching a movie at home instead of getting stuck with a bunch of strangers in a claustrophobic box. Coziness and privacy are crucial catalysts for a romantic date night, both of which can be found at home. By the way, if you’re staying home, here are some interesting stay-at-home date ideas.
When it comes to a movie date, there is so much you can do besides just sitting and watching. Below is a list of movie date ideas for you to try at home. The list is long because I was trying to pack as much information as I could. So feel free to scroll past ideas that don’t interest you. Let’s get into it.
1. SURPRISE YOUR DATE WITH AN INVITATION
An invitation is expected for events like weddings and gallery openings. But not for a date night, especially not a date night that happens right at home. That is precisely why you should be doing it, to break the monotony of everyday life and to surprise your partner. The least you can do is to buy an invitation card from the store. But for those of you who are willing to invest a little bit more time and effort, here are some date night invitation ideas.
- Print and fold – Find a unique design online, print it out, then fold it into a card.
- 100% handmade – Start with a blank piece of regular paper or card stock. Decorate with using your whimsy and creativity. Don’t forget to fill in the message.
- Mini treasure hunt – Start acting suspicious. Leave clues that lead to the invitation or the final clue that implies a certain event at a certain date and time.
2. DECORATE THE LIVING ROOM
Imagine this. Regular you wearing regular clothing in your regular living room watching television. Not exactly anybody’s idea of “romantic.” To feel romantic, something needs to be done differently. That means to introduce some irregularities. One way to do that is by decorating the living room specially for the date night. Unless you’re Kim Kardashian, you probably don’t want to spend a fortune on decoration and you won’t be hiring a professional party planner to help decorate the room. Under these assumptions, below are some living room decoration ideas that are simple, romantic, and budget-friendly.
- Get rid of the mess – Clutter, dust, and odor repel romance. So do some basic clean up. Pro-tip: just get the clutter out of sight because “out of sight, out of mind” is actually true.
- Tablecloth – Dress up the coffee table to make it look fancy.
- Couch cover – Breath new air into your living room couches (and cover up the dirty spots) with a brand new couch cover. Couch covers are an affordable way to make the couches look and feel different. If you can, try to match the designs of the couch cover and the coffee tablecloth.
- Shuffle furniture – Make things feel fresh by moving the furniture around.
- Balloons connote festivity, excitement, happiness. Have you seen a balloon at a funeral? Neither have I. Balloons are used as decoration at birthday events, baby showers, weddings–celebratory events that even the most introverted of us associate with positive emotions. Take advantage of that association. Use balloons to liven up the living room. Not all color balloons are equal. For a romantic night, shades of red are the only right options: burgundy, maroon, and even pink.
- Ribbons – Use ribbons sparingly in conjunction with balloons, otherwise it may really start to feel like a gender review party. Tie some ribbons around the living room strategically.
- Scented candles – While you’re preparing the visual cues for romance, don’t forget the olfactory–or the sense of smell. In this area, a scented candle is what you need. The aroma that the candle releases help relax your mind and has a stress-relief effect. A relaxed mind is more susceptible to romance.
- Dim the lights – You don’t have to turn off the lights but dimming it will definitely make the space feel more cozy and romantic.
- Prepare blankets – As the movie plays, hide under the blanket to snuggle.
3. ROMANTIC CANDLE-LIT DINNER
Romance doesn’t happen on an empty stomach. As such, treat yourselves to a romantic dinner before the movie starts. If you don’t want to leave home, that’s perfectly fine. You can totally enjoy a private and cozy dinner at home with just the two of you. All you need is the right setup. Here’s how.
- Choose romantic music – love songs, slow songs, ballads, etc. Some may find it pretentious and personally I’ve really enjoyed listening to old French songs.
- Candles – scented or regular candles. For scented candles make sure that it isn’t overpowering your food.
- Dim the lights as much as you can without affecting the ability to see and eat the food.
- Wine glasses or champagne flutes – drink wine, champagne, whiskey, soft drinks, juices, or even just plain water. Alcoholic beverages contain alcohol (duh), a depressant which is a chemical that helps calm the nerves and relaxes you. Don’t worry if you choose not to drink liquor, but make sure you use a wine glasses or champagne flute for drinking. Why? Because it feels more romantic than holding a Dumbo mug.
- Food – cook dinner together or, as I like to recommend, just order food delivery. Why? While there are many benefits of cooking your own dinner in terms of health, relationship, and personal finance, it is also quite tiring and it will take away a lot of fun from the activities that follow. Just order some food from the local diner and re-plate it in a fancy, Michelin-starred-restaurant kind of way and enjoy.
A variant of this idea is the dinner-and-movie. As opposed to the dinner-then-movie described above, a dinner-and-movie is when you’re having dinner and watching movie at the same time. While it sounds fun and exciting, it does take away some quality conversation time you have during dinner with your date. To add on, it also splits your attention among food, movie, and bae. Not to mention that it takes away some cozy snuggling time on the couch.
Enough with dinner and food. Let’s move on to the movies. Watching a single movie is what most couples do and there’s nothing wrong with that. A more unique idea that cranks up the fun factor of your date night is to do a movie marathon. The following ideas are related to choosing the movies for your date night.
4. COMPLETE MOVIE FRANCHISE
Come up with a list of 5-10 movie series. Some popular examples are Harry Potter, Fast & Furious, The Princess Diaries, Scary Movies, Lord of the Rings, etc. If you’re getting the recommendations online, I suggest that you cross-check the your streaming service’s catalog before the date to avoid disappointment. Once you have the list of movie titles ready, it’s time to vote on it. Everyone gets 2 votes and can only vote for the same franchise once. Also, you aren’t allowed to influence one another’s vote.
5. FILMS ÉTRANGERS
If you’re reading this article right now, most of the movies that you watch are probably in English. It’s just an assumption, so don’t get mad at me if that doesn’t apply to you. In the cases where it’s true, for this upcoming date night, try something new by watching only foreign films. Mexican, French, Italian, Japanese, German, Chinese–there are so many different foreign films waiting to be experienced. Personally, I’ve really enjoyed European movies. Admittedly some of the famous European movies feel different and strange even, but I’ve never had a boring time watching these films. It’s always a new and unique experience; you can feel the “soul” in them, unlike (ahem) certain Hollywood blockbusters.
6. HORROR MOVIES
Coming from a biological point of view, the feeling of romance is the result of a cocktail of different chemicals. One such chemical is adrenaline–a hormone that makes your heart beats fast and your breathing become intense. Two movie genres, in particular, are proven to get your adrenaline pumping–horror and action movies. For a scary movie night, turn out the lights completely and watch the movies in the dark. This theme is especially apt for October AKA the Halloween month.
7. ZOMBIE NIGHT
Zombie movies are a movie genre loved by many. Within the genre, there are countless films that explore various phases of zombie-human interaction such as the virus outbreak, zombie apocalypse, and post-apocalyptic world. Zombie movies are usually closer to action/disaster films than horror films. The movies from this genre are romantic in the sense that it makes you like the world is ending and the two of you have to stick together to survive. And there’s romance and love to be found in having each other’s backs.
8. ACTION MOVIE NIGHT
Action movies are fast-paced, no-nonsense films that aim to impress and entertain. You probably won’t be having a eureka moment after watching an action film but it sure is fun letting your mind go free during the film.
9. ROMANCE MOVIE NIGHT
My opinion is that you don’t necessarily have to watch a romance movie in order to feel romantic. But it is definitely one good option.
10. NICHOLAS CAGE NIGHT
For a Cage night, pick and watch 2-3 movies that feature Nicholas Cage. Not a Nic Cage fan? Neither am I. Simply replace him with an actor or actress of your choice. For example, it could be a Johnny Depp night or an Anne Hathaway night.
11. RANDOM MOVIES
Embark on a movie adventure with your date. Explore new, unchartered territory by picking a random movie to watch. Like most people, you probably unknowingly watch the same genres. Well, this is your chance to break that mold and explore new interests. Experience a unique and risky movie night that may land you anywhere from risqué movies to cartoons for children. In any case, you’ll share a fun and quirky evening with your date.
Use one of the movie randomizers online or use the built-in Netflix shuffle feature. No cheating! You have to watch the first movie that comes up. Alternatively, if you would like some flexibility, give yourselves two passes. That means you can pass on two movies if they seem boring to you. However, it’s a one-way pass and you can’t return to the previous movie once you’ve given it up. Once the two passes are used, you’ll have to watch the third movie.
12. EARTH HOUR
Turn off the lights for the entirety of the movie. Help the environment (though admittedly not by much) and reduce your utility bill at the same time. Feel like you’re in an actual cinema. Hold hands and snuggle in the dark for a cozy, romantic time with your date.
13. PIZZA PARTY
Saying that pizza is a popular food is an understatement. Research shows that at least one in ten Americans consume pizza once a week. To be honest, that number sounds kind of low. There are the good reasons why pizza is loved by so many people. First, it’s so convenient. Hot, fresh-from-the-oven pizzas are just one call or a few taps on the phone away. As long as you eat it with your hands, there are no dishes to do afterward. Just throw away the pizza boxes. Second, pizza is so delicious. Crunchy crust, hearty cheese, and just about any toppings you can think of–it’s so awesome! Anyway, getting some pizza and snacks will kick your movie night experience to the next level. Spice up your boring movie night by turning it into a pizza & movie party night.
14. BATH & MOVIE
Before we proceed, let me warn you. This is a dangerous date idea! Using electronics inside the bathroom can be hazardous to both you and your device. That said, movie and bath is a unique experience not many people have tried. It’s not very practical, but if you manage to pull it off it will very romantic. For this idea, you will need to designate a dry spot for the laptop or tablet. The smartphone may work when you’re bathing alone, but it’s just too small in a mixed bath kind of situation. Anyway, the spot should keep your device dry and should be visible from the bathtub. For the bath itself, just do a regular hot water bath. No bubble or bath bombs with coloring because that will get messy. Add a few drops of essential oils into the bath for some aroma. Alternatively, light up some scented candles.
Another way to do bath-and-movie, is to enjoy a long, relaxing bath before the movie. It is less unique but definitely safer and more friendly in terms of the logistics.
15. RENT A PROJECTOR
With a projector, you can watch movies on your very own big screen. Not many households own a projector and buying a good projector may not fit into your budget. So try and see if there’s a way to rent one for a day. There is so much fun you can have with a projector. You can play games, view photos, read, and–no we haven’t forgotten–watch movies! Make it feel like you’re in a real movie theater, pop some corns, microwave some hot dogs, and pour yourself some soft drinks. Turn off your phones before the movie starts, turn out the lights, and project the movie onto the wall. After a while, you might even forget that you are at home.
16. AT-HOME DRIVE-IN THEATER
This idea is more involved but it will be the experience of a lifetime. That is if you manage to pull it off, as you will see, it takes quite a bit of effort. To create a drive-in movie theater at home, you’ll need a big parking space and a vertical flat surface, for example, a wall or a projector screen. With these requirements, you’ll most probably need a garage, driveway/front yard, or backyard. If you have a sizeable backyard and it’s accessible by car, that would be the best spot to set it up. The outdoor environment will make you feel like you’re at an actual drive-in theater. The front yard and driveway is open-air but it doesn’t feel as cozy as the backyard, and their lack of privacy means your neighbors might join your movie from across the street. As an indoor spot, the garage offers privacy, convenience, and shelter from the elements. If your area is having bad weather, the garage is your only option. Also, it’s likely to have electrical outlets so you don’t have to use an extension cord. To add on top of that, you can blast the audio without having to worry about getting complaints from the neighbors. Lastly, for this idea to work, you’ll also need a decent projector, a laptop or media player, and a power supply for the devices.
17. BACKYARD CAMPING MOVIE NIGHT
Pitch a tent in the backyard. Pack for a night in the tent. Prepare cooked food ahead of time or raw ingredients for the grill. Start a campfire and do all the things that you do during camping. Singing, dancing, swapping stories, and even starting a water gun fight. At night, retreat to the tent to watch a movie. Make sure that the device is fully charged. When the movie is over, head outside the tent for some fresh air. Feel the serenity falls upon you as the night breeze touches your face. Nearby, fireflies are out and about, dancing and flaunting their blinking taillights. One firefly briefly lost its way and flew toward you. Not expecting your presence, the firefly is startled and immediately surged toward the sky. Intrigued by its movement, your head tilts up to follow. That brings you face to face with the night sky. The firefly can longer be seen, lost among the hundreds of stars in the dark sky.
18. ICE CREAM
For those of you who don’t have any health problem, grab a pint of your favorite ice cream and finish it in one sitting. Needless to say but you’ll be sharing with your partner. Remember, sharing is caring. It’s so cute if you share the same favorite flavor ice cream, but if you don’t, just get two flavors! As simple as that. Ice cream tastes awesome by itself, but if you want to elevate this ice cream movie night experience, invest in some ice cream toppings such as chocolate chips, chocolate rice, syrup, peanuts, etc. Using these toppings, design your unique ice cream dessert before gobbling it down in front of the TV screen.
- Can’t get enough of ice cream and dating? Here are some useful ice cream date ideas.
- Coffee Date Ideas
19. GET TIPSY
Pour yourselves a glass of your favorite liquor. Try out that cocktail recipe you saw in a random Facebook video. Just chill and enjoy the movie with your date.
20. DRINKING GAME
Since you’re drinking and you’re at home–that means no need to worry about who’s driving–how about a little game with your date? In particular, a movie drinking game that calls for a sip (or a shot) whenever certain phrases or certain movie clichés come up. There are plenty of pre-made rules online and I’ll put some links at the bottom of this section, but you can totally make up your own rules with your date. And I imagine it’ll be a funny thing to do that will be filled with giggles and laughter. A crude example would be something like this. Say you’re re-watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy… (spoilers ahead)
Take a sip when:-
- Frodo’s sword glows blue.
- Frodo turns invisible.
- Gollum says my precious.
Down a shot when:-
- Aragon says, “One does not simply walk into Mordor.”
- Gandalf the gray falls into the abyss.
- Gandalf returns after getting his dirty laundry washed and bleached.
- “I’m no man.”
Movie Drinking Games
- Vanity Fair – The 8 Best Movie Drinking Games
- Games Radar – 25 best movie drinking games to play responsibly
- The Manual – 10 Best Movie Drinking Games to Play on Netflix
21. DRESS UP
Going out feel exciting because we set ourselves up to feel that way. To make staying home feel excited and romantic, try to dress yourselves up in different clothing–perhaps in clothes that you’d wear when you go out to see a theatrical play.
22. WEAR A COSTUME
Here’s another way to enjoy the movie night to the fullest. Try dressing up in costumes that are related to the movies that you’re watching. For example, if you’re watching Pirates of the Caribbean, dress up as pirates, try to speak like one, and get a bottle of rum for the drinking game.
23. GET YOUR PET TO PARTICIPATE
Your beloved cat or dog (and other kinds of pets) don’t usually get to participate in your dates. How about inviting and letting it join you this one time for a fun pet and movie evening? Admittedly it will take away some attention from the movies, but that’s OK because time spent with your pet is never wasted. As a cat owner, I sometimes play with my cat when watching a movie. He also enjoys that I pat his butts, what a little weirdo.
24. YOGA AND MOVIE
Like many other forms of entertainment, movie is a passive activity. For most of the movie, except when it’s paused for bathroom breaks, you just sit. Well, here’s an idea that will turn your passive date night into an active evening. Push the coffee table to the side, lay out some yoga mats, and do some stretching while you watch the movie. Some yoga poses require you to turn your face away from the direction of the screen. You can still practice these poses but you might want to shorten the time or just wait for the fillers in the movie. Another idea is to adjust your mats from pose to pose so you can always get a good viewing angle.
25. WATCH MOVIE USING VHS
The rise of Netflix and other streaming services changed the way we watch movies at home. Before Netflix, physical rentals used to be the standard way to watch movie on demand. I’m talking about Blu-ray, DVDs, VCDs–and before the discs became mainstream–a little something called VHS. VHS refers to Video Home System and it is the video tape standard. For this date idea, you and your date are to hunt for a functional VHS tape player and a movie tape. Figure out a way to hook up that antiquated tape player to your smart TV. The video quality will carry a retro vibe and it’ll feel like you’re traveling back in time. This date idea requires days if not weeks of preparation. And the preparation itself is part of the fun.
Who Are These Date Ideas for?
These ideas at home are mainly designed for married couples and couples who are living together. Newer couples who have survived the first few dates and are now comfortable with the idea of hanging out at each other’s places might find inspiration from this list too. These are definitely not ideal for a first date unless you’re dating your best friend. For first dates, check out these awesome first date ideas instead.
And that wraps up our at-home movie date night guide. Some of these ideas are pretty wild (at least I hope they are). But sometimes you need to do things differently in order to break the dull routine of everyday life. With that said, I hope you’ve managed to get something out of this list. Talk to you again soon.