14 at-home date night ideas for fall

My husband and I are parents to two young, active boys.

We both work.

We live hours away from grandparents and haven’t found the right sitter.

And, frankly, we’re both pretty tired at the end of the day.

Sound familiar? I know having alone time together and nights out are important, but that’s not really a reality in our household. Rather than admitting total defeat, we improvise with dedicated date nights in. And, truth be told, I’ve really come to appreciate them—especially because they are inexpensive and away from crowds.

Here are a few date night in ideas that are busy-parent friendly, perfect for the fall and totally effective at keeping the spark alive:

Make a fun fall drink: We always make a spiced hot apple cider drink as a celebration of the weather turning cooler. And then we store the leftovers for future date nights!

Carve pumpkins: Carving pumpkins is going to be messy no matter what. But the benefit of making a date night out of it is you don’t have to worry about who is holding a sharp nice and what stray pumpkin guts the baby is trying to ingest.

Watch a new series on Netflix: You may wonder how this is a fall thing, but hear me out: Fall is when many new seasons of shows start back on TV—which means last year’s episodes are probably now available on a streaming service!

Make caramel apples: Instead of buying them from the store, make some caramel apples with different toppings, nuts, sprinkles, coconut, chocolate, etc. The kids will love you the next morning when they wake up!

Host an in-home fall beer tasting: Have your own Oktoberfest date night by sampling new fall-flavored beverages from local breweries. I usually make big homemade pretzels to go with it—or grab a box of my favorite crackers. ?

Set up a chili bar: Start some chili in the crock pot during the morning and then go to town with toppings during your date night. My favorite options range from the classic (cheese and chives) to the unique (chips).

Watch a football game: I always like to record our favorite teams playing, make a bunch of yummy appetizers and watch the game without interruptions. We rarely get time to actually watch a football game when they are on, so this is a perfect way to catch up.

Go star gazing: Throw a few blankets in the backyard, make (or reheat) some apple cider and sit back to watch the star. This is such a simple pleasure that we’re often too busy to notice and when is better than date night to appreciate the beautiful things around us?

Roast marshmallows by a fire: Make a small (and safe) fire in the back yard, grab a package of marshmallows and enjoy! We sit many nights out by our fire pit and it’s one of our favorite things to do, especially when the weather cools down and we can really appreciate the warmth.

Can the end of the summer’s harvest: My husband and I stayed up late and canned more than 20 jars of stewed tomatoes and salsa last week. (True story.) It was surprisingly fun and will be rewarding throughout the next year.

Have a fondue night: When fall rolls around, I suddenly start craving all the warm, indulgent foods that didn’t sound so appetizing in the height of summer. That makes it a perfect time to grab a fondue pot (or make use of the double boiler) and go to town.

Make a craft together: We made beeswax candles together a few weeks back and it was so much fun. I’m still burning them and they smell amazing! (Talk about keeping the flame alive. ?)

Watch a scary movie: Set up the air mattress on the living room floor, grabs lots of blankets, pop some popcorn and then take advantage of all the scary movies on TV leading up to Halloween.

Make a gratitude list: Since it’s the season to be thankful, write 20 things you are grateful for that involve your partner. Read them aloud during date night and then store away in a special place. Next year, you can pull them back out to read again—while adding to the list with 20 more items.

Keeping the spark alive is so important and easy at-home date night ideas like these will definitely keep the fire burning!

Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.


Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.


Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.


Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!


Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.


Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.


'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."


Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.


Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.


Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!


Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.


Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.


Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.


Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


My belly has been through some things.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (yep, severe debilitating pregnancy-related vomiting), the pregnancies of each of my four kids, the 65 pounds of weight gain I have endured with each pregnancy, stretch marks, Occupational Therapy for pregnancy pelvic pain, unmedicated childbirth, and of course, postpartum recovery.

It's my personal opinion that this belly deserves some love. So starting with my second pregnancy, I've relied on Belly Bandit's postpartum belly bands (which I own in three sizes) to help support my core, reduce swelling, and begin to activate my midsection after nine months of being stretched to the max.

Here's why I love Belly Bandit:

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Pop culture might lead us to believe that single people are having all the good sex and us married folks are lucky to get anything at all. But, for a lot of couples, sex gets better after a walk down the aisle.

I'll put it like this: The escapades I had before my husband were a lot like fast food—quick and unsatisfying. On the other hand, married sex is like having a five-star, live-in chef. So, why is it so hard to sell the idea married people are having the best sex of their lives?

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