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Date Jar

If you’re like Hubby and me, you’re always excited about getting out for some treasured time together, but not always the best at coming up with creative date ideas on the fly.  By the time Friday night rolls around, any planning ahead I might have done has slid to the bottom of the to-do list and we often find ourselves stuck in a bit of a rut – racking our brains for ideas and inevitably reverting to the same few go-to restaurants.  But that’s not the end!  What I learned, as I’ll share with you today, is that with a little brainstorming now, you can have creative and personalized date ideas at your fingertips any time you feel the need for a little fun with your spouse.

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A few months ago after Hubby returned from his deployment, I got the idea of creating a date jar.  I gathered my supplies: large popsicle sticks, permanent markers in a few different colors, and an empty mason jar.  After perusing the internet for some ideas to get me thinking, Hubby and I sat down to create a list of our own and write them on our popsicle sticks.  We color-coded each date into three price ranges so we can easily choose a date based on what we’re willing to spend.  This helps us to make smart choices and stick to our dating budget throughout the month.  Green means the date is free (or uses items we have at home or have already pre-purchased).  Blue = $10 or less.  Maroon = $25 or less.

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Here are a few of our dates ideas:

Green (Free)

  1. Picnic at the park
  2. Day at the local theme park (We both have season passes that we got for free using the military PlayPass program.  The program provided $500 each in free money for deployed members and their spouses to spend on services and entertainment through the base support services.  So sad the program has since gone away because it was truly a blessing to me and so many of my friends whose husbands have been deployed over the last few years!)
  3. Explore the bookstore
  4. Read to each other
  5. Take Ike to the dog park
  6. Tour open homes
  7. Go stargazing
  8. Bonfire & s’mores (We have a fire pit in the backyard, so this is one of our favorites in the evenings when the weather is nice.)
  9. Go for a bike ride
  10. Game night at home
  11. Movie night at home
  12. Do a puzzle together
  13. Bake cookies or dessert to share
  14. YouTube marathon
  15. Go hiking at the Wildlife Management Area
  16. Massage night at home
  17. Build a fort (We did this a few weeks ago, and it was a blast! We tore the living room apart moving furniture, pulling out some of our camping gear, and dragging out every blanket we own in order to construct our giant “tent,” but it was so worth it! We even rigged it up so that we could watch some outdoorsy TV shows to add to the camping ambiance.)

Blue ($10 or less)

  1. Do an art project
  2. Go out for smoothies
  3. Fondue date night at home
  4. Get frozen yogurt
  5. Bowling
  6. Go out for just dessert
  7. Play mini golf
  8. Go out for coffee

Maroon ($25 or less)

  1. Go out to dinner
  2. Order in pizza or takeout
  3. See a movie at the theater

We keep blank popsicle sticks nearby so we can add new ideas to the date jar as we come up with them. So far, this easy project has made for some very enjoyable and spontaneous dates…all we had to do was pull a surprise from the jar and go!

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