Thank you for the overwhelming response to this post! If you're interested in holiday themed dates and activities, check out unromantic date night ideas just in time for Valentine's Day!
The idea here is that everything needed for each date is included in the box. I made a binder (see below) that acted as the guide to the date night box. Each month they will pick one of the dates, read through the directions found in the binder, and open any accessories marked with that number. I wanted the gift to be all-inclusive so I did my best to include everything they could possibly need for that date. And of course I tried to find new and different ideas.
The binder has twelve tabs, one for each month. While I did my best to vary the dates and put them in a logical order they are not sequential. Hence the numbered, rather than monthly, labels. Each tab starts out with a page of directions that describe what they need and will do. Following the directions are checklists, score-cards, etc. You can find all of the documents below.
Date Night rules:
- One date per month. No matter what. Even if you’re busy, even if you move. You must do a date each month; no more, no less.
- The date (as in day of the month) on which you plan your date (as in the fun thing where you do something special together) is up to you. Some of these activities are great for a weeknight and others lend themselves to a Saturday morning. You decide!
- You must report back. We need a short note via email or phone call with details about what you did and how it went.
- Pictures are also required. Ideally you’d take one per date to make a mini series. Anything that allows you to document each of the twelve dates will work.
- The dates are not in sequential order. Switch things around if you need.
- Only open the boxes, envelopes and other strangely wrapped accessories only when you’re going on that date. The write- ups provide as much information as you need ahead of time. No peeking!
Here's the assortment of boxes and envelopes. I used a mismatch of tissue paper, ribbons, wrapping paper and butcher paper because it's what I had around the house. Somehow everything fit perfectly into this box we had around the house. I actually like the way it turned out!
All documents are available via Google Drive. If you want to make changes, click "file," "make a copy," and save it into your drive. If you don't have or use Google Drive you can still download the file and edit that way.
Below are the lists of items I included with each date. I tried to choose accompanying objects that would be light and easy to pack (ie a box of pudding mix). If you have more flexibility in packing and transporting you can make changes accordingly. Just remember to avoid anything that can't last a year in a box :) The template and any other documents or lists were printed, hole punched and included in the binder. Other items were wrapped and labeled (see pictures above).
Month 1: Picnic
- Template (Picnic)
- List of local parks
- Cloud Sketches Sheet
- Oversized pencils
- Two brown lunch bags
- Plasticware sets
Month 2: Game Night
- Template (Game Night)
- Score Card
- A box of pudding
- Winner prize (packet of smartees)
- Consolation prize (dum dum lollipop)
Month 3: Create- A- Date
- Template (Create-A-Date)
- Two mini canvases
Month 4: Iron Chef
- Template (Iron Chef)
- Score Card
- $20 (in two $10 bills)
- Index card with a secret ingredient written on it
Month 5: Puzzle Race
- Template (Puzzle Race)
- Two puzzles
- Winner prize (temporary tattoos)
Month 6: Ice Cream Creations
Month 7: Breakfast in Bed
- Template (Breakfast in Bed)
- Mini jar of jam
- Story/ passage/ talk/ lesson/ book
Month 8: Mall Scavenger Hunt
Month 9: Fort
Month 10: Library Trip
- Template (Library Trip)
- Bouncy balls
Month 11: Cosmic Bowling
Month 12: Dinner Out
I had a lot of fun putting this together. I hope you will too!
Credits: Diva Girl Parties for the Mall Rat Scavenger Hunt idea, Komunitni centrum Motylek for the Puzzle Race photo, We Love Being Moms for the Fort photo and GetRealGurls Nutrition for the Mall photo.