Let’s face it, the most classic date of all time is the movie date night at home. Tried and true, it will always be a go-to.

The good news is that a romantic movie date night at home with dinner and a movie can be even more memorable — without the fuss and breaking the bank.

All it takes are a few fresh, creative ideas and a bit of planning. These are our five best movie date night ideas for couples.

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How to Have the Best Movie Date Night at Home

For all of us, the pandemic forced us to change our dating habits. For Ryan and I, we were living in a city (Medellín) that enforced a stay-at-home mandate from 8 pm Thursday night until 5 am Monday morning.

Seriously, you weren’t supposed to go outside at all for those 4 days unless you were an essential worker, had to walk your dog, or wanted to risk a steep fine.

So, we got creative with our movie night at home dates and wanted to share our winners with you. From themes to the best movies to watch, we’ve got you covered.

Our movie night ideas for couples are way above average. 

The Average Date Night

While the cost of the average date night varies across cities and countries, I think we can all agree that it gets expensive.

In a study released by the dating site Elite Singles, the average cost of a mid-range date night consisting of dinner, a bottle of wine, two movie tickets, and a taxi in the United States is $117.

Oslo and London topped the charts, with date nights of $170 and $161 USD, respectively.

And for parents like us, that’s a bargain, with babysitters costing, on average, just under $20 an hour.

Given that 62% of couples argue about money, specifically about “spending too much,” it’s a contentious topic that can lead to bad outcomes if not resolved.

So, let’s skip the financial stress and heated arguments for date night this week. Instead, do this…

At-Home Date Ideas Menu_Ryan and Alex Duo Life

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How to have the best Movie Date Night At Home

Movie nights at home are cozy, relaxed, and easy. All we have to do now is make them memorable.

To accomplish this, below are our top movie date at home ideas and activities.

You’ll see with just a bit of thought beforehand, you have a whole series of living room (or elsewhere) romantic movie date nights in the queue.

1. Choosing the best movie to watch

The first way to make a movie date night special, is by selecting the best movie.

Did you know that watching a good movie together can cut your chances of divorce in half?

Groundbreaking research out of the University of Rochester found just that.

Dr. Ronaldo Rogge studied three groups of newly married couples: one group went to marriage workshops, one group watched and discussed certain movies, and one group did nothing.

Three years later, both the marriage workshop and movie groups were twice as likely to remain married than the couples who did nothing.

But they didn’t just pick any movie fore a date night at home. What’s special about these movies, which included Couples Retreat, Date Night, and Meet the Fockers, is that they portrayed realistic relationships with realistic problems.

The key here is to discuss the movie afterward, which is where the connection will really kick in. Ask each other questions like, “How do you feel the main characters handled their communication?” or, “What would you have done differently if you were in that situation?”

We share the full list of good movies for date night at home, as well as meaningful discussion questions, in our article, “The Best Movies for Married Couples.”

2. Change up the scenery

While you may have a great living room setup with your TV and surround sound, we challenge you to set the mood and make your movie experience exceptional.

For this next movie date night idea at home, think about how to change up the location, such as:

  • Lighting candles and watching a movie in the bath tub
  • Setting up a tent and watching a movie on your iPad outside in the backyard
  • Building a pillow fort in your living room, complete with twinkle lights, and watching the movie from the floor with blankets
  • Lighting a bonfire and using a projector to watch a movie outside
  • Snuggling in bed instead of the couch
  • Grabbing a heavy quilt and settling down in front of the fireplace
  • Kayaking out to the middle of the lake with your iPad in tow

Here are a few more favorites that, while they’re not “at home,” still help you get out of the movie theater for a special, DIY experience:

  • Recreating your own “drive-in movie experience” by parking at a viewpoint, putting the top down, and snuggling in for a good movie
  • Riding the subway to the end of the line (and back) while watching a train-related movie
  • Visiting a historic building in town, like a library, and watching a historic film
  • Heading to a foot massage parlor and setting up an iPad between your chairs

Make “the scene” as wacky as you want — the crazier it is, the more memorable it will be! Bonus points for added blankets, pillows, and candles.

Lastly, what to wear for a movie night date at home? Pajamas? Boring…

How about a wacky and matching movie date night outfit that matches the movie’s theme?

3. Make it a marathon

There’s nothing more epic than a movie marathon. And we don’t just mean watching all eight Harry Potter movies in a row, although that’s fun too.

Make it meaningful while thoughtfully curating your list of movies to watch. This not just makes it more memorable but also gives you the benefit of having several movie nights at home planned to look forward to.

Think about following a specific list, theme, or genre. Here are some favorite movie date ideas:

  • Watch all 100 of AFI’s Top 100 Movies of All Time
  • Make a list of your favorite childhood movies, and then poll your parents and grandparents for their favorite childhood movies
  • Follow a theme like cooking movies, vintage Hong Kong cinema, sports movies, foreign films, or 1990s comedies
  • Watch every movie that has ever won the Academy Award for Best Picture
  • Research and watch a movie for every place you’re vacationing in this year

… and the list goes on.

4. Make it active

While a movie date night at home centers around the movie, there are so many ways to build out the date. Don’t just sit on your butt… plan a fun activity that matches the movie’s theme.

There’s the obvious, like cooking a movie-themed dinner and pairing it with a special dessert. But, if you’re really looking to bring your A-game, here are a few ideas.

Watching a movie about a dance competition? YouTube a beginner’s salsa dance lesson before getting started.

Is your movie about a basketball player? Pause halfway for an intermission and go outside for a game of Pig.

Does your movie follow a writer or poet? After the movie, write each other a love note or poem and read it out loud to each other.

Is your movie set in Italy? Plan a blind wine tasting with only Italian wines.

The list goes on, but remember that the planning is half the fun. So when you’re deciding on your next movie night at home, brainstorm what activities you want to do and get ready for an unforgettable night.

5. Turn it into a game

When in doubt, make it a competition.

Whether that’s a simple game like,

  • Keeping score how many times your partner bursts out laughing
  • Having a swig of beer every time you see an animal on screen
  • Jotting down your favorite quotes to share later
  • Kissing every time the actors kiss

Keep it playful and fun. Or, for a more advanced game, you can each prepare a movie date night at home snack and give each other points for taste, preparation, and creativity.

Closing thoughts on movie Date Night At Home 

That’s our top five list of favorite ways of reinventing the at home movie date night.

We love a good movie night at home, and it doesn’t make you lazy (or cheap) if you have them. The key is to go in with a plan, enjoy the movie, make it memorable, and build a stronger connection with your partner.

What are your favorite movie date night ideas for couples? Comment below!

For more date night ideas, check out all of our resources on recommendations on our Date Night page.

Or, for all of our resources for couples, such as the best apps out there for couples or how to give your partner a good massage, head over to our Healthy Couples page.

Lastly, for all couples looking to engineer their healthiest and happiest relationship, download our Proven Tools for Healthy Couples below.

At-Home Date Ideas Menu_Ryan and Alex Duo Life

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As Seen In Feature Bar Ryan and Alex Duo Life

Hey we're Ryan and Alex

A husband-wife duo, two engineers, and the creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. 

After eight years working in the corporate world as engineers, we left our to tackle our true passion:

Helping highly motivated couples optimize their relationship and health by cutting through the muck and sharing what the research says works.

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