DIY Fun Gift Idea: Date Night Box

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Travis and I celebrated our first Christmas together last year and I wanted to get him something that he wouldn't forget in a few weeks. I know I'm guilty of getting very caught up in the season and love to buy gifts for friends and family, but in the end most of the stuff is .... just stuff. Thinking back to what my parents got me for Christmas 2013 and I don't know if I can remember a single thing. Which isn't a slam against their present buying skills because they really hooked Travis and I up this year with the most amazing stuff! I came across a 'date night box' idea on Pinterest, the sucker of all free time, and modified it a bit. Every year I save up the points on my credit card to get gift cards for people for Christmas and grabbed a few to use in the date envelopes. I decided to do this idea very last minute, and we had agreed to spend $100-150 on each other and I basically doubled that cap with this gift. But, since I was able to use a lot of my credit card points for gift cards it didn't end up being too much. Plus, I was able to get 9 awesome dates out of it!

First stop was Michaels where I bought a cute box to put everything in, a 10 pack of blank cards and envelopes, and a bunch of stickers that corresponded with the different dates I had in mind. On the outside of each card I put "open when...." and then a short clue about the date inside. Since Travis is so busy with Flight School I also put approximate time required for the date on the envelop so he'd know how much time he'd need to set aside.

IMG_8369There is only 1 rule to the date night box: whatever date is opened has to be completed before he can open the next one.

So far we've gone on 4 dates. Here's the 'clue' on the outside and the corresponding date we went on.

  • Open when you feel like shopping and having some fun = a $25 gift card to Toys-R-Us where we bought Life, Chutes & Ladders and Candy Land (we've played them a few times now!)
  • Open when you want a fun night in with good food = a $20 gift card to Best Buy to grab a movie + a $25 gift card to Papa John's. We actually still haven't found a move from Best Buy (the selection here is terrible) but we definitely enjoyed the pizza and breadsticks!
  • Open when you feel like being a kid again = $20 cash to go play mini golf and grab ice cream (we just did this last weekend.)
  • Open when you want to nerd out and get caffeinated = a $20 gift card to Barnes & Noble and a $5 gift card to Starbucks

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Obviously if I had to put cash in all those envelopes I'd be in the hole $115 already but thanks to saving those credit card points we went on 4 awesome dates for $20! We have 5 dates left:

  • Open when you need some fun in the sun: I can't WAIT for this one!
  • Open when you want to celebrate our 1 year anniversary
  • Open when you are feeling outdoorsy: another really, really awesome date (that will take a whole weekend!)
  • Open when you feel like being artistic: I really thought he'd pick this one first and am bummed we haven't done it yet!
  • Open when you're feeling like being pampered and romance at home: Probably will be his least favorite but something I'll love!

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A few of the dates even have mini gifts to go with them. So, this date card has a message on the back to 'open present 1' with it. It's something that is required/would really add to the fun of the date.

IMG_8376As I've mentioned the only drawback to this could be the cost involved with the dates. We live in the middle of nowhere so there aren't a lot of free community events to go to, but if you lived in a bigger city that wouldn't be as much of a problem. Also, there are a ton of things you could think of doing that may be out of your normal activities that would be a lot of fun! Here are 10 more cheap/free date ideas I had:

  • Bowling
  • Hike + picnic
  • Berry picking! Lots of places to do that in the South in the late Spring/early Summer
  • Holiday themed ones: dye Easter eggs, carve pumpkins, or set off fireworks
  • Set up a bed in the living room and watch each of your favorite childhood movies
  • Spend a day volunteering somewhere together (animal shelter, Ronald McDonald house, ...)
  • Attend a free outdoor concert
  • Check out local museums that may have free days for locals
  • Grab some water guns, sidewalk chalk & bubbles and spend the afternoon outside being a kid
  • Pick out a new recipe and cook dinner together

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What's the last handmade gift you gave to someone?

What's your favorite cheap/free date?