I know a lot of date nights involve a couple going out to eat or see a show. But the truth is, after a hectic week of work, Deb and I are often so beat that all we want to do is crash at home and avoid seeing other people. Being the party animals that we are, that usually means streaming a movie and sharing a tray of nachos on the coffee table. That kind of routine is enjoyable and comforting. But it can also become a bit predictable, can’t it?
If you live in a colder climate, or at least one that has regular seasons, this date night is for you since it helps you make the most out of those fleeting summer nights. Basically, you’ll create a backyard drive-in theater.
First, you’ll need a small portable movie projector. You can find good quality ones at surprisingly affordable prices, both online and at most major electronics or entertainment stores. Some come with a large white screen, but if they don’t, a white bedsheet will do. You can attach it to your garage, fence, or house, or even build a frame for it. Many projectors actually come with screens that include stands, so your work is done for you.
For food, go for traditional drive-in fare—corn dogs or chili dogs, or keep it super easy and order a pizza. Have some popcorn and licorice on hand too.
Hook the projector up to your laptop, pick a suitable movie to stream from your favorite service, and drag your patio furniture into the perfect viewing position. And that’s it!
The beauty of this date night is its simplicity. It isn’t complicated or time-consuming, and yet the very small amount of effort it does take produces an amazingly big impact. For those of us who live in colder climates, being outside at night can be something of a novelty. It feels different and familiar at the same time. And that’s a pretty good way for a marriage to feel.
• Written by special contributor and relationship author Don Macleod