Planning date nights is soul sucking. There, I said it. I know we all really enjoy getting to spend one-on-one time with our significant others, and I truly believe it’s crucial to a happy and healthy marriage. That doesn’t mean it’s easy to do, however. First you have to schedule said date night, then figure out something fun or interesting you and your spouse might like do, and of course, make you sure have an available babysitter. Then there’s having to pay for the sitter, the meal, and whatever activity you’ve just planned.
If I’m being honest, the majority of our dates wind up being “couch dates” with a movie and some Starbucks.
While I love our lazy and relaxing sofa surfing nights, I’ve been looking for something to change our routine without spending $150 every month to get out of the house. I had seen a few sponsored ads and posts regarding various date night subscription boxes so I thought it would be fun to try something new.
I tried to find some feedback for the various subscription boxes and watched some unboxing reviews (even though you’re likely not going to get the date that the review is based on, I felt it might give me an idea of the quality). Ultimately, I decided to give three of them a try: Datebox, Crated with Love, and Date Night In. In the end, my plan is to stick with the one I enjoy the most. If you’re thinking of trying one of these out, it’s important to note that they don’t ship as soon as you order them; they usually only ship them once or twice a month depending on when the order was placed, so plan accordingly when scheduling your date night (probably three weeks out from the order).
The first “date” to arrive was Datebox.
Ironically enough, even though I had been seeking out feedback, I didn’t know anyone that had tried the boxes…that is, until mine was scheduled to arrive. My sister-in-law actually happened to post some negative feedback about Datebox while mine was en route to our house, so I have to admit that the date was already spoiled to some degree since I knew what it entailed and I had preconceived notions going into it.
My husband and I opened the box together, and there was a “Date Prep” card that listed some items we would need to purchase or have on hand to kick the date night off. Right off the bat, I was a little put off by having to purchase items for our date. I should probably preface this some facts: 1. it required a blender; 2. we had literally just thrown away our blender because of a crack; and 3. our dishwasher was broken so there was already a sense of dread washing over me when I realized I’d have to hand wash all of the dishes we were about to use. In all fairness, I’m sure most people wouldn’t have to run out to buy a blender, but we did also have to buy some other items we didn’t have on hand to get the most of our Datebox (e.g., fresh fruit and rum).
After we did the prep, it was time for the romance.
The contents of the box included two little drink umbrellas, concentrated pineapple juice, sweet cream, streamers, needle and thread, and marbles with what appeared to be a board game. The theme of the date was Hawaii, and it even included a link to a Spotify playlist to set the tropical mood. Datebox provides a booklet of each of the activities with instructions, and a list of questions to ask one another during the evening.
First up in the booklet was a recipe to make pineapple rum punch, and what date would be complete without some little umbrellas to put in our beverages? After our drinks were ready, we sat down to make leis. This was probably my least favorite part, only because it was slightly hard to make conversation while stabbing bunched up streamers with a needle — but hey, it’s more interesting than scrolling through On Demand for half an hour trying to decide on a movie! After the leis were made, we played a game called Konane, which is a Hawaiian strategy game similar to checkers. We both love board games so this was a nice surprise, and I really enjoyed that it was something cultural. The last “task” for the date night was making shaved iced, hence the blender and fresh fruit. I’m a huge fan of shaved ice, so this was another win in my book.
Overall, my husband gave the box a B-, and I did initially as well, thought I’d probably give it a C+ now that we’ve also opened our Crated with Love box (review to come next month). I was slightly put off by having to purchase items for “date prep,” and the list of date night questions were more likes ones you’d ask during dating, not questions you’d ask after having been together for 10+ years. My husband said he would like to keep receiving them since it’s something “outside of the box” (pun intended).