This post was originally published on May 15, 2021.

Last year for my husband’s birthday, I didn’t get him any presents. Instead, I got him a year of dates!

If you’re like us (and probably most people), you can get lazy with dating your spouse. It’s easy to order take-out and put on a movie. But I know I have so much more fun when we do things out of the ordinary. And your relationship benefits soooo much from spending intentional, quality time together.

So here are some things you may be wondering:

What exactly is a year of dates?

I pre-planned and (mostly) pre-paid for 12 dates – one per month. Some of them were at-home dates, and some of them took us out around Colorado Springs. At the beginning of each month, we open the date for that month and make a plan for when we want to do it.

How do you give it to your spouse?

I gifted the year of dates to my husband in a basket, with a note explaining everything. Inside the basket, I put envelopes with the instructions for each date, as well as anything (cash or supplies) we would need to do the dates.

How much is it gonna cost me??

You can put as much or as little into this as you want!! Several of the dates I chose to do were free or nearly free! And then I did a couple splurge dates, too. I think I spent around $200 total for all 12 dates — and if you think about it, that’s less than $20 for each date, on average. For my husband and myself, pre-planning dates is actually saving us money! We would spend a lot more money when we do things on a whim.

You can either pay for everything up front, or you can put the money with the dates as you are able (your husband’s not going to know either way).

What are some date ideas?

Here are the 12 dates I chose for my husband’s birthday gift last year, along with the approximate cost:

January, $10

To start the year off, my husband and I always do a yearly planning and goals meeting. We look back at the previous year, and then plan and dream about the year to come. For this date, I included the annual planning workbook we use every year, as well as $10 for coffee.

February, $5

This month’s date was a “Chopped” date! Just like in the cooking show, I included a secret ingredient (in this case, peanut butter baking chips), and we competed to see who could create the best dish using the secret ingredient and what was already in our kitchen.

March, FREE

We headed to Target with this printable scavenger hunt from The Mango Memoirs for some free fun!

April, $50

I splurged a bit on this one. We went out to eat at a restaurant where we’ve never been!

May, $20

Board game date! I bought a new board game (Imhotep the Duel, for two players) and some of those mug cake mixes for dessert!

June, $10

I included all the supplies for a s’mores date! We have a fire pit on our back porch, and we love making s’mores while my husband plays guitar.

July, $10

I bought a Groupon voucher for ice cream at Blue Mountain Creamery in University Village – SO GOOD.

August, $25

We had a drive-in movie date! The closest theater is the Mesa Drive-In  in Pueblo. I included some popcorn and candy to share.

September, $15

Mini golfing at Lost Island! Winner got to choose dessert.

October, $25

We had a puzzle date! I bought a puzzle for us to do together, and included $10 for doughnuts from Arnold’s Coffee and Donuts near our house.

November, FREE

I included a calendar of November’s most bizarre holidays (think Mickey Mouse Day, Homemade Bread Day, Square Dance Day, etc.) and my husband got to choose which day to celebrate. We did Cider Day with some apple cider at home!

December, $30

We have a tradition at Christmastime to go to The Broadmoor and look at the lights (this is actually how my husband proposed to me!). I included some money for dinner afterwards.

Need more ideas?

Are you planning to gift a year of dates to your spouse? Let us know which dates you choose!