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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Repli-Kate: Date Jars

Date jars having been popping up A LOT on Pinterest, and I've always thought it would be fun to make one for Joe and me. We make a point to have a special date night every month, and usually it winds up being dinner and a movie because we are too tired or rushed to come up with something more unique.

Since I want to add some variety to our dates, and because I want guaranteed time with Joe every week when he is in dental school, I decided to make date jars as a gift for Joe before school starts. The idea is that he'll pull a date every Sunday night and, based on what it is and his schedule, we'll figure out when we want to do it that week. That also gives me time to make the necessary reservations or buy the necessary ingredients/supplies/etc.

In total, there are 104 dates so we can do one a week for his first 2 years of dental school (the first 2 years are the busiest by far).

With most of the jars on Pinterest, colored sticks or papers are used to indicate how expensive a date is. While money is something we are definitely careful with, I knew that while Joe is in dental school it's more important for us to choose a date based on how much time it would take. Those weeks where he has three tests? Maybe he only has an hour to spare for an activity. Those weeks where he miraculously has some extra time? Great! A several hour date it can be.

I used green, yellow, and red to indicate how much time I expect the specific activity to take. Green is 90 minutes or less, yellow is 2-4 hours, and red is 4+ hours. Obviously, there are many more green and yellow dates than red, I'm realistic ;)

Most of the dates are pretty inexpensive, but I did throw in a few higher-cost ideas. Because of the time and money restraints, and the fact that I wanted a lot of them to be things we can do at home, many involve cooking special dinners and watching movies. Though not THE MOST creative ideas ;) given how busy Joe will be, eating dinner together and watching a movie will feel special.

One thing that really annoyed me about seeing these date jars on Pinterest is that few (if any, honestly) had a full list of the activities they included. This meant spending hours trolling blogs online trying to find lists of date ideas to get inspiration and ideas for my own. So, because I'd hate anyone to ever spend that much time coming up with ideas ever again, I'll include my list of dates here :)

All 104 of them :)

***Side Note*** You'll notice I'll use any excuse to make us put on costumes. Joe should be trilled haha ***End of Side Note***

Green Dates (90 minutes or less)

PuzzleLet's put on some music and put a puzzle together
YouTube Video SessionLet's get our laughs on with a marathon of funny YouTube videos
Write Bucket ListsLet's plan the rest of our lives together
Paper Mache MasksLet's cover our faces with paper mache and make some wicked cool masks
ThriftingLet's go thrifting! We each get $5 to spend on the other person
Breakfast for Dinner - In PJsLet's get our PJs on and have breakfast for dinner - complete with cartoons
Picnic in Clark ParkLet's pack a picnic basket and head to Clark Park (if the weather doesn't permit, we'll picnic on our living room floor)
Dance PartyLet's party like it's 1999!
Video Game MarathonLet's hook up the Playstation and you can teach me some Madden
Game NightLet's play some board games and pig out on pizza
Cookbook DinnerLet's grab a cookbook and randomly select courses for a 4 course meal - then we gotta get busy cooking!
YouTube Dance LessonsLet's prove we don't have four left feet between us. Swing? Tango? The Macarena?
Formal NightLet's dress up in our finest attire and eat by candlelight - at home
Indoor CampingLet's build a tent, make s'mores, and tell ghost stories
PhotoshootLet's grab the camera and get some fun shots of each other
Tennis MatchLet's grab the rackets and hit the court
Wine TastingLet's pair wine with cheese and chocolate - yum
Personality TestsLet's take some online personality tests and see how compatible we are on paper
Pudding PictionaryLet's use our fingers to draw in pudding - whoever said you can't play with your food
BasketballLet's play a game of HORSE and/or shoot some hoops
Coffee DateLet's head to a local coffee shop for some caffeine and conversation
Dream Home BlueprintLet's map out our dream house
Paint PortraitsLet's each try to paint a portrait of the other
Ice Cream Sundae NightLet's forget dieting and make decadent ice cream sundaes
Beer PongLet's practice our pong skills - you are a college student again
Minute to Win ItLet's look up some Minute to Win It games and try our luck at them
Restaurant ReplicateLet's replicate a meal from a restaurant we like - but try to do it better
Record a Music Video Let's bust out the camera and record a music video
Record an Infomercial Let's pretend we're on HSN and record an infomercial for a product we own
Record a Cooking ShowLet's pretend we are on The Next Food Network Star and record a cooking segment
Would You Rather?Let's get to know each other a bit better...
Paint Coffee MugsLet's draw/paint on a coffee mug for the other person
Rap ContestLet's channel our inner Snoop Dog and see who can come up with the best rap
Play MadLibsLet's lie in bed and play MadLibs
Paint By NumbersLet's try to stay in the lines...
Joe's ChoiceLet's see what Joe wants to do in 90 minutes or less
Cookie Cook-OffLet's see who can make the tastiest cookie
Play at the PlaygroundLet's channel our inner child and swing, slide, and monkey around
Make T-ShirtsLet's decorate T-Shirts for each other
Dollar Store HuntLet's go to the dollar store with $4 each, 15 minutes, and a mission: (1) Find the worst gift (2) Find the best gift (3) Find the ugliest item (4) Find the best value
Make a Buster CalendarLet's grab our cute little pup and take photos of him for a Buster calendar
Flip a Coin
Let's let fate determine where we eat tonight. We'll get in the car and
flip a coin every 30 seconds. Heads we turn right, tails we turn left.
After 15 minutes we eat at the closest restaurant
NeedlepointLet's make some inappropriate needlepoint
Kate's ChoiceLet's see what Kate wants to do for 90 minutes or less
Card NightLet's play some card games

Yellow Dates (2-4 hours)

Chopped ChallengeLet's see who can find the most oddball mystery ingredients
Iron ChefLet's see which of us will be the next Iron Chef of Spruce St.
Mob NightLet's dress up like mobsters and enjoy some pizza, gelato, and chianti as we watch The Godfather
Mini-GolfLet's hit the links... well, the little links
BowlingLet's strike!
Dave & Busters or Chuck-E-CheeseLet's try to win enough tickets for something better than a temporary tattoo..
Ice SkatingLet's FINALLY go ice skating
Go to the ZooLet's visit the animals at the Zoo
Blast From the Past - KidLet's pretend we are kids again - we'll eat kid foods and watch kid movies / TV shows
Blast From the Past - TeenLet's pretend we are teenagers again - we'll eat pizza and watch our favorite movies / TV shows from when we were in junior high and high school
Sports Movie & FoodLet's watch a sports movie and eat foods you'd find at a concession stand
Restaurant HopLet's go to three restaurants tonight: one for an appetizer, one for an entree, and one for dessert
Theme Night - ItalianLet's go to Italy! We'll eat Italian food and watch a movie that reminds us of Italy
Theme Night - WesternLet's go partner! We'll eat like cowboys and watch a Western
Theme Night - FrenchLet's go to Paris! We'll eat French food and watch a movie that reminds us of France
Theme Night - MexicanLet's go to Mexico! We'll eat Mexican food and watch a movie that reminds us of Mexico
Theme Night - 1950'sLet's pretend it's the 50's! Get in costume while we watch a 50's movie, eat 50's diner food, and maybe even have living room sock hop
Theme Night - 1980'sLet's pretend it's the 80's! Get in costume while we watch a Brat Pack movie
Theme Night - HalloweenLet's get our spooky on! Regardless of the time of year, let's put on a costume, watch a Halloween movie, and carve a pumpkin (or watermelon if pumpkin is out of season)
Theme Night - ChristmasLet's do Christmas in July...or March...or whenever you pull this. Christmas movies, ugly sweaters from the thrift store, and Christmas cookies
Theme Night - DisneyLet's watch a Disney movie and eat Monte Cristos
Theme Night - HawaiianLet's go back to the setting of our honeymoon - we'll eat some Hawaiian cuisine, watch a movie / TV show that takes place in Hawaii, and wear our swimsuits
Mystery Science TheaterLet's find a dumb movie and Mystery Science Theater the crap out of it
Penn MuseumLet's visit the Penn Museum and learn something
Driving RangeLet's see how far we can hit a golf ball
Cake DecoratingLet's make a couple of cakes and decorate them Ace of Cakes style
Mad ScientistsLet's look up a science experiment online and try to replicate it
Dueling Piano BarLet's have a jolly ole time at Jolly's Dueling Piano bar
Food Network CopycatLet's watch a random episode of a Food Network show and make a dish that was featured
Italian Market - Buy Dinner FixingsLet's go to the Philly Italian market and find the makings for dinner tonight
Comedy NightLet's belly laugh tonight watching some stand-up
Invent a Board GameLet's get creative and invent a board game that can be played by two people
Joe's ChoiceLet's see what Joe wants to do for 2-4 hours
Shakespeare NightLet's watch two Shakespeare movies: a classic version and a modern re-telling (eg: Taming of the Shrew and 10 Things I Hate About You, Othello and O, Romeo and Juliet and Romeo + Juliet, etc.)
Dive BarLet's go to a dive bar and play billiards and/or darts. Oh, and drink cheap beer.
Rocky Horror Picture Show NightLet's do audience participation at home - bring on the toast, newspapers, and water guns. And Time-Warping is mandatory
Batting CagesLet's hit a home-run
Scattergories DateLet's roll a Scattergories die and then everything we do must start with that letter.
Double FeatureLet's see two movies in a row at the theater
Pat's vs. Geno'sLet's decide who makes the better cheesesteak
Kate's ChoiceLet's see what Kate wants to do for 2-4 hours
Nickelodeon NightLet's watch shows like Are You Afraid of the Dark, Rugrats, and Doug. Might we find some Legend of the Hidden Temple?

Red Dates (4+ hours)

TV MarathonLet's get in our PJs, order delivery, and watch at least 5 episodes of a TV show we've been wanting to try
Movie MarathonLet's get in our PJs, order delivery, and watch a trilogy. Star Wars? Back to the Future? Hangover? Toy Story? There's a lot of options...
Shooting RangeLet's see whose the better shot
PaintballLet's get out some aggression
Philadelphia Museum of ArtLet's add some culture to our lives and go to an art museum... or two
Theater NightLet's test the theory that "All the World's a Stage." If it's true, we shouldn't have trouble finding a play to attend...
Historic Walking TourLet's learn more about our new city!
Mini-Road TripLet's figure out a place within 2 hours of Philly that we want to visit for the day
Casino NightLet's try our luck at SugarHouse
Join the CircusLet's learn how to fly through the air with the greatest of ease in a trapeze class
Go Rock-climbingLet's go climb a mountain - a faux mountain, that is
Joe's ChoiceLet's see what activity Joe wants to do that will last over 4 hours
Comedy ClubLet's get our laugh on and go to a comedy club
Improv - ComedySportzLet's see whose line it will be...
Brewery TourLet's learn how beer is made... and then drink some
Kate's ChoiceLet's see what Kate wants to do for 4+ hours
Whitewater RaftingLet's get an adrenaline rush (weather permitting)

Any other ideas for dates out there? Leave me a comment. I can always add more for years 3 & 4 :)


  1. Oh my goodness... that is a lot of work to put this all together! Way to go, Kate! The thrift store idea actually sounds REALLY fun! I am going to have to use some of these ideas for sure.

  2. Just wondering if you even did half of these activities. "Dance party"?... Uh, and "YouTube video session?" "TV marathon"? Are these supposed to even remotely feel like dates? Especially if you're married, which judging from your username, you are, many of these do not come close to qualifying as quality time.

  3. I just wanted to tell you that your date night jars are awesome! I made some for my husband as he is in his third week of dental school! I have a blog and I blogged about the jars today and I linked back to your new blog and this one! Thank you for sharing your awesome idea! I know that the next two years will be better because of it!

  4. I am madly in love with this. My husband and I always have a problem finding something to do. We never think of anything cool until we don't have time to do it and then we forget and go through the circle all over again so this makes it easy. Thanks for the work you put into it!

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