Bring the Carnival to Date Night at Home

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easy entertaining with Sipp Sparkling Organics (12)

When I got married 11 1/2 years ago, I heard a lot of reminders and advice.  No doubt you did too.  No one ever said “make sure you make time for date night.” No one ever told me about this really fun way to stay connected with my spouse.

The term “date night” seems to have gained popularity during the last decade, but I’m pretty sure the idea has been around forever.

Basically, the notion is to dedicate some period of time to your marriage and your mate. It can be one evening per week, once a month, or just occasionally throughout the year. Whatever the schedule, I think that when well-meaning friends said “Make time for each other” that they meant “have a date night”. Brandon and I don’t have a weekly date night but over the years, we’ve tried hard to “make time for each other” by doing something simple as having a nice dinner together together at Cristiano’s or spending time together over a day date at Starbuck’s. Recently, we even got a special date weekend in Florida.

Sorry kids, we love you. But, this time is just for Mom and Dad!

What about those times when you need a date night but have no plan? You have no babysitter, no plan, and maybe you’re just not feeling up to leaving the house for fine dining (though that is awesome when you can do it).  Well, I’ve worked with 4 other bloggers to give you some fresh ideas on having date night at home. BOOM! Put the kids to bed or send them to grandma’s house, and have date night at home. This can be extravagant as you want or as simple as you need. My idea for date night is really fun and sweet…literally!
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One thing that can invoke excitement in your marriage is trying something new. Whether it’s an exciting adventure on your anniversary or trying a new meal together, never settle in your marriage. When thinking of ways to have fun with date night, I came up with a fun idea that you can re-create at home.

What about bringing the carnival or fair to date night? I’m talking funnel cakes, cotton candy Pinã Coladas, turkey legs, and candy apples? Sound good to you?

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Carnivals are not just for kids. They “bring out the kid” in us all.

That makes this theme the perfect setting for date night. Yes, it’s a little sweet…okay it’s a lot of sweets. Ha! But the idea is to have fun and try something new. What’s also really cool about this theme is it’s nostalgic. It brings back memories for everyone. One of my favorite carnival foods was candy apples. So, making candy apples was a necessity for me. They were actually pretty easy to make. You just boil the candy until it reaches the hard stage and then dip the apples in the candy.

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funnel cake, turkey legs, candy apple, carnival date night, date night ideas, cotton candy, carnival lollipop, cotton candy pina colada,

As a child, I remember my Mom’s favorite carnival food was funnel cakes. She could not leave without it! You really can’t have a carnival theme without funnel cakes. Brandon also likes beignets so I knew they were a necessity for my date night at home. So, I made funnel cakes for the first time just for the man I love. They actually turned out well. There may be a little leftover for the kids to snack on.

Cause’ let’s be honest, the kids come up at least once on date night. Am I right?

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funnel cake, turkey legs, candy apple, carnival date night, date night ideas, cotton candy, carnival lollipop, cotton candy pina colada,

One other food that is synonymous with carnivals is turkey legs. Yes, those big, juicy, meaty turkey legs! I actually found some turkey legs at my local grocery store and cooked them for my date night at home. Season them with season all and Italian seasoning, then bake them for 1 – 1 1/2 hours (depending on size). I used yellow paper bags and twine to style with my carnival theme. You could also use wax or kraft paper.

funnel cake, turkey legs, candy apple, carnival date night, date night ideas, cotton candy, carnival lollipop, cotton candy pina colada,

funnel cake, turkey legs, candy apple, carnival date night, date night ideas, cotton candy, carnival lollipop, cotton candy pina colada,

funnel cake, turkey legs, candy apple, carnival date night, date night ideas, cotton candy, carnival lollipop, cotton candy pina colada,

Cotton candy is a favorite carnival food and on this night we don’t have to share with the kids. I took the cotton candy approach a step further and made Cotton Candy Pinã Coladas. They are super easy to make. You can make a basic Pinã Colada with pineapple juice, cream of coconut, rum and ice.  To change the colors, I used grenadine syrup and blue curacao. For garnish, I added a carnival lollipop and a paper straw. Now, it’s starting to look like date night.

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funnel cake, turkey legs, candy apple, carnival date night, date night ideas, cotton candy, carnival lollipop, cotton candy pina colada,

Don’t forget the popcorn!

funnel cake, turkey legs, candy apple, carnival date night, date night ideas, cotton candy, carnival lollipop, cotton candy pina colada,

funnel cake, turkey legs, candy apple, carnival date night, date night ideas, cotton candy, carnival lollipop, cotton candy pina colada,

funnel cake, turkey legs, candy apple, carnival date night, date night ideas, cotton candy, carnival lollipop, cotton candy pina colada,

I surely hope that I’ve inspired you to get creative with date night. Even if you’re at home, there are a ton of ways to spend quality time with your mate. Look for ways to have fun, laugh, and enjoy each other’s company. That was my idea with this carnival theme. Do you think I accomplished my goal? 

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If you really enjoyed having some fresh date night at home ideas, then I’ve got you covered. This post is in collaboration with 4 other bloggers who have other fresh ideas for those date nights at home. Next up in the lineup for this awesome blogger collaboration is Arie, of Delightfully Styled . She will keep our sweet tooth active when she shares some cutting board dessert ideas. I can’t wait! Special thanks to everyone for their participation!

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Here’s the full lineup for Date Night at Home:

October 25, 2017 – Crystal @ The Holliday Collective

October 26 , 2017 – Arie @ Delightfully Styled

October 27, 2017 – Nicole @ SheDoesaBunch

October 28, 2017 – Nailil @ Thirty Minus One

October 29, 2017 – Lauren @ Life With L Nicole

Let me know in the comments what you think of carnival date night? I’d love to know your favorite carnival foods or what you think you could re-create at home with this theme.

-Crystal 

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Comments

    • Nicole
    • October 26, 2017
    Reply

    A date night with candy apples involved?!? Yes please!! I love how you made this date night so different, but so much fun! Great job Crystal!!

    1. Reply

      Yes, girl…candy apples! Yum! They are okay every now and then right? Ha! Thanks for your comment! Come back soon!

    • Lauren
    • October 26, 2017
    Reply

    Omg! I can’t wait to try this carnival theme date night. Thanks for the awesome ideas

    1. Reply

      Thanks for your sweet comment Lauren! I really appreciate it! It was fun to create.

    • Nailil
    • October 26, 2017
    Reply

    Crystal, this carnival themed date night came out perfect. I love all the details and how they really brought the carnival to your home and date night. I love cotton candy, so those I will be making those piña coladas.

    1. Reply

      Yes, you have to try the cotton candy pinã coladas. I’ll be sharing the full recipe soon! It’s really easy though. My best!

    • Arie
    • October 25, 2017
    Reply

    Ok, I’m all over this date night as a carnival or fair night. I mean I am taken away by all the cute, fun stuff that you threw together. You see these are the fun ideas that I need in my arsenal, that will bring things together for my hubby and I. There is one more thing that we love at carnivals, or fairs and that is roasted corn with hot butter, lemon pepper, and sour cream (so fattening) 🙂 Awesome job beauty!!!

    1. Reply

      Arie, You gotta love the corn, right? Ha! Thanks for sharing your favorite carnival snacks. We have to keep things fun and keep working on our marriage. My best!

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About Me

I'm Crystal and I write.

I'm Crystal and I write.

I'm a Louisiana native who loves to style food and drinks, take photographs of non-moving things, and I'm also a Houzz Writer. Family and life keep me busy but that's the way I like it.
I'm Crystal and I write.