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Scheduling regular date nights for couples is essential to keeping that romantic spark alive. But unfortunately, it’s all too easy for this activity to become a little stale. Kick things up a notch with these fun and inexpensive stay-at-home date night ideas and enjoy a wonderful evening you won’t soon forget.

1. Cook Up Some Romance

Is there anything more romantic than cooking pasta with your boo or beau? Turn up some tunes and sing along as you chop, stir, and simmer with this Pasta Bolognese recipe. Enjoying a Lady and the Tramp moment is highly encouraged.

2. Enjoy a Movie Marathon

Snuggle up on the sofa for a movie night. Choose a theme, like your favorite series or all your beloved childhood films. Pop some popcorn, and pick up those theater-style candy boxes, too. Turn off all the lights and silence your cell phones like you would at the theater.

Kick it up a notch: Set up a sheet and projector on the patio for a movie night beneath the stars.

3. Have a Paint Date

What better way to enjoy a stay-at-home date night than by creating art with your significant other in an intimate setting? Order a twist-at-home paint kit, break out the bubbly, and trigger that oxytocin hormone for the ultimate night in!

Date Night Painting

4. Organize a Candlelight (Takeout) Dinner

Candles can make any dinner-for-two one of the most romantic ideas for a stay-at-home date. Enjoy a cozy night in by ordering takeout from the best steakhouse in town or that little French place you’ve always wanted to try. Lay out a white tablecloth, pull out your fancy dinnerware, and light a few candles to set the mood. Get dressed in your best like you would for a date night out.

Kick it up a notch: Tie in something meaningful, like picking up dessert from the place you had your first date or opening a bottle of the wine you served at your wedding.

5. Game Night

A little competition is healthy for a relationship, right? Challenge your partner and plan a big prize! The winner gets a massage or no dish duty for a week! Here are a few games to get the romantic rivalry brewing:

Rummy

Speed

Checkers

Scrabble

Twister

Jenga

Battleship

6. Tasting for Two

Bring the booze to you! Set up a tasting for wine, whiskey, beer — whatever tickles your fancy. And if you’d prefer an alcohol-free tasting, try chocolates, olive oils, balsamic vinegars, or coffees! Do a little research to learn more about your tasting options in advance. The best part — you can add this to your list of cheap stay-at-home date night ideas since you’ll save some cash by forfeiting pricey wineries, breweries, or distilleries.

Kick it up a notch: Add in pairings, like wine with chocolate, beer & popcorn, or olive oils & bread.

7. Cozy Campout

No need to venture out into the wilderness for this date-night idea! Just pitch a tent in your backyard or build a comfy fort indoors! But before cozying up in your sleeping bags, be sure to pull out all the stops! Go for a “hike” around your neighborhood, cook hotdogs, roast s’mores in the oven (yum!), and tell stories while gazing at the stars.

Kick it up a notch: Ghost stories are always a good idea when camping, but change the genre to romance by re-telling the story of how you met, your first date, your wedding day, etc.

8. The Happiest Hour

Have fun mixing up your own signature cocktails! Create one for each of you — and maybe one as a couple, too. Become an amateur mixologist for the night as you look up how-to videos and stir the night away! And if the weather is nice, sip your signature drinks on the patio for an al fresco date. But don’t forget the appetizers — chips and guac are always a great idea!

Homemade Guacamole:

2 avocados

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp ancho chile powder

1-2 T lime juice

1/2 white or yellow onion, finely chopped

1/4 c cilantro, roughly chopped

Coarse salt, to taste

Cut avocado in half, remove the pit, and chop into quarters. In a bowl, mash the avocado with a fork. Mix in pepper and chile powder, followed by the chopped onion and lime juice. Add salt to taste. Mix in cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips.

9. A Perfect Picnic

If the weather is nice, spread out a blanket in the front yard and sip on iced tea or a glass of rosé. You can dine on anything you like, from Chinese takeout and pasta salad to cheese and crackers. Time it just right so you can watch the sunset together.

Build a Charcuterie Board:

1 cured meats (salami, soppressata, prosciutto, capocollo, summer sausage)

1 soft cheese (brie, camembert, goat cheese)

1 hard cheese (white cheddar, smoked gouda, beemster)

2 fruits (grapes, pears, apples, blackberries, dried apricots)

Mixed nuts

Olives

Crackers

Baguette

10. Dancing the Night Away

Forget about your two left feet and cut loose! Bust a move on your own, or try online dance lessons for couples. Move the furniture to create your dance floor, and have a blast learning to salsa, waltz, or two-step!

Kick it up a notch: Create a playlist of your favorite and most meaningful songs together for your personal dance party.

Whether you cook up a gourmet meal or create fun art together with a Twist at Home Paint Kit, these activities for two are sure to combat date-night fatigue! And when you want to get out of the house, try a couples’ night event at your local Painting with a Twist for a romantic date night out!

Practicing mindfulness, or becoming more conscious of your daily thoughts and emotions, can help ease anxiety, depression, and so much more. Explore these mindfulness arts and crafts practices that you can do solo or with others, and begin your journey to leading a more mindful and fulfilling lifestyle.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is an intentional act (usually meditation), where you work to reduce inner chatter and obsessive thoughts by bringing your attention to the present moment. If you focus on your feelings and actions without judgment, practicing mindfulness can bring you closer to a calm and relaxing state.

Each day, our thoughts are focused on stressful things like work projects, corralling the children from point a to point b, and things that we often have no control over. That’s why it’s essential to find ways to destress when you feel overwhelmed. And mindfulness art activities are a great place to start.

What are the Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness

According to the American Psychological Association, practicing mindfulness can help to relieve certain ailments, alleviate depression, and more. By committing to and nurturing yourself, you may experience amazing benefits like:

Increased memory capacity and concentration

Lower levels of anxiety and stress

Better emotion regulation

Stronger capacity for suppressing distracting thoughts or information

Increased immune system efficiency

Better overall well-being

And these are just a few of the advantages! Aim to practice mindfulness every day for about six months. Over time, you might find that mindfulness becomes easier.

Mindfulness Activities to Try

Play with Clay

Hone in on the nostalgia of playing with moldable dough, and grab yourself some clay with this mindfulness craft activity. Put on relaxing music, and create something that brings you joy — whether it’s your pet, small birds, or even a large tree.

Be sure to treat this process with a gentle nature, and refrain from getting too caught up in the details. It doesn’t have to be perfect! The best part — this particular craft can be used as mindfulness activities for kids and groups, so you can enjoy peace of mind with the entire family! And if you’d like to take it one step further, grab some paint, and make it a mindfulness painting activity, too!

Grab an Adult Coloring Book

Break out the adult coloring books and colored pencils you never seem to get to, and give yourself permission to color outside the lines. Enjoy the activity as your hands graze upon the page, and focus your intention on making this image your very own.

Draw the Sound

Choose music that fluctuates in emotion and draw to the sound! The best genres for this activity are classical and jazz, as they typically portray various emotions in a single track. Use your pencil to convey what you feel on a large sheet of paper. During the process, you may just pinpoint emotions you’ve never had time to acknowledge before.

Write or Draw in Nature

Engaging your senses in nature is incredibly beneficial. Visit your local park or pull out a lawn chair in your backyard, and observe the world around you with a pencil in hand. Draw inspiration from trees, children playing, flowers, fountains, or anything else that you feel drawn to. Then, write or draw to the sound of your own beat. Doing this activity can help you become more strongly fixed in the present.

Create Your Perfect Day

Whether you opt for the collage-style option or decide to write in a journal, have fun with this craft for mindfulness. Take a moment to close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and visualize your perfect day. While doing so, ensure that you’re not limiting yourself to what feels possible or unlikely. Let your imagination run wild!

If you choose to do this on a collage, pull photos from magazines or draw images that correlate with your ideal day. If you decide to write this out, make sure to use plenty of adjectives to truly describe every sense and emotion.

Join a Zen Painting Event at Painting with a Twist

Mindful painting can provide many benefits — from stress reduction and increased positive thinking to mood elevation and more. And with Painting with a Twist’s Zen Collection events, you’ll create your own tranquil painting while you relax with soothing music and experience some guided meditation and breathing exercises to help calm your spirit and mind. Find a zen event at your local studio, and get one step closer to reducing that inner chatter.

Zen Painting Event

You’ve finally carved out time for a date with your mom crew, and it’s time to let your hair down for a night on the town! Child-free excursions are few and far between, so get ready to make the most of your evening. Skip the standard movie nights, leave the kids’ snacks at home, and take advantage of this rare opportunity with these fun and exciting moms’-night-out ideas.

1. Dance the night away at a concert

There’s nothing quite like letting loose and dancing to live music with a couple of your closest friends. If your favorite musical artist is coming to town, you’ve got the perfect excuse for a moms’ night out. Put on your dancing shoes and savor the chance to ditch the Baby Shark song for… well, anything else!

2. Let off some steam with axe throwing

For the mom squads who like a good adrenaline rush, axe throwing might be the perfect activity. This out-of-the-box pastime used to be exclusive to lumberjack competitions, but now you can find axe-throwing locations in most cities! Don your coziest flannels and stretch out those arms for this terrifically edgy experience.

3. Enjoy some arts & crafts (adult style!) with Painting with a Twist

It’s always fun to get a little artsy. But let’s be real, it’s best when the kids can’t make a massive mess, and you aren’t in charge of cleaning up. At Painting with a Twist, you and your girlfriends can enjoy an adult beverage (or two!), jam out to some music while following along with one of our instructors as you create your own art. Book your seats or a private party at your local studio or stay in for the night with Twist at Home Paint Kits!

Moms Night Out

4. Channel your inner Julia Child with a cooking class

It’s mom’s night off from making dinosaur chicken nuggets and mac & cheese, so why not indulge in something a bit more sophisticated? Book a class at a local culinary school or restaurant, and cook up some memories during your night out with friends. Taking a cooking class together is a great way to stay connected with your busy girl squad. So, heat up the kitchen and bond with your crew with this fantastic activity!

5. Check out the local comedy scene at an improv or stand-up show

Your city likely offers things to do for ladies’ night that you’ve never considered. In the mood for a laugh? Find a local comedy club and grab tickets to a show! Hopefully, you’ll see some SNL-level sketch comedy or a stand-up star on the rise. And if your local comedians are a bit more amateur, you’ll just have a different reason to laugh!

6. Pamper yourselves with a blowout and fancy dinner

For busy moms, taking a shower without little hands pounding on the bathroom door can be a real treat. That’s why this is one of the most fun ladies’ night out ideas! Book blowouts at your local salon, and make reservations at that fancy and extremely kid-unfriendly restaurant you’ve been wanting to check out. Amazing hair and an amazing meal – is there anything better?

7. Throw it back to the good old days with a sleepover party

There doesn’t have to be a curfew on mom’s night off. If you’re searching for free moms’ night out ideas, consider hosting a sleepover! Invite your mom crew over for a wine-down slumber party, complete with your coziest pajamas and favorite rom-coms. Who says sleepovers are for children? There’s something magical about having a heart-to-heart with your closest confidantes before drifting off to sleep.

Mom’s night out is truly sacred, and you deserve to make it something special. What better way to ensure your evening is a guaranteed blast than by booking a private event at your local Painting with a Twist studio? Make lasting memories and masterpieces to symbolize that one child and spouse-free night with your much-deserving mom crew!

Spring is here, and you’re ready to get out of the house and escape the mundane! If you and your partner are itching for breathtaking views and scenic locales, it’s time to plan a “baecation!” Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary or just looking to escape the daily grind, check out these fantastic baecation destinations for a relaxing time with your boo.

What’s the Meaning of “Baecation,” Anyway?

Simply put, a baecation is a romantic vacation with your significant other. And since fitting date night into your busy schedules can prove challenging, enjoying an intimate getaway may be just the thing you need to fan the flames of your relationship!

So, what are the best places for a baecation? Read on to get inspired and choose the perfect destination for you and your boo.

The Best Baecation Spots for Adventurous Couples

1. Yosemite National Park, California

You and your partner want a baecation destination full of exploration and adventure. The answer — Yosemite National Park! With countless waterfalls, spectacular views, and all the lush hiking trails you could ever need, you’re sure to reconnect with your partner — and nature — at this gem of a national park.

2. Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

You’ve seen your share of soaring mountaintops, but you’re ready for something new. Why not go underground, and explore mystical caves and caverns, instead!

And if you’re looking for inexpensive baecation ideas, Mammoth Cave can help. Springtime is often their cheapest time of year, and you’ll also enjoy cool, relaxing temperatures since summer’s humidity doesn’t arrive until June. You can also extend your baecation by visiting Nashville or Louisville while you’re in the area. Both are a short drive from the park and offer food, music, and art scenes for an overall romantic experience.

The Best Places for a Baecation Full of Romance

3. Charleston, South Carolina

If you’re dreaming of old-fashioned charm and relaxed beach vibes, Charleston, South Carolina, can give you both. Enjoy gorgeous plantations (and their gardens, in full bloom!) by day, then take a sunset boat cruise from Charleston Harbor to wind down for the evening in style. Check out the Nathaniel Russell House or Middleton Place for historic tours — the rich history of this southern city only adds to the romantic vibes on your baecation!

4. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

There’s a reason all your favorite romance novels are set in Cape Cod! Slow down and enjoy each other’s company with a romantic baecation to this beachfront locale. Take in some spring sunshine on any of the area’s beaches, or get adventurous with a trip to a lighthouse. Highland Light, Nobska Point, and Chatham Lighthouses are all well-loved spots. Don’t forget to enjoy a romantic seafood dinner over a nice bottle of wine!

Inexpensive Baecation Ideas for Homebodies

If the thought of travel logistics has you in a chill, at-home baecation mood instead, you’re in luck! Your local Painting with a Twist Studio has everything you need for the perfect staycation. All you need is your boo, a bottle of wine, and a Couple’s Paint Night event! We’ll take care of the supplies, instructions, and positive vibes. Find a Couple’s Paint Night event near you, and get ready to make picture-perfect memories with the one you love.

Spring is the time for new beginnings — and there’s no better way to begin anew than by finding yourself a new hobby! You don’t have to invest loads of time or money in finding something you love. In fact, some of the best hobbies to pick up this spring are inexpensive (or even free!). Check out these low-commitment spring hobbies you can enjoy on any budget.

Fun Spring Activities to Try

Container Gardening

Gardening is one of the best activities to do in the spring season! But if you don’t have a backyard for a massive garden or the time to care for one, that doesn’t mean you can’t test out your green thumb.

Container gardens are an easy way to grow herbs, vegetables, or flowers in a small space — like an apartment balcony or your front porch. Peppers, tomatoes, and cooking herbs are a great place to start if you want to grow your own food. Try your luck at starting plants from seeds or purchase plants that have already sprouted to increase your chances of success.

Reading

Maybe you were a reader as a kid but haven’t taken the time to read for pleasure lately. Or, perhaps you’ve never been a bookworm, but you want to learn a new skill or broaden your horizons. Either way, reading can be one of the best hobbies to pick up any time of year! A library card is usually free (or very cheap). Grab a book, find a local park with plenty of sunshine, and get lost in a storyline!

Knitting or Crochet

With the weather warming up, we’ll admit that making sweaters isn’t the first thing on anyone’s mind right now. But who says yarn crafting can’t be on your list of fun spring activities? Look at it this way — if you learn to knit now, you’ll have the rest of the year to make some awesome holiday gifts for your loved ones. For around $10, you can pick up yarn and needles from a local craft store, then consult YouTube for tutorials on how to get started.

Yoga

We’ve all been there — winter has taken its toll on your mental health, and now you’re ready to venture out for some fun springtime activities. Yoga fits the bill! With free yoga videos from resources like Yoga with Adriene, you can try yoga without having to drop serious cash on studio classes. No mat? No problem. Just use a towel or a carpeted floor, and get your zen on. Better yet, take your practice outside and enjoy the mood-lifting spring air! Or combine relaxation techniques with painting at a Painting with a Twist Zen Event!

Painting at Painting with a Twist!

Spring has so much to offer in the way of bright colors and lovely sunshine. Sure, you could take up photography to capture the beauty of the changing seasons, but that can get pricey. Instead, try putting your spin on a springtime scene with paint and a canvas!

For much less than the cost of a fancy camera, capture some springtime magic and make memories at a painting event. At Painting with a Twist, we’ll provide all the supplies you need and even give you step-by-step instructions during your painting event, so there’s no pressure when picking up your paintbrush — or your new hobby! Relax and enjoy the spring vibes with friends and some wine at a painting event near you.

spring painting

Mother’s Day celebrates the moms and maternal figures in our lives. Not only do we show them appreciation throughout the year, but we use this particular holiday to really drive our love and adoration home.

Instead of opting for the great, yet repetitive methods of celebration (i.e., brunch at overcrowded restaurants and movie dates), why not present them with the gift of a unique experience? If you really want to know how to surprise your mom this year, use these fabulous ideas!

1. Sample Wine at a Vineyard

At Painting with a Twist, we believe you can never have too much wine. What better way to hone in on the Moscato and Cab spirit than by taking her to sample the greatest wines your local vineyard has to offer?

Drive out to the countryside, breathe in the sweet aromas of delectable Pinot’s, and before you leave, grab a few of her favorites so she can enjoy them time and again. And if your mom isn’t into the wine scene, try taking her to a local craft brewery or fancy tea tasting instead.

2. Take a Road Trip

Pack up the car, let down the sunroof, and escape away to a marvelous destination! When it comes to fun things to do with your mom, road trips definitely take the cake. You’ll stop and admire the sights, do a little shopping, and most of all, spend quality time while making lasting memories.

From day-long road trips to weekend getaways, your mom is sure to appreciate the new, wild adventure of beautiful sunsets and time spent with her best creation — you! Some excellent spring and summer road trips are:

Pacific Coast Highway

Long Island Wine Trails

Going-to-the-Sun-Road in Montana

Blue Ridge Parkway

Route 66

Texas Hill Country

U.S 1, Florida Keys

3. Take Her on a Picnic Brunch

Want to show your mom how much thought you put into planning the best Mother’s Day ever? Skip long wait times and reservations at jam-packed brunch spots, and put a spin on it this year. Pack up her favorite dishes, grab a few cozy picnic blankets, and enjoy a lovely Sunday afternoon at a nearby park.

4. Volunteer

Not only is your mom passionate about her offspring, but she’s likely to be enthusiastic about various social issues too. Find a volunteer opportunity that suits her beliefs, and get out to join the world of change! Whether it’s volunteering at a local women’s shelter or a Special Olympics event, there’s sure to be a cause that will fill her heart with joy and unyielding gratitude this Mother’s Day.

5. Throw a Party

To truly celebrate the best mother in the world, why not throw a party in her honor? And if you’d like to celebrate all the moms in your life at once, this is a great way to do it! Break out the wine, “Happy Mother’s Day” banners, fancy charcuterie boards, and throw a bash to remember! From backyard paint parties to hosting your own Mother’s Day brunch, the options are endless.

6. Book a Spa Day

A traditional spa day is not to be overlooked this Mother’s day. Help mom relieve some tension and escape the woes of daily life with a relaxing spa trip catered to self-care. Whether you’re funding her new haircut, a relaxing massage, or mani-pedis, this is a great way to make her feel fabulous.

But if you’re on a budget and looking for fun things to do with your mom inside, opt for an at-home spa day. Run her a nice bath with fragrant bath bombs and candles, paint her nails, upgrade her hair-do, and make her a relaxing meal with tasty champagnaritas to seal the deal. She’ll enjoy the time and effort you’ve spent in making her feel like the greatest mother on Earth.

7. Go to a live show

Take mom to enjoy shows with world-class casts for prices within your budget. If she likes a good comedy show, see if her favorite comedian is in town. If she is a woman of the arts, why not take her to a nice play or ballet? Use these ideas on how to surprise your mom with a magnificent live show:

Concerts

Musicals

Plays

Ballets

Comedy

8. Explore the Great Outdoors

If you’re fortunate to have a mom that enjoys being active and escaping to the great outdoors, there’s nowhere near a shortage of fun things to do with your mom. Choose a creative outdoor activity nearby that fits your mom’s personality, and enjoy a day of laughter and glory sweat with the mother of the year. Here are some ideas:

Horseback Riding

Botanical Gardens

Glamping

Hiking

Berry Picking

Kayaking

Paddleboarding

9. Join a Mother’s Day Painting with a Twist Event

When searching for fun things to do with your mom this holiday, there’s nothing better than bringing her to a Mother’s Day Painting with a Twist event! She can let her hair down, paint, sip, and enjoy a beautiful time with you along the way. Join an event near you and take home lasting paintings and memories this Mother’s Day!

Mother's Day Painting Event

According to the at AACAP, kids ages 8-12 spend around four to six hours per day in front of a screen. While online learning is great, too much screen time can take away from other healthy activities. When it comes to helping your kids develop their creative skills and interact directly with the world around them, nothing beats good old-fashioned arts and crafts! Check out these arts and crafts projects you can do right at home to help boost your child’s inner creativity.

Feed the Birds

According to Harvard Medical School, getting outside is a great way to teach your child to appreciate nature, boost their mood, improve their executive functions, and help them socialize. Building a bird feeder is a great, cheap arts and crafts idea for kids. With just a few items, they can reap all the benefits of being outdoors while also learning about the wildlife in your area. To help attract these beautiful creatures to your garden, all you’ll need is:

A bagel

Yarn

Peanut butter

Birdseed

To create your crafty bird feeder, cut the bagel in half, spread the inside with peanut butter, and then dip in the birdseed. Next, string a piece of yarn through the bagel’s center, and voila! You’ve got your very own feeder. Venture out into the garden with your child, find a fence post or tree branch to hang it from, and then watch as the birds flock to your garden.

Learn about American History

History is a crucial part of any child’s education, and this project is a low-mess way to supplement your at-home American history lessons. With just a few simple items that are on almost any arts and crafts supply list, you and your kid can create your very own American flag. You’ll need:

A sheet of paper

White crayons

Masking tape

Watercolors

Place your paper in landscape orientation, and draw a pencil outline of a square in the top left corner — this is where you’ll place the blue field of stars. Next, take your white crayon and press hard within your square to create each star.

Lay your masking tape in horizontal lines across your paper to create the white stripes of your flag. Use blue watercolors to paint within the square outline on top of your white crayon stars, and use red to paint between your masking tape. Let it dry, and then remove the tape.

You now have your very own American flag! Get your child to write the pledge of allegiance on the back to complete the lesson, and hang it up in your home classroom.

Get Familiar with the Globe

If you’re looking for a fun homeschool idea that lets your kids get a bit messy and learn about the world, a paper maché globe might be just the thing. Check out The Crafty Classroom’s guide to putting your globe together. You’ll just need a few things to help your child learn about the oceans and continents:

A paper maché recipe

Newspaper

Mixing bowl

Paint

Paintbrushes

Incorporate this homeschool art class idea into your next geography lesson, and keep it in the home classroom to refer to anytime you learn about a new country or culture.

Painting with a Twist At-Home Painting Event

As a parent, planning arts and crafts to help with your child’s development may be a fun way to engage in their education. But sometimes, you might want to have a project that’s fully planned and ready to go.

If you’re looking for an easy, at-home arts and crafts project you can do with the kids, purchase a Twist at Home kit. Pick up all the supplies you and your little one need to get craft right at home! Choose your Twist at Home art from your local Painting with a Twist studio, and get ready to paint!

Ready to take your date night at home to the next level? Spice things up this spring with these seasonally inspired recipes that are both healthy AND delicious! You just might prefer to stay in for dinner from now on.

1. Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken

A whole chicken? You can do it! Lemon and herb roasted chicken seems fancy, but it’s actually pretty simple — exactly what you want when looking for healthy dinner recipes for date night. Dining by candlelight is encouraged.

1 whole chicken (about 4 ½ lb)

4 T unsalted butter, room temperature

3 lemons, halved

½ bunch thyme

½ bunch rosemary

Salt

Black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a roasting rack on top. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the outside of the chicken with the softened butter, and stuff the inside with the lemon halves and recommended herbs — season with salt and pepper. Tie the legs of the chicken together with trussing twine and cut the excess string.

Transfer the chicken to the prepared roasting rack and roast until the skin is golden brown — approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375°F and continue roasting until the chicken is cooked throughout — the meat thermometer should read 165°F. Let the chicken rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving and serving.

Serve with: Garlic roasted potatoes and a big garden salad.
Pair with: Grenache Blanc or a gin and tonic.
Finish with: Try this 5-Minute Chocolate Pudding or a sweet and simple strawberry shortcake.

2. Steak au Poivre with Cognac Pan Sauce

Are you looking for a fancy-feeling recipe that takes the cake on best easy date night recipes? Then it’s time for steak night! Dress to the nines and don the table with a white cloth to bring that upscale steakhouse vibe into your home.

2 tenderloin steaks, 4-6 oz about 1 ½ in thick

2 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

2 T unsalted butter

1 tsp olive oil

1 shallot, sliced

1 c heavy cream

½ c cognac or brandy

¼ c chicken stock

Pat steaks dry with a paper towel and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Generously sprinkle both sides with salt and black pepper, and heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add olive oil and 1 T butter and coat the bottom of the pan as it melts. Carefully place the steaks into the cast-iron skillet. Sear for about 3-4 minutes on each side for medium-rare, adding the second tablespoon of butter when you flip the steaks. When done, remove the steaks from the skillet and let rest.

Turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the shallots and cook until translucent. Slowly pour in the cognac while scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Stir in heavy cream and chicken stock. Bring to a low boil to thicken, about 5 minutes. Plate the steaks and drizzle with the pan sauce.

Serve with: Easy oven-roasted asparagus.
Pair with: A classic old-fashioned or bold Cabernet Sauvignon.
Finish with: Speaking of taking the cake… how about Minimalist Baker’s 1-Bowl Vegan Chocolate Cake or just a go-to classic chocolate cake for dessert?

3. Crispy Skillet Salmon with Lemon-Caper Dill Sauce

If you can believe it, this indulgent fish recipe by the Roasted Root is Paleo, Keto, and Whole30 friendly — plus low-carb, gluten-free, and dairy-free — so you can go back for seconds guilt-free. It will be the perfect addition to your list of easy healthy date night recipes.

Salmon:

2 ½ lb salmon fillets

1-2 T avocado or olive oil

1 tsp ground paprika

2 tsp dried dill

¼ tsp sea salt

Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce:

1 c full-fat canned coconut milk

2 tsp lemon zest

2 T lemon juice, to taste

3 T capers

2 tsp dried dill

Heat the oil in a large cast-iron or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until hot.

Rinse the salmon filets and pat dry with a paper towel — season with sea salt, dill, and paprika. Place salmon fillets flesh side down, pressing them lightly, so the entire surface comes into contact with the pan. Sear for 3-4 minutes, until crispy and golden. Flip salmon and sear on the other side for 2-3 minutes. Flip the salmon again and cook another 1-2 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, lemon zest, lemon juice, capers, and dill to the pan. Cook until salmon reaches desired done-ness and sauce thickens, about 3-4 minutes. Add salt and/or more lemon juice to taste.

Serve with: This roasted broccoli comes with a little kick thanks to red pepper flakes.
Pair with: A dry Chardonnay or light lager.
Finish with: How about a guilt-free dessert, too? This pretty pink strawberry cake recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and totally delicious!

4. Spring Pea Risotto

Get creative in the kitchen with a next-level dish: risotto! It totally holds up as a main dish. Then keep the creativity flowing after dinner with a Twist at Home at-home painting kit. Best date night ever!

1 cloves garlic, minced

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 c arborio rice

2 c frozen peas, thawed

1 ½ c white cooking wine

2 ½ c chicken broth

1-2 T butter

Olive oil

Cook peas with 1 T butter and set aside. Warm chicken broth in a saucepan over medium-low heat. In a separate pot, heat 1 T olive oil on low. Add in the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent.

Toss in the rice, stirring constantly until rice is coated in the oil. Pour in the white wine and continue to stir. When absorbed, add in 1 cup of the warm broth and stir again. Continue to add broth and stir as the liquid is absorbed — this will probably take about 25 minutes. You may not use all of the broth. The rice should be sticky but al dente (soft at first and firm on the inside). When rice is cooked, stir in the peas. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with: A steak or herby chicken.
Pair with: A glass of Pinot Noir or Voignier.
Finish with: A batch of Lemon Thyme Coin Cookies or healthy lemon bars would be delightful dessert options.

5. Honey Dijon Pork Tenderloin

This recipe from Food52 takes a little planning ahead to marinate the pork, but the overall execution is a breeze — and the payoff is delicious! It may just become one of your favorite easy date night dinner recipes.

1 pork tenderloin

2 T Dijon mustard

2 T honey

1 T whole grain mustard

1 T soy sauce

½ lemon

1 sprig rosemary, stem removed and chopped

Salt

Black pepper

In a large resealable bag, combine both mustards, honey, soy sauce, lemon juice, and rosemary. Seal the bag and shake to combine.

Rinse the meat in cold water, pat dry, and place it into the marinade bag. Squeeze the air out and spread the marinade all over the pork. Marinate the pork in the fridge for 3 hours minimum or overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.

Preheat oven to 400° F. Remove the pork tenderloin from the marinade and season all sides with kosher salt and pepper.

Heat a large, oven-proof sauté pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil, and sear each side of the tenderloin until golden and crusty — total 10 minutes. Put the pan into the oven and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the meat thermometer reads 137° F.

Remove from the pan, place on a cutting board, cover with foil, and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Carve into diagonal pork medallions for serving. Serve with any of the tasty juices that escaped while carving.

Serve with: A side of super-simple sautéed green beans.
Pair with: A light-bodied Pinot Noir or mix up a Greyhound with a sprig of rosemary.
Finish with: Hummingbird Cake or vegan Blueberry Pie Bars would be the perfect end to the perfect date night.

6. Arugula Pesto Pasta

This recipe is rich, flavorful, and packed with a healthy seasonal green — and it might just be the most photogenic pasta you’ve ever seen (hello, date night Insta post). Swing by your local farmer’s market for the freshest arugula. Feel free to sub the suggested pasta with a gluten-free option, whole wheat variety, or even cauliflower gnocchi.

2 c fresh arugula

½ c fresh basil

½ c shaved parmesan

½ c walnuts, toasted

¼ – ½ c olive oil

2 T lemon juice

2 cloves garlic

½ tsp salt

8 oz cooked tagliatelle or pappardelle pasta

Black pepper, fresh basil leaves, and parmesan for garnish

To toast the walnuts, preheat the oven to 300° F. Spread nuts on a rimmed sheet pan and bake for about 5-7 minutes until lightly browned — keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn. Let cool.

Cook the pasta. When al dente, remove ½ cup pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta (don’t rinse), and set it aside.

Blend toasted walnuts, arugula, basil, parmesan, lemon juice, garlic, and salt with ¼ c olive oil in a food processor. Add more olive oil if the mixture is too dry. Blend until pesto is smooth.

Pour the prepared pesto into a large skillet over medium-low heat. Toss the freshly cooked pasta into the pan plus 1 T pasta water and coat with the pesto. Cook until warm throughout. Serve in bowls and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Top with black pepper, fresh basil leaves, and more parmesan.

Serve with: A fish or crusty bread with olive oil.
Pair with: Pinot Grigio or a dry rosé.
Finish with: Keep dessert simple with your favorite store-bought gelato—or maybe go out for some at your favorite local place.

7. Spring Roll Bowls

Want a recipe that’s fresh, bright, colorful, and healthy? The Spring Roll Bowl below, or this variation from Pinch of Yum with a garlic lime sauce, are two yummy and healthy date night dinner recipes. It’s also quick and easy so that you can continue your date at a Painting with a Twist event.

Peanut Sauce:

2 T natural creamy peanut butter

1 T lime juice

1 T pure maple syrup

1 T fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

1 clove garlic, minced

Sea salt

Black pepper

Bowls:

4 oz brown rice noodles

1 c fresh snow peas, halved

? c frozen edamame

½ c carrot, coarsely shredded

½ cucumber, cut into bite-size strips

2 T radishes, sliced

To make the peanut sauce, grab a small bowl and whisk together peanut butter, lime juice, maple syrup, cilantro, ginger, and garlic. Gradually stir in 2 T water until the sauce is the consistency of maple syrup — season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Cook noodles according to package directions. Rinse well with cold water and drain. Cook edamame according to package directions. Divide noodles between two bowls, and add edamame, snow peas, cucumber, carrot, and radishes to each. Drizzle peanut sauce evenly over bowls.

Top with crushed peanuts, sliced jalapeño peppers, sliced green onions, fresh cilantro, and a spritz of lime juice.

Pair with: A mojito or Gewürztraminer.
Finish with: Satisfy your sweet tooth and stay healthy, too! Love and Lemons’ carrot cake recipe or this vegan coconut tapioca pudding should do the trick.

8. Chicken-Salad Salad

Grab a blanket, pack up this meal in a basket, along with a couple more springtime recipes like fruit or pasta salad, and have your date night picnic-style. This dressing feels indulgent but calls for honey and Greek yogurt to keep it on the healthy side — and the recipe is packed with nutritional fruits and nuts.

Salad:

10 oz mixed greens, such as spring mix

12-16 oz chicken salad, prepared or homemade

½ c strawberries, hulled and sliced

¼ c red grapes, halved

½ c mandarin orange wedges, drained and dried

¼ c candied pecans

Poppyseed dressing

Poppyseed Dressing:

¼ c white wine vinegar

¼ c plain Greek yogurt

2 T honey

½ T poppy seeds

1 tsp ground mustard or Dijon

¼ tsp salt

Combine all ingredients. Adjust to taste.

Toss mixed greens in poppyseed dressing. Top with a heaping scoop of chicken salad, strawberries, and pecans.

Pair with: Prosecco or a sparkling rosé.
Finish with: Don’t forget dessert! Make it something easy to transport, like white chocolate chip blondies or these Healthy Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats by Ambitious Kitchen.

9. Green Goddess Spring Salad

This super springy salad should be at the top of every list of healthy springtime dinner recipes. Go vegetarian or add a protein like seared tuna or sautéed shrimp.

Green Goddess Dressing:

1 avocado, pitted and flesh scooped

1 lime, juiced

2 tablespoon light tahini

2 tablespoon olive oil

Large handful of fresh basil

1 teaspoon miso paste

Salt & pepper, to taste

Water, to thin

Salad:

2 heads butter lettuce

1 head of broccoli, chopped into florets

1 c fresh green peas (can also use frozen)

1 red beet, peeled

2 T sesame seeds

2 T pumpkin seeds

1 c sprouts

For the dressing:

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Chill until ready to serve.

To prepare the salad:

Boil the peas in a pot of salted water for 5-8 minutes, adding the broccoli for the final 3 minutes until both are tender and bright green. Drain and place into a large bowl with ice and water to stop the cooking.

Remove and discard the outer leaves of the lettuce. Chop remaining leaves into bite-size pieces, rinse and dry. Set aside in a large bowl. Slice the beet and place in the bowl with the lettuce. Drain the peas and broccoli and add to the bowl as well. Pour over the dressing and toss to coat.

Pair with: A Sauvignon Blanc or Moscow Mule.
Finish with: A Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble or this No-Bake Cheesecake will end your date night on a sweet note.

10. Homemade Spinach-Artichoke Pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza? It’s even better (and more fun) when you make it together! Spinach and artichoke is a delicious springtime combo, but feel free to choose whatever toppings you like — the dough will make two 12-inch pizzas, so you can even each make your own (no fighting over spinach-artichoke versus pepperoni!). Keep things casual by ending the evening with an at-home movie night.

Dough:

2 c all-purpose flour (or more)

1 tsp sugar

¾ tsp salt

3 T olive oil

2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast + ¾ c warm water

Toppings:

10 oz fresh baby spinach

10 oz artichoke hearts

1 shallot, sliced

4-6 oz whole-milk ricotta

1 oz shaved parmesan

1 tsp red pepper flakes

½ tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

For the dough:

First, prep the yeast: Stir active dry yeast (1 packet or 2 ¼ tsp) in ¾ cup warm water, then let it stand about 5-7 minutes until dissolved.

Mix 2 c flour, sugar, and salt together. Add yeast mixture and olive oil and combine. Knead the dough using your hands or a stand mixer with a dough hook, adding flour by tablespoon if necessary to reach desired consistency (smooth and slightly sticky).

Brush a large mixing bowl with olive oil and transfer dough to the bowl, turning the dough to lightly coat with oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free area. Let dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

When risen, punch down dough. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put pizza stone (cast-iron skillet or a baking sheet will work, too) in the oven while it is preheating. In the meantime, roll out the dough and top it with your favorite ingredients.

Pro tip: To make transferring the pizza more manageable, roll out the dough on a piece of foil lightly coated in olive oil. Leave the foil under the pizza to bake, removing after about 10 minutes to allow the bottom to get crispy.

To prepare the toppings:

Drain and chop artichoke hearts. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Sautee the shallots until translucent, stirring to keep from sticking. Turn heat down to low and add ¼ c water. Toss in the spinach with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook until just wilted, drain, then set aside.

Spread the ricotta generously on the dough. Top with spinach, shallots, and artichokes. Sprinkle with parmesan.

Remove hot pizza stone from the oven. Slide pizza onto the stone and bake until dough is golden-brown and cooked through — some dark spots on the bottom are OK! Check after about 15-20 minutes and add time if needed. Remove from the oven and let cook for about 3-5 minutes.

Serve with: A big Caesar salad. Pair with a nice Syrah or casual lager.
Finish with: For dessert? Get some of your favorite movie-theater candy to snack on while you snuggle on the sofa.

Boost the Romance with Painting with a Twist

Seasonal ingredients and a deliciously healthy dinner are a great way to elevate your next at-home date night. And after dinner, take things to the next level by joining your local Painting with a Twist studio in a virtual Twist at Home paint and sip event for the ultimate finish to a romantic evening at home OR move your at-home date night to the studio for a memorable date night event!

Spring is the perfect time of year to purge your old decor and give your home a new look! From fresh flowers and spring-themed scented candles to seasonal artwork, you can truly make your space come alive with refreshing, springtime energy. Check out these springtime decorating tips that are sure to give your house a warm-weather makeover.

Let the Light In

Spring home decor ideas are really about savoring the new season, and what’s better than embracing the lighter, brighter days? Open blinds, swap out curtains for a lighter aesthetic and use textured glass vases to catch and reflect the light throughout your home.

Mirrors are another fantastic addition to consider. They function not only as wall hangings but also as spring bathroom decor or even coasters for new house plants. Most importantly, mirrors can bounce springtime light throughout your space to help create a fresher, brighter atmosphere.

Create Space for Seasonal Moments

Springtime vignettes are a simple, affordable way to highlight the season in your home. Introduce potted plants, bright colors, seasonal scented candles with light, bright fragrances like mint or basil, a bud vase of fresh flowers, and some new artwork to anchor the scene.

Not sure what artwork to display? Let Painting with a Twist help you with DIY spring crafts and decor! With springtime decorista kits, you’ll have everything you need to spruce up your sitting room with a bright spring touch. Join an event in-person or at-home today!

spring paintings

Embrace Sun-Kissed Outdoor Décor

Decor doesn’t just need to be for the indoors! Liven up your outdoor space with front porch decor ideas for spring. Add a tulip wreath, a brightly painted flag, or a spring porch leaner to your front entry. Not sure where to start with the DIYs? Painting with a Twist has the perfect spring-themed events for you! With bright sunflowers, rustic welcome signs, or spring bunny designs, there are plenty of front porch leaner options for every home.

Let Spring Colors Hit Your Pallette

The colors of spring are beautiful, and they can be an especially welcome change in your dining spaces! For spring kitchen decor, think about changing up your place settings and bringing more seasonal produce into your meals and tablescapes. And don’t forget to pop a bottle of warm-weather wine like a Torrontes or Vino Verde! Embracing the change of the season in all senses can make the warm weather shift feel like a proper celebration.

Springtime Décor with Painting with a Twist

Redecorating in the springtime doesn’t have to be bland and boring! Whether you need art to liven up a blank wall in the house or you’re looking for a little inspiration, a Painting with a Twist event is the perfect place to start! From beautiful porch leaners to colorful canvas paintings, you’re sure to find an event near you that speaks to your inner springtime decorista.

spring painting

After months of cold temps and being cooped up in the house, the warm spring weather has finally arrived! Birds are chirping, flowers are in bloom, and it’s time to take advantage of all the goodness spring has to offer. Check out our list of must-try springtime outdoor activities to help you stay healthy and happy during this special season.

12 Fun Things to Do In Springtime

By the time spring rolls around, most of us are jumping at the chance to head outside for a bit of fresh air. That’s because there’s really no better feeling than spending hours outdoors after you’ve spent the last few months hunkered down at home.

Check out these twelve fun (and affordable!) things to do in springtime to help you make the most of this time of year.

1.Go for a Bike Ride

A bike ride makes an excellent solo adventure, but it’s also a prime activity to enjoy with a friend or the whole family. Hopping on a bike is a great way to take in your neighborhood from a new perspective or a chance to check out the paved paths around your community.

2. Plan a Picnic

Nothing says springtime quite like planning a picnic for you and a loved one. Regardless of if you picnic at a local park or right in your own backyard, bringing a meal outdoors is the perfect way to soak up the warm weather and share some quality time together.

Picnic

3. Plant a Garden

If you want to snack on homegrown produce all summer long, you’re smart to plant a garden in the spring. Grab your gloves, your trowel, and a few of your favorite seed packets, and savor a quiet weekend digging around in the dirt.

4. Go Camping

Camping is one of the best springtime activities for any avid or aspiring nature lovers. There’s something altogether wonderful about sleeping under the stars, and spring has the ideal climate for setting up camp and roasting a few s’mores.

5. Explore Local Trails

There’s almost nothing better than going for a long walk on a lovely spring day! Take an opportunity to enjoy the extended daylight hours and explore the local walkways near your home or venture out a little further to tackle a hiking trail and marvel at the greenery!

6. Play In the Park

Playing in the park is an inexpensive and accessible way to embrace a warm spring afternoon. Bring along a colorful kite, throw a frisbee with your friends, or tie up a hammock among the trees, and take a quick nap in the shade.

7. Try Outdoor Painting

If you’re interested in springtime art activities, you should try outdoor painting! When you join a Twist at Home painting event at Painting with a Twist, you can create a nature-inspired piece and even set up your materials outside for the ultimate spring experience!

8. Visit a Farmer’s Market

While spring is a fabulous time for growing, it’s also an exciting time to visit your area farmer’s market. After making it through the long winter months, few things taste better than various locally-grown fresh fruits and veggies.

9. Head to the Drive-in

Spending a night at the drive-in is one of the best date night ideas around, and it’s sure to make for a memorable spring evening. But if there’s not a drive-in within close distance to you, you can always host an outdoor movie night right in your backyard!

10. Attend a Live Show

As soon as temperatures start to climb, outdoor concerts and performances become incredibly popular. Bring your lawn chair or your favorite blanket along for the ride, and get ready to take in some awesome entertainment in the warm spring air.

11. Fire Up the Grill

Why waste a gorgeous night hovered over your stove when you could fire up the grill out in the yard? Keep dinner fun by moving things outside and throwing some fresh ingredients or seasonal favorites on the grill.

12. Watch Spring Sports

Even if you’re not the biggest sports enthusiast, there’s nothing quite like catching a baseball game or a soccer match in late spring. The crowd and the food are enough to make for an amazing outing. And you might even become a new fan!

Ring In Springtime at Painting with a Twist

When you join a spring-inspired painting event at Painting with a Twist, you can capture the magic of the season with ease! Sign up for an in-studio event near you, or pop into a Twist at Home virtual event to take your spring painting experience into the great outdoors.

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