August 19, 2015  

Give the gift of pre-planned dates

You know all those times when you need to get a gift for a couple, but you’re just not sure what to get them? This happens to me a lot. Every idea I think of is weighted in favor of one person and I know their spouse won’t be all that excited about it. When I give gifts to couples for weddings and other occasions, I try my best to give them something they can enjoy together…bonus points if it is personalized!

After much brainstorming and deliberation, I created this gift basket of twelve pre-planned dates for my brother and his bride. I filled two cute baskets (from their registry) with all sorts of items that corresponded with twelve date ideas. I had so much fun creating this gift!

First, I’m going to give you a photo tour of the date ideas I included. After the tour, I’ll give you a rundown of how to make your own gift basket of pre-planned dates. And, when you get to the end of this post, you will find a download link for free PDF printables and Silhouette cut files for the gift tags. Feel free to completely replicate my date ideas, or go wild and create your own (leave me a comment and I will even help you write up a clever rhyme to go with your date ideas).

Before we start the tour, a couple things to note: 1) I focused on giving practical items to correspond with each date rather than cutesy things that weren’t actually useful, 2) I worked to keep this gift basket within a reasonable budget so most of the items are very affordable, and 3) enjoy the awesome-sauce rhymes I dreamed up for each gift tag. Alrighty, let’s take a look:

Date 1: Ice Cream Sundaes – fancy looking jars of caramel and fudge ice cream toppings
Pre Planned Date Ice Cream Sundaes

Date 2: Roasting S’mores – Hershey’s chocolate
Pre Planned Date Smores

Date 3: Pumpkin Carving – Stencils of mouths, eyes, noses, and eye brows
Pre Planned Date Pumpkin Carving

Date 4: Game Night – A little book filled with instructions for card games
Pre Planned Date Game Night

Date 5: Christmas Light Tour – A box of hot cocoa
Pre Planned Date Christmas Light Tour

Date 6: Time For Fondue – A fondue recipe and wooden skewers
Pre Planned Date Fondue

Date 7: Movie Night – Boxed candy
Pre Planned Date Movie Night

Date 8: Make Your Own Pizza – A boxed pizza kit with all the necessary ingredients included
Pre Planned Date Pizza Night

Date 9: Let’s Go Bowling (I failed and didn’t end up with a physical item for this tag. So I just tucked it in the basket by its lonesome. My bad.)
Pre Planned Date Bowling

Date 10: Take Family Pictures – A nice picture frame with a gift certificate for a free family photo shoot taken by me
Pre Planned Date Family Photos

Date 11: Enjoy Wine & Cheese – A bottle of wine and two stemless wine glasses
Pre Planned Date Wine And Cheese

Date 12: Couple’s Choice Date Night – A gift certificate for free babysitting while they go on their date
Pre Planned Date Couples Choice

I am so happy with how this gift turned out! I received many compliments from wedding guests, and they were all curious to peek in the baskets and see what the twelve dates were. Do you want to make your own basket of pre-planned gifts? Here’s the easy-peasy steps:

1) Brainstorm – make a list with two columns: one for the date idea, and the second for ideas of objects/items that could go with each date.

2) Finalize The List – read through your list and narrow it down to the top twelve (or however many dates you want to include)

3) Go Shopping – head to the store and pick up the objects/items you need, along with some sort of basket or container that they will fit in

4) Create Gift Tags – make up cute gift tags for each date and attach them to the corresponding item. I used a rustic card stock for my tags and attached them with a thin twine.

5) Arrange The Basket – display everything neatly in the basket. This may take some trial and error to get everything to fit just right. I balled up some tissue paper so give some height to some of the items in the back of the baskets.

I think these gift baskets turned out darling! You could give this same thing for weddings, bridal showers, anniversaries, Christmas, and much more. I did my best to brainstorm a variety of fun date ideas that wouldn’t break the bank. Of course, you could get much more elaborate and include movie passes, concert tickets, and restaurant gift cards if you wanted to give something with a higher dollar value.

All in all, this is a pretty simple gift idea that you can personalize to fit the recipients’ interests. Now, since you’re such amazing readers, I’m giving you a free download of the gift tag files. For those who have a Silhouette, you can download the Silhouette files. For everyone else, you can download the printable pdf and then cut out the gift tags with a scissors or exacto knife.

> Download the Silhouette files

> Download the free printable pdf

P.S. If you decide to create your own dates and need help coming up with cute rhymes, leave me a comment and I’ll help you out. I love writing corny rhymes!!!
Pre Planned Date Nights Gift Basket

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About the author

Emily Counts is the founder of Small Stuff Counts, a home and organization blog she created in 2013. Her goal is to help moms make home life easier so they can create beautiful, organized, and thriving homes. She shares life at home as a mom juggling two young kids and being a working mom with a corporate job. The Iowa-based blogger lives in the suburbs of Des Moines, Iowa, with her husband, two children, and rescue dog. Emily has collaborated with brands including The Container Store, Cricut, Command Brand, Bissell, Sam's Club and Rubbermaid.

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  1. Hey Hun!

    I absolutely love this idea!! <3 The only thing is I don't think I want to do all of those nights. Is there anyway you could e-mail me one that is editable so I would chance the date numbers?

    1. Hey MacKenzie, I cannot provide custom or editable files to you but you’re welcome to use mine as inspiration and recreate your own modified versions. I hope it turns out awesome! Happy gift giving!

  2. Thank you so much! I want to do a “at home movie date night” for my sister-in-laws. But I suck at coming up with cute poems! Help!!

    1. Hi, Priscilla! If you’re still looking for a poem idea, how about this?
      Enjoy a cozy date at home one night,
      Pop the popcorn and turn out the lights.
      Curl up on the couch side by side,
      And watch a movie while the snow falls outside.

  3. love this!!! We are revising it a little (due to budget) calling it the 5 dates of Christmas. We chose these ones for my daughters newlywed youth leaders for a Christmas gift πŸ™‚ Thank you so much!!!

    1. That’s great, Cristina! This will make a great gift for the newlyweds. I love gift baskets like this because they are easy to modify depending on interests and budgets. I hope they enjoy it!

  4. Love this and I am going to make this for my daughters lacrosse basket raffle.
    Just need the words for
    Stargazing date night

    Fly a kite date night

    1. Hi Kimberley, here are a couple ideas for you!

      Enjoy a date night with that boo of yours,
      And head to the park to gaze at the stars.

      This date is a great excuse to get outside,
      Take your kites and fly them high.
      Admire the colorful kites floating in the air,
      And enjoy an afternoon in the sunshine standing side by side.

  5. Hello I love this idea but was wondering if you could rhyme two alternative date ideas:
    Date 10- Stargazing
    Date 12-Go Fly a Kite
    Also could you send me the tags to go along?

    1. Hi Kimberley,
      It looks like your comment was posted twice. I just replied above with a couple rhyme ideas you are welcome to use. I’m not able to create custom tags for everyone, but you are welcome to use any of the ones I’ve shared in this blog post. Thanks!

  6. Just Love this idea for a wedding shower I have to go to. Themed” Date night””.
    Need a cute rhyme. for making sushi together, picnic on a kayak, I would be so grateful !!!!

    1. Hi Collette, I’m glad you enjoyed this gift idea! Here are some rhyme ideas for you, hope they help!
      Head out on the town for a sushi date night,
      And enjoy pure tastebud delight.

      Pack a picnic basket
      And bring along a blanket.
      Take a canoe ride at sunset,
      And enjoy a date you won’t forget.

  7. I Would love your help with a few rhymes! My friends have been married 15 years and have 3 little ones. I was thinking of 2 ideas but cant think of a cute saying for them:
    1. “Alone time date night” OR Mood setting date night
    2. Babysitter date night! (I will come watch their kids)

    Thank you!!

    1. Here’s a couple ideas!
      1. Alone Time Date Night
      “Set the mood by lighting some candles
      And turning on some romantic music.
      Spend some alone time together,
      Just you and your significant other.”

      2. Babysitter Date Night
      “You deserve some time alone as a pair,
      So get out of the house and head out on a jaunt.
      Let me take care of the daycare,
      And you can go do whatever you want.

  8. I just wanted to thank you for this awesome idea!! I cant wait to make this (this week!) for my friends anniversary!

    1. Fabulous! I’m so glad you found an idea for an anniversary gift and I’m sure they’ll love it. Let me know if you need any help coming up with rhymes!

    1. Here’s an idea Nicki!
      Enjoy a romantic pasta date night.
      Boil the pasta, cook the sauce,
      Add Parmesan cheese on top.
      Enjoy with a bottle of wine, something white.

  9. I love this! I’m making a smaller basket with just 3 of these ideas, but it’ll still be perfect. I’m adding socks to the bowling night idea. πŸ˜‰

    1. Here are some ideas!
      Put on your mittens,
      Lace up your boots,
      Build a snowman
      That looks super cute.

      Enjoy a cozy afternoon
      Sipping your favorite coffee,
      Go ahead and treat yourself,
      Order something extra rich and frothy.

  10. I love these ideas! Not too expensive either!
    On your date night 1 is there a typo? Should it say “creamy” and rich?

  11. This is SUCH a cute idea! I love it and I am going to make it for my sister and her hubby for Christmas! Do you have an editable PDF template that I could use if I want to change up some of the dates?

  12. Oh that’s so great! This is now on my list for the next time I need an idea for a couple…or I just might try to work this in for Christmas for someone currently on my list. I love that the items are mostly inexpensive so you really can afford to give them all twelve ideas.

    I am co-hosting the #HomeMattersParty link party this month and would love to have you stop by for a visit. The door opens for the next party Friday morning!

    1. The best part is that this gift idea can work for any couple, whether it’s their wedding or anniversary or Christmas. I didn’t have a huge budget, so my items are all really inexpensive. But you could also go bigger by including gift cards and other things to go along with each date. I’m headed to check out your link party! Thanks for visiting!

  13. I want to do one for a baking night for the couple.. do you have any ideas of a rhyme for that one?

    1. Thanks for asking! Here’s an idea:
      Find a tasty recipe
      And get ready to mix.
      Preheat the oven
      And pull out the chocolate chips.
      Pour two glasses of wine
      And bake yourselves something divine.

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