So, my Datebox Club subscription box arrived about a week and a half ago. At $40, it was definitely the most expensive box I subscribed to. According to the description, each box has a theme and includes everything you need for a date night. October’s box was obviously Halloween themed (although this raised some questions for me—what about people who don’t celebrate holidays? Pumpkin painting is not exactly a generic fall activity), with acrylic paint, four paintbrushes, two small plastic pumpkins, a “Scatterbirds” game, and some caramels. Admittedly, I was a little disappointed. As my daughter put it, “I could pretty much get all that at the dollar store.” BUT I bought the box and I am determined to give it a fair chance.
We’ve got a roof situation going on with our house right now, so it took a little while before we had a night we could commit to the Datebox experience. In the meantime, we found ourselves three hours from home for a medical appointment… in a town with a Trader Joe’s! In all of my infinite wisdom, I decided it was a great idea to combine two teenagers carving pumpkins with the Datebox activities.
Just a couple of days later, we were all seated at the black plastic covered table with our respective pumpkins and implements (brushes and paint for us, random knife assortment for the kids—I feel like maybe it should have been the other way around). We supplemented the Datebox caramels with some Trader Joe’s honey crisp apple cider and pumpkin spice cookies.
The directions included a music playlist, so I asked my son to play it on his phone. Unfortunately, the first song made my daughter cry (I think it was called “Heal,” something about a character dying in Glee, I don’t really know), so he secretly started playing whatever he wanted. I was extremely confused about some of the songs Datebox Club had chosen to include, but apparently I was the only one who didn’t realize what was going on… for almost an hour.
We quickly realized that the pumpkins were going to be difficult to paint due to their shiny, slick surfaces. I had to put multiple coats of white paint on before I could really begin. My fiancé had better luck with the dark colors he chose. I enjoyed watching how serious he was about the pumpkin painting. I found it kind of adorable.
It took over an hour, but we got the pumpkins painted. I opened the candy and made the mistake of smelling it— the kids refused to try it based on my expression. My fiancé ate his and said it was a little like eating a fig… seeds and all. I put one in my mouth, but then spit it in my hand because I couldn’t stand to carry it the eight feet to the trash in my mouth. It was not good. There was almost a vinegar taste to it!
Next, we played the game. It was a fun game, like a generic version of Scattergories. My fiancé won both rounds, probably by a lot. It didn’t help that my daughter critiqued all of my answers (when I had to describe my partner with a word starting with b and I wrote big, since he is 6’5” and 350lbs, she said, “Ooooh, harsh, mom!” It also didn’t help that he answered the same question with beautiful).
The whole Datebox took about two hours, much of which was spent waiting for coats of paint to dry on the pumpkins (we should have played a round of the game while each coat was drying). It was a nice evening with the kids, though I know that was not the intent. However, it’s been hard to spend time with them lately due to school, sports, jobs, and me being stuck on bed rest, so it was a bonus for me.
When I asked my fiancé what he thought of the box, he kept it short and sweet, “The candy was gross, the game was alright, the painting could have been better.” I agree. At $40, I found Datebox Club highly overpriced, though I appreciate that everything was included. I have a box coming from Crated with Love at half the price, and I’m excited to compare the two. I will not be getting any more Dateboxes. My fiancé’s willingness to do the activities surprised me, and I could see us doing some other activities like this together. However, like my daughter said, I could probably hand her a shoebox and $5-10 and send her to the dollar store to put something together for us.
Coming soon: I have a box from Try Treats that I’m hoping to turn into a date night. I did not realize they sent treats from different countries, but this month was Thailand (I’m so excited!). Please, if you know of any movies about or in Thailand that would be appropriate for a date night, comment and let me know!