5 Covid-Friendly Date Night Ideas

I’ll be frank, I’m really sick of online movie dates. Don’t get me wrong, apps like Netflix Party and Screener are what kept my relationship alive during the first four months of quarantine. But it’s still frustrating that one of the only ways I can spend time with my boyfriend is behind a screen. Sure, the chat box is nice for some small talk or even to share inside jokes, but I'm looking for some genuine human connection here. Unfortunately, most of the typical activities that would bring me closer to my boyfriend (i.e dinner dates, going to parties together, going to the movies) are no longer safe in the age of COVID-19. So what is a girl to do? Well, she has to get creative. 

After some thought, and some extra-careful experimental dates using my boyfriend as a guinea pig, I have compiled a list of safe but fun dates you can go on with your "special someone." Whether you have been dating for over a year, or just want to get to know each other, these outings are sure to bring you closer.

  1. 1. Go on a museum date 

    White and Brown Museum room

    Museum dates are a classic. Spending a chilly fall afternoon looking at impressionist paintings of the seaside or abstract sculptures is way better when there is someone to appreciate them with you. Museums have strict Covid-19 protocols and limits on the number of guests allowed in, so you don’t have to worry about being in a crowded gallery. Even if you aren't very artsy, it’s a great setting to get to know someone in because there are tons of conversation topics hanging on the walls in front of you. 

  2. 2. Cook a gourmet meal at home 

    Dinner dates are a tried and true activity for getting to know someone new or doing something special with a longtime partner. But Covid-19 has unfortunately closed a lot of local restaurants and limited the capacity of the places that have been able to stay open. On top of this, if your partner is immunocompromised, going out may not even be an option at all.  But cooking a delicious meal at home is still a great alternative. No matter what your cooking ability is, making food together can be a great bonding activity with a tasty reward at the end. My favorite easy dinner date recipe is a Gnocchi and Brussel Sprouts in Brown Butter recipe from the New York Times. This recipe will make anyone happy to come to dinner. 

  3. 3. Indulge in some baked goods or ice cream 

    Cream Cookies

    Supporting local businesses is more important than ever, and you can do it while staying safe with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Try out a local bakery or ice cream shop near campus by ordering ahead online and picking up curbside to avoid close contact with other patrons. Just thinking about the ooey-gooey cookies from Clear Flour Bakery or the massive sundaes from Scoop n Scootery makes my mouth water. The best part is that you are doing something good for the local community while also spending time with a person you care about. 

    You can also take your sweets with you to a park nearby and enjoy the afternoon together safely outside!

  4. 4. Do some local sightseeing  

    man and woman on bikes at sunset

    Lots of big community events and holiday activities may have been put on pause this year, but a pandemic does not have to stop you from enjoying the area you live in. I suggest grabbing a rental bike and checking out local sculptures, landmarks, and murals which make your community unique. You can even kick it up a notch and do seasonal activities like apple picking or checking out the holiday light displays downtown. No matter what you go see around your town or city with your S.O, it’s sure to leave you feeling warm and fuzzy. Just don’t forget your masks!

  5. 5. Plan an outdoor movie night 

    Movie theatres are opening back up, but they aren't back everywhere. However, you can still get all the fun of a movie date right at home or even on campus. All you need is a picnic blanket, a laptop, and your snack of choice. Just set up in your backyard or on your campus quad for an experience that might just be even better than a theater, because it’s a chance to spend some one-on-one time with your favorite person. 

Keep in mind that you should get tested often and socially distance even when you aren't on dates to keep you, as well as your "boo thang," healthy.

Covid-19 may have canceled and closed all of your favorite date spots, but the silver lining is how spontaneous and fun these new COVID-friendly dates can be. I can honestly say that I would have never tried any of these options if it were not for social distancing, but since trying all these date ideas I have had so much fun and have gotten to know my partner on a much deeper level. 

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