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With COVID-19 concerns and restrictions still going strong, greater creativity is required to plan fun and exciting dates that are still safe for current conditions. Southern California in particular offers a number of outdoor activities that enable couples to spend time together, bond, and stay safe. Here are four date ideas which allow for social distancing and quality time with your significant other:

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1. A Drive-in Movie

 This classic is currently making a comeback across the state and country, giving couples the opportunity to enjoy a movie together without the crowds present in a typical indoor theater. Featured films include everything from old favorites like Grease to new releases such as Unhinged.

 You can sit in front and crank back the seats for a cinematic experience similar to popular movie theater recliners. Alternatively, if you have an SUV or truck, you can set up a comforter and some pillows in the back for a cozy and comfy viewing experience with your significant other. Either buy popcorn and a drink at the drive-in’s concession stand or bring your own goodies to snack on during the film. 

 2. Water Activities

Towns up and down the California coast have easy beach access, warm weather, and pleasant water temperatures, creating the ideal environment for trying out water sports with your significant other. There are countless options, including kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, surfing, and even water bikes.

 These activities allow for plenty of space between you two and others and are enjoyable to try out together whether you have vast experience or it’s your first time. Rentals can be affordable; in Long Beach, for example, a kayak can be rented for just $12 per hour.

 3. Zoos and Aquariums

 Zoos across Southern California have recently been opening up at reduced capacity and with online reservations required, including the San Diego Zoo and the L.A. Zoo. The zoo is a great excursion for animal lovers: you and your date can awe over exotic wildlife and adorable creatures.

 The outdoor exhibits at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach are open, including lorikeets, penguins, sharks, various fish, and other aquatic life. Interactive exhibits are also open: you can feed lorikeets and even touch the top of a jellyfish or ray.  It’s a memorable experience that allows you to spend time together outside doing something unique.

 4. Outdoor Dining

 Many SoCal restaurants are open for outdoor dining with spacing measures in place, providing a great ambiance in which to get to know a new partner while enjoying a delicious meal. A fun alternative: grab a blanket, order takeout from your favorite café and picnic at a local park or beach. Either way, you’ll get to eat tasty food and spend quality time with your significant other while distanced from others.

 A good meal can accompany any of the other date ideas discussed above so you and your date can spend more time together. I also recommend stopping for a scoop of ice cream and going on a little walk or finding a scenic location to sit and talk, a personal favorite of mine.

Natalie Hardt

Pepperdine '21

Hi! My name is Natalie and I'm a senior at Pepperdine studying Integrated Marketing Communications and Art. Some of my favorite activities are painting, board games, beach days, and exploring new places with friends and family!
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