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With the new and more contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19, it’s becoming important to minimize going out, especially when it’s unnecessary. My boyfriend and I have been trying to stay safe while still prioritizing romantic and fun date nights that don’t involve indoor dining.

It’s also now freezing outside, so options like outdoor dining and date nights are sparse and inconvenient. After trying to find easy yet meaningful alternatives with my boyfriend, I’ve compiled this list of my favorite and safe date night ideas for you and your partner to try out this winter! 

Couple’s Card Game

For Christmas, I got my boyfriend the couple’s edition of the “We’re Not Really Strangers” card game. I loved playing this game because it is essentially just asking questions back and forth to start deep and engaging conversations. We had a super fun and meaningful time discussing topics like our first date, what we’ve learned from one another and our views on relationships in general. But, my favorite card had each partner write a note to the other that’s meant to be opened the next time there is an argument.

Many brands have similar card games, and I would definitely recommend trying one out. I think this game is perfect for couples at any stage in their relationship, and it is great for spending quality time with your partner without going out and can even be done long distances.

Movie Night

Having a movie night might sound typical or boring, but there are ways you can alter the basic movie night to make it more romantic and special.

One way to do this is by setting up a projector to watch the movie on. Projector movie nights add a certain feeling of romance that elevates the date night. If you don’t have a projector, one of my favorite date nights with my boyfriend was spent watching a movie on my laptop together in a blanket fort we made. Building forts channels your inner child and is such a fun and romantic date idea and a perfect alternative to a plain and simple movie night. 

Cook/Bake Off

Instead of going out to eat, cooking a meal together is a great way to have a romantic night with your partner and your favorite foods. You can have a cook-off or bake-off to make a date night even more fun and bring out your competitive sides! I like doing this by cooking and eating dinner together, then each preparing a different variation of something for dessert and debating on whose ends up looking and tasting better.

My boyfriend and I will usually decide on a theme for our dessert, similar to how they do in baking TV shows. This is super entertaining, and it motivates both people to learn more about cooking and baking, which is an excellent bonus. Also, who wouldn’t want an excuse to try new desserts? 

Paint Night

For a more creative type of date night, buying some canvases and paint can make for a delightful way to spend quality time with your partner. There are tons of YouTube videos with step-by-step tutorials on how to paint super cool-looking pictures that you and your partner can work on together.

Or you can get even more creative and just paint whatever you want! I think it’s even more personal and amusing to each paint your favorite memory with each other. This date night can be as creative or funny as you want it to be and is a great activity to do while you talk to each other and enjoy each other’s company. 

Writing Letters

I love writing letters and think we should all write each other letters more often. There is something so special and beautiful about receiving a handwritten letter from someone you love detailing how much you mean to them.

For this date night, grab a pen and paper, put the phones away, and simply write each other a letter and then exchange and read them. With how busy life can get, I feel like sometimes we fail to express just how much our significant other means to us. Writing a love letter is the perfect opportunity to tell all your deep and lovey-dovey feelings to one another.

This makes for such a romantic date night and can also be done long distance! This will undoubtedly leave you feeling closer to your partner and all warm and fuzzy inside. 

Even with the pandemic and all of life’s craziness, setting aside time for dates is crucial for any relationship to thrive. Date nights don’t necessarily need to be expensive or involve going out, and sometimes half the fun is planning creative date ideas. Now more than ever, it’s important to stay safe while keeping your romance alive!

Grace Martorano is a junior at Penn State studying Astronomy/Astrophysics. Outside of writing, Grace enjoys singing, loves the beach, and is a tour guide at PSU. You can find her on Instagram @grace.martorano
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