4 Stay-At-Home Date Ideas for When It's Not Possible to Leave the House

Everyone loves a fun date to shake things up in a relationship. And though I agree that heading to the beach or a fancy restaurant is no doubt a good time, going out for a date isn't entirely possible right now. (Even when we're not in the middle of a pandemic, I say that the couch is way more inviting.) 

Stay-at-home dates are the perfect balance between getting to hang out with the person you’re seeing (and quarantining with) and not having to deal with strangers or other obstacles. However, stay-at-home dates don’t excuse you from putting in any effort. The key difference between a good stay-at-home date and any other night is the preparation. That’s why I’ve got a few ideas to get you ready for your next romantic night in.

  1. 1. Take movie night to the next level.

    Movie night is a classic stay-at-home date, and there’s a reason it’s the go-to for most couples when they can't leave the house. What sounds better than cuddling up under blankets with your partner and getting to laugh/cry/cuddle them during the scary parts? But before you fall into the trap of scrolling through Netflix together until you settle on some mediocre flick, do a little planning to elevate your experience.

    Audrey Lent, a senior at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, says, “Set up the room with lights, blankets, and pillows to make it cozy. Whip up some yummy snacks, like popcorn or puppy chow, throw in a couple glasses of wine, and put on your favorite movie!”

    I love the idea of creating your own comfy paradise in your living room, and of course, everything is better with snacks. If you want to extend your date past just one flick, I recommend picking a series like Harry Potter or some of the Marvel movies so you and your S.O. can have passionate debates about the best Hogwarts house or which superpowers you wish you could have.

  2. 2. Test your skills in the kitchen.

    Cooking together doesn’t always go well—just watch any cooking show ever, and you’ll see the kitchen always comes with complications. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! If you and your S.O. decide to prepare a meal together, your dinner may just taste all the better for the love it was made with. It’s up to you how you want to split up the work: either you can pair up for every step, or delegate one part of the meal (main dish, side, dessert) to each of you.

    You can go for a classic, simple dish, or challenge yourselves to throw in a wildcard ingredient and see what happens. No matter what, you’ll get a moment of memorable domesticity with your partner, and you’ll likely learn a lot about their favorite foods (which is good info to store away for later).

  3. 3. Turn your home into a spa resort.

    Why not maximize your time at home with your S.O. to fully relax? Doing face masks together always becomes a bonding experience (everyone’s seen those #relationshipgoals pictures of mask-faced couples on Instagram), if only because it makes you both look ridiculous. Test out some tried-and-true classics, or even concoct your own with ingredients from around your house. After you’re done taking care of your skin, you can kick your feet up and relax together—maybe even give each other massages to release all the tension you’ve built up lately.

  4. 4. Hone your inner artists together.

    If you’re looking to make your stay-at-home date a little classier or more mature, break out a bottle of wine and order a couple of canvases and paint. You and your S.O. can practice painting portraits of each other, a still life you assemble together or if you want a conversation starter, a place they’d like to travel to with you someday.

    Painting is a great date activity because showing off your art is somewhat intimate, and will have you feeling closer to your partner. Additionally, it also gives you the opportunity to learn about their creativity and how they view the world. The best part about doing this at home versus through a class is that it’s way cheaper, and there’s no pressure on you to be the next Picasso. Plus, at the end of the date, you’ll both have something to keep as a memory.

Whether you just want to curl up on the couch and cuddle, or you want to make your home feel like a five-star resort, there’s a stay-at-home date that works for you. After all, home is where the heart is, so don’t count the stay-at-home date out as a chance to spark some romance.