Art workshop for adults

Beautiful young Hispanic woman and a handsome man attending a painting workshop together and having fun

Restaurants have finally started to open up during the COVID quarantine. Perfectly timed, I was treated to a great Saturday Mother’s Day lunch date at a local Utah County eatery and it was so refreshing. While we haven’t completely returned to pre-pandemic, it was nice to be treated to a day out with just me and my husband. Being concert-, movie- and theatergoers, the lack of entertainment and dining out has been the most missed in our home. We do love our regular date nights.

Even though restaurants are starting to open up, it could likely be a long time before concerts and movie theaters are back to normal. Time to come up with some creative dating ideas that aren’t simply binge watching the newest Netflix series. Here are some great ideas for indoor, outdoor and even car dates, perfect for pandemic times, or even just when you want to switch things up. For more inspiration, visit our Date Ideas board on Pinterest.

Indoor ideas

You’ve already “Netflixed and Chilled” every weekend for the past two months. It’s now time to switch things up a bit and enjoy some other date ideas with your sweetheart while self-isolating at home. Start up the computer, cast it to your television and select a museum to virtually tour. Show your hubby your favorite Renoir painting directly from the Louvre. Or “visit” the Art Institute of Chicago to get a close up look at Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” a la Ferris Bueller.

Host your own Paint Night for Two. Head to your local craft store, or even Walmart, and purchase some paints, brushes and a few canvases. There are dozens of painting tutorials on YouTube that you can queue up. You can even create your own “happy little tress” with Bob Ross. Make the evening extra fun by making it a double date via Zoom. Don’t forget to serve up some great appetizers and even some specialty drinks. Italian sodas, anyone?

Outdoor activities

Being cooped up in the house and even just the neighborhood for several weeks can easily take a toll on any relationship. It’s time to get outside and enjoy some fresh air in an unplugged, only lightly inhabited, environment. Hiking, biking, 4-wheeling and even just walking along a beautiful trail can be a great way to connect with nature as well as your true love. Add a little extra fun by bringing along a scavenger hunt or host an impromptu photo shoot among the spring blooms.

The weather is perfect for an early evening date in a vacant park or grassy area. Pack a picnic basket with all your favorite foods, a blanket to lounge on and some pre-dinner game ideas. Pack along a Frisbee, soccer ball or football to toss around. Or, you can bring a croquet game to set up a fun course. A pair of Nerf guns, too, is a lot of fun, especially when you can set up an obstacle course of sorts. Anything to burn some energy before a romantic picnic.

Car dates

We’ve all gotten really good at ordering our favorite restaurant meals to go over the past eight weeks. Dining in our car has become way more than just grabbing a bag of fast food and munching on the fries or nuggets. Next time you grab dinner for your date night, don’t just head back home to eat. Drive to a beautifully scenic location and transform the back of your minivan or SUV into a cozy picnic spot, blanket, pillows and all.

If you and your sweetheart are big trivia buffs, consider spending the evening in your own “Cash Cab.” Create your own trivia-filled version of the popular TV game show. You can grab some cards from your favorite Trivial Pursuit game, or log on to https://www.bravotv.com/cash-cab/the-ultimate-cash-cab-quiz-is-here and play the game using actual clues from the TV show.

— Jennifer Durrant