While some people would rather opt out of dating altogether during the pandemic so they don't have to wear a mask on a first date, others are choosing to listen to both guidelines and their heart in order to find love during the time of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Should you be one of the individuals welcoming romance right now, there are pandemic-approved dates you can go on that still adhere to guidelines (and yes, you'll have to wear a mask).
Here are 23 date ideas perfect for a socially distant date.
1. See a movie at the drive-in.
Depending on what the weather is like around where you live, the time left to do this may be limited, but if you're able to bring a few blankets and/or stay in your car with a little heat, drive-in movie dates can still be on the table through the fall.
2. Watch a movie in your yard.
Again, weather plays a part in this idea, but think about how to make the outdoor movie cozy even as the temperatures start to drop. Bundle up in some extra blankets and start a fire nearby to keep you toasty while you watch your favorite rom-com together.
3. Drink wine and look at the stars.
No matter the season, you can look up and see the stars. Grab a glass (or a few) of your favorite wine and chat under starlight. As always, throw on a comfy sweatshirt or coat if you need to, but don't let that stop you from heading outside to take in the night sky with your boo.
4. Grab ice cream together and take it to go.
Honestly, ice cream is a year-round dessert and I don't want to hear any buts about it, OK? No, but seriously, cold or not, grab a cone or even gallon of ice cream and walk somewhere close to eat it. Make sure you're buying your own though, as romantic as it is to share... there's a pandemic.
5. Go on a hike.
Fall hikes are truthfully even more special than the ones in the summer. Opt for a place with tons of fall foliage worth seeing and go there. Trust me, you'll be so happy you did!
6. Have a picnic in a park.
I don't know about you, but when I hear the word "picnic" I immediately think it's a huge ordeal — an appetizer, the main meal, snacks, drinks, utensils, cups, blanket, etc. But it doesn't have to be so extravagant! You can literally order a pizza, bring a bottle of wine with some cups, eat, drink, and be merry.
7. Rent kayaks or a canoe.
Weather permitting, this is always a fun date option and even if it starts to get chilly, as long as they're still renting or you own your own kayak or canoe, why not take your date on the water?
8. Go to an outdoor winery or brewery.
Wineries and breweries are always a good choice and if you're looking for a fun, pandemic-approved idea to drink outdoors while remaining socially distant, this is the idea for you.
9. Social distance at the beach.
Though this one is limited to locations where it's warm year-round, a beach date is truly a plus. But, if you live somewhere warm enough for beachgoers to flock to the water together, make sure you're actually following guidelines. Not just while you're sitting, but also while you're in the water and walking to/from your spot.
Wear a mask when you're passing people, OK?
10. Ride through some bike trails.
I strongly believe bike dates are underrated. Maybe it's because nobody's ever asked me on one since New York Citi Bikes are a little more intimidating than, say, biking by the beach, but biking is casual yet romantic and takes the pressure off of having to fill every silence with small talk.
11. Have a bonfire in your backyard.
When in doubt bonfires and s'mores are your answer. That's if, of course, you're legally allowed to have a fire in your yard. Either way though, s'mores are an option — just work some magic over a grill or something. Get creative, it's cute!
12. Have a DIY paint night outside.
If you don't already have the materials, order a paint and paintbrush set and a pack of canvases — voila! A DIY paint night for the two of you to paint the night away outside at a public park, your porch, or even your backyard.
13. Take a virtual cooking class together.
Cook up the romance virtually! This one works whether you want to join separately from the comfort of your own homes or you'd rather do so from one kitchen to stay close to each other but away from others.
14. Rollerblade or skate.
A big trend I've seen more of while people are quarantined is rollerblading and skating. Even if you've never done it before, it could be a lot of fun (and a good laugh) to give it a try with someone you're dating.
15. Have a game night outdoors.
Game nights never get old, especially if you are trying exciting new games together.
16. Walk (preferably with a dog) and talk.
A simple walk and talk is also always an option, especially if you're just getting to know someone and don't want to commit too much effort into planning the perfect pandemic date. Bring your dog along and make it as long or short as you'd like! This date idea is pressure-free.
17. Play tennis.
The perfect option for the athletic couple is a one-on-one tennis match. Plus, you can wear a very cute tennis outfit, and I LOVE that for you!
18. Do a classic coffee/tea date.
Never underestimate the power of a simple date. Don't fix what's broken, right? And the classic coffee/tea date is a tale as old as time — and it works! Just sit a little further apart.
19. Have a barbecue.
Turn up the heat in your grill and cook up your favorite foods. The process of grilling and eating together is romantic.
20. Take a virtual yoga class together.
You can both be in your separate homes while you do this or you can set up your laptop in an open spot at the park, set up your mats six feet apart, and have at it together!
21. Play golf or go mini-golfing.
Golf or mini-golf dates are sure to score a hole-in-one. Because even if you're not very good at it, it's a great activity to keep the mood light and the energy just competitive enough.
22. Go swimming.
It may be a little chilly, but if you dare to dive in for love, swimming is another exciting option no matter where you live — but especially somewhere warm so you don't catch hypothermia.
23. Catch the sunset.
When in doubt, let the sun do the work to set the ambiance. Consider watching it from a location neither of you have been but have heard great things about to further up the romance factor.
Be sure to protect yourself on a date, too, with a mask and hand sanitizer.
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