With the COVID-19 outbreak spreading across the world and leading to many countries enforcing lockdowns and mandatory at-home isolation, a lot of couples living in the same household are suddenly going to be spending considerably more time together.
Working together, eating together, sleeping together… 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The lockdown is certainly going to be a test of many relationships.
However, one way of keeping the magic alive while in lockdown is to not forget the importance of date night, even if this now has to be at home date night.
To give you some inspiration, here are a few fun and romantic at home date night ideas…
Spend a night at the theatre (from your sofa)
Nothing screams date night in London like dinner and a trip to the theatre. And luckily, this is still a possibility despite the West End sadly being closed for the next few months, with several online streaming services offering recordings of live theatre performances.
So when you’re fed up of binge-watching series on Netflix, grab your other half and have your first ever (probably) at-home theatre date on the sofa with a glass of wine and some snacks.
BroadwayHD is an on-demand digital streaming service which distributes recordings of live theatre performances so you can get your fill of loads of your theatre favourites without leaving the house, including the likes of Kinky Boots, 42nd Street, Peter Pan, The King and I, Memphis, and many more.
If you don’t want to pay for the service you can just download the 7 day free trial, however, if you want it for longer then you’ll need to pay $8.99 USD per month for a subscription.
If Shakespeare is more your guys’ style over broadway musicals, Shakespeare’s Globe in London has a free online database of performances spanning the last decade so you can watch almost all of the Bards most famous plays from the comfort of your own home.
Go to a music concert (over social media)
Unfortunately, many concerts and festivals over spring and summer 2020 have had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, however, if listening to music together is your thing, here are a couple of ways you can bring the music home for date night…
A partnership between Global Citizen and the World Health Organization is seeing some of music’s biggest superstars come together and host live concerts on Instagram Live over the coming weeks.
So far, singers have included Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, OneRepublic, John Legend, Hozier, Charlie Puth and Nial Horan.
So put the speakers on and get dancing in your PJs to some of your favourite artists.
Or if, even after weeks of being stuck in the same house together, you’re still wanting to impress your date with something a little more sophisticated, how about getting dressed up and cracking the prosecco for an evening watching one of the world’s best orchestras.
Many Orchestra’s from around the world have decided to either live stream concerts for free (if possible) or upload recordings of previous concerts to platforms such as YouTube during the corona outbreak.
Visit a (virtual) museum
Want to keep those brain cells active and plan an educational at home date night, how about a virtual trip to a museum or gallery?
Did you know that the British Museum is the world’s largest indoor space on Google street view?
Hopefully not a sore topic for those stuck in quarantine with their other half, this unique museum consists of a collection of items donated by people which remind them of their ex or past relationships, with the often heartbreaking stories behind them.
Offering something a little more unusual than most of the other museums available to browse online, the Museum of Broken Relationships has many items from its collection available to view on its website.
Plus, maybe you’ll learn a thing or two about how NOT to end up in the museum one day yourselves.
Go on a trip to the zoo (over webcam)
One of my personal favourite unique date ideas is a trip to the zoo (yes, adults can love the zoo too!), which unfortunately is no longer a possibility during the coronavirus lockdown.
However, if you still want to take a virtual stroll and watch some of your favourite animals along with your other half while stuck inside, many zoos around the world have started live-streaming their animals and enclosures.
Head (virtually) to Edinburgh where you can stream a live feed of the zoo’s resident male giant panda Yang Guang. Edinburgh is the only zoo in the UK to be home to giant pandas.
You can also watch the zoo’s penguins, tigers and koalas.
Melbourne Zoo’s live stream recently became the most talked-about zoo live stream after one of the zookeepers was caught having a one man dance party on the giraffe cam in order to lift the mood of viewers.
But even if you’re not fortunate to catch some of his funky dance moves, you can still tune in to watch many of their animals, including the new adorable slow leopard cubs and the zoos cheeky penguin colony.
Take an (online) cooking class together
Nothing brings couples together like a romantic cooking class right? Grab your other half and learn some tasty new recipes to get you through the next few months…
Ran by Michelin-starred Italian chef Massimo Bottura, the man behind L.A.’s Gucci Osteria, Kitchen Quarantine is a daily Instagram Live in which the famous chef teaches viewers to make a number of dishes including veggie Thai curry, salads and many tasty pasta dishes, all from the kitchen of his own home while quarantined in Italy.
For those who are missing their weekend trips to London’s most famous food market but still want their foodie fix, Borough Market is running live cooking classes on its Instagram and Facebook pages.
As well as tasty recipes, the live classes will teach you useful things such as how to maximise ingredients and make the most out of store cupboard essentials. Romantic and practical!
Or if it’s some couples baking you’re after, London’s well-known bakery Bread Ahead is live streaming baking classes on Instagram at 2pm every day. Head to their page to learn how to make indulgent chocolate brownies, delicious doughnuts, Easter hot cross buns and tasty fresh bread.
Take part in your own ‘Come Dine With Me’
Once the two of you are pro chefs from all those cooking classes (or if you already are), try taking part in your own couples version of the popular TV show Come Dine With Me.
Each of you will host your very own dinner party on different nights, cooking up a home-made 3 course meal and providing the evening’s entertainment for the other person.
At the end of the two evenings, you can decide between you who hosted the better dinner party.
Have a game night
Get competitive with your other half with a game night at home.
Dust off the old board games that usually only appear on Christmas day at a push and have some good old fashioned fun with classics such as Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Cludo, Operation, Chess, Snakes & Ladders or even a puzzle (that’ll certainly keep you occupied for a while).
If you haven’t got any board games but do have a deck of cards (everyone has one somewhere in their house right?), then there are still plenty of games you can play as a couple.
The one time you won’t get in trouble for staring at your phone during date night! Download game apps such as Heads Up, Charades, Evil Apples (similar to Cards Against Humanity) and plenty more to keep the two of you occupied for an evening.
Boot up the Xbox or PlayStation with a couple of remotes and get competitive with some multiplayer games. If one of you is a gamer and the other isn’t, this is the right time to teach your partner a bit more about your hobby and maybe even convert them to the gaming life.
So not that I’m suggesting spending the whole of your time in self-isolation drinking, but a boozy date night in every now and again isn’t going to hurt. Grab some booze, your partner and let the fun begin!
Have a karaoke night
Setting up your own karaoke room is a super fun and easy at home date idea. All you need is a screen, internet access and a couple of objects to use as microphones.
Go onto Youtube and search the name of the song you want to sing followed by ‘karaoke version’, or check out channels such as King Sing for lists of available songs, and there you have it… date night sorted!
Have a cocktail making competition
Need some drinks to go with your game night or karaoke evening? See what booze and mixers you have lying around the house and have a competition to see who can make each other the best cocktail!
Go on a (virtual) double date
Have a catch-up, enjoy a couple of drinks together (virtually speaking) or even play some games – Houseparty has a few games built-in to it already so you can play the likes of Heads Up or Pictionary together over the app.
Learn a new skill together
How about using your free time in self-isolation to learn a new skill together?
You could start learning a new language, using each other to practise conversations and test your new knowledge, or maybe start learning how to draw and use each other as models to sketch (maybe even some ‘life drawing’ wink wink).
The possibilities are endless with this one.
Set up a scavenger hunt
Setting up a fun or saucy scavenger hunt for your partner is a good way to kill some time in isolation while also leading to a sweet and romantic evening together.
Place clues around the house and garden, set small challenges or even test their knowledge about you and your relationship with some tricky riddles, all leading to a fun surprise at the end (that part is up to you).
Have a romantic picnic in the garden
Providing the weather holds out, setting up a picnic in the garden is the perfect date idea to surprise your other half.
No need to prepare anything special. Just whip up some sandwiches, crisps, cakes and a nice fruit salad and lay it out on a blanket in the sun for a cute little lunch date about as far away from the house as you’re going to be able to get right now.
Or if the weather’s bad or you don’t have a garden, you could always just bring the picnic inside.
Do you have any other suggestions for fun at-home date night ideas, let me know in the comments below…
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