We’re almost a year into a strict quarantine in the US and well into a dark, depressing COVID winter where bars and restaurants are mostly closed. Even if bars and restaurants are open near you, most people aren’t comfortable dining out given the latest surges and more contagious COVID variants that are spreading. So, it’s back to the drawing board we go to find fun date night ideas that are COVID-safe but not the same takeout and TV routine we’ve been rocking since March 2020. Valentine’s Day is also coming up — a day where restaurants are typically packed with doting loved ones sharing bottles of wine and playing footsie under the table. Not this year — this time around V-day is going to take place at home, so the footsie will need to happen underneath your boring, old kitchen table. Not to worry friends! Thankfully, you can still grab your loved one a gift — whether it’s your wife, boyfriend or long-term partner. I’ve also gathered five of my favorite date ideas for spicing up this holiday, or any night of the week, that make it easy and inexpensive to have a fun date night at home.
Believe it or not, you can have a fun, romantic and memorable date night at home — you’ve just got to get a little creative. You can also use this as an excuse to spruce up your kitchen table with fresh place mats, silverware and place settings. You can cook a home-cooked meal with a fun meal kit, order wine from all over the country, play a game, give/receive a massage and even host your own movie night! Staying home all the time is a buzzkill, we know, but it’s what’s necessary to keep everyone safe right now. We’ll be able to venture back out into restaurants, bars, concert halls and movie theaters soon enough — but until then, let’s transform our kitchen and couch into the hottest spot in town. You’ll find five flushed-out date night ideas, complete with equipment recommendations, below.
Idea #1: A Home-Cooked, Romantic Dinner
Okay, this one you’ve probably already done at some point during quarantine but in case you haven’t, or you’ve decided to let someone you’re newly dating into your pod, this is a great date night idea. It’s classic, and since you’re staying home for the entirety it’s definitely one of the safest COVID-wise. You can grab a recipe from one of your favorite cookbooks or use a meal kit. Using a meal kit delivery service is a great option because all of the ingredients come pre-portioned and ready to go — so there’s no need to venture to the disease-ridden grocery store to pick up produce that you’ll use s 1/2 teaspoon of before throwing it away. It’s also a great idea to choose some mood music for the evening, dress up your table with some fresh place settings and not to forget about dessert!
Blue Apron Meal Kit
Blue Apron is a meal kit subscription service that delivers healthy, easy-to-follow recipes and meal kits to your home. They’ve got options from meat to fish, vegan, diabetes-friendly, WW-approved and more. You can choose something extra romantic for your partner and you to make and enjoy together on the big V-day.
Bolsius White Candles
It wouldn’t be a candle-lit dinner without candles, right? Pair these with the candle sticks below and you’ve got mood lighting! These are 10 inches long — the perfect length for dressing up your table without looking too dramatic, and have a burn time of 7.5 hours so you’ll be able to stretch their life across multiple dinners. They’re dripless, so they won’t drip wax all over your kitchen table and are smokeless — so you won’t set off the fire alarm.
SUJUN Matte Black Candle Holders Set
Every candle needs its holder! These will perfectly fit the candles above and make your table look fancy AF for the big feast. They’re made sturdy out of high-quality metal and the high-low effect of multiple candle heights will add a design element to your table scape. These are also low-key enough to match a variety of decor, so you can continue to use them after Valentine’s Day if you wish.
Our Place Main Plates
LIANYU Silverware Set
Treat yourself to some brand new silverware for Valentine’s Day to dress up the table even more. This set comes with four full place settings of a dinner fork, knife and spoon, as well as a dessert fork and teaspoon. The textured handles add a kinesthetic as well as design element, and they’re all mirror finished to maintain their luster. They’re all made of premium stainless steel and are built to last.
Grasscloth Raspberry Red Cotton Placemat
Placemats need to make a comeback, they truly make a kitchen table a surface worth dining on — and these red raspberry ones are on brand for V-day. They’re hand-made by skilled weavers in India who are the secret behind the bright, beautiful color. They’re 100% cotton and machine washable. They’ll add life and vibrancy to your table, and are made oversized to account for slight shrinkage when washed.
Goldbelly Red Rose Chocolate Cake
Don’t forget about dessert! I mean come on — is this not the most Valentine’s Day dessert you’ve ever seen? Ship it to your apartment from We Take the Cake in Fort Lauderdale, FL and have the perfect sweet treat to cap off a romantic dinner with your babe.
Date Idea #2: Spa Night at Home
Ahhh, yes — a nice relaxing trip to the spa for you both. A spa is a pretty sexy destination with the relaxing music, massages, oils and the softness of your skin post-face mask. Give your body, mind and relationship a little TLC by treating your spouse to a relaxing night in — complete with face masks, cozy meditation sessions on cushions and a nice massage.
Dead Sea Mud Mask
This mud mask is excellent — and works on a variety of skin types. I have dry combination skin and my boyfriend has oily skin and this mask works wonders on both of us. It’s mineral-infused with an advanced formula from the Dead Sea, and contains an herbal mix of Aloe-Vera, Calendula oil, Vitamin E, Sunflower Seed and Jojoba Oil.
HiGOGOGO Floor Pillows
These floor pillows look super cozy, and could be easily used as meditation cushions for a relaxing “OM” session with your loved one. You could also snuggle up on them and watch a movie (more on that below), or play a game on the floor and use them as cushions. This pillow is built to be multipurpose and comes in a huge array of colors — this bright yellow is my favorite.
Brooklinen Super-Plush Bath Robe
It wouldn’t be a spa day (or night) without a robe. This one from Brooklinen is one of the best, and it’s currently on sale! Jump on it, the white and darker grey won’t arrive by Valentine’s Day but this blue one will!
MAJESTIC PURE Lavender Massage Oil
Giving your partner a nice massage is definitely a sexy Valentine’s Day gift that’s much appreciated any day of the year. This massage oil is scented with calming lavender and contains Vitamin E for a smooth, relaxing and moisturizing experience. It’s nourishing for all skin types and creates a calming aroma.
MORE: Top-Rated Massage Oils
Date Idea #3: At-Home Movie Night
Curl up and watch a romantic, action, mystery or drama flick with your loved one this Valentine’s Day. It’s definitely a COVID-friendly activity and even though it might seem same old same old, there are some things you can do to dress it up for the occasion. This includes — buying a new cozy blanket, getting your own popcorn machine and candy basket, and even setting up a projector to bring the big screen to your home.
DASH Hot Air Popper Popcorn Maker
CraveBox Snack Package
Okay, this snack package is huge — but you’ll definitely have options and snacks leftover so it’s a win-win! It covers all your verticals — cookies, snacks, gummies, rice crispies and more. Whatever your snack and candy taste, it’ll have something that’ll satisfy, and you definitely won’t run-out mid-movie and need to grab more.
Bedsure Fleece Throw Blanket
This blanket is super simple, cozy and red — the perfect item to complete your movie-night-at-home date package. It’s big enough to cover two people at 50″x60″, with plenty of room to snuggle underneath it. It can also be washed on a cold laundry cycle if you spill anything on it during the cinematic action.
VANKYO LEISURE 3 Mini Projector
If you really want to take movie night to the next level — this mini projector will make it happen. It supports 1920×1080 resolution, the ideal aspect ratio for home entertainment. You can easily connect it to your smartphone, laptop or other streaming device — and it’ll provide a watching size from 4.9ft to 16.4ft away. It has an innovative cooling system and noise suppression built inside so a loud fan won’t kill your romantic buzz, and it has keystone adjusting so your picture will be clear. Set up a sheet or projector screen, if you’ve got one, and your girlfriend’s favorite rom com can now be supersized.
Date Night Idea #4: Game Night
There’s nothing like a little healthy competition between partners to really spice up a holiday all about how much you love each other. Sure you’re dating, happy and potential soulmates now — but after they’ve handed you the queen of spades a few too many times in hearts? Who knows, all bets are off at that point — at least in my book. I’ve included some of my favorite games and activities for couples below if your love language is quality time spent winning as opposed to physical touch.
The Adventure Challenge: Couples Edition
Challenge each other to this fun scratch-off game of random challenges! Have you ever baked an apple pie from scratch blindfolded? Or painted a masterpiece in front of your partner? How about recreated your grandparents’ first date? It’s all possible with this book. Turn to any page and your in-home date night just got a lot more interesting.
Castles of Burgundy
I’ve recently started playing this super fun board game with my boyfriend and it’s excellent. It’s unique in that it’s actually played best between 2 people, and despite being a little complicated to set up it goes by fast once you’ve learned the rules. You take turns attempting to build the largest castle compound possible — before you run out of rounds! Spark a little 19th century competition between kingdoms and not only do you have a fun game on your hands — you’ve got a potential role-playing scenario for when you climb into bed later on. Just saying.
Hopefully you’ve heard of the original Codenames by now and if you haven’t — you’ve got to check out our board games piece and grab yourself a box for your next group game night. This version of Codenames is made to be played with two people — making it great for couples. It’s a cooperative gameplay setup, so you’ll be on the same team, and it has campaign mode so you can track your progress if you’d like. There’s variable difficulty so you can challenge each other and the new words are compatible with the original game’s deck as well.
Pando: The Trivia Game About Us
This trivia game is also something I’ve been playing with my boyfriend a bunch. It’s a deck of cards filled with trivia questions about yourself that they need to answer, and hopefully get right! Whoever wins the most cards wins the game – we set it at limits like “first to 7” or “first to 9” to make the games quicker. No matter what — you’ll learn a bunch about each other and competing to see who knows each other better is a game you’ll only win at as a couple.
Date Night Idea #5: Couples’ Craft Night
Okay, this last one is for those tactical folks who love to work with their hands. Crafts are an excellent way to get creative with each other, relax and have fun — and, most importantly, not take yourselves or life too seriously. Creating something with your hands can be very soothing, and getting to explore each other’s skills (or lack thereof) with a craft activity is a great way to learn even more about the other person. Plus, it gets your attention away from screens and onto something more exploratory. May I suggest a wine and paint-by-numbers night? Or origami? How about candle-making? The supplies below are easy to order and will hopefully result in something you’ll want to keep.
Winc Wine Subscription Service
If you’re gonna get crafty – you should probably take the edge off with a glass of wine first. Winc is a great wine subscription service that also allows you to order a-la-carte bottles if you wish. Their selection includes wines made with minimal intervention and sustainable practices, and you take a quiz about your tastes before ordering so each blend will hopefully match your preferences.
COLORMAIZE Paint by Numbers Kit
Paint by numbers is an excellent entry point for crafting because it’s not very difficult to follow and you’ll be able to paint something beautiful, even if you lack skills. Both of the kits below come with high-quality paint, a 16×20 inch canvas and everything you need to get started. The canvas comes wrinkle-free and the instructions are easy to follow.
COLORWORK DIY Paint by Numbers Kit
Japanese Origami for Beginners Kit
Origami anyone? This delicate art form is a perfect crafting activity for couples as the delicate folds and beautiful animals you create will bring you together. If anything, you’ll get frustrated and motivate each other through the complicated steps that it takes to create a crane, cat, mouse and robot out of paper. This book will teach you 20 classic origami models and comes with 72 sheets of decorative paper so you can get started right away.
Adult Coloring Book
Sometimes, we all need to revert back to our childhood activities and take a breather. This coloring book is perfect for couples looking to detach, unplug and enjoy some good ol’ fashioned coloring together. Coloring books have grown in popularity recently for their stress relieving powers, and they’re an excellent structured way to get creative. Buy two for you and your partner and enjoy the calm that comes from shading in elephants, zebras, giraffes and more.
Candle Making Kit
Candle making is super fun, and pretty easy too! This kit comes with everything you need to make four different aromatherapy candles of different colors that are made of high-quality beeswax. The instructions are easy to follow and afterwards your candles can serve as mood lighting for many date nights to come. Just please, don’t drip this wax on each other — it’s much too hot. There are special candles you can use for that!