Love in the time of Covid can be tough: Couples have been separated, first dates have got complicated, and date night options are limited. But as the most romantic day of the year approaches, try to remember that love lives on – even if your favourite date-night restaurant is currently closed. Grasping for stay at home date ideas in the face of lockdown? We’ve got you covered with six stay at home date ideas to enjoy a truly romantic Valentine’s Day at home.
Stay at home date idea #1: Save the Date on 12 February
Don’t let lockdown or travel restrictions stop you from taking an adventure with your special someone. You may not be able to travel far this year, but Tiqets plans to Save the Date with a series of romantic online dates on the night of 12 February.
Regardless of whether you’re currently in lockdown, separated from your partner or still in that giddy still-getting-to-know-you phase with someone exciting, it’s possible to have a romantic night at home without the hassle. With a range of romance-themed virtual experiences that cover an array of interests (not to mention appetites!), Tiqets is making rescuing romance a priority this Valentine’s weekend.
With five different online dates to choose from, you can live the cutest moments from any rom-com montage. Virtually wander wide-eyed through the most romantic castles in Europe, take a virtual gondola ride through Venice, learn the love stories that shaped New York City, or meet the most romantic animals of all: penguins – the choice is yours.
Whichever virtual path to romance you choose, make sure your 2021 Valentine’s weekend is one to remember.
Stay at home date idea #2: Start planning your next big trip together
If you’re the kind of person who’s perpetually consumed by daydreams of travel, whip out your computer for a romantic night at home planning the next big adventure you’d like to take with your favourite travel companion.
Just because you can’t travel right now, doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in a little daydreaming about your next holiday. That makes this the perfect at home date night idea for any couple who would usually celebrate Valentine’s Day with a romantic getaway.
Admittedly, the days of spinning a giant globe and planning a trip to wherever your finger hits are long gone, but thanks to Google Maps, you can do one better. Pick a continent and start zooming in and out to see how the landscape looks from the stratosphere, or fall down virtual rabbit-holes by doing some deep-dives on the quality vineyards in Moldova or exotic eats in Uruguay.
If you’re adamant that the first trip in the New New Normal will have an emphasis on L-O-V-E, you’re in luck! There are no shortage of stunning destinations to make you fall in love all over again.
If you’re starting to forget what the inside of an airport looks like, it doesn’t hurt to brush up on the top 10 places to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Thankfully, planning ahead is easier than ever, so get cosy and start browsing the best museums and attractions with Tiqets to plan how you and your other half can make the most of every moment.
Stay at home date idea #3: Take a romantic scavenger hunt through your apartment
If you’ve been spending a lot of time at home, it can be easy to take for granted the things you usually love about your home – be that a really comfy sofa or your budding herb garden. And depending on your living situation, sometimes sharing your space with another person can be frustrating.
Love is all about finding the person who feels like home no matter where you are, and Valentine’s Day is the ideal time to reflect on all you have shared with each other and celebrate the journey you’ve taken together on the path to love. And if you’re celebrating Galentine’s, it’s as good a moment as any to show your friendssome love.
In that spirit, this stay at home date idea is the perfect affirmation of just how right Dorothy was in The Wizard of Oz was when she declared: “There’s no place like home!” Though you may not own the red high-heeled shoes to tap together three times, your apartment can easily be transformed into an adventure of its own with a romantic scavenger hunt this Valentine’s Day.
It’s more or less easy, and immensely satisfying. Simply reflect on some of your most precious memories over the past year and get creative in developing clues relevant to those memories that can guide your Valentine’s partner from one to the next.
Make the most of where you are by honing in on memories associated with particular corners of the apartment. Remember the day you both half-destroyed the living room in the valiant pursuit of building a blanket fort? Tuck a clue into the linen cupboard. How about the first time one of you cooked breakfast in bed for the other, only to accidentally ruin the entire meal by mistaking the sugar for salt? Pop a clue among the spices.
The scavenger hunt will take you on a journey through a host of shared memories, alluding to vague (but not too vague!) hints that will steer the scavenger towards finding the next one.
Conclude the entire scavenger hunt with a reward of some kind – ideally a gift, if it’s in your budget – and luxuriate in a romantic night at home, revelling in the happy memories, and more. After all, nothing (not even you-know-what) can ever take those away from you.
Stay at home date idea #4: Try your hand at cooking a fancy three-course meal
Turn the heat up in your kitchen with this at home date night idea. For those of you with steady hands, full hearts, and a love of good food, this is the date night for you.
Cooking a romantic dinner for two is one of the most time-honoured romantic traditions in any culture, but if cooking together has started to feel a little samey, don’t settle for the old spaghetti Bolognese and salad combo.
The culinary world, like love, is impossible to conquer by playing it safe – just watch any chef’s interpretation of ‘a pinch of salt’ as evidence. Make this Valentine’s Day a truly romantic night at home by preparing a fancy three-course meal of your favourite cuisines.
Whether you’re wanting to master a range of dishes from one region, or creating a “What would your last meal be?” buffet of every taste and texture that sets your heart on fire, the advantage of cooking at home is that you have complete mastery over what’s on the menu. Now is the time to crack out that ambitious recipe you’ve been too nervous to try by yourself. Cue up a video online of a famous chef (pick your favourite) and follow along with them, or get creative if you dare.
To bring a little je ne sais quoi to your kitchen and ensure this stay at home date idea is a resounding success, plan ahead to have the right ingredients on-hand, and make sure you both are happy with the distribution of duties to avoid a potential “too many cooks” quandary.
And remember, the journey is just as important as the destination, so if one of your bold strokes turns out to be a flop, don’t despair: A new shared memory can be just as delicious as any perfectly executed meal – especially if you round out the night with a homemade cocktail or mocktail.
Stay at home date idea #5: Host an at home drive-in double feature
If you find yourself yearning, at times, for innocuous date experiences that you once took for granted – a day at an amusement park, a stroll along the boardwalk with an ice cream, a day at a music festival – you’re not alone. And though some of these hot dates require a particular space and setting to be executable, some simple pleasures are still available to you – granted a dash of determination and a pinch of ingenuity.
They say a change is as good as a holiday, so make a change to remember by setting up your own at-home drive-in. Drag the mattress from your bed onto the floor and turn it into a rabbit’s warren of fluffy pillows and heavy blankets. Close all the curtains and microwave some popcorn before cueing up a double feature.
Hardly able to remember what constitutes a good film pairing anymore after being inundated with Netflix recommendations? Go for the classics this Valentine’s Day. Fans of travel? Skip the classics and explore the world from home with these travel documentaries to ensure a great date night in.
Stay at home date idea #6: Have an indoor picnic – but make it luxurious
Missing picnics in the park and the great outdoors? But also yearning for fancy charcuterie boards and champagne from your local bistro? Converge both worlds with great aplomb in your very own home – after all: your house, your rules!
Just because your romantic night at home is happening at… well… night, it doesn’t mean the landscape is out of your control. Set a rolling screensaver on all your devices of lush parks and verdant forests and set a playlist of forest sounds on your phone. Flutter out your favourite picnic blanket on the floor and plop down your wicker basket within arm’s reach, lest Yogi Bear get up to his usual tricks (which, if he were to go such lengths to steal your “pic-a-nic basket” from your apartment, would presumably add ‘breaking an entering’ to his rap sheet for the first time).
BUT! This ain’t your grandmother’s picnic – and this home date night idea is where the great outdoors meets luxury dining. Since you don’t have to worry about carrying the basket far, mitigating absence of refrigeration or even having to prepare the food yourself, whatever awaits you inside the basket is 100% up to you.
Bust out oysters on ice, antipasti platters and fine wine if your tastebuds compel you, or dish up medium-rare rib-eyes and buttery mashed potatoes from the fancy steakhouse that started offering takeaway sometime last year. If you’re a ‘breakfast for dinner’ kinda person, dish some banana pancakes and eggs benedict or, if you’re the kind of couple who agree their star signs should simply be ‘Cheese’… Go hard. Go as hard as you’ve always wanted – or soft if Camembert and Brie are your preference.
Keen to give your indoor picnic a travel twist? Turn this date night at home into a French, Italian, Spanish or American holiday at home.
Single and not looking to mingle? Enjoy a socially distanced Galentine’s Day or go solo!
The best part about these at home date night ideas? You don’t have to be dating anyone to enjoy them! If you’re looking for Covid-safe ways to spend time with your friends or prefer to celebrate yourself on Valentine’s Day, you can adapt these stay at home date ideas to suit you.
If there’s one thing 2020 taught us, it’s that digital media has evolved to give us just about the next-best thing to being together in person. Arrange a group call on Zoom, Whatsapp, Skype, or whatever other options are out there so that together, you can spend the interval of your at-home double feature to debate the feminist merits of Legally Blonde, turn your indoor picnic into a wine and cheese frenzy or Save the Date with a group holiday to somewhere picturesque and captivating – with your absolute favourite people.