Pandemic-Friendly Valentine's Day Dates: Trust Us, They Do Exist!

Pandemic-Friendly Valentine's Day Dates: Trust Us, They Do Exist!

The list of “normal life” things we all miss seems to get longer every day. One thing that’s been stuck at the top, at least for us here at the Coop HQ, is dates. Not to be confused with “going out to eat,” dates are special, often spontaneous, outings that likely have multiple acts. First dinner, maybe a movie—or, if you’re lucky, a play or a concert—followed by a walk. Maybe you stop for ice cream, or for a night cap. Or maybe you just go where the wind blows you. Maybe there’s an arts in the park event, or you go ice skating. Dates! Doing things! Out of the house! Around other people! With your person.

Almost a year into the pandemic life, we’re all more than well aware that the rules have changed. Normal dates are things of the past and of the future, but with Valentine’s Day coming up, we all want to show our sweeties how much they’ve meant to us over the past year.

We put our heads together to think of some fun, different, pandemic-friendly dates for you and your beloved.

Valentine’s (emphasis on the) Day

At least 2021 is throwing us a bone by landing Valentine’s Day on a Sunday, allowing us to take full advantage of the sunlight. Plan your date for the daytime, rather than night, to maximize your outdoor time while starting a new tradition.

Whatever you and your sweetheart like to do on a lazy Sunday, do it to the nth degree. If you’re big brunchers, make (or order) a feast. French toast, Belgian waffles, eggs, bacon, the whole nine yards. Get a small, portable space heater and enjoy your feast outdoors, or opt for the traditional breakfast in bed vibe.

If you’re more on the active side, look for a secluded hike or take your morning jog in a scenic area of town. By shaking things up and putting yourself in a beautiful setting, your routine will feel a little more special.

Hunt for Treasure

Geocaching is a great, fun way to spend time with the people you love. If you haven’t heard of geocaching, it’s essentially modern day treasure hunting with a twist. The twist is that the treasure is the hunt itself, and of course finding the cache.

You use a GPS receiver to find the coordinates of the cache, usually a container, and it’s super, super fun. Geocaching is a global activity, and with over 3 million caches around the world, you’ll definitely be able to find something near you. And while the activity has been around for decades, there’s an official app now that makes getting started much easier.

The best thing about geocaching is you can choose how hard you want it to be and how close you want it to be to you. You and your honey could start out with a relatively simple cache in your neighborhood, and then move further away throughout the day.

It’s not only a great way to spend quality time with the person you love, it’s also a great way to re-familiarize yourself with your town or city. Make sure to bring water, snacks, a pen, and hand sanitizer!

Winter Picnic

Eating outside in the middle of winter might not sound terribly romantic, but it can be with the right planning. Make a thermos-friendly meal (like soup, stew, or oatmeal) and pack it up. Warm some bread and wrap it up in foil, and, of course, there’s the drinks. Irish coffee, mulled wine, or some good old fashioned tea will keep you warm in the cold.

Dressing appropriately, and covering the ground with something warm and cozy is also required. This may seem like a lot of work for an hour-long picnic, but if you and your boo work on it together, it’ll be the end to a cute cooking date.

Be sure to bring a Bluetooth speaker, napkins, and hand warmers to keep the picnic comfy and fun.

A New Kind of Blind Date

If dinner and a movie is the only sort of date in the cards for you, shake things up by swapping your date night with another couple. They pick what you get for dinner and what movie you watch, and you do the same for them. This little switcheroo will add a little spontaneity to an otherwise blasé night in.

Dance It Out

No, we’re not talking about a dance party, although dance parties are always a great option. We’re referring to ballroom dancing: the waltz, foxtrot, rumba, and, yes, the cha cha. So many great beginner tutorials are up on YouTube, so why not spend your Valentine’s Day learning how to bust a classy move. You and your partner will not only have a laugh, but you’ll be able to show off your moves at the next wedding you attend. You know, in 2022.

If you’ve got great ideas of your own, feel free to share in the comments!

Featured image: @jacquieandryan