The Handbook
The Handbook

Dating has been turned on its head. Date nights used to be so simple, you’d be able to whisk off your partner to their favourite restaurant or pack up your hamper for an afternoon picnic in the park and be done with it. Nowadays, dating in the time of coronavirus looks a whole lot different.

With lockdown restrictions still in place, couples have either forgone their weekly date nights or they’re spicing them up with a little creativity. If you’re stuck for ideas or just want to surprise your partner with a special night in, here’s 17 ideas to keep you on your toes.

Host A Virtual Dinner Date With Your Friends

Just because you can’t go out to your favourite restaurant on a double date with your bestie doesn’t mean you can’t recreate the experience at home. Put your hostess skills to the test, indulge in a few adorable pieces for your perfect #tablescape and rustle up a med-rare sirloin (or seitan steak for the plant-based lovers). Here’s a few tips for hosting the perfect virtual dinner party.

Recreate Your Favourite Takeaway

We have Professor Green and Gizzi Erskine to thank for this idea but pre-lockdown no indoor date night would be complete without ordering in your favourite takeaway so why make lockdown life any different? 

Switch up your takeaway experience and welcome the Saturday night ‘fakeaway’. Whether you’re a lover of Papa Johns’ bouncy pizza dough and his special garlic sauce or you want to sink your teeth into a tasty chow mein, there’s plenty of tutorials out there that’ll see you perfecting the best. Here’s a few recipes to get your fakeaway journey started. 

Host An Indoor Picnic

If you don’t fancy venturing out to your local park during this crazy time or the British weather doesn’t allow, recreate your humble summer favourite, the picnic, at home. Throw down a blanket, dig out your hamper and crockery, pop the Prosecco and dive into the cucumber sandwiches. If you fancy someone else doing the hard work for you, here’s a few hampers you can still get online. 

Get Cosy With A Makeshift Home Cinema

Nothing says an indoor date night than a movie night. Make this lockdown movie night extra special by hand making cinema tickets to your partner’s favourite film and bring your snack game to the table with an assortment of hard candies, popcorn and a bottle of pop. If you’re extra fancy, pretend it’s the film premiere and roll out the red carpet. You could even create a makeshift paparazzi station and don’t forget to tell your partner to dress to impress if they want to win the leading protagonist (you).

Make A Blanket Fort

Channel your inner eight year old and make your very own blanket fort, we’re talking as good as Sophie and Olivia’s from The Holiday. Get every blanket, cushion, duvet and throw that you own and start building the fort around your sofa or dining table. Once secured, string fairy lights along and pack it out with your favourite snacks and drinks too.

Relax At An At-Home Spa

Missing your monthly couple spa treatments? Try your hand at making homemade face masks or dig out that old foot spa you nagged your partner to get you three years back, not forgetting the massage oils you spent a fortune on but haven’t touched. No spa day is complete without a green juice or a glass of bubbly too so make sure you’ve got plenty of supplies on hand too. Here’s a few face masks that’ll revitalise your skin if you don’t fancy making your own. 

Get Baking

If you haven’t taken to the kitchen and baked during lockdown, what on earth have you been doing? You can either play it simple by creating a simple baked good, or get creative and make something without a recipe – it could be a fun experiment to say the least… 

Recreate Your First Date Together, Inside

Whether your first date was to your favourite restaurant, driving range or zoo, see if you can recreate the dating experience at home for your partner. The more bizarre the date, the funnier the recreation could be. 

Make Heart Shaped Pizzas

Pizza and date nights go hand-in-hand, but why not mix up your usual takeaway experience and try your hand at making the perfect pizza dough. You could surprise your partner by making cute heart shaped pizzas too, topped with all of their favourite toppings too. But, we sure hope we won’t be seeing any pineapple on the creation…

Compete To Make The Best Homemade Cocktails

Is there one cocktail that you haven’t been able to get off your mind since being stuck in lockdown? Now’s your chance to compete with your lover to make the best recreation at home. You could either buy in some essential ingredients or play about using only the ingredients you can find in your fridge. Bonus points for the best garnish, flavour and story behind the creation. 

Host Your Own Wine Tasting

Whether you or your partner knows much about wine or not, mix up your indoor date night with an evening of wine tasting. Buy in a few bottles of your favourites and see where the night takes you. Works just as good with beer, gin or any other spirit too. 

Head ‘Out’ For A Karaoke Night

Every night out should start with a few karaoke songs and now your indoor date nights can too with a little help from Lucky Voice’s online karaoke playlists. Sing until your heart’s content, maybe you’ll even find your first dance song for your future wedding… 

Make Your Own ‘Art Gallery’

Whether you’ve got an artistic streak or not, bring out your pens, paints and canvas boards and spend an hour or two making art alone before you both present your masterpieces to one another at the ‘art gallery’ opening night. You could even create a few sculptures too if you’re feeling ultra adventurous. 

Relive Your Favourite Concert Together

Is there one concert that sticks out to you the most? Maybe it was with your partner, or maybe it was solo, but you could see if your favourite artist filmed that night or find another gig that was filmed from the same tour and sing until your heart’s content. Rock on!

Challenge Each Other To A Board Games Night

Forget monotonous games of snap, take your board games nights up a notch with these two player favourites. From singing-along with James Cordon in his Carpool Karaoke board game edition to creating towering high-rises for our friend Rhino Hero to swing from, we’ve rounded up 24 games that’ll see you entertained for hours on end.

Switch Up Your Interiors

We’ve all grown bored of staring at the same four walls for two months straight but why not order in a few new staples or crack open the tin of paint you bought just before lockdown and jazz up your interiors? A paint fight is a must obviously.

Host A Two-Person Quiz

Think you know everything there is to know about one another? Test each other’s knowledge and see who comes out on top…