With increasing social distancing restrictions, I’m starting to think of more stay-at-home-but-not-be-bored date ideas. There are SO many ways to be creative and plan an actual date night without leaving your house. My original thought for this post was “COVID safe date ideas” but they’re also great for winter date ideas (for those of you who don’t want to brave the cold Canadian winters or want to stay home and be cozy), have to stay home for whatever reason, or are just thinking of cheap date night ideas at home.
Home Spa Night
I planned a home spa night earlier this year and was a lot of fun but also turned out to be an awesome way to unplug. I pulled together all the free samples, face masks and gifts from friends and family I’ve received in the past few years and made a night of it.
Free/Cheap: You might already have lots of “spa” items laying around such as face masks, mani/pedi sets, bath bombs, hair masks, body scrub, etc. If not, combine grocery shopping and spa night shopping and pick most of these things up at the same time! Turn off the lights, light a candle and you’re set to go for an evening! I suggest turning your phone off or putting it in another room and unwind with your partner for the evening.
Splurge: Pick out a spa set, set the mood with your essential oil diffuser and twinkle lights and enjoy the night.
Beach Night (shoutout to Ottawa River Lifestyle for this idea): order fun beach props (think beach ball, fun sunglasses, umbrellas for drinks), make themed drinks and food (think pina colada or margarita) and dress up in your summer clothes!
Free/Cheap: dress up in your summer clothes and make some photo props with craft materials you might already have at home! Watch a fun summer movie and think of warm weather.
Splurge: Purchase items online like fun umbrella for a cocktail or photo props.
Brewery Tour/Wine Tour
Pick up a selection of beers from local breweries. (Try to support local and go to a brewery in your home town. Many local breweries offer contact fee pick-up or delivery) or try a new bottle of wine (Jabulani and Kin Vineyards are two local Ottawa wineries) and try to find a food pairing to go with them. I personally enjoy a glass of wine and baked brie, see below!
Splurge: This book might be fun to flip through together and pick beer/wine pairings. Put it on your shelf with your cookbooks and find pairings that go together.
Support Local: Order from your local brewery and try a variety from one brewery, or order a few from different breweries. Some of my favourites in the Ottawa Region are: Whitewater Brewery, Cartwright Springs, Nita Beer and Flora Hall.
I’ve wanted to plan one of these forever but COVID put a stop to house parties so this will be planned for another time! However, it would still be fun to do with your partner (or a group of friends on video chat). Pick a few recipes to try to have a cocktail night at home. Part of the fun is making new drinks you might never have tried before.
Free/Cheap: find recipes that are easier to make and have ingredients you’re likely to already have at home. Click on the following links for some simple, delicious cocktails: Gin (Bees Knees or this Elderflower gin cocktail is amazing), Vodka (simple cocktail), Proscecco/Champagne (French 75), Bourbon/Whiskey (Cinnamon Maple Whiskey Sour), Rum (Classic or frozen Daiquiri)
Splurge: I have a cocktail shaker kit which makes cocktails so much more fun!
Support Local: A Bar from Afar (website here) will send a cocktail kit directly to your door! I recently had a virtual girl’s night and it was SO much fun to make fancy cocktails at home. I also love Taste & Tipple’s virtual cocktail hours on Instagram – she has a ton of fun recipes on her blog!
Movie Night at Home
I love the idea of setting up a home “theatre” where you turn your phones off, set up a picnic blanket and pillows to cuddle up together, pop some popcorn or other movie-theatre snacks and turn off the lights! You can pre-plan the movie you’re going to watch to look forward to seeing it together!
I’ve done five Paint Nites and it’s always a blast (although they haven’t all made it on my wall). You’re provided with all the supplies you’ll need to paint and you can order a drink or two to get the creative juices flowing!
Support Local: Another fun idea is Watercolour613 online workshops and you can also order the supplies to your door in advance! Prices range ($ to $$) but include materials so it makes it an affordable date night.
Afternoon Tea at Home
Get as fancy as you would to go out for afternoon tea but either make it at home or order from a local restaurant! You can purchase a tiered cake stand or set it up on serving platters and enjoy a fun afternoon in.
Support Local: For Ottawa people, you can order High Tea from Zoe’s (Chateau Laurier) (and I highly recommend it). It comes with all the fixings, including loose leaf tea from Lot 35.