Just because the pandemic hasn't quite gone away yet doesn't mean you can't still celebrate Valentine's Day in a special way. We've all spent plenty of date nights cuddled up on the couch with a good movie over the last year, so why not try something new without sacrificing the safety of social distance? Here are some romantic, pandemic-safe date ideas.
Nothing says romance like watching the stars with your main squeeze. Find a night with clear skies and venture away from the city's bright lights and enjoy the quiet, peaceful ambiance.
Go for a Picnic
Rather than risk dinner at a restaurant, pack up a picnic with your favorite snacks and enjoy the outdoors with your valentine. Who says you need candlelight to make a dinner romantic?
You could book time at an indoor rock-climbing wall if you're new to the activity – many gyms have reopened with enhanced safety protocols. But if you and your partner are experienced athletes, you could always try your hand at the real thing!
Pick Fruit Together
Chances are you have at least a couple farms or orchards nearby that let guests pick fresh fruit for fun. You'll be surprised at how much fun you and your partner will have picking fresh apples, berries, or even fresh herbs together.
Hit the Water
Have an aquatic adventure with your partner that you'll both remember for a long time. Rent kayaks, paddleboards, or even a full-sized boat and enjoy a fun and romantic outing on the water.
Explore Your City
You may think you know your own city, but when is the last time you went exploring? Together with your partner, plot an expedition downtown, visit popular landmarks, and check out other corners of the city you've never visited. Discovering the city together can deepen your connection to your partner.
Play a Sport
Whether it's a tennis showdown, nine holes of golf, or even a quick game of H.O.R.S.E. on the basketball court, a little bit of friendly competition can lead to sparks.
Make a New Dish Together
Don your chef hats, put on your aprons, and pour your love into a new recipe. Creating a new delicious dish is an amazing shared experience that will highlight just how well you two work together.
Break Out the Board Games
Another way to spark your competitive spirit is with a board game night! For an extra layer of fun, bring back the classics of your youth like Connect Four, Battleship, Hungry Hungry Hippo, and more.
Hot Air Balloon
This one may be a bit trickier to organize depending on where you live, but if you can make it happen, you and your partner are in for the date of your lives. Few things can match the romantic thrill of embracing each other hundreds of feet in the sky with a 360-degree view of the world's beauty surrounding you.
As far as date ideas go, dinner and a movie is heading the way of the dinosaurs. Don't get us wrong; we love eating dinner and we love watching movies, but let's face it: It's a snoozefest of a date, especially when there are so many unique date ideas out there. Whether you're looking for a memorable first date or trying to plan an anniversary outing that will knock your partner's socks off, don't settle for the usual. Try one of these unique date ideas instead.
When you're actively engaged on a date, it tends to make for a more memorable – and positive – experience. A custom scavenger hunt around town gives you and your date opportunities to bond while seeing the city. If you've been dating for a while, you can work your personal history into the hunt for an extra special touch.
Sometimes all you need for a great date is gorgeous scenery, a great partner, and riveting conversation. Find the prettiest park near you and get lost with each other. Floridian cities are uniquely rich with acres of parkland, like Gainesville's sprawling walkways through wetlands and wildlife.
Get your adrenaline pumping as you and your date burn rubber at a local go-kart course! Inviting a little healthy competition into your night out can be a great way to bond. If you're in the Jacksonville area, we recommend the high-speed thrills at the Autobahn Indoor Speedway.
Master the mambo or become sensational at the salsa with a personal dance lesson for you and your partner. Bahhari in Orlando is one of the hottest studios, offering classes for a variety of Latin and ballroom dancing styles.
Let your shared love for literature bring you and your date together when you take them out to a local bookstore (or comic book store if you and your date appreciate the graphic arts)! If the store happens to have an in-store cat like Abraxas Books in Daytona Beach, consider it a bonus.
Instead of going to dinner, why not make dinner together? On its own that idea isn't wholly unique, but when you change the setting from your kitchen to a classroom led by professional chefs, you've got yourself an excellent date night. Publix's Aprons Cooking Schools are popular options, with several locations throughout Florida.
If you're lucky enough to have one in your town, treat your date to a night full of scientific fun at your local science museum. Jacksonville's MOSH is a great example: hands-on activities keep your attention while you learn about the world around you.
A couple's massage might be a little strange for a first date, but for established partners, getting pampered by a masseuse with magic hands is a great way to unwind, connect with your spouse, and leave feeling stress-free.
Who doesn't love connecting with exotic wildlife? The stunning animals and experiences at zoos like Brevard Zoo provide ample opportunity to create memories you and your partner will be talking about for years.
Venture out to your city's farmers' market with your date and explore unique ingredients, locally grown foods, and more. Or you can explore the often-eccentric booths at a local flea market – you'll certainly have plenty to talk about!
Ever wanted to take up painting? How about rock climbing or axe throwing? Pick a skill you and your date are interested in and find a class for it! You'll be forever linked by your new, shared ability.
Escape rooms are a major trend right now, and for good reason: they're inventive experiences that challenge your wits and ability to work together. Sounds like the perfect recipe for a first date!
Show off that big brain of yours and impress your date at trivia night at a local restaurant. For an even better time, find trivia themed around something you both enjoy, like a TV show.
Karaoke can be intimidating for many people, but that also makes it a perfect icebreaker for first dates. Few things bring your wall down and pull you out of your shell quite like belting out your favorite tune in front of a room full of strangers.