10 COVID-Safe Date Night Ideas for Parents and Caregivers
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Yes, it’s here again!
Like so many of you, I hoped this year would be different, that the world would be in a better place, and that we could once again safely venture out to — you know??? — enjoy the brilliant luxury of a night out. It is a wild idea in these prolonged pandemic times, I know…
And yet, as we cruise into the month of February, it appears that we will all be spending another Valentine’s Day in some degree of isolation.
Is it disappointing? Yes. Of course it is.
Should we throw our hands in the air with a “to-heck-with-Valentine’s-Day” dramatic flair?
No! Of course not.
We may just need to adapt and plan ahead, and throw a bit of creativity in there for good measure. But, as family caregivers, adaptability is already our bread-and-butter.
Spending quality time with our partners — whether we go out or stay in — is important. That is especially true for all of us parent-caregivers who struggle to find time to focus on anything but our kids.
Valentine’s Day is an excuse to focus on the special relationships in your life.
Grab on to that opportunity, people!
Here are 10 ideas for planning a COVID-safe, date night at home.
*Stay tuned for a future article featuring creative ways to find respite care for the kids*
1. Recreate your favorite date night of the past. Do you remember the excitement of your first date? What about that honeymoon trip to Disneyland, or that weekend getaway to Vegas? Or, maybe that one, AMAZING night you once shared following an unexpected lay-over in Atlanta? Perhaps your best date ever was closer to home, where something monumental happened: a first kiss shared with the love of your life? A proposal? Whatever it is, take time to recreate the fun of that night at home. Make your own version of the meal you shared, dance to the music that played.
2. Register for a virtual cooking class. Work together to create a meal for a dinner and movie night in your living room. There are now many opportunities to participate in virtual workshops, including cooking classes. If you happen to be a couple who would rather brunch, than dine — never fear! There are brunch-making and sweet-baking virtual classes for you too. A bit of research on trusty, old Google should do the trick!
3. Plan a Zoom double-date with friends in a far-away place. Increased social connectivity via online platforms has proven itself to be one of the few silver-linings of the pandemic era. Take the time to reach out to friends who live in a far-off place (or even not so far away — your choice!) and schedule a Zoom date. Watch a rom-com while Zoomed together, play a couple’s game, or simply enjoy a glass of good wine, big laughs and an hour or two of reminiscing.
4. Spend a Saturday afternoon outside together. Invest in some quality time and a healthy dose of fresh air. Make a plan to spend a Saturday together doing your favorite outdoor activity. For the runners of the world: Plan ahead to map out a new route through surrounding neighborhoods, and stop at a café for coffee or a tasty treat to refuel you along the way. If you enjoy hiking: the greater Seattle area is home to some spectacular winter hikes. (Click here for ideas!)
5. Share a pot of your favorite hot drink and plan your summer together. Yes, it is only February. However, those with previous experience in certain activities, like yurting or attempting to snag your kid a spot at youth summer camps, know that late winter is the prime time to start making plans and booking reservations for a summer of fun. And, while it sounds simple, a cold, February evening spent cuddled up on a couch, with a hot drink in hand, dreaming of the warm, sunny months ahead, also sounds pretty dang cozy and wonderful.
6. Sign up for a home based, ceramics class. Even some local studios and galleries now offer a virtual option! Find a fun, hands-on, art class online, or look locally. For example, Glazed & Amazed in Edmonds has Pottery To-Go Paint Kits available, which are perfect for a low-key, date night at home. If you are really itching to get out of the house in a COVID safe way, places like Salish Sea Ceramic Studio, located in downtown Everett, offer private pottery classes for two.
7. Schedule a “Pizza & Pie” night. Have your favorite ingredients delivered to your doorstep and spend the evening throwing dough and baking pie. Make something simple (traditional pepperoni pizza and apple pie, anyone?) or venture into the more artisanal. Whatever your taste, pop on some fun tunes and spend the evening in the kitchen with your partner, dancing, laughing and creating a memorable meal.
8. Date and Donate for Heart Month. February is recognized as American Heart Month (because #hearts), and blood supplies nationwide are currently at critical lows. What better time to schedule an appointment to donate blood! And, why not turn it into a Day-Date with your partner?! Schedule concurrent appointments at your local blood bank, or during a pop-up blood drive in your community, and grab take-out to eat at a nearby park before heading home. It’s quality time for a quality reason! (Also: Heart Month serves as an annual reminder to schedule a check-up of your own. It’s important that we take care of ourselves too! Get those wellness checks on the books.)
9. Set up a home spa experience for two. Order all of the fancy lotions and face-masks ahead of time, lower the lights and draw a bubble bath. Splurge to pamper yourselves with the spa-day oils in aromas that you would never otherwise buy, or explore making your own products. Enjoy yourselves, even if the spa experience lasts only for the overlapping hour of the kids’ soccer practice and scout meeting. Savor those rare, quiet and calming moments together.
10. Enjoy a personal chocolate-tasting together at home. Set a budget and task both partners with finding unique and flavorful chocolate bars. (Thanks to the internet and next-day shipping, no chocolate bar is out of reach!) Carve out an evening together to enjoy tasting and talking about your finds. Extend the experience by pairing your chocolates with local PNW wines. (Here are some tips from the experts to get you started!)
However you celebrate, and whenever you are able to carve out time in this hectic life we call caregiving, I hope you savor every ounce of joy the time brings you. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Whitney Stohr is a Parent to Parent Coordinator at The Arc of Snohomish County. She is passionate about advocating for medically complex children and children with disabilities and their families. She is a mom and medical caregiver herself, who is energized by working closely with other parent/family caregivers. She lives with her four-year-old son Malachi and husband Jason in Lynnwood. Connect with her on Instagram @rollin.w.spinabifida. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.