Eight COVID-Safe, In-Person Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

Disclaimer: While many of the activities we’re suggesting can take place at home or in locations that have modified operations for COVID-19, we’re not guaranteeing doing these activities comes with zero chance of you or members of your party contracting COVID-19. Please exercise caution, follow CDC guidelines and execute these ideas at your own risk. We’ve come up with ways to modify some of these date ideas so they can be done virtually here.

Isolating oneself on a holiday devoted to romance and spending quality time with loved ones doesn’t sound very desirable—and let’s be realistic; chances are won’t be isolating ourselves completely on Valentine’s Day. While we by no means encourage celebrating this Valentine’s Day as you would any other, we know many of you will opt to see the significant other or friends who comprise your social bubble Feb. 14. If this is true for you, then virtual date ideas won’t apply. That’s why we’re comprising a list of COVID-safe, in-person date ideas. 

  1. A hike (or walk) and picnic

If you and your SO are outdoorsy, consider going for a romantic hike followed by a picnic. Hiking can easily be a whimsical and private activity. If you wander off the beaten path, you can quickly find that you and your partner are the only two people around. Suddenly, you have what seems like a whole, wooded universe to yourselves. If you end up in a clearing or overlooking a bluff, you can capture some great, Instagram-worthy shots of your SO. Cunningham Falls State Park, Great Falls, Carriage Trail, Paint Branch Trail, the C&O Canal and Annapolis Rock are just a few popular hiking sites in the vicinity. For more hiking spots, check out the All Trails website or buy a hiking guide at your local REI. If you’re both really active, swap out the hike for a run.

If you’re not the most active couple, consider walking around a smaller park or aesthetically pleasing space, like Brookside Gardens, the Georgetown Waterfront Park, Centennial Park or the National Arboretum. The flowers or water features might be nice, but we doubt that’s the view you’ll be concentrating on. 

After you’re done with your hike or walk, you can find a secluded spot to settle down and have a bite to eat. Make sure you’re staying hydrated throughout the hike/walk, however, and brush up on some hiking safety tips before you head out. 

Besides it being outdoors, and therefore inherently more COVID-safe than an indoor activity, perhaps the best thing about this date idea is that it can be completely free! It can also be done with friends!

As of right now, the Weather Channel is forecasting a 30% chance of snow on Valentine’s Day and a high of 30 degrees, so this may not be the best/warmest date idea this year, but if you’re brave enough to head out, bundle up and don’t stay out for too long.

  1. Dinner and dancing

Dinner and dancing is a classic date combination. A lot of restaurants have been forced to close their dining rooms, but many of them have been winterizing outdoor dining spaces or are open for carry out. 

If you’re comfortable with dining on a patio with heat lamps or in a tent, going to your favorite restaurant (or opting for something fancy) might not be completely off the table. 

If you’d be more comfortable dining by yourselves, you can take your romantic meal to go and set up camp at home or in a field for picnic-style dining.

You can even make your own dinner! Try any of these recipes

After you finish eating, slow dancing in a backyard or field, bathed in moonlight while soft songs stream from a speaker, can be the perfect way to cap off a memorable night. Or, instead of slow dancing, maybe try some couple-oriented TikTok challenges. You can even go the video game route and throw it back to Just Dance.

To make this a celebration fit for your “galentines,” socially distance around a campfire while you eat and then blast your favorite party tunes while you dance around like crazy people.

  1. Movie marathon

One of the most iconic, albeit cheesy, Valentine’s Day date ideas is hosting a rom-com movie marathon. Now that you can watch practically anything, anywhere, consider watching a rom com wherever you see fit. Sleepless in Seattle; When Harry Met Sally; Love Actually; Clueless; 10 Things I Hate About You; The Proposal; Love, Simon and  Sixteen Candles are classic rom-coms you can watch with your SO or your friends. Popcorn is optional. 

  1. Baking

Baking is a hobby that many people picked up over quarantine. According to the National Retail Federation, nearly $2 billion is spent on chocolate and other candies in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, but this time, maybe you and your partner/friends can try making your own sweet treats to (not) share. 

Delish.com compiled a list of 72 Valentine’s Day dessert ideas from chocolate swirl fudge to red velvet, no-churn ice cream. Flip through their slideshow and click on the links to procure recipes!

  1. Crafting

Crafts are great to do together as a couple or in a small group. Here are some romantic (or platonic) craft ideas:

  • Painting: Painting is a classic artsy activity. Challenge yourselves to paint portraits of each other. You can try your hand at a teen-friendly “Wine and Painting Night” by swapping out the alcohol for sparkling cider. Or, in a true test of your relationship, try painting one picture together. The possibilities are endless with painting, and anything craft-related is a great idea for creative couples.
  • Candle making: Candles are the epitome of sensuality. Lighting a scented candle is a phenomenal way to unwind, and making them can be really fun, too! Craft supply stores like Michaels, which offers curbside delivery, will have everything you need to make your own candles. All that’s really needed is a vessel (like a glass mason jar), wax, maybe dye, maybe some scents and a heat source. 
  • Scrapbooking: We know couples (and friend groups) have endless photo shoots nowadays. Instead of posting photo dumps on Instagram, dump your photos (and a heck of a lot of glitter) into a scrapbook so you can preserve semi-physical memories of all your best moments together. 
  • Paint your own pottery: Painting your own pottery is such a fun, stress-free activity that will recall the days of your youth. Color Me Mine and Burning Down The House are two PYOP places that have taken measures to safely host painters. 
  1. Ice skating

If you want to recreate that Charlie Brown Christmas ice skating scene with your significant other or friends, you can reserve a spot at the Rockville ice skating rink. You can help each other up after you have both inevitably fallen down and then go warm up with hot chocolates at the Starbucks nearby. This is another outdoor activity, so bonus points for that. You get about an hour to skate. 

  1. Topgolf

One of the trendiest hang out spots right now is Topgolf. You can have fun whacking golf balls and eating party food with your SO or friends. You can even try that cheesy move where you “show your partner how to swing a club.”

  1. A rage room

Last, but certainly not least, we have a rage room. If you and your significant other need to blow off some serious steam, try a rage room. For a fee, you and your partner can enter a room and smash everything from wine glasses to printers for a set time. Or, maybe you and your friends really hate being single and want to take your frustration out on a filing cabinet. The Rage Room of Maryland and the Kraken Experience are two local rage rooms if that’s the route you want to pursue. 

We hope this helped! The weather and pandemic situation has limited options for dates, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a lovely and safe time with your partner or small group of friends.