May 13, 2020
Finding a date night spot is hard enough in Cedar Rapids without a global pandemic.
I’m taking the blog in a little different direction today. I tend to stay more on the topic of weddings, but today I want to get on the subject of dating your significant other. The importance of continuing to date each other throughout your engagement and marriage cannot be understated! In fact, weekly date nights is something my husband and I implemented shortly after having our first child, almost five years ago! Normally, we love to do things out and about, and actually eat inside of restaurants, but that has been temporarily put on hold – and we’ve had to find ways to adjust. Honestly, I’m almost enjoying them more, simply because we’ve had to get creative.
According to a study done by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, spouses who continued to date each other, saw improvements in happiness, commitment, communication, parenthood, stability, and community integration. The study also shows evidence that couples who spend quality time devoted to each other at least once a week even have a lower divorce rate! f you know me, you know I am all about lowering the divorce rate!
Today, I want to share with you some date night ideas, while everything is closed during the pandemic – or you just want an inexpensive date night at home! Tons of local restaurants are offering carryout and even delivery right to your home!
Disclaimer: I wanted to shoutout local businesses, so the restaurants listed are in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area, but there are sure to be amazing local restaurants in your area too! This blog is in no way sponsored by any restaurants or locations mentioned. The recommendations given are the original thoughts of the author, and are in no way sponsored.
Things to do on date night:
Build a fort and watch a movie in it – this is such a cute, fun, and creative way to spend a date night. All you need is some blankets and a chair. You can also go elaborate and add twinkling lights or a tent! Make sure you bring plenty of pillows and cozy blankets!
Take an online cooking class – these can be an inexpensive and fun date night! Find a recipe online that you want to try, and cook away! Bonus points if it ends in a food fight!
Do an at-home workout together – I’m a fitness enthusiast, my husband is not there right now, but every once in a while he will do a plank challenge with me. You can get a free trial to Beachbody, try a sample workout, do a Pinterest or YouTube workout, or create one together!
Paint each other – clothing optional.
Build a “drive in” movie theater at home – hang up a white sheet on your fence or on the side of your house, bring out the pillows and blankets, and snuggle up! You could even have a little bonfire during the movie!
Go to a drive in movie at Ashton Hill Farm – Ashton Hill Farm is a beautiful wedding venue, somewhere between modern and rustic. Gorgeous, simple, and tasteful! Since weddings are mostly on hold at the moment, they’ve come up with new and creative ways to use their space. One of those ways is a drive in movie! Including Almost Famous Popcorn!
Have a bonfire – bonfires are one of our favorite ways to have date nights! Cook up some s’mores, have a glass of wine, and cuddle up next to the fire.
Binge watch The Office on Netflix (or your favorite TV series) – there must be something you haven’t watched on Netflix yet.
Read a book series together – you need to re-read The Hunger Games before the new book comes out, right?
Draw up blueprints for your dream home – get creative! Build exactly what you would dream about for your dream home! Get specific! This is a great way to start a conversation about your future and goals!
Create your dream home on The Sims – same concept, but on the Sims! You can see everything in color that way, and can add furniture.
Take a long walk – through your neighborhood, on a trail, through the woods – wherever it speaks to you!
Paint a room in your home – home improvements have been on the rise since the pandemic began. It seems like everyone is using this time to make changes to their homes that they never seemed to have time for before.
Play board/card games – we love Codenames and Life.
Blindfolded cooking – pick a recipe, blindfold one of you (NOT BOTH OF YOU), and the other will guide them through the kitchen using words and physical guidance to make your meal!
Stay in bed – all evening
At-home wine tasting – place a different bottle of wine in each room of your house. Go around sipping and laughing, making the most of the situation!
Drive-thru farmers market – at least in Iowa, drive-thru farmer’s markets are becoming a thing! You can drive through and get food, flowers, crafts, all kinds of fun things!
Drive to the country and watch the sunset – stick around long enough, and you can also watch the stars!
Make a funny Tik Tok – I can’t Tik Tok, but I applaud those who have the time and patience for it. It might even be more funny if you’re like me, and just can’t seem to get it.
Do couples challenges on YouTube – there are so many of these, now that couples are stuck at home with each other! Try the What’s In My Mouth Challenge, or just do a search on YouTube!
Get dressed up and dance – wear your best clothes, or your craziest outfit, set up some great tunes, and dance it out!
Have a zoom double date with friends – Zoom is a huge thing now! People everywhere are using it to connect with friends and family that they can’t go see right now. Grab your significant other, and have a zoom double date!
Great local restaurants for date night (that are open for carry out or delivery):
BONUS: Alright, one more little tidbit. The Olympic is a brand new wedding venue in Cedar Rapids. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and they’re offering hourly rentals for $50.00 per hour. For Mother’s Day this year, I asked my mom what she wanted more than anything, and she said, “I just want to eat inside a restaurant.” Well, I couldn’t necessarily make that happen, but what I could do was rent The Olympic for our family, and bring in food from one of her favorite restaurants, Texas Roadhouse. So, even though we couldn’t go into a restaurant, we decided to create a restaurant atmosphere, and give my mom the dinner out she deserves. I realize that’s a Mother’s Day idea, but you can absolutely do the same thing for a date night!
That’s all I’ve got for you today, friends! Tell me in the comments, what has been your favorite date night activity recently? Where are your favorite restaurants? How have you gotten creative to spice up your date night during this time of social distancing and quarantines?
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