The Best Indoors and Outdoors Date Options for Valentine's Day

Love conquers all, they say. You can still celebrate Valentine’s Day while staying socially distant.
Love conquers all, they say. You can still celebrate Valentine’s Day while staying socially distant. Ian Ross Pettigrew/Getty
As we approach a year of dealing with COVID-19, we can look back on socially distanced birthdays, Halloween and other sad holiday celebrations. But here’s one holiday we haven’t yet tackled during a historic pandemic, as if it wasn’t already scary and stressful enough: Valentine’s Day.

What is a safe celebration of love going to look like this year? Restaurants are open with certain precautions, so many couples can still do Valentine’s Day like in normal times  — but what if you’re not quite ready to do that yet and still want to be socially distant?

We’ve rounded up a few corona-safe date ideas for you and your special someone. Whether you're looking for socially distant activities around Dallas, you want ideas for staying home or you’re needing to spice up a virtual date, we got you.


We know you’d rather be there in person. Nothing beats getting to hold the person you love. But just because you’ve got to Zoom in into the romance that doesn’t mean it has to be boring.

No matter the activity you choose to do, a great and easy way to give any virtual date a more realistic feel is to have the same food delivered to both you and your date, so you can feel like you’re sharing a meal together. And what’s better than finding food on your doorstep from the person you love?

The 36 Questions That Lead to Love

If you’re ready to get deep, this is the date for you. Basically, a team of psychologists came up with a list of 36 personal questions for you and your partner to answer that will lead to deeper love. According to a New York Times article that lists the questions, “the idea is that mutual vulnerability fosters closeness.”

The Powerpoint Date
There’s a trend on TikTok in which you get a group of friends together and everyone has to give a PowerPoint presentation on basically anything. The results are usually quirky and hilarious. “The 10 ugliest movie babies,” “What kind of old people everyone would be,” “Who would die first in the Hunger Games and how,” “Sexiest Disney dads” — the list can go on. This date idea could work in person or through screen sharing on Zoom, one-on-one or on a double date. All you need is a little creativity.

Let Bob Ross Lead You
You guessed it. Come equipped with paint, paint brushes, and canvases, then follow a painting tutorial by the late Bob Ross. If you want to take it a step further, you could always mail each other your finished products.

The Virtual Cooking Date
This is a classic, but we have to mention it. Decide on a recipe, make sure both partners have all the ingredients and cook the same thing while video chatting. The great thing about cooking dates is that you’ve got a fun activity and a (hopefully) nice dinner all in one, and if your efforts still fall short, no worries, your significant other won't be able to taste your failure.

The Fancy Man’s Virtual Date
If you’re missing art and the finer things, you’re in luck. The National Gallery of Art and the Louvre, among many other amazing art museums, are offering some great virtual tours. Enjoy the works of the greats such as Degas and Raphael from the comfort and safety of your home, without the pricey admission tickets or flights to Paris.

At Home

Are you quarantined together and want to stay COVID-cautious? You can still make things special while staying home. Of course, there’s always cooking dinner together, having a picnic in your living room and playing games — all of kinds. But, here are a few other ideas.

The Tasting Party
Think of your favorite food. Cupcakes? Pizza? Then drive around town collecting the same food from different places, bring it all home, and take turns tasting each blindfolded. Whether it’s chicken fingers, mac n cheese, boba, or whatever tickles your taste buds, this is a date any foodie would love.

You can rate fries from different fast-food restaurants, guess which burger came from which place (and finally determine whether Whataburger or In N Out reigns supreme), or decide which bakery makes the best chocolate chip cookie.

Bad Movie Critics
Sometimes, watching a bad movie with the right person is so much better than watching a masterpiece. May we recommend Rubber, an R-rated film about a tire that kills people? Yes, literally, that’s the movie.
Feel free to critique and make jokes. Buzzfeed also has a list of bad movies on Netflix for you to enjoy.

Around Town

Are You Even Texan?
Here’s a great and memorable activity you can do outside while socially distanced: Whether you’re an expert rider or have never been on a horse before, you can enjoy a ride along the shores of Lake Grapevine at Marshall Creek Ranch.

Romance in Rainbow Vomit
Rainbow Vomit is an Instagram museum on steroids: Rainbows, unicorns, all in the form of experimental art. You can book the place for an hour all to yourself. But you'll want to hurry because the slots are filling up. You can book socially distanced tickets to tour the place along with everyone else.

A Trip to Italy

Can’t go to Italy because of a pandemic, but really want to go to Italy? I bet you didn’t know you could ride a gondola right in la bellisima città of Irving. Gondola Adventures in Irving offers different packages that include anything from dinner on the gondola, gourmet chocolate, breakfast, or wine. They’re also doing a Valentine’s Day special for $170.

The Best Outdoor Movie Experience
Go for one of the most surefire and classic date ideas out there: the drive-in movie theater. Located in the heart of Dallas, the Rooftop Cinema Club offers a great outdoor theater experience along with concessions and grub from a food truck. In the month of February, they are playing classics Romeo and Juliet, Love and Basketball, The Notebook and more. Bring some food, snuggle up close, and enjoy movies on a big screen the safest way you can do it right now.

Scenic Drive and Picnic
The safest cure for quarantine cabin fever is to grab your favorite snacks, curate the perfect playlist and watch the sunset on a scenic drive. When the time feels right, stop, take pictures, and have a picnic.

Escape the Room
One fun indoor activity has always involved isolating and social distancing: escape rooms. Yeah, we know it's hard to get out of our rooms these days, but places such as Escape the Room make the challenge that much more exciting. You can also turn your house rooms into an escape room with a series of cheap but fun (and actually challenging) at-home kits you can buy on Amazon.

The Quirkiest Date
There’s a place called ShangriLlama Castle 40 minutes from Dallas, and it’s, well, exactly that: a castle you can visit to walk some llamas. This place has hosted weddings and events, all revolving around llamas. Who wouldn’t want to walk an animal named Prince Barak O’ Llama on their scenic walking trails? 
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Isabel Arcellana has been writing for the Observer since spring 2018 and has been creating fake newspapers for her mom since she was 8. She graduated from SMU with a double major in journalism and fashion media. Her five guitars are named after High School Musical characters.