Date Night: Stay-At-Home Style

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Date night has gotten trickier lately. You’ve been staying in the house, maybe working, maybe laboring on the home front, and maybe even home schooling your kids. Chances are you’re wearing your favorite sweats, not shaving, not doing your hair or make-up. But you can still take time out for a date – just get creative. The first step in the process: get fixed up and dressed up as you would for any other date.

The second step: check out entertainment options. You might be thinking that those are really limited right now – but more than ever, there are concerts, plays, movies, museum tours and trips behind-the-scenes. The hard part is deciding what you want to do. Once you have, design your date around it.

If you’re part of a pair living together…

The hardest part might be choosing a restaurant. Order carryout or delivery from one of your favorite dine-in places, but try something new. Maybe, choose several appetizers to share or something new-to-you from the menu to sample. Set the atmosphere with real dinnerware and wine glasses, candlelight and music. Then settle in for a romantic dinner followed by some great entertainment. It’s a perfect time to binge-watch Ozark.

If you’re a couple separated by the situation…

Don’t give up yet! You can still do date night, virtually.  If you’re in the same town, arrange to pick up from the same local restaurant, maybe even choose the same entrée, and pair it with your favorite Missouri wine. Just keep social distance when you pick up your meals! Being in different cities makes social distancing a given – but you can still choose the same type of cuisine from a local eatery, preferred wines and even share the “same” dessert, so you’ll still basically be sharing dinner.

The internet makes it easy to find the perfect choice for an evening with a long-time love or a first-time date. In addition to Ozark, the Smartify app can take you both on a virtual tour of one of the world’s great art museums, including Missouri’s own Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. Or if it’s a Friday night, Andrew Lloyd Webber is making a different one of his Broadway musicals available each week at ticket prices (free!) you’ll never see again. Then jump on Facetime or Zoom to share your experience.

Having kids in the house doesn’t mean you can’t have a nice grown-up date…

Set up a fun picnic for the kids in a separate room (or floor!) by spreading a tablecloth on the floor and serving up their favorites from a nearby restaurant, whether that’s finger foods, pizza or fried chicken. They can “make believe” they’re enjoying a picnic at the zoo with live zoo cams from St. Louis and Kansas City, or go farther afield to the Smithsonian Zoo in Washington D.C., the Monterrey Aquarium or the San Diego zoo. You can also search online for celebrities reading stories – or first run movie releases like Trolls World Tour.

Family time…

And finally, if you’re less into dates than family time, gather the brood, send an invite to friends and relatives and hop on the House Party app for a great virtual game night for everyone.

Planning the night is part of the fun – and it gives everyone involved, from a couple to an extended family – something to look forward to even while staying home.

Written by Barb Brueggeman