Looking for a date night idea for Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14 that’s COVID-friendly? Allow UCF’s relationship experts to help you with that.
UCF’s Marriage and Family Research Institute was founded in 2003 on UCF’s campus and is open to anyone over the age of 18 in the Orlando community. Run by trained professionals, the institute’s services are supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, so its resources are offered free to the public.
In October, researchers at the institute were awarded a $7.5 million, five-year grant to continue their work to help keep couples in the Orlando area together through relationship counseling. The program, Project Harmony 2.0 which starts in early April, focuses on improving couple relationships through a four- to five-week course that teaches better ways to communicate and manage conflict while emphasizing the importance of spending quality time together.
Sejal Barden, an associate professor of counselor education and executive director of the UCF Marriage and Family Research Institute, offers these date night ideas for you and your partner.
If you’re up for a mini road trip, this is a great option for a once-in-a-while experience. These three theaters are all within 90 miles of UCF: Lakeland’s Silver Moon Drive-in Theatre, Ocala Drive-in, and Dade City’s Joy-Lan Drive-in & Swap Shop.
“Anything in the Fridge” Game
Without shopping for anything new, use what you have in your fridge and pantry and compete to decide who made the better meal.
Complete the 16 Personalities Myers Briggs assessment
This can start a really good conversation about your similarities or differences, or you can discuss about how inaccurate it may be.
“ROLL” Dating Game
Choose a movie, dinner, snack or beverage of choice. Write and number 15 items that correspond with each category. Ask Google or Siri to pick a number between 1 and 15. Whatever she rolls is whatever you do.
“Reminded me of you” game
You and your partner go to a store of your choosing (e.g. Target, Walmart, Dollar Tree) and look for different items that remind you of each other. Consider different categories: Favorite snack, favorite drink, something their favorite color, something they need, something that reminds you of them, something you want them to try, something you need for the house, *bonus: movie you want to watch.
Airbnb Virtual Experience
Since traveling is a bit difficult during the pandemic, Airbnb offers a variety of experiences without ever having to leave your home. Some include ravioli making with an Italian chef or meditation and yoga sessions with an instructor in Spain.
Enjoy a picnic
Bring a blanket or tailgate chairs to your favorite outdoor spot. If you’re in Orlando, check out some of the City Beautiful’s parks or gardens, many of which are free.
Tour a museum or attraction virtually
Immerse yourself in museums, such as The Louvre, the Guggenheim, the San Diego Zoo and many more around the world, that are offering free virtual tours of their facilities during the pandemic.
This could be fun to also do as a virtual double date. You can pick your favorite game and play with your partner or play via Zoom as a double date with other friends and family. The app Houseparty is also group friendly.
Stargaze and s’mores night
Cozy up by a firepit and indulge in toasted marshmallows or s’mores. Pro tip: consider peanut butter cups, other chocolate candies or Nutella when building your s’mores.
Dance in the living room
Learn some new moves by watching YouTube videos, or cue up a slow-dancing playlist.
Have an at-home spa day
Treat yourself to some pampering and offer to give each other massages.