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Love in the Time of COVID: Valentine’s Date Ideas for 2021


The traditional options for Valentine’s Day are a bit limited this year, for reasons that we don’t really need to state at this point. But that doesn’t mean that the way you express your love needs to be limited. We’ve rounded up some fun and creative date ideas to spend your Valentine’s Day in Phoenix.

Cook together

Creating a meal together can be a much better way to bond than over a restaurant table. Pick up a new cookbook and choose a recipe or two that intrigues you or pushes you to try a new style of cuisine (we love the beautiful Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden and the beloved Anthony Bourdain’s Appetites). Is cooking together already a regular part of your routine? Shake it up with a playful cooking competition. Pick select ingredients to use for creating different plates, or create two unique takes of the same dish, and see who proves to be the top chef. Recommended appetizers? Fun tunes, lit candles, and dancing together in the kitchen.

Not confident in your cooking skills? Order a decadent dinner to-go from one of our favorite Phoenix spots: Tratto, Restaurant Progress, Valentine, or Glai Baan.

Enjoy the outdoors

Get out into nature and get some endorphins rushing. We love the lesser-populated trailheads at Piestewa, the huge network of trails crisscrossing South Mountain, and the short but challenging Black Mountain and longer remote Elephant Mountain trails of Cave Creek. Even more adventurous? Book a horseback ride through the desert at sunset. For something more relaxed, pack a picnic and pick a park (like Encanto, Los Olivos, or Papago). Throw together some decadent sandwiches or a charcuterie selection - and don’t forget wine and chocolate. 

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Get artistic

One of the best things about partnership is getting to play together. Try something artistic that you’ve never done before, or revisit something you used to love. Something as simple as finger-painting or drawing portraits of one another, playing instruments together, playing with clay, or pretending to be art students while painting a still life of your fruit bowl. If one of you is more artistically-inclined, have fun teaching your lover some techniques! Compare your creations to the masters with a virtual stroll in beautiful museums across the globe.

Snuggle up with movies

Elevate your at-home movie game by each picking your all-time favorite romance movies, creating your own movie-viewing drinking game, or planning around a theme. A marathon of classics like Casablanca and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, or a selection of goofy rom-coms. Popcorn, sweet treats, and beer or bubbles are a must. Bonus points if you have a projector that you can set up for a luxurious backyard viewing party, or if you make it playful with a cozy blanket fort in the living room.

Share a musical experience

When was the last time you simply did nothing but listen to music and enjoy one another’s company? The art of slowing down creates a night of decadent quality time together. Pick up a bottle of wine, select your favorite records from your home collection (or find some fresh options from Stinkweeds, Zia, or In Groove) and take turns acting the DJ. For a sweet surprise, curate a playlist just for them and text them a link, so that they can enjoy songs that remind them of you whether you’re together or apart. 

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Exchange sweet nothings

Write each other love letters to cherish forever. Not that great with words? Seek inspiration from modern love poems and classic ones - like the works of Yrsa Daley Ward, Atticus, Rupi Kaur, e.e. cummings, John Keats, or Pablo Neruda. Pick out your favorite pieces that remind you of them, and text them to read throughout the day.

Explore their love languages and spark intimate conversation by asking one another these 36 questions that deepen connection and bring you closer.

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What ways will you be celebrating Valentine’s Day this year? Let us know in the comments below!


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