The pandemic has taken dating from a difficult and necessary evil to a basically impossible and dangerous temptation. But with COVID-19 cases waning internationally and vaccination rates increasing daily in the U.S., you’ll likely be able to stumble through an awkward date again, just like the olden days. And when you do, why the hell would you go on another lame, lackluster walk?
Going on a walk is fine. And that’s really all it is … fine. If you want to wow your potential date, especially after spending months upon months in isolation, you can suggest something a little more creative and fun than yet another idle stroll through a park.
We’re not out of the pandemic woods quite yet. We can hold out hope for a vaccinated summer in which we can frolic with people we haven’t seen in a year, but for now, you might opt for a virtual date. Yes, I know, the term “virtual date” doesn’t exactly rouse anticipation that you might otherwise get from an IRL get-together, but there are some good options out there that can suffice while we wait.
- Virtual escape room: Do you like solving puzzles, especially when the task at hand is salvation from a (virtual) trap? Do a virtual escape room with your date. These prioritize teamwork and can definitely help you establish early on if you and your date can work together (if winning at all costs is your goal).
- Taste wine together: Are the two of you insufferable wine snobs? Then revel in that snobbery by tasting wine together. You can purchase the same couple of bottles, or order flights of wine to your respective homes, pour out some glasses, log onto a videoconference and let the tannins and pretentiousness take over.
- Online tours: This might seem like a novelty stolen from the early days of the internet, but given the options at your disposal these days, this can actually be pretty cool. I mean, you can take a virtual tour of the Louvre, together. Or the Great Wall of China, the Georgia Aquarium, or any number of cool options.
Fun IRL alternatives to walks
Walks are often thought of as a facilitator of discussion, or a very intimate get-to-know you type activity. This is true. But it’s also true that your legs can walk while you do other things besides talking. Of course, given the stubborn nature of this pandemic, wear a mask, unless both of you have been vaccinated, which is currently fine by CDC protocol.
- Miniature golf: Is there a soul on this planet who doesn’t love mini-golf? It will get you out of your comfort zone, and if you can maintain positive vibes while contending with a goofy golf course, you’ll have a great time.
- Picnics: You’re not walking, you’re sitting. But you’ll be sitting and talking, drinking something tasty and perhaps snacking on something like charcuterie, if that’s your speed.
- Crafting: Better yet, when you go to a park for a picnic, why not get creative with some crafts? More specifically, why not bring some paint and some wine to the park, or to someone’s backyard?
- Outdoor movies/standup comedy: With the weather warming up, cities across the country will soon start projecting movies onto big screens in the middle of local parks. There’s also the possibility of standup and other performances taking place in outdoor locations.
- Bike ride: Go somewhere scenic on a bike ride. Take a blanket and some lunch. Make a day of it.
- Watch the sunset: What’s more picturesque than going somewhere gorgeous (perhaps on a bike), watching the sunset and coming home with fireflies illuminating your path? I don’t know! But you can definitely make this date happen this summer.
- Botanical gardens: Fine, this technically is a walk, but it’s not any old walk. If your city has a botanical garden, or a nature preserve, this beats the heck out of walking around your local park.
- Tennis: Maybe you two aren’t the sporty types, but if you are, tennis is a fun game, as you’ll really get to test your stamina for maintaining chemistry as you knock the ball back and forth.
This is only a small fraction of the things you can do that don’t revolve solely around walking, which, quite frankly, is a boring activity when done on its own.