Illustration of a couple drinking together during cuffing season
It’s still possible to have a fun and safe dating life despite the pandemic. (Illustration by Eri Iguchi, Minneapolis College of Art and Design)

10 Pandemic-Friendly Date Ideas for Cuffing Season

Finding love with COVID-19 looming over your head can be difficult, but here are 10 safe dating tips for this holiday season.

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Illustration of a couple drinking together during cuffing season

Finding love with COVID-19 looming over your head can be difficult, but here are 10 safe dating tips for this holiday season.

Orange leaves dance down from the trees while the smell of pumpkin spice lingers in the air. A cool breeze sweeps across a crowd bundled in scarves and boots. The pumpkins lining the streets give a clear message: Fall is finally here. But Thanksgiving is not the only season fall brings about. Although there may not be any holiday cards in the grocery store celebrating it, fall means cuffing season.

The pandemic brought about a summer that felt like it would never end. The days were long, hot and downright boring as the country began to find a new normal during a nationwide shutdown.

The fall that seemed as if it would never arrive is finally here and has brought with it hope. Perhaps the start of a new season is the morale booster America needed in order to bring them through the remainder of the pandemic.

Colder weather means fashionable clothing, twinkling holiday lights and pumpkin spice everything! It also is a sign that summer flings are over and the chance to settle down is here. Maybe it’s the ambiance of the fire or the temptation of a longer evening, but something about fall is too romantic to resist.

Although the dating scene always has its own difficulties, this year’s cuffing season will present a unique set of challenges. After all, there’s no precedent set for dating during a pandemic.

Here are 10 pandemic-friendly date ideas that will guarantee a successful cuffing season.

1. Picnic in a Park

There is nothing more breathtaking than the trees changing colors during the fall. Rake away some leaves and clear out a space to plop down your favorite fleece blanket. Bring a gourmet spread or some to-go fast food to complete the perfect outdoor date. As you munch down, take in the beauty of the leaves swaying in the air.

The outdoors allows for plenty of space to roam about and sit apart. Remain six feet from your partner as per CDC guidelines to ensure that your date is not only romantic but COVID-19 safe.

2. Dinner To-Go

You can bring the restaurant experience to the comfort of your own home by grabbing your favorite takeout food.

The pandemic has forced restaurants to perfect their curbside pick-up. Grab your date and take advantage of this minimal contact service.

3. Drive-In Movie

“Grease” made every American fantasize about what it would be like to watch their favorite films at a drive-in theater. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of that daydream and scout out drive-in movie services near you.

Drive-in movies allow you to stay in your car and away from other’s germs while providing a different and exciting sort of cinematic experience.

4. Zoom and Kahoot

The pandemic has made platforms like Zoom and Kahoot surge in popularity as the world is seeking any way to virtually connect.

Zoom is a platform that allows individuals to communicate through real-time video and chat. Kahoot is a website that lets individuals create and share their own personalized quizzes. Combining these two platforms can make for a comical and lighthearted contactless date.

Create a Kahoot quiz about a topic of your choice and use the Zoom screen-sharing feature to share your quiz with your date. The sites can help lead to interesting conversations and allow for two individuals to get to know one another without the risk of spreading COVID-19.

5. Virtual Happy Hour

Share your favorite pumpkin spice drink or holiday cocktail over a FaceTime call with your partner. This completely contactless option is a safe and tasty alternative to a coffee shop or bar date.

6. Outdoor Pumpkin Patch

This fall classic can be made COVID-19 friendly with a couple of masks and some social distancing.

Take in the beauty of the season while strolling through an outdoor pumpkin patch with your date. This one is sure to guarantee a successful cuffing season.

7. Bonfire

Sitting beneath the stars next to the warmth of a blazing fire is a date taken straight out of a cheesy holiday movie.

Set up a couple of logs with plenty of space to remain properly socially distanced, grab a few toasty s’mores and enjoy your partner’s company.

8. Netflix Party and Chill

Netflix Party (now called Teleparty) is a free Google Chrome extension that can be downloaded through your browser. The app allows for multiple people to watch the same film or television show from Netflix at the same time. The two screens will sync together and even pause in unison.

Additionally, the extension has a chat feature for individuals to instant message throughout the duration of the show. This means that you and your date can share and laugh over a movie together while remaining in remote locations to ensure everyone’s safety while also taking your “Netflix and chill” experience to the next level.

9. Christmas Lights

November means that the Christmas season is just around the corner. Soon the streets will be lined with dazzling lights and gleaming holiday decor.

Choose a neighborhood and take your date on a peaceful car ride while listening to holiday tunes and picking out your favorite house decorations. Staying safe in your car while wearing masks can help you and your partner enjoy the beaming glow of Christmas lights this holiday season.

10. Watch the Sunset

Something about the way the yellow leaves glimmer beside an orange sky is unbelievably romantic. Find your favorite outdoor spot and breathe in the cool crisp fall air. Sit six feet from your date and watch the sun sink below the earth as the day turns into night.

Romance during a pandemic may be challenging, but with a creative mind and an eager spirit, this cuffing season could be the best one yet.

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