Don’t you just love staycations? You get a break from everyday life, but you don’t have the stress of airports, prescheduling activities, and crowds of tourists.
You can just focus on spending quality time with your spouse. Add some romance to your staycation with these staycation date ideas.
Enjoy dinner out at a new restaurant you’ve never tried before
Hubby and I enjoy eating out when we can, but we do tend to get stuck in ruts of eating at the same places over and over. Do you do this also?
We never run into this problem when we travel.
In fact, when we go out of town, we’re usually far more adventurous with our dining choices.
So, take a few minutes to do a little research and find whatever’s the newest “must-try” restaurant in town and give it a try.
A restaurant progressive dinner makes a great staycation date idea
Can’t decide where you want to eat? Try a restaurant progressive dinner.
With a progressive dinner, you would choose different restaurants for your appetizers, your main entrees, and then dessert. This way you can try three different restaurants all in one night.
Or order a romantic dinner in
If what you’re after is a really quiet dinner in, then try out your favorite restaurant’s takeout or delivery service.
Or is there a restaurant in your area that delivers or offers takeout that has a particularly special meaning for you?
Like the restaurant where you had your first date or marked a special anniversary. That would be perfect!
You can get extra fancy and set the mood with candles and a tablecloth. Eat off plates instead from your takeout containers.
Check out festivals in your area
Does your region have a passion for garlic? Is your county known for a certain kind of flower? Is your city on a mission to promote local artists and musicians?
If you’re itching to get out of the house and looking for some fun, check to see what local festivals are going on in your area.
Festivals are a great way to explore a certain aspect of local culture and support local businesses and artisans.
Check your city’s official website for a full listing of festivals.
Attend a concert or play
Think beyond the standard movie date and try getting a bit dressed up to enjoy a play, show, or concert.
If you’re fortunate to live in a thriving performing arts community like I do, check out what your local community theatre company has in production.
Or maybe there’s a major Broadway show touring that you’ve always wanted to see.
And local college and university theatres would be thrilled to have you in their audience to see their talented students.
(Full disclosure: hubby is a university theatre technical director, so I’m a little biased.)
Take a day trip to a nearby national or state park
Spend some time with your special someone in the great outdoors at a state park or even a national park.
You might be surprised at how many state parks there are right around you just waiting to be explored.
And you don’t have to be a hiking enthusiast to enjoy the park as many of them have trails that are perfect for beginner hikers or just a casual stroll.
If you’re more interested in visiting a U.S. national park, you can get the list of all 423 National Park Service units on the NPS website and find something (or multiple somethings) that would make a good staycation date…especially if you add a picnic lunch.
Visit your area’s historical sites
If you and your spouse enjoy visiting historical sites or monuments, they make great date opportunities…in my opinion.
Check the National Parks Service website, your state parks website, or other local tourism websites to find great options. You might even find some great free date ideas.
Spend an afternoon at the beach or a nearby lake
If you’re staycationing during pleasant and warm weather, then I say grab your stuff and head out to your local beach or lake and do a beach day or afternoon or hour…whatever you can manage.
Kicking back on a beach or even out on the water is a great way to spend some time with your partner.
Get breakfast/brunch at a local café
Finding great breakfast spots is also one of hubby’s and my favorite things to do when we travel.
One of my life goals (Not really. Okay, sort of.) is to try French toast at every brunch spot on the planet.
A relaxing breakfast or brunch is a fun way to start your staycation day with your special someone.
Go for a bike ride
Got bikes? Then plan a visit to your local (or local-ish) rail trail and take them for a spin.
Rail trails are a fun and safe way to enjoy the outdoors on a bike.
Rail trails are basically just what they sound like, trails made from decommissioned railroad lines. Rail trails are usually paved (at least the ones I’ve been on) and relatively flat.
Sometimes you can find interesting green spaces along the way to take a break or there might be even places to stop and get a cup of coffee, a scoop of ice cream, or a quick bite to eat.
Visit traillink.com to find a trail near you.
Go for a walk together
If biking doesn’t appeal to you, you can walk on rail trails to…or just about anywhere else you like for that matter.
If your neighborhood isn’t really conducive to an enjoyable walk you could visit a local park, a nearby state park, or even a nearby college campus.
Walk with no particular destination in mind, just to enjoy each other’s company and some pleasant conversation.
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Picnic at a nearby park
Do I write about food too much? It’s definitely possible, but honestly, my favorite dates with hubby usually involve food at least at some point. So, there you go.
If you’re staycationing during agreeable weather, pack up a picnic lunch or dinner and head to your local public park, state park, lake, or beach.
And there are a ton of ways you can make your picnic special.
- Pick up some antipasti at your grocery store’s deli or prepared foods section.
- Grab a bottle of sparkling apple cider or grape juice
- Create your own artisanal cheese or charcuterie board
- Add a crusty baguette or other favorite bread
Take a class together
Is there something you both have always wanted to learn? Like how to scuba dive, throw pots, or how to make the perfect Italian meal?
Then take a class and learn how to do it together!
Your city parks and recreation department, local technical college or local arts center is a great place to start when looking for a class to take.
Cook a meal together
…And we’re back to food again. I told you.
Break out that wedding china and enjoy a dinner you’ve cooked together.
In fact, you could plan the meal and do the shopping for ingredients together. Sometimes just walking the aisles of the grocery store can bring inspiration and feel kind of like a date.
Bonus points if you try a new recipe rather than an old standby.
Eat breakfast in bed
Think of it as room service for your staycation, and have fun with it. Use trays. Put the coffee in a carafe. Put a single rose in a bud vase. That kind of thing.
And make it a really great breakfast.
Break out that waffle iron you never use or pick up some really great pastries from a local bakery you’ve been meaning to try.
What would you want if you were ordering breakfast at a great resort or your favorite inn? Make it happen.
Check out my post on creating a resort at home to learn how you can make your bedroom feel like a hotel room.
Explore a local museum
Local tourism websites are a great resource to find small museums that you probably had no idea were just sitting there in your hometown waiting to be explored.
You might be shocked to find out that your local art museum has a significant collection of the works of a famous artist.
Perhaps an important historical figure was born, lived, or died in your hometown and their house has been turned into a museum or even a national historical site (like Carl Sandburg’s home in Flat Rock, North Carolina).
Go out for coffee and a real conversation
Enjoy a great cup of coffee and some real conversation. You know, like you did when you were first dating and were learning everything about each other.
If need to (or want to) you can even use some conversation starters like these:
- What was your favorite thing to do when you were a child?
- What is your favorite childhood memory and what makes it special to you?
- Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do or be that you’ve never shared with me?
- What’s the one thing you wish that I really understood about you?
Cuddle up in front of a fire
If you’re staycationing during the holidays/colder weather months, cozying up in front of a fire is a great way to spend a quiet and romantic evening.
You’ll also want hot chocolate with marshmallows (trust me on this) and warm, cozy socks.
You could even spend an entire night camping out in your living room by your fire. Now that’s a staycation date!
Plan a mini film festival in your own home
During a winter or holiday staycation, you might also enjoy combining that cozy fire with a movie afternoon or movie night, or extend it to several movie nights and make your own at-home film festival.
You could select movies on a particular theme, a particular genre, watch a whole series (like all the Avengers movies), movies with your favorite actor, or by your favorite director.
There are so many ways you could go here.
Buy some “movie candy,” pop some popcorn and you’re all set for a great movie night date (or dates).
Do a jigsaw puzzle together
Although we usually end up reserving them for Christmas vacations (I’m not sure it’s intentional), hubby and I enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles together.
Put on some of your favorite music, put out some snacks and you have a fun evening ahead of you.
We never finish in one evening, of course, but it’s fun to get started and come back to in bursts over the next few days.
Final thoughts on staycation date ideas
There are so many great ways to add a fun and romantic date to your staycation plans. From fun and cozy things to do indoors when it’s cold outside to great outdoor activities.
You can play tourist in your own hometown exploring museums and historical sites and you can enjoy your local parks, beaches, and lakes.
Pick and choose from this list or use it for inspiration to come up with your own amazing ideas.
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