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8 Social Distancing-Friendly Outdoor Dates Around Columbus

There are a few constants in the world.

Some would say death and taxes, but I’m not all negative. I’d also include love in that equation. No matter what’s happening in the world, there are always people falling in love, and we’re always looking for ways to celebrate that.

The great outdoors is all the rage these days even though Ohio has reopened, for the most part, there are a lot of things that aren’t going back to normal just yet.

So how do you plan the perfect, romantic date when going inside somewhere isn’t really an option? You go outside, that’s how. Some of these are more spontaneous, live-in-the-moment style dates while others will take some planning on your part. But all of them are great ways to show your special someone how much you care about them.

Okay, cue the music. It’s time to get romantic.

Plan a scavenger hunt

This is one of the dates that will take a little more effort on your part. Planning a scavenger hunt is a great way to give your partner a gift, with lots of fun twists and turns along the way. You can make the hunt as small or as grandiose as you’d like. If you want to keep it simple, limit the hunt to your home and yard. If you want to get a little more involved, you can add in some romantic stops like the location of your first date or some other super cute place that’s special to you both. If you’ve never planned a scavenger hunt, here’s some vital information for your everyday life.

Go birdwatching

I’m not a fan of birds, I’ll be honest, but I can appreciate their beauty. There are some really cool places around Columbus to watch for all kinds of birds, including the incredibly majestic Bald Eagle. If birds aren’t your thing, you could amend this date to be nature watching in general. Butterflies, woodland creatures, it’s your choice really. This is your date night after all.

Take a hike

I mean that literally, by the way. Being out in nature is a soothing way to spend a little one-on-one time with your partner. All around the city, and the state, you’ll find a variety of hikes at different challenge levels and all with different views. There are woodland strolls, waterfront walks, and wide-open spaces, just waiting for you to explore. It’s a date where you also get your daily workout in, so what’s not to love?

Explore somewhere unknown together

Even if you’ve lived in Columbus your entire life, I can guarantee there’s somewhere that you’ve yet to explore. You could each take turns suggesting new adventures. If you need some suggestions and you’d be willing to go on a little road trip, there are plenty of unique roadside attractions and beautiful natural wonders to check out.

Play a round or two of People Watching Bingo

My husband and I play this game from our front porch sometimes, but it’s one you can play anywhere really. The first step is making your bingo boards. You can choose all sorts of things to put on your board, the sky really is the limit. We always include some Columbus-staples, like Person walking an adorable dog and person making us feel guilty for not working out too. Decide on a cool prize for the winner and then get a little competitive. Nothing says “I love you” quite like trying to win.

Get carryout and eat it with a waterfront view

Several restaurants have remained open throughout the pandemic for carryout and delivery only, and more are opening up right now. Order some yummy food to-go and then head to your nearest waterfront view for a romantic dinner. Some of my favorite waterside spots include Scioto Audobon Metropark and Hoover Reservoir.

Have an outdoor movie night.

via Flickr

If you’ve got outdoor space at home, this date night is guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face. It’s 2020 and that’s not all bad, because we live in a time where you can order a simple attachment for your phone and turn it into a projector. Hang an old sheet up and project your partner’s favorite film from the comfort of your back yard. You can get extra romantic by having a nice little fire pit going and making s’mores together.

Have a romantic picnic at your favorite metro park

Picnics are my favorite kind of date. Grab yourself a charcuterie board, head to your favorite Metro Park and get cozy. Be sure to pay attention to social distancing guidelines at the park you choose to visit and just have fun with it.