Creative date ideas to stay safe during COVID-19


Photo Courtesy of Holly Shimabukuro

Seniors Holly Shimabukuro and Quinn Cook plan to spend their Valentine’s Day on a hike. They have been forced to be more careful in planning dates due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

By Trevor Gardemal, Social Media Manager

With Valentine’s Day coming up, many WCHS students are excited to celebrate. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, dating is harder than ever. Couples can no longer go to dinner and a movie without fearing for their safety. Still, commemorating the day of love is still possible. Here is a list of some date ideas to keep the Valentine’s Day spirit alive while staying safe. 

Head down to Washington, D.C.

For those who feel comfortable venturing into Washington, D.C., there are a myriad of COVID-safe things to do. Seniors Holly Hebden and Dylan Chiu plan to spend Valentine’s Day at Arctechouse, an immersive art museum. Arctechouse, like many other D.C. institutions, has responded to the pandemic with regulations to ensure the safety of all visitors. 

“We went for my birthday and it had limited occupancy with social distancing and mask mandates,” Hebden said. “I like art and I love spending time in DC.”

While the Smithsonian museums are all closed, the Smithsonian Gardens remain open for visitors.

Drive-in movies

Bengies Drive-In Theatre, located an hour away from WCHS, has offered drive-in movies for more than six decades. For students who miss movie theatres, or want a classic, vintage experience, Bengies will be having a double feature this Valentine’s Day, showing Alfred Hitchcock’s classics, “Rear Window,” and “Vertigo.” Tickets are available at

“I think it’s a good, COVID-safe way to celebrate Valentine’s Day,” senior Brooke Glickman said. “I love the idea of bringing that retro, vintage vibe back!”

Local restaurants

As of Monday, Feb. 1, Maryland restaurants are allowed to remain open after 10 p.m. at 50 percent capacity indoors. For students who feel uncomfortable eating indoors, many restaurants offer outdoor seating. Some restaurants have also set up tents, populated with space heaters, to keep students warm which seniors Ella Sperling and Harry Sharman hope to take advantage of.

“We are going out for dinner a few days after so that we can celebrate both Valentine’s Day and our anniversary. I’m excited for Valentine’s Day because it’s gonna be our third one together and we’ve always done something special and fun,” Sperling said.

Outdoor dates
If you are willing to brave the Maryland winters, why not spend Valentine’s Day outside? Picnics are an evergreen way to spend time with a partner or friend. If you are afraid of the cold, bring blankets, hot chocolate and snuggle up with your significant other. 

Seniors Holly Shimabukuro and Quinn Cook plan to spend Valentine’s Day hiking. Shimabukuro feels that she has been putting more thought into her dates due to the pandemic.

“I feel limited in the sense that many places that would have been nice dates may not be COVID-safe and therefore our options are restricted, but it’s allowed us to just become more creative in how we spend time together,” Shimabukuro said. 

Dinner and movie at home

The safest option for anyone is to stay home. However, this does not mean that you cannot have fun. A home cooked, or delivered, meal and a movie on the couch are the perfect recipe for a chill Valentine’s Day. 

Seniors Matthew Mammalian and Kirsten Lyons plan to watch a movie on his back patio on a projector. They will use a blanket and heaters to stay warm.

“It’s disappointing that what we could do was limited but in all honesty, I still get to spend time with Kirsten,” Mammalian said. “That’s really all that matters.”