Hey, I'm an elopement photographer based in Alaska! I love genuine moments between people and love that I get to document them for a living <3

Meet Donna

Well, life changed fast and in a hurry due to the developments of the Coronavirus. But the silver lining to social distancing and time at home is all the newfound TIME you have! You also get a bunch of time with your honey. With the restaurants, bars, movie theatres and museums closing, you gotta get creative with your date night ideas and/or full-day plans.

I’m challenging myself to put a lot of time towards getting my husband and I into healthy routines and habits and also doing new things together and not falling into the same rut of watching Netflix every night. Nothing wrong with Netflix, but you might get bored, haha.

So here are a few date night ideas that I highly recommend. They’re all super fun and don’t require anyone but you and your sweetie!

1.Build a Blanket Fort

I don’t care how old you are, this is guaranteed fun!! Channel your inner child and have some good old fashioned fun. Gather all the blankets and pillows in your house and set up shop wherever you have the most space! Make some popcorn, watch a movie, read books, drink some tasty drinks and just snuggle up.

This date night has @kelseymetcalf26’s stamp of approval!

For some more ‘indoor camping’ ideas @adarlinghansen says to light up that indoor fireplace, eat s’mores and watch a movie!

2. Cooking Date Night

Whether you fed into the panicked shopping or not, you probably have lots of food that doesn’t seem to go together . Check out Recipe Key! It lets you input foods you have in your kitchen and whips up possible recipes. Choose one that you both like or that sounds interesting and get cooking! Set the table up fancier than usual and put some effort into the plating. Dinner party for two!

COOK-OFF CHALLENGE!! If you’re the competitive type choose two dishes and challenge each other to who can do it better!

3. Get Outside

Alaska is a huuuuge state with plenty of room to share the outdoors. Take that date night outside! Go on a hike, take a long drive, build a campfire and sit outside for a bit. If you have good winter camping gear, heck go camping! You have all this time to spend together, so make the most of it!

@sprucetip_images likes a nice and classic walk along the beach.

@ari.kalashnikova puts her stamp of approval on car camping with a good movie!

4. Game Date Night!!

Find some games, board games, card games, video games, or even online multiplayer games and set up a game day. I’m making an effort to play some video games with Hunter these next couple weeks. I always viewed it as a time suck(the ironnyyyy, pretty sure Instagram sucks more of my time than video games ever will!!). I’d rather have a time suck I get to do with my husband as opposed to without him. Looking forward to some at-home video game nights!

  • Two-player games
    • Rummy
    • Monopoly Deal
    • War
    • Speed
    • Egyptian Rat Slap
    • Sequence
    • Backgammon
    • Scrabble
    • Chess

@emilyrose486 likes playing board/card games and then whoever wins gets to pick that night’s Netflix movie! Super fun!

@matthewvincent particularly likes Go Fish!

5. Learn How to Dance / Something New

Watch some YouTube videos, clear your living room and get to dancing! This is always a fun option if you love dancing or simply want to get out of your comfort zone. Get your hips moving and heart pumping, this serves as double duty, learn some skills and get your exercise on! If dancing isn’t your style, try painting or drawing or photography to pass the time together and challenge yourselves!

@kelseymetcalf26 recommends Zumba!

6. Wine & Paint Night-@carlifickes

If you have the supplies, pour some win, pull out your brushes and get painting! Maybe even try painting portraits of each other, or set up a little still life or go off a photo on your phone. Whatever the case, do a paint night at home and have some fun with it!

7. Spa Night- @ari.kalashnikova

Pull out your face masks, eye masks, pore strips, run that bath, and get to pampering each other! Maybe even pull out some massage oils and do a little de-stress massage!

8. Karaoke

Youtube your favorite songs that have the lyrics but no words, and have a blast! Guaranteed to create lots of laughter and amusement!

9. Fancy Night In

Get all gussied up for each other to have a fancy night in. If you like cooking you can cook your own fancy meal (like mentioned in a date idea above), or if you want a break from cooking then support small businesses in your area! If restaurants are allowing delivery or to-go orders then take advantage of it! You can order for delivery or pick up all from one place or spread it out. An appetizer at one, entree at another, then dessert, drinks, you get the idea!

Make sure to dress up your table too, candles, twinkly lights, and anything you have on hand already!

10. Beer/Wine Tasting

Missing getting flights at your local breweries/restaurants or going wine tasting? Wine not(see what I did there?) set something up in the comfort of your own home? Snag some new, or old favorites, beers or wines from local places and set up your own in-home wine and beer tasting. Not only is it fun and different, but you also support local businesses that are getting hit hard during the pandemic.

Wanna step it up a notch? Use Canva to design your very own tasting cards, need inspiration? Check google images for beer or wine card ideas.

11. Personality & Enneagram Tests

Whether you’ve taken a test like this or not, it makes for a fun night in to take a few different tests and compare results. It will not only be funny to say “oh man that’s SO you!” but also to learn new things about each other and really dig deep into your own personality and how that affects your relationship with each other. I LOVE nerding out on these!! Some of them are better than others, and some are more spiritual and some are not, so finding ones that are a good fit is always important. This site has an awesome list to get you started!! Super chill date night in!

12. Pizza Night

Head to your nearest grocery store and buy all the ingredients to make the BEST pizza, or two personal pizzas!

Go through the whole process and enjoy it! Flour fight anyone? (That might be a pain to clean hah!)

Pair it with your favorite drinks and game!

13. Stargazing

Grab all the blankets and cozy clothes and head out to find yourself a location untouched by city lights. Mountains, huge farm fields, lakes, you get the idea! Just get far out of town and sit back to stare at the sky. See if you can spot any shooting stars!

Bring cozy drinks and snacks and a blue tooth speaker to play some music. Dancing under a starry sky sure sounds romantic.

14. Food Tour

Pick several of your favorite food joints and hit up each one separately to make a full meal. Get an app from one, entree from another, drinks, dessert, etc. You get the picture! It makes for a super fun date night while supporting locally owned businesses! You can order to-go and eat on the run, or sit down, but sitting down will likely take a while!

15. Dog Sledding

If you live in Alaska and haven’t gone dog sledding, then by golly, you need to try it at least one! Snow Hook Adventure Guides in Willow, Alaska was the perfect introduction to mushing! Loved the whole experience!

16. Cocktail/Mocktail Date Night

I don’t know about you, but me and my husband Hunter are the ‘hosts’ of our friend group most of the time. People come over for bonfires, dinners, game nights, the works. With that being said, we love being able to offer fun drinks and food and snacks to our guests and are always trying new recipes. Over time we’ve grown to have quite the liquor cabinet of random items due to different recipes we’ve tried over the years. Usually, the drinks get used once or twice and then never touched again. Well, that’s where cocktail night comes in folks!

Set up a little bartending area, put on some catchy music, get some snacks and play mixologist. Take all the liberties to create your own cocktails or mocktails and see what you like best with the ingredients you have.

Suggested things to have on hand:



Fruit juices and mixers

Club Soda

17. Geocaching

Do you like treasure hunts? Then this date idea is for you!! You can download a Geocaching app and it will tell you the coordinates/location of a hidden object that you can find. It will tell you the size of the item (micro to large) and you can choose what you want to go look for and the difficulty level.

If you go for larger items the boxes often contain items, either themed or random that you can exchange for something of your own. For example, the box has some stickers, pens, gift cards, other random stuff, then you can exchange it with something you brought along for this reason. A sticker, a piece of jewelry, a scrunchy, deck of cards, whatever feels right. Don’t take something and not leave anything in return!

18. Snowshoeing

Live in an area that is snowy? Go get your snowshoes (or rent/buy/borrow if you don’t have some) and go on a snowshoe date. Pick up your favorite snacks, food or drinks at a local place and head out on an adventure.

Hunter and I did this one and got some amazing Moose’s Tooth pizza and their Arctic Apple Ale, SO GOOD!

19. Date Night M.A.S.H.

Did you ever play MASHO as a kid? I might be showing my age here haha, but it was a fun and silly game to play with friends! Buuuut have you thought about playing it with your partner? Okay it would be a bit different, I put my own spin on it (pretty sure I came up with this variation!!).
Instead of MASH you could do HIPO (Home, Indoors, Public, Outdoors). So instead of the traditional ‘what will your life look like in the future’ game, it turns it into a randomized date game!

You can choose whatever four other categories you want and add equal suggestions to each, so if the category is food each of you suggestions two foods you want in the mix. Then the game begins! I’m not going to get into the specifics of how to play, so visit this link on How to Play MASH. Suggested categories include Games, Food, Drinks, Specific locations, Themes, and any others you come up with!

Now have fun with it!!

20. Get Lost

I had never heard of this game before, but it’s ‘Right, Left, or Straight’ and basically you hop in a car and each person has a turn calling a direction. You can do this while walking or biking as well and see where you end up. Make sure you have your phone, a GPS or a Map or some way of knowing where you’re at if you get lost! Call how many steps you’re aiming for ahead of time, or keep going until you find something interesting to do!

21. Shopping Dash

My friend Megan told me about this one, I vaguely remember hearing about it before but don’t remember where, so she gets the credit for the suggestions haha! It’s a fun one!! Set a money limit, a time limit, and a meet up point, then release yourselves into a store of your choosing to find something for your partner! It can be anything!

22. Visit Local Businesses

There are local business near by that offer sooooo many activities, go take advantage of them!

Horse ride? ATV tour? Guided walk at the zoo or animal sanctuary? Kayaking? Hiking? Fishing? Axe Throwing? Escape Room? The sky is the limit! Decide what fits your budget and go on a tour somewhere near you!

Did you try one of these date nights? I would LOVE to see the outcome! Tag @donnamariephotography on Instagram in your post or your story or shoot a photo over with a DM. It will make me so happy to see these ideas get put to good use.

Interested in getting some cute photos while out on a date night?! Please contact me and we will get you all set up <3

Couple sitting in the back of an xterra with campfire and german shepherd in the winter


Best Date Ideas

  1. Pol Sena says:

    Probably one of the first times I end viewing a blog post and still wanted to see many more images.

    • Donna Smith says:

      Oh my goodness, I knoooowww!! I have been trying and trying to add more, but my blogging website has been fighting me every step of the way and even getting the few that are in here was a total struggle. Thank you so much for your feedback! I’m glad you want to see more, and hopefully soon 🙂 Their support team hasn’t been able to figure out what’s going on and this is a good reminder that I need to bug them some more!

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