Whether you're married or single, going on dates in the age of coronavirus is complicated.
Parents have to figure out what to do with the kids. And those who venture out on first dates have to make tricky decisions about physical distance, location and exposure risk for yourself and the other people in your life.
Not to mention, what do you even do?
We know everyone is navigating different situations and a variety of comfort levels, and we know some of these ideas won't work for everyone's situation. But we do hope these at-home and outdoor ideas will spark even more ideas that do work for you. As always, remember to follow CDC guidance about protecting yourself and others and to wear a mask when necessary — Pima County has mandated face coverings for everyone over age 5 in public if 6 feet of physical distancing cannot be maintained.
Here are six Tucson date night ideas for the pandemic.
Go to the drive-in
Drive-in movies are suddenly super popular. For around $20, you can take in a favorite movie on a big screen from your own car.
• El Toro Flicks has locations downtown, 198 S. Granada Ave., and in Oro Valley, 12155 N. Oracle Road. The downtown location is closed this week, as the site does maintenance after the weekend's storm. Admission is $20.90 per car with options to rent a radio and buy snacks for an additional cost. Visit eltorotickets.com for more information and the schedule.
• Cactus Carpool Cinema, 4450 S. Houghton Road, has a July movie schedule that includes "Grease," "Jurassic Park" and "Mean Girls." Tickets are $20 online or $25 at the gate. Visit cactusdrivein.com for more information.
• Sahuarita Parks and Recreation is hosting a monthly drive-in movie series for free at the Quail Creek Veterans Municipal Park, 1905 N. Old Nogales Highway. The next film show will be "Thor: Ragnarok" on Saturday, July 18. Admission is first-come, first served. Visit Sahuarita Parks and Rec's website for more information.
Get takeout and have a picnic
There are actually new restaurants that have opened during the pandemic. Pick one to try, get takeout, and then have a picnic in a park. Plan to bring your own blanket or camp chairs and set up in the grass away from others. If you're also physical distancing from your date, this might be a good option.
For example, if you want to try the newly-opened Spice Garden Indian Cuisine, 5815 N. Arizona Pavilions Drive in Marana, grab some takeout and then take the four minute drive down Cortaro Road to Crossroads at Silverbell District Park. After dinner, you can take a stroll down the Loop, along a flowing stretch of the Santa Cruz River.
Or you just recreate this with any restaurant and your favorite park.
Take a virtual painting class
With help from a few local painting instructors, you can turn your living room or backyard into art studio for an evening.
• Creative Juice, 6530 E. Tanque Verde Road, is offering virtual paint classes via Facebook. The classes are free to follow along with, but if you want to make it official, purchase a paint kit for $16. Kits include brushes, paints, canvas, a mixing tray and a cup for water. Visit creativejuiceartbar.com for more information.
• Brush and Bottle also has virtual paint classes. For $25, you get access to the class along with a paint kit that includes brushes, paints, canvas, a paint plate, cup and paper for the table. If you live within Tucson, the kit will be delivered, otherwise you can pick it up at a designated meeting point. Visit brushnbottle.com for more information.
• Tipsy Picassos is teaching virtual paint classes through Facebook Live. There is no fee to watch the videos, but purchasing a kit for $25 is helpful as kits include paint, brushes, paper towels, a mixing plate and a pre-sketched out canvas. You can also buy just the canvas for $15. You can then pick up your kit during designated times and place. Visit Tipsy Picassos' Facebook page for more information.
Bring the movie theater home
You have probably watched your fair share of Netflix by now. But we are not proposing a everyday movie night here. Do it right.
Although Tucson's independent movie theater The Loft Cinema is still closed, the theater allows you to digitally rent the movies they would have been showing to stream at home.
Even better, you can pick up concessions curbside at The Loft on Fridays and Saturdays. Orders must be placed at least one-hour before the pickup time you select. Options include The Loft's freshly popped popcorn, craft chocolate, tamales from Tucson Tamale Co. and several beverage selections. Prices range from $8-$40 for concessions.
Visit loftcinema.org for more information.
The Harkins Theatres at Arizona Pavilions, 5755 W. Arizona Pavilions Drive, and Tucson Spectrum, 5455 S. Calle Santa Cruz, are also doing curbside concessions this weekend, July 17-19 from 1-7 p.m. You can get a bag of popcorn for $10 or a nacho party pack for $25, plus candy.
Visit harkins.com/curbside for more information.
Go for a walk
You could totally go for a walk through your neighborhood, or you could make it more fancy by taking a leisurely stroll somewhere new to you.
We already mentioned the Loop, but it is a seriously great place to walk, with no cars and lots of points around the Tucson-area to hop on. The Loop pretty much encircles Tucson, following along the Rillito, Pantano, Santa Cruz and Cañada del Oro river parks and the Julian Wash and Harrison Greenway. From mountain views, to public art to a few stretches of flowing water in the Santa Cruz, there is lots to take in along the Loop.
You could also use your outing to walk to a mural or sculpture near you. Tucson is rich with murals — so rich, in fact, that we have an ever-growing list of 57 Tucson murals and where to find them. Beyond murals, we also have tons of sculptures and other public art pieces to appreciate. Here's our list of public art (not murals) that you'll find all over the Tucson-area.
Take an online cooking class together
The Garden Kitchen is hosting regular Zoom cooking classes. And not only do they plan the entire menu and then teach you how to make all the things, but you also have the option to pick up the ingredients needed so you don't have to go grocery shopping yourself.
The live classes have included bread baking and Italian flavors. On Saturday Aug. 8, it will cover Asian flavors, with a menu including spring rolls, peanut sauce and coconut lemongrass soup with shrimp. The class fee per household is $40, and you can pay an additional $25 if you'd like to just pick up the groceries needed for the recipes.
For more information visit the Garden Kitchen's Facebook page.