Top 4 cheap, fun and creative stay-at-home dates

Top 4 cheap, fun and creative stay-at-home dates

When One Direction’s Harry Styles and Kiwi model Georgia Fowler started dating, they broke the news by sharing a video of themselves playing Scrabble. On their second date, the couple hunkered down at a luxury spa.

While being mobbed by paparazzi every time you step out the front door may not be a problem for most of us, stay-at-home dates can be a great choice even for the non-celebrity. They’re cheap, relaxing and are a low-stress way to get to know each other better. Here are our picks for activities that can make a stay-at-home date memorable, from organising a beer tasting to playing strip Scrabble (possibly what Harry and Georgia were up to).

Cook together

You’ve had coffee, you’ve had dinner, you’ve been to a movie. The next step? Try cooking together.

Go to a supermarket or farmers’ market to pick up the foods you both like to eat, then come home to cook up a storm without looking at recipe books.

Choose dishes that give you time to talk and aren’t too high pressure —this is a date, not Masterchef. Sushi, Vietnamese rice paper rolls and tacos are good choices because they involve working together without any stressful last-minute panic.

Whatever you’re making, don’t attempt to serve it on a bagel. The team at Freakonomics estimate that bagel-slicing is the fifth most dangerous activity in the American kitchen.

Lego Challenge

While most art galleries have a strict ‘no touching’ rule, a recent exhibition at City Gallery Wellington was all about getting hands-on with the art.

The Demented Architecture exhibition invited visitors to unleash their inner nerd by playing with thousands of pieces of gleaming white Lego. Once they started, many visitors struggled to tear themselves away.

For an at-home date that really breaks the ice, bring out a couple of Lego sets and see what you can create together. Rest assured that there’s no longer any shame in it — even Brad Pitt identifies as an AFOL (Adult Fan of Lego).

If you’re buying Lego for a stay-at-home date, Lego’s Architecture series is designed especially for AFOLs. Otherwise, choose adult-friendly kids’ sets like Star Wars Death Star, the Batcave or the awesome Lord of the Rings Battle of Helms Deep (orcs included).

Serve your date cocktails or vodka jellies themed in Lego’s bright primary colours of red, blue and yellow.

Beer tasting

From Garage Project’s oyster-infused stout to Mike’s Brewery’s vanilla coffee porter, New Zealand has an amazingly diverse range of boutique brews. You don’t need to go out to try them: it’s easy to organise a craft beer tasting for two in your own home. Choose beers you haven’t tasted before, and drink them from lightest to darkest — leave the beer with the highest alcohol content to the last. Fill small glasses no more than one-third full so you can appreciate the full aroma.

While wine can be tasted and spat out, beer should be swallowed so you can appreciate the flavours at the back of your tongue. Score each beer on taste, texture, appearance and when you’d most like to drink it. Finished your beer tasting? Now it might be time to organise a whisky tasting.

Strip Scrabble

Is Scrabble just for game geeks? Absolutely not, as anyone who has ever played a game of strip Scrabble will already know. Said to be one of David Beckham’s favourite board games, strip Scrabble usually involves taking off an item of clothing if your word has fewer than four letters or is worth less than five points, or if your partner gets a triple word score.

Don’t abandon the game once you decide you’re officially together. A University of New England study found playing strip poker could help couples put the spark back into their relationship.