Love Lockdown: Plan a Date While You and Your Partner Shelter at Home Together

Hawai‘i may have shifted into the new “safer at home” phase but we’re still not going to be able to treat our significant others to a romantic night out on the town any time soon. So here are 6 ideas to help you make your live-in lover feel a bit more special.


50 First Dates anonymously chronicles the fun, romantic, wacky, bizarre and downright awful true experiences of dating in Honolulu. Check back weekly for new first-date stories, where to go to woo a boo, tips on where to meet people and more!



1. Isolation and Chill

We’re guessing most nights include dinner in front of the TV in stretchy loungewear. And while we do not doubt that your stretchy pants and matching loose-fitting top are totes adorbs, why not put a little more effort into tonight’s dinner date?


One option is to order one of two $30 three-course dinners from M by Chef Mavro: slow-roasted pork with swiss chard, fairytale eggplant and seaweed butter; or ono with charred eggplant miso sauce. Both meals are served with toasted cumin basmati rice and vegetables, followed by a caramelized banana cake with black sesame, kinako and lemongrass creme.


Another choice for a fancy dinner is to order either à la carte or family-style from 12th Ave Grill. Call ahead for dishes like smoked ‘ahi bruschetta ($10.50); grilled free range Jidori chicken with mushroom ragout, sautéed spinach and roasted garlic mash ($23.50); steak frites with locally sourced New York striploin ($30.50); and a braised beef Wellington with garlic mash, brown butter cauliflower, balsamic radicchio and citrusy salad ($59) for a quick and easy curbside pickup.


After dinner take in a free movie from the Hawai‘i State Public Library’s online Kanopy website using your library card, or rent an independent arthouse film from the Hawai‘i International Film Festival’s new virtual cinema called HIFF@Home. The program features a rotating lineup of short films, documentaries, features and animations (both new and previous festival favorites) from here and abroad. Up the ante by setting up your own drive-in movie theater and order the real-deal popcorn from Consolidated Theatres to tie a bow around this perfect dinner and movie night at home.


SEE ALSO: Things to Do at Home: The Best Movies, TV Shows, Operas and Stage Plays to Stream

Week two of our ho’o.PAI Interactive Culinary Kit series features Chinese-inspired traditional flavors! —- 📷:Slow Roasted Crispy Skin Pork Belly & Dry Roasted Long Beans with PAI Honolulu XO sauce — Order your kit on our website: Limited quantities are available weekly. #inspiredbyPAI —- #hoopai #paihonolulu #honolulu #hawaii #hawaiirestaurant #hawaiifoodie #hawaiifood #chineseinspired #porkbelly #xolongbeans #crispyporkskin #fivespice #honolulueats #honolululife #hawaiilifestyle #homechef #culinarykit #honolulufoodies #hawaiifood #yelphawaii #cravehi #frolichawaii #honolulumagazine #hawaiimagazine #foodagogo #supportsmallbusiness #supportlocal

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2. Recipe for Love

The cooker, the baker, the banana bread maker: Quarantine cooking is definitely a trend. So why not share one of those recipes with your S.O.? Sure, you could jump on the Instagram and TikTok train with Dalgona coffee, banana bread, Double Tree Hotel’s famous chocolate cookie (Christine Labrador, one of our art directors, did a pretty stunning job below) and Disney’s own Dole Whip recipe. Or you can try your luck with Pai Honolulu’s newly introduced six-week cooking course. Order one of the restaurant’s culinary kits and follow along as chef and owner Kevin Lee instructs online. Barefoot Beach Café is also offering meal kits every Friday with special live evening cook-alongs. Follow the instructors while you and your lovey boogie to a live set with Art Kalahiki and guests, on both Facebook and Instagram Live. Next week will feature southern barbecue for a special Memorial Day weekend cookout.



But if you do try making the Double Tree cookies for dessert, look into using Frolic’s six tips for a better chocolate chip cookie.


SEE ALSO: Meal Kits to Grocery Delivery: How to Eat the Best Local Food at Home


3. Let’s Play a Game

After a few drinks you could find yourself quizzing each other with deep personality questions for the Myers Briggs test but we recommend keeping the situation light (and far away from anything that could cause a little disagreement). For $5, you and your S.O. can join a local general topic trivia night with Sporcle, a quizmaster company that hosts a number of the bar trivia nights around O‘ahu. If you’re the true-crime binge-watching kind of couple, give the monthly Hunt a Killer subscription game box a whirl (starting at $25 a month). Each box over a six-month period takes you one step closer to solving a fictional cold case—the clues range from cyphers, photographs, personal objects from the victim, letters and more. This definitely sounds like board game date night 2.0 to me.


SEE ALSO: Things to Do at Home: These Super-Fun Hawai‘i Card Games Will Have You Smiling, Laughing and Learning In No Time


4. Woo Me with a Workout

TikTok’s quarantine game has been strong and is definitely having a moment with its various challenges. One of the sweetest challenges we’ve seen is couples having fun while working out together at home. Find one (or two or three) and try your luck! Remember to keep that camera on for every attempt so you can have a good laugh later.



End the workout by whipping up a DIY açaí kit from Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha in ‘Āina Haina. The $24 kit should make four bowls with two pints of açaí mix, hemp seed granola, mangoes and bananas.


SEE ALSO: What’s Reopening This Week: Outdoor Sports Fields and Courts, Retail Businesses and Drive-In Services


5. Picnic While on a Mini Summer Vacay

Postponed and canceled spring and summer trips were a sad yet important necessity for a lot of people. So whether it be on the floor, your lānai, in the backyard or in bed, a flat lay worthy of an Instagram post will be a cute break from your busy WFH schedules. Lay out you prettiest outdoor blanket, arrange freshly cut flowers from your local farmers market, order takeout from a local restaurant with cuisine from a particular region you want to visit (or just pick up the perfect-for-a-picnic charcuterie and wine kit from Square Barrels) and take a virtual trip around the world via your laptop together.



ulus 2 ulus game night date ideas

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino


6. Go on a Double (or Triple) Date

Sure, the House Party video chat app has a handful of built in games that you and your partner could play with your couple friends. But if your couple friends are locals then organize a virtual game of Cards for 808 or Ulus 2 Ulus. Or you could all team up for a local 9 p.m. trivia night (see No. 2)



And now for some adorable couple goals for a pair who are spending their quarantine together. Check back next week for tips on dating while sheltering at home separately.



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