We’re on Level 3 Lockdown, which many on social media are referring to as “Level 5 Lite” due to the fact that booze has once again been banned in South Africa…

The tobacco ban continues, and South Africans are struggling to copy financially and emotionally with the coronavirus pandemic that has swept across the globe.

But romance should never take a back seat to our daily struggles. It should offer relief from the mundane, and an opportunity to appreciate our partners. “If we’ve got nothing else, at least we have each other…”

So what are some budget-friendly, lockdown-legal date night ideas that aren’t just ‘Netflix & chill’? And by ‘chill’, we mean falling asleep on the couch!

Here are 7 options to keep the romance alive:

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1.     Games night showdown

It’s time to go old-school. Haul out the Monopoly, Cards, Balderdash or Trivial Pursuit and have a games night showdown with your partner. Did you know that there’s a Monopoly edition for Cape Town and Durban?

Get them from Takealot.com

Monopoly Cape Town Edition
Monopoly Cape Town Edition


2.     Perfect pamper session

Put on some sensual music, light those scented candles, and slip into something “comfortable”. Pamper each other with a back massage or a foot soak and rub, and see where the evening leads. If your tub is big enough (and you’re not in a drought-restricted area), you could enjoy a nice cosy bubble bath together. Follow this link to find out more about making your own sensual massage oils at home.

3.     Build a blanket fort!

Bring out the child in each of you! Build a giant blanket fort together. Use whatever you have around the house, and enjoy some silliness and fun together. Laughter is one of the things that connects us and builds intimacy. It is also a great stress-reliever. Order some take-aways from a local restaurant to support them during the lockdown period, and enjoy the meal in your blanket fort!


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Perfect time for a blanket fort? 🌿🏡🌲 with 📸 @dirtandglass 📷 . 🌍

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Rainy days are fort days. #rainyday #blanketfort #pillowfort #snuggleweather #readingweather

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4.     Blind taste testing?

If you and your partner are ‘foodies’ and enjoy experimenting with flavours, why not set up a blind taste test for each other. Select 5 ingredients and see who can identify the most ingredients accurately. Whoever gets the most answers wrong has to do the dishes! Make a meal from your favourite ingredients at the end of the ‘taste test’.

If you really want to spice things up, cook naked!

5.     Have a backyard picnic

Who doesn’t love picnics? Even though it’s winter, the evenings are still fairly mild, and the weekend afternoons have been showing off some wonderful weather lately. Why not lay out a blanket and a spread in your back yard.

If you’re in the Cape Town area, check out The Picnic Company for a pre-packed picnic that can be delivered to your door!


6.     Roleplay

Phil and Claire Dunphy (characters in popular series, Modern Family) bring out their ‘alter egos’ Clive Bixby and Julianna every Valentines. Why not try a little role playing with your partner?

“Sexual fantasies can really spice up a couple’s sex life,” says relationship counsellor and clinical sexologist, Leandie Buys in her book, Seasons of Sex. “Roleplay simply adds a new perspective to the sexual encounter. Often, couples who have been together for years fall into a relationship routine and turn to role play to spice things up.”

“Role play also allows people to let go of some of their inhibitions during sex because they allow their ‘character/persona’ to say things, and express things they would not normally allow themselves to express.”

7.     Enjoy a virtual safari

Dress up in your khakis, and get ready for a virtual safari. Pack the biltong and coffee, make sure you’ve got the binoculars!

In order to continue protecting their wildlife, and highlighting the exquisite natural heritage in South Africa during the lockdown, many safari parks and game reserves are offering regular ‘sofa safaris’. Follow this link to find out where you can enjoy a virtual safari every day of the week.