by Whole30 Certified Coach Abby Arey
One of my clients recently asked me for a list of Whole30 date night ideas that don’t involve going out to dinner. As I thought about it, I realized I needed that list as much as she did! Depending on where you live, dining out during your Whole30 can be tricky. And, I’ve found that I can make a Whole30 compatible meal at home that’s ten times more delicious than anything I’d order at a restaurant. So often, this means couples who Whole30 together just end up staying in.
As Melissa Hartwig Urban writes in the Day Fifteen entry in The Whole30 Day By Day: “It is possible to get this far into Whole30, and turn into a Whole30 hermit. Declining social invitations can be a good strategy in the beginning, especially if the event isn’t special and you know you’ll struggle with temptation. But at this point in your Whole30, you need to start practicing being confident in your health minded choices in any setting.”
Choose Your Own Adventure
Both The Whole30 Day by Day and Food Freedom Forever have great strategies and tips for navigating food-related social situations, but my client asked me for date night options that don’t involve food at all. So, I created this list of non-food date night ideas.
Think of these 25 suggestions as “choose your own adventure” prompts. Maybe you’ll do something that I suggest in this article, but it’s just as likely that my suggestions will inspire your own creative ideas for how to spend time with your partner during your Whole30.
As Melissa writes in The Whole30 Day by Day, the most important principle to keep in mind is that social situations “aren’t about the food on your plate; they’re about the people you’re with, the connections you make, and the memories you create.”
Photos via Melissa Hartwig Urban
1 | Go for a walk Find a local trail, park, beach or even your neighborhood or downtown scene and go for a stroll! Looking for romance? Go at sunset.
2 | Try something new Take advantage of your Whole30 #TigerBlood and pick an activity that’s always interested you and try it together. Bowling, ice-skating, tennis, golf, yoga, horseback riding … whatever sounds fun to you.
3 | Play in the snow February is always a bit blah, but getting out into the weather in order to enjoy it can be invigorating. If geographically and seasonally possible, go skiing, snowboarding, snow-shoeing, snow tubing or sledding.
4 | Hiking Take a page out of the Whole30 Headmistress’s book and go for a hike in your area.
5 | Get on the water. If you live near a body of water, give kayaking, fishing, paddleboarding or canoing a try. Not a fisherman? Take your favorite book along instead.
6 | Go for a night run Get some glow sticks and make it into a game—play tag!
7 | Volunteer Find an opportunity with your favorite local charity and donate time together. Here is my favorite.
Fun & Games
Photo by Alessandro Bogliari
8 | Hit up an arcade A little friendly competition over Pacman or Skee-ball is sure to delight!
9 | Host a game night Reach out and invite your friends or family over to play games. Make it about connection and not about the snacks.
10 | Have a dance party Bust out your favorite dance tunes may be, and bust a move. Another fabulous use for that #TigerBlood. Kids love this one, too!
11 | Attend a sporting event Cheer for your local team or head to a nearby college for a game. Something is available year round!
12 | Go to see live music* My husband and I love finding local live music or traveling to hear favorite bands and artists.
13 | Go to a comedy club* Go exert your boundless energy by laughing at standup, improv or sketch comedy
14 | Escape room A great option for a double date or group. Especially good for adrenaline junkies!
15 | Mini golf If you’re lucky, one of you will get a hole in one and have a free round for your next date night!
16 | Find a painting party Find a company in your area that offers group painting parties. Everything you need is provided and you get to go home with your very own masterpiece.
*If you are out at a location that serves alcohol, club soda with lime is a great alternative
Arts & Culture
Photo by Dev
17 | Go to a museum or art gallery Many have free admission, which is a nice perk
18 | Attend a live theater performance Find a high school production, community theater, or splurge on tickets to see something professionally produced.
19 | See a movie This one can be intimidating, depending on your established habits. “A movie with no popcorn?! No Junior Mints?!” Absolutely. Your movie snacks won’t change the production or your company. Opt for a matinee for in-between meal times.
20 | Go on a home tour Lots of communities offer historical home tours, or tours to highlight special architecture and design. During the holidays or springtime you can often find garden tours as well.
Photo by Alex Holyoake
21 | Go star-gazing Scoop up your favorite blanket, pillows and find a wide open spot under the stars and just lay together and watch.
22 | Go for a drive Create a playlist of your favorites or pick something random from Spotify, roll the windows down (weather permitting) and belt out the lyrics as you drive back roads.
23 | Book a couples massage or spa package Visit a local spa or find a practitioner that will come to your home.
24 | Take a nap outside This can be especially relaxing if you have a hammock or perfect shady spot on a gorgeous day. The boost of Vitamin D is an added bonus!
25 | Go antiquing or visit a flea market Keep an eye out … you never know what treasures you might find.
Abby Arey is a public school administrator with experience in professional coaching and a mother of two. Abby lives a Whole30 lifestyle after completing 15+ Whole30s. She enjoys working with people and coaching them through their own Whole30 experiences, ultimately helping people change their relationship with food and establishing sustainable life-long, healthy habits.
“The food freedom I have found through the Whole30 is absolutely exhilarating! I have experienced significant changes in so many aspects of my life as a result of this program. I am the best version of me today and can’t wait to help others find that same version of themselves through improved health and self-esteem!”