Here are some universal truths: the sound of rain when you are in bed is magical, you haven’t truly lived until you’ve bathed in a 7 foot tall champagne glass in the Poconos – and dating sucks. Especially in 2020. It was bad enough before you had to factor in face masks, the shut downs and the prospect of any human contact leaving you with a deadly infectious disease. But alas, many of us are still on the quest for love, myself included, which calls for a little more creativity when it comes to planning a rendez-vous. With the ole’ “dinner & a movie” date proving less reliable in these strange and uncertain times, I put on my thinking cap and derived an alternative idea for a recent date with a particularly cute PhD student I was hoping to impress. Sad to say, things did not work out with Dr. Love but the important takeaway is this: it was one of the most exciting dates I have been on. And if you’re going to go through the awkward process of dating in 2020, might as well make it fun, right?!
So this is a scavenger hunt which can be played in any city, allowing you and your date to take a romantic yet adventurous stroll, while avoiding any awkward silences or getting stuck in crowded places. You can work collaboratively, or make it a competition using a system of points. Bring some beverages to break the ice on a park bench and head off on the hunt!
Without further ado, here’s a list of things to spot on your scavenger hunt for love:
- Easy one to start: a bird that is not a pigeon.
- An unusual door … that looks fit for the entrance to a secret society meeting (bonus points for describing and naming your hypothetical clandestine club).
- A menu displayed outside of a restaurant that lists both of your favourite go-to dishes. (Establish said dishes first).
- Spy a gargoyle or mythical creature carved in stone (look up!)
- An item or style of clothing worn by a passerby that wouldn’t be out of place in the 1920s.
- Scout a location or a composition worthy of a Wes Anderson movie
- Find a bookstore selling the last good book each of you read (identify said books before entering).
- Seek out something, besides a building, that’s more than a century old and still in use.
- Two people on a date other than yourselves (1 point for young love, 2 points for long-time love).
- Look for a Thomasson.
- Scout out a courtyard or urban enclave hidden from the street (2 points) or a dead end (1 point).
- Something miniature in scale.
- Find a shop with a vintage sign or historical facade indicating its past lives.
- A piece of art in a gallery window that you both like.
- An abandoned location brimming with potential.
- A manhole with an illustrative element (other than words or a pattern).
- Shouldn’t be too hard: someone wearing a mask in an “alternative” fashion.
- Spy a Trompe l’Oeil (worth 2 points) or a form of street art (1 point).
- Each take a photograph of something you find beautiful – if your date snaps a picture of you, we’d say that merits a second date and you’re #Winning either way!
Don’t forget to print out your scavenger’s list before leaving the house (instead of repeatedly pulling it up on your phone), but feel free to modify the list to your sensibilities and interests. Remember above all else to enjoy yourself and if things go south, at least you got to put on your explorer cap and discover new things about your city. Share with friends and scavenge responsibly!