Blanket Fortitude

Blanket fort

And we’re back. Back in lockdown. At least if you live in Victoria like us. Being stuck in the house is, as always, forcing us to get creative with date ideas. Getting a bit tired of the same four walls everyday? Build new walls! Building a blanket fort is a great way to mix things up, and make ordinary date night activities a bit more special. Plus it’s a great way to keep warm during winter.

What's in a Fort?

This activity was a staple of standard suburban upbringing. Relive fond childhood memories of bunkering down in your own personal plush palace. (“By bunkering down, with your own personal hunk” — Emmy). Whether nostalgic or not, it’s a fun way to flex your teamwork, construction and even decorating skills. The basic premise goes something like this:

  • Gather as many pillows, cushions and blankets as you can find.
  • Build a supporting structure with chairs, couches, boxes, or whatever else you can improvise.
  • Drape blankets over the supporting structure to make an enclosed space.
  • Arrange pillows and blankets inside the structure for maximum comfort.
  • Optionally, decorate with fairy lights, fake foliage or whatever else you’re into.
  • Finally, turn off your phones and get cosy together.

Ours ended up being a sort of covered day-bed, festooned with fairy lights and fake flowers. Using our folding couch as a base, I wedged the two cushions from our other couch on either side, propped up between a chair and Dax’s scratching post (much to his dismay). I then draped a heavy sheet over it all. A broomstick jammed behind the couch and the wall acted as a central support. Emmy came in afterwards, decided it was missing something, and added lights and flowers as the finishing touches. Of course, Dax came in shortly after to claim the fort for himself.

Dax's Fort
How very rude.

We spent a cosy evening playing Nintendo Switch, watching YouTube videos about Tramping in Czechia, and munching on maple bacon cheddar potato chips. Honestly I think the cat enjoyed it more than we did though; he slept in it all night.

This is a great date idea when you can’t leave the house. It pretty much forces you to slow down and have some quality time together. Plus, you get a change of scenery in the comfort of your own home.

If you’re an independent adult, you (hopefully) don’t have to worry about your parents getting mad at you for upending the living room. If you and your partner live together, I recommend you make this a couple’s activity. Some might like the surprise, but others might not appreciate you appropriating half the furniture and bedding in the house without their consent. Use your informed discretion.

Pro Tips:

  • Avoid social media. Maybe even put your phones away for a bit. You really want to make sure you and your partner are paying attention to each other.
  • Go the extra mile to make it look really cute and inviting. It’s your own private mini-retreat, so make it extra special.
  • Prepare snacks. Bowls of chips and fruit are easy, but fancy snack platters always go down well. Warm drinks are also a must.
  • Stay warm. Consider pre-heating your fort if you have a small portable heater. Just remember to turn it off so you don’t burn the whole thing down!
  • Get creative. Maybe give your fort a theme — tropical escape perhaps?
  • Put on some music. Emmy made me serenade her with a rendition of Richard Cheese’s cover of “I’m Only Happy When It Rains”. Which she says made her swoon for about the second time in our relationship. (I’m not sure exactly what the pro tip is here, but it’s in there somewhere.)

This date idea is relatively easy and can be prepared on short notice. But you can make it as involved as you like. It’s really just a fun way of making your usual chill-out activities together feel just a little bit more special. Whether you’re watching movies, playing cards, reading books, or just talking. So many of us are so busy these days, that we don’t often just sit down and talk to each other.

With everything going on in the world right now, we could all use a bit of a retreat. So put your worries aside, get together with your partner, get creative, and get cosy.

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