Double couple competition: How to put on a cooking challenge evening

Modern Solutions for Modern Problems: Double Date Ideas, from the team at Couplr

Double Date Ideas, from the team at Couplr

Double date ideasIf you’re like most long-term couples, you are probably well past the honeymoon phase of your relationship. Thus, you have likely experienced the unavoidable “married life” rut. The good news is there are many ways to keep it alive and thriving, with one of them being…you guessed it! Double Dating.

According to a study in Science Daily, double dating can be a great way to reignite passion for your significant other. Having another couple to share personal details with has been proven to help make you feel closer to your partner.

Let’s face it, passion is one of the first things to go in a long-term relationship. It takes a lot of work to keep the passion train going. Not surprisingly, the antidote to breaking that “dry spell” is introducing new options.

So how exactly can you strengthen the bond with your partner via double dating? Glad you asked. See below for two expert tips.

Indoor Double Date Ideas

Play the question game

This tactic has the power to solidify a couple’s unity and increase partners’ attraction to one another. On your next date night, ask everyone in your group questions like, “Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?” or “If you could go back in your life and change any one experience, what would it be and why?”. If you would rather stick to small talk, you can try questions like “When was the last time you walked for more than an hour?”.

Get Out

The typical couple spends their free time “staying in”, which can get pretty boring. Setting the commitment and feeling the pressure to make a “night out” worthwhile pushes you to try things outside of your comfort zone. Most of the time, it ends with you having a genuinely good time. Not only will you get to reconnect with old friends or make new ones, but it may be good for your relationship!

Introducing new experiences with another couple does not only break the every-day mold. Such interactions have been proven to help us perceive our relationship in a whole new light. While most of our day-to-day interactions are now online, our double dating life doesn’t need to be. Oftentimes, couples may want to hang out with others, but they run into decision-making fatigue and are not quite sure what to do. So here are some suggestions!

Put together a cooking challenge at your home!

Double couple competition, double date ideasIf you and your couple friends are foodies, or just enjoy watching any of the myriad cooking shows on television these days, why not throw a mystery ingredient cooking challenge party?

Cooking challenge shows vary in their rules and complexity, so if there is a particular program that you love, feel free to adapt it to your liking. The plan laid out below allows for some friendly competition for a group of four. If you prefer your competition a little more cutthroat, invite a few more friends over to serve as judges.

The rules

Each person is responsible for one dish: appetizer, entrée, side dish, dessert. Depending on the size and functionality of your kitchen, you can either all cook at the same time, two at a time, or one at a time.

The catch

Each individual will need to use a provided set of mystery ingredients to make their dish. You and your friends can decide how best to do this – will one person do all the shopping, or will each person create a mystery ingredient bag for a particular course?

To keep it fun and manageable for everyone, don’t make your mystery ingredients too outlandish, or too disparate. A combination of shrimp, navel oranges, cocoa powder, and bok choy? Challenging, but doable. Rocky road ice cream, anchovies, turnips, and eggs? Maybe not so much.

Tips for success

Engaging with Other CouplesMake sure your kitchen is well-stocked.  You’ll want a good selection of cookware as well as butter, oil, salt, pepper, and spices. You may want to have staples on hand like Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, flour, cornstarch, and lemons. The more you have to work with, the more creative you can be! And don’t forget to plan for some fun cocktails or mocktails. You’ll need something to wash down the culinary masterpieces!

Don’t forget to plate your dishes – after all, cooking show judges never fail to penalize bad presentation.  Then sit down and enjoy the fruits of your labors while you make your critiques (gently, now!). Since this is all for fun, the losers need not pack their knives and go. But you might want to make them do the dishes!

Play a new (board) game!

There’s ALWAYS a new game on the market you’ve been wanting to try. Why not now? When else do you have countless hours on your hands to actually experiment with a new game?! Find it online, order it, and spend a few hours learning how to play it. Who knows – maybe you’ll become masters at it! Here are some fun games to play with multiple people:

    1. Apples to Apples
    2. Cards Against Humanity
    3. What do you Meme?
    4. Settlers of Catan
    5. Monopoly
    6. Clue
    7. Code Names
    8. Charades
    9. Pictionary
    10. Never Have I Ever

board game

Host a movie night!

We’ve all got that never-ending “to-watch” list. Sometimes, watching them with others is more fun than watching them alone! We’re sure that every couple has one. Why not share your list with another couple and find a movie or two (or five, we won’t judge) to binge-watch your night away together? Don’t forget to warm up your home and stock up on popcorn and hot chocolate!

Movie night

Outdoor Double Date Ideas

Attend a beer-brewing class!

When winter just won’t go away, and spring seems just a distant dream, it can be hard to drag yourself and your significant other out of the doldrums. You may find yourself hibernating indoors, doing the same old things. But that’s no way to spend the prime years of your life!

If you’re looking to shake things up, we recommend taking your next double date to a beer brewing class. Learn something new, and a few weeks later, you can open up a bottle of home brew and toast to your friendship – and your new hobby.

There are several options for brewing classes in the Chicago area.

The Pursuit Supply Company

Outdoor Double Date IdeasThe Pursuit Supply Company at 4316 W. Irving Park Road stocks supplies for all your quirky food-related DIY hobbies, and they also offer classes. In addition to beer brewing, you can take classes in photography, wine-making and coffee roasting!

Brew & Grow

Brew & Grow (3625 N. Kedzie Avenue) offers both beginning home brewer classes and advanced classes, should you decide this is a pastime you’d like to get explore further.

Gnome Brew

At Gnome Brew, 2026 W. Montrose Avenue, you can learn to brew your own beer in just one hour. If you really want to geek out on home brewing, you can also keep your eye on the shop’s events calendar for free public lectures. Other events include the home brew bottle share meet-ups they host on the second Thursday of every month.

Make It The Best

And if you’re looking for a memorable and light-hearted Valentine’s Day double date, Make It The Best at 9030 S. Hermitage Avenue has you covered with an evening of winemaking, dinner, and dancing on February 14. The shop also offers beer brewing and wine-making classes throughout the year.

Enjoy a great activity with friends and stock your fridge with drinks for the next get-together at the same time!

Take a food tour!

Chicago is well known for its extensive range of cuisine. While there are many well known stops, a lot of the best eateries are hidden away and hard to find without guidance. Taking one of the many famous food tours around the Chicago area can help you discover new favorites that you will keep coming back too, and who doesn’t love sharing the experience of good food?

Food tour, double date ideas
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Chicago Food Planet Tours

Chicago Food Planet Tours are critically acclaimed by sources like USA Today, Chicago Sun-Times, and Bon Appetit. They have a range of different tours for you to choose from that include everything from tours of the West Loop to a Chinatown tour. These tours range anywhere from $50 per adult to $75 per adult, and take anywhere from about 2-3 hours. These are pretty extensive tours, with some of them taking you to 5 different locations!

Bobby’s Bike Hike

Private tour,, double date ideas
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Are you and your double date looking for a bit more activity in your day? Bobby’s Bike Hike provides food tours both in a walking format and a biking format. One of their better known options is the Bikes, Bites & Brews tours that they provide, which are 4 hour 12-13 mile trips! Their walking tours are often within the 1-1.5 mile range, which makes them accessible to any level of physical fitness. The prices of these tours vary from $48.75 per adult to $69.75 per adult. They also offer private tours, if that is more your style.

Rebecca Wheeler’s Tours

If you and your double date are looking for something led by a specialist, Rebecca Wheeler’s tours are exquisite. Rebecca Wheeler is a traveler and a cooking instructor. She can lead you through Chicago’s neighborhoods and share her deep knowledge into the culture and history of the food and locations that you visit. All of these tours are private, which makes them much more intimate than a large group tour. Currently Rebecca offers tours of Argyle (Southeast Asian cuisine), Chinatown (Chinese cuisine), and Devon (Indian and Pakistani cuisine). For 4 adults, the price per adult would be $93.75, but this price lowers for every adult you bring with you!

Chicago Walks, double date ideas
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Geek out at the Adler Planetarium!

Adler After Dark

The Adler Planetarium hosts a popular 21+ event once a month that transforms the museum into a prime adult entertainment hotspot. You are allowed to peruse the museum itself in the company of other adults rather than the rambunctious families that usually occupy the space. If you have never been to the planetarium, they have a large variety of exhibits that are all expertly designed. The Astronomy in Culture exhibit takes you through the history of astronomy and teaches you about old tools like the astrolabe and how people used them before navigational technology existed.

Adler Planetarium
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Chicago’s Night Sky

Another popular exhibit is Chicago’s Night Sky. It focuses on the problem of light pollution and how we can change our design philosophies to lessen the problem. This area includes the Historic Atwood Sphere that lets you see what the night sky would have looked like in 1913 without any light pollution. The Atwood Sphere is also the oldest planetarium on exhibit and recently got refurbished. Other popular attractions at the Adler Planetarium includes the Clark Family Welcome Gallery, the Community Design Labs, and the Doane Observatory. You also have access to unlimited sky shows in one of their state-of-the-art theaters.

Other Adler Events

Along with all of these great exhibits, the Adler Planetarium hosts live entertainment, lectures, and special guests depending on the theme of the month. They also provide themed alcoholic beverages, as well as food from their café. The food isn’t your usual basic fare. They often have an impressive menu including a hotbar stew, soup, and daily specials that range from turkey and goat cheese wraps to astro burgers. The price of these tickets are $25.00 per adult, but if you happen to be a member, they are only $12.50.

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Double couple competition: How to put on a cooking challenge evening

COVID-19: Improve Your Relationship with Your Partner While You Practice Social Distancing

COVID-19: Improve Your Relationship with Your Partner

Social distancing is HARD, especially as the flowers are starting to bloom and the sun is starting to come out. We get it. But it’s the right thing to do right now. Between the start of spring, longer days, new sports seasons, and the desire to spend more time outdoors, finding the motivation to stay indoors and away from people is difficult. This is especially harder for those in relationships, as the lack of excitement can leave the relationship feeling like hitting a wall. After navigating this phenomenon for the past few weeks, we want to share with you a few ways to improve your relationship with your partner in this time for self-care! Fortunately, there are so many activities couples can do indoors to keep the spark alive.

Cook together!

Find a website and/or app in which you pick a meal and the company sends you the ingredients needed to make that meal! Cooking together is a great way to try something new, while growing your relationship with each other.

Cook together Covid-19

Practice self-care

Some of our favorite solo self-care activities include reading, journaling, and planning. As a couple, we take this time to talk through the relationship. A great way to do this is saying things we love about the relationship, as well as things we can do to improve together. Having these conversations is so important to keeping the relationship prosperous.

Practice self-care

Play a new board game

There’s ALWAYS a new game on the market you’ve been wanting to try. Why not now? When else do you have countless hours on your hands to actually experiment with a new game?! Find it online, order it, and spend a few hours learning how to play it. Who knows – maybe you’ll become masters at it!

board game Covid-19

Catch up on your movie list!

We’ve all got that never-ending “to-watch” list. What a perfect time to binge watch them all! Especially if the wait has been due to conflicting schedules with your partner. You just HAVE to watch them together, right? Well, pull out that list and start watching!

Catch up on your movie list! We’ve all got that never-ending “to-watch” list. What a perfect time to binge watch them all! Especially if the wait has been due to conflicting schedules with your partner. You just HAVE to watch them together, right? Well, pull out that list and start watching!

Finish those side projects

How many separate lists of home projects and side projects do you have? Maybe a list of gifts to buy for upcoming birthdays and weddings? How about a DIY project you’ve been holding off on? Might be a good time to finish painting that wall you’ve been putting off. Or maybe finally clean out that kitchen pantry that’s been piling up expired foods that you didn’t realize. It’s a great time to cross off a bunch of items on your to-do lists!

Finish those side projects

To stay updated on the latest and most accurate information related to COVID-19, please refer to

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Double couple competition: How to put on a cooking challenge evening

Waiting for Spring: Indoor Date Ideas for When You’re Over the Chill

Indoor Date Ideas

Spring is coming, but someone forgot to tell the wind. You want to go out but you’re over the cold weather. We hear you. Here are some great indoor date ideas for your next double date in March or April.

Musical Theatre

A night of musical theater is sure to pull you out of any lingering end-of-winter blues. My Fair Lady is playing at the Cadillac Palace Theatre from March 24 to April 12. Get dressed up and enjoy a classy night out with your love and your friends.

Musical Theater


Check out Second City for side-splitting laughs. If you are an aspiring comedian yourself, you can even take improv classes through the organization.

Adler Planetarium

A few times this year, the Adler Planetarium will open up in the evening for the over-21 crowd. The next event will be on April 16, and the price of admission ($12.50-$30) includes access to all exhibits, unlimited sky shows in the planetarium’s theaters, lectures, educational programs, live entertainment and a killer view of the Chicago skyline. Bars will also have alcohol available for purchase.

Retro Evening

Who knew there were still piano bars? For a retro evening of classy drinks and live music, check out Davenport’s Piano Bar and Cabaret in Wicker Park. The front of the house is a casual piano bar (if you like to sing, come on Open Mic Mondays). In the back is a full cabaret. No talking is allowed there and you have to make a reservation and order at least two drinks. For cabaret show listings, check

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