Oh, winter. We can't wait for the cooler weather to arrive, but when it does, we're ready for it to leave. Still, there is so much to love about this time of year. Yes, the days are shorter and the weather is unforgiving, but the holidays bring cheer at the start of the season, and the snow creates a real-life wonderland. Don’t succumb to seasonal affective disorder; grab your significant other and indulge in a well-deserved date night.
What makes a date special is a combination of what you do together and the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company. Don’t let the weather hinder that fun. It can be tempting to avoid the hassle of leaving the house, but on balmy days, an outdoor experience is worth it. We know those are few and far between, so alongside ideas about exploring your local wilderness, we also think being together inside near the fire is quality time.
Fall in love again with any of these fun winter date ideas. Imagination and humor are keys to creating lasting memories, so don’t skimp on either.
Make snowmen and angels. Fresh snow is a well of possibilities for how to have winter fun. Roll up snowmen and outline frosty angels on the ground or build a snowcastle—the beach does not have to be the only gallery for your sculptures.
Go hiking. An outdoor adventure may require more foresight in the winter, but nothing can beat witnessing a sheet of snow across untouched wilderness. Be sure to bring enough water and warm layers for your trip.
Drink hot cocoa. This warm chocolate beverage is surprisingly simple to make from scratch (here’s a recipe from How Sweet Eats); you probably already have all the ingredients. Add your own twist, be it liqueur or cinnamon, and enjoy the sweet treat while cuddling up to your partner.
Go ice skating. You will have your pick of scenery when seeking a spot to skate once it reaches freezing outside. Hold hands as you float around the rink (or lake!) or better yet, try your hand at impromptu, low-impact ice dancing.
Go sledding. Fluffy snow practically begs to be frolicked in. Grab a sled and whisk down hills small and large for a fun winter date.
Make snow art. The snow doesn’t need to be fresh in order to use it as your next canvas. You can use spray bottles filled with water and food coloring as your palette and make your own grand romantic gesture.
See a play or ballet. Sometimes we need a reason to get dressed up in order to break up the monotony of the season. Your local theater is the perfect place to go. Not only will it add to your cultural repertoire, it is a destination where extravagance is expected.
See a movie. Dinner and a movie is maybe the most unoriginal idea on this list, and yet, it has always proven to make a great date night. Winter also happens to be award season, so you may choose to indulge in a cerebral drama or foreign film. Or stay home with the best bad movie you can find on Netflix and an unholy amount of popcorn.
Go indoor skydiving. A fear of heights won’t stop you from trying this extreme sport. Float in a skydive simulation and feel just as exhilarated as jumping out of a plane. An experience like this is sure to make for a lasting memory.
Play board or card games. Assuming you still have all the pieces, snow days are best for board games. Of course, not all work for two players, in which case, a simple deck of cards will achieve the same purpose. No cheating!
Have a living room picnic. Though hanging in the living room lacks the invigorating sunshine that we typically associate with a picnic, you won’t miss the outdoors on this cozy date. Lay down a beach towel and rummage through your basket packed with snacks, cheese, and wine.
Go indoor rock climbing or bouldering. Bouldering is a type of rock climbing that does not require a harness, but both activities are better with a spotter. Let this date be the equivalent of a trust fall; you will need to communicate well and work together to ensure you both have a great time.
Do yoga together. When your legs need stretching but the temperature prevents a moonlit walk, doing yoga together is the next best thing. If one of you is a novice, simple guided asanas should suffice to get your blood pumping. Otherwise, try interlinked couples’ poses to really get to know your partner’s body.
Make a gingerbread house. A gingerbread house is a classic winter staple. You can opt to make the cookies from scratch but there are no judgments on a store-bought kit with pre-made gingerbread. The important part is construction—make your house a home with frosted window dressings and hard sugar decorations for the yard.
See local holiday lights. Every town has that one street decked out in Christmas lights. Take a scenic drive around with your partner to admire all the hard work that went into your neighbor’s displays.
Make s’mores on the fire. You don’t need to wait until you can camp outdoors to enjoy the best part of a log fire. Come prepared with graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate bars, and try not to make a gooey mess under the mantle. If you lack a fireplace, try roasting marshmallows on the stove.
Build a blanket fort. Forts are not just for kids! After minimal furniture rearranging, drape your sheets or blankets to form your hideout. Take a flashlight and make shadow puppets with elaborate backstories and enjoy some snacks while you’re cozy.
Enjoy a spa day at home. You don’t need to go out to have a tranquil spa experience. You don’t need to be fancy—sheet masks and bath bombs are perfect for the occasion. Invest in some aromatherapy and trade massages with your partner for a particularly romantic night.
Make breakfast for dinner. Everyone loves breakfast. Plan a collaborative meal together where you split kitchen duties. One person can make bacon and pancakes while the other prepares French toast and mimosas.
Have a sticky note scavenger hunt. Scavenger hunts are typically reserved for the outdoors, but with a pad of sticky notes and a pair of clever minds, this can easily work inside. Leave thought-provoking clues about how you and your partner met or other intimate details that will eventually lead them to a prize that only you could think of.
Have a power’s-out date night. The power does not have to be out to make this date night work, but if it is, this may be the plan that saves your sanity. Cut the lights and avoid appliances in favor of candlelight and a crackling fire. This is a great night to order takeout and enjoy each other’s company.
Keep score as you watch game shows. Jeopardy is finally on Netflix, and plenty of other game shows can be found on other streaming services; now is your chance to really compete. Grab a pen and paper and keep track of the points you earn. By the end of the night, you will finally be able to declare who is the true Jeopardy champion of the house.
Make pizza. Cooking together can be fun, so long as you can agree on the meal. Pizza is a safe selection that everyone will love, and it is also incredibly fun to make. The fun is between the lines of the recipe: Learn how to toss the dough or make patterns with your toppings for a work of art right out of the oven.
Have a homemade dessert competition. Why not hold a contest where you both can be winners? Be sure you have all the necessary ingredients for two different desserts, and try baking them at the same time. Competitive spirits will run high and the kitchen will be a mess, but when all is said and done, there will be two scrumptious creations waiting to be devoured.
Drink wine and paint. Instructional BYOB art classes are a quirky trend right now, but you do not have to leave the house to enjoy a glass of wine and learn how to paint. Instead, we encourage you and your partner to cozy up with a new bottle and some cavasses as you stream Bob Ross on your TV. You probably won’t be able to re-create his landscape masterpieces, but you will have a blast trying.
Play video games. If you are better at button-smashing, break out the old console and remotes. Video games tend to be less time-consuming but require more technological understanding than board games, and we encourage you to play to your strengths.
Go thrifting or antiquing. You can fit a lot of laughs into a date spent thrifting. There are always unusual items on sale at antique and secondhand stores; you will have the best time at a store that does not organize its merchandise. It takes more effort to locate worthwhile items, but makes it all the more satisfying when you do.