When the temperatures start to dip, you and your sweetheart need some fun winter date ideas that suit the season. Of course, there are two kinds of people in this world: Those who want to grab their outerwear and head outdoors to get their blood pumping, and those who will happily hunker down under a cozy blanket next to a roaring fire until spring comes knocking. But no matter your personality type, even the most creative among us can find ourselves in a wintertime rut, especially where romance is concerned.
For when the fun of the first snowfall has subsided and you’ve made it all the way through your Netflix queue, we’ve gathered up plenty of romantic date ideas that will cure your winter doldrums. Whether you’re the indoor date type or you’re ready to face the cold outside, these quarantine-friendly date ideas will fill your calendar through at least March. Most of them are free (or cheap!) and don’t require any special equipment, so they’re excellent choices for those of us whose wallets are feeling light after the holidays, too.
Build a Snowman
If you live in a snowy area, shake off the impulse to hibernate and channel your inner Frozen stan by constructing your very own Olaf. Or, relive your childhood by making a snow angel or having a friendly snowball fight. You and your sweetheart will grow closer and work up a sweat.
Have an Indoor Picnic
Create a Home Spa Day
Pick up some face masks, essential oils and DIY mani-pedi supplies at your local drugstore, light some candles, and put on relaxing music. Then grab your robes and get to pampering. You’ll both feel wonderfully relaxed after dedicating some time to slowing down.
Take a Hike
Get the blood flowing by embarking on a winter hike with your partner. Exploring the great outdoors will help you appreciate the beauty of the season and boost those endorphins, too. Just make sure you check the weather, map out your route and bring the proper equipment for your journey.
Plan a Future Getaway
When you just can’t take the winter weather anymore, spend an evening planning an actual escape. Sometimes planning is almost as much fun as the vacation itself, so make a night of it. If you’re looking for Caribbean vacations, whip up some piña coladas. Booking a European adventure? This calls for pasta and vino. Even just daydreaming about a future escape will take you away from reality.
Attend a Virtual Event
Dinner and a movie is a date night cliche for a reason — watching something together can make a great bonding experience! Even if you can’t attend a play or concert IRL right now, many performing arts centers have streaming options you can enjoy from home. Put on your best theater-going outfits and put away your phones, just like you would in person.
Challenge Each Other to a Video Game
So you want to adhere your butts to the couch but just can’t bring yourselves to watch another episode of 30 Rock. Pull out your video game system — or borrow the kids’ — and challenge your partner to a few rounds. If you don’t have a gaming system, try an online game instead.
Make a Meal Together
Heat things up in the kitchen to combat the weather outside. If you already know your way around the kitchen, try your hands at a fancy new recipe. Or, if your home-cooking skills are lacking, grab a frozen pizza crust and dress it with your favorite toppings for a less challenging activity. Then crack open your favorite drink and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Play a Game
Get in touch with your competitive side by playing a game together. Whether you’re a chess whiz or a Monopoly maven, there’s a game out there for everyone. Don’t forget to put your phones on silent while you play; some of the best conversations can happen during a friendly challenge!
Take a Staycation
No need to hop a plane for a romantic getaway. Move into the guest room for a night for an affordable couples’ night away or if you’ve got trusted friends nearby, consider swapping houses for the weekend. Don your plushiest robes, have breakfast in bed (with mimosas!) and consider this your license to ignore your responsibilities.
Go Ice Skating
Even if you’re the most uncoordinated person on the planet, ice skating can bring you and your partner together by pushing you out of your comfort zone. And who knows — maybe you’ll both end up discovering a knack for ice dancing! Don’t worry about looking silly. Vulnerability is a classic relationship builder.
Have a Paint Night
Make like Bob Ross and paint a masterpiece, even if your skills are more kindergarten than Da Vinci. Open a bottle of wine, pick up some canvasses and acrylic paints at the local craft store, turn on an old Ross tutorial (available on Hulu!), and host a DIY paint class in the comfort of your own home. You’ll come away with a memorable souvenir of your date night.
Watch Childhood Classics
When the weather is too dreary to leave the house, put on those PJs, pop a big bowl of popcorn, and cozy up on the couch. But instead of working your way through the same old shows, have a childhood favorites marathon. Turn on classic cartoons you used to love as a kid or old Disney movies you haven’t seen in years for a night that feels special.
Have a Baking Competition
Whether your baking skills are at British Bake-Off level or you’d make a great Nailed It contestant, throwing down in the kitchen can be a sweet date night. Start with a boxed mix if you’re not confident in your oven know-how. No matter how Instagrammable the results come out, you and your partner will have a blast creating some delicious treats.
Reminisce Over Old Photos
Whether you’ve been together for decades or are just embarking on your journey, everyone loves a walk down memory lane. Share stories from your childhoods or reminisce over events you enjoyed together. It’s a great (and free!) way to get to know each other even better.
Go Sledding Together
Get your adrenaline pumping by going sledding if you live in a snowy area. Sharing a sled actually requires you to cuddle up to your main squeeze, and tumbling into the snow is a classic rom-com move. Grab some hot cocoa afterward to warm yourselves up.
Try Couples’ Yoga
Both yoga novices and expert yogis can use a moment of zen. In particular, Bikram or hot yoga will help keep you warm through the chilly months, and learning some intertwined poses may even translate outside of yoga class (if you catch our drift). Remember, always pay attention to your body’s limits and don’t push yourself harder than you can handle.
Take a Cooking Class
Learn some skills that will make your home life even better by logging onto an online cooking course from the comfort of your own home. Cooperating to create a delicious meal will strengthen your bond — and you’ll get to chow down afterward.
Read to Each Other
Kids love bedtime stories for a reason: There’s nothing like losing yourself in an absorbing tale. Introduce your partner to your favorite childhood book by reading it to one another, or pick a new title you’ve both wanted to check out and trade off reading chapters aloud. Bonus points for assigning each character a silly voice of their own.
Have a Dollar Menu Date Night
A lot of us don’t have much room in our budgets for fancy dinners these days. Embrace your thriftiness by going all in on the dollar menu. Pick your favorite fast food restaurant and order everything on it for a princely feast on a pauper’s paycheck.
Hold a Casino Night
Raise the stakes (and get a little friendly competition going) by holding a two-person casino night. Try your hands at poker, blackjack, hearts or any other card game for the prize of your choice. Try using spare change, M&Ms, or even LEGO as gambling chips for a fun, low-stakes night at the races.
Make Indoor S’mores
You don’t need to go camping to enjoy a romantic fireside treat. Build a roaring fire, get out the marshmallows, and make s’mores inside for a delicious date night. Spring for the good-quality chocolate and several kinds of graham crackers.
Pretend the Power’s Out
A real power outage is serious, but a fake one can encourage cuddle time. Turn off the lights, light some candles, and put away your devices for an old-school unplugged evening. Think truth or dare, shadow puppets, telling ghost stories, or even some dimly lit adult activities (wink, wink).
Try Snowshoeing or Cross-Country Skiing
Don’t just sit inside staring at the snow — get out there and enjoy it! Take a snowshoe or cross-country ski tour or rent some gear and get ready to sweat in some pretty scenery. Dress for the weather and don’t forget to stretch.
Play Tourist in Your Own Town
Bundle up and go play tourist, wherever you live. Check out your area’s architecture or shopping district, or just take a scenic drive with some good tunes. You’ll gain a renewed appreciation for your hometown seeing it through your partner’s eyes and may even rediscover some old favorite sites.
Catch a Sports Game
Even if you aren’t usually sports fans, athletic events have a way of bringing people together. Cheer on a local team on TV or find a streaming version of a new-to-you sport (curling, anyone?). Even if you don’t have a favorite team, pick sides and spice things up with a little friendly wager.
DIY a Sundae Bar
Life is too short to skip dessert. Pick up all the fixings for a DIY ice cream sundae bar at home. Even if it’s below freezing outside, an icy sweet treat will get you in the mood to heat things up inside. You know what they say about chocolate being an aphrodisiac!
Go Thrifting or Antiquing
You never know what you might find at a thrift or antique store, and that treasure hunt makes it so much more fun than the mall. If you can do so safely where you live, head to a thrift store and challenge each other to a zany outfit contest or try to find the most unique item at an antique shop.
Go Indoor Rock Climbing
For a fun activity that will help you heighten your trust in one another, try out indoor rock climbing or bouldering. Because it requires communication and mutual support to do safely, rock climbing is a creative way to bring you closer together no matter how long you’ve been a couple.
Bowling isn’t just for kids’ birthday parties. Get a group of couple friends together and knock down some pins, or head to the lanes just the two of you. This is one date night where you actually want to strike out. If you’re staying socially distant, set up a tabletop version for some indoor fun.
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