If the weather outside is frightful, you and your main squeeze probably need some fun winter date ideas that make the most of the season. Whether you’re the type who just can’t wait to bundle up in cute outerwear and get outdoors, or you couldn’t be happier to hunker down under a cozy blanket next to a roaring fire (ideally with a hot beverage and a cuddle partner), you don’t have to settle for the same ol’ Netflix and chill. There are a bunch of great winter activities for couples that would make the perfect first date, anniversary celebration or any moment in between.
These outdoor and indoor date ideas offer different levels of romance, and many of them are even free (or cheap!), and don’t require any special equipment, so they’re ideal options if your wallet is a little thin after the holidays, too.
One note: If you’re planning on doing something on Valentine’s Day, be sure to pick one of the extra-romantic date ideas, like a walk on the beach or an indoor picnic, that will help bring you two closer together. And when all else fails, remember, no matter what day it is, you can’t go wrong with planning a delicious dinner for two and watching a romantic movie together.
Advertisement – Continue Reading Below
Just because it’s not swimming weather doesn’t mean the beach isn’t a beautiful spot for a romantic stroll. Bundle up and get out there. Chances are, you’ll have the place pretty much to yourself.
Get Into a Snowball Fight
Lots of couples start to get into arguments when they’re stuck inside for a while. Lean into it by engaging in a good, old-fashioned snowball fight. Just no throwing at the face or close range.
A lot of food banks and other social service organizations see a huge influx of help over the holidays that quickly falls off once January hits. Help out a local charity by volunteering, to do good and feel good doing it.
You don’t have to be Mariah Carey to have a blast singing karaoke. Grab your phones as microphones and belt out some tunes at home or check out a local karaoke night to get a taste of each other’s musical side (even if they can’t carry a tune in a bucket).
Hit up an open mic night or a comedy showcase or find a favorite comedian who has a streaming special to get a good case of the giggles. Laughing releases endorphins, and that will make you and your partner feel closer than ever.
Gather all of your favorite toppings and enjoy a DIY hot cocoa bar. We’re talking shaved chocolate, miniature candy canes, little candies, adult mix-ins — the works.
Melted cheese, chocolate and dippables: Is there anything cozier or more romantic? We think not. Fondue is back and you owe it to yourself to get in on the trend.
RELATED: 9 Best Fondue Pots of 2022
Do a Beer or Wine Tasting
Discover a new favorite beverage while tasting wine, beer or even coffee or tea if you don’t drink alcohol. Many breweries and wineries offer tastings, but you can also DIY it at home with a tasting kit or just buying a few single-serving varieties.
Get your blood moving by moving your feet in a dance class, either at home on YouTube or in a studio. Next time you find yourselves at a wedding, your new fancy footwork will wow the other attendees.
There’s no age limit on fun, and you’re never too old to throw down with a few arcade games. See if you can earn enough tickets to give your main squeeze one of those super-cheesy prizes.
Pick up some pampering 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.
Get your blood flowing by heading out 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, dress appropriately, map out your route and bring the proper equipment for your journey.
When the cold starts getting you down, spend an evening plotting your 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 trip will take you away from reality.
Attend a Virtual Event
Dinner and a movie is a date night cliché for a reason — watching something together makes a great bonding experience! Even if you can’t attend a play or concert IRL, many performing arts centers have streaming options you can enjoy from home — and they’re free, to boot. 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 stomach yet 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.
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 delicious new recipe. Or, if your home-cooking skills are more Kitchen Nightmares than Top Chef, grab a frozen pizza crust and dress it with your favorite toppings for a less challenging activity.
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!
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 or Bloody Mary’s!) and consider this permission to ignore your responsibilities for awhile.
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 secret talent for ice dancing! Don’t worry about looking silly. Vulnerability is a classic relationship builder.
Make like Bob Ross and paint a masterpiece, even if you failed art class in middle school. Open a bottle of wine, pick up some canvasses and acrylic paints at the local craft store, turn on an old Bob Ross tutorial (available on Hulu!) and host a DIY paint class in the comfort of your own home. You’ll even 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 cuddle 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 leans into the nostalgia.
Have a Baking Competition
Whether your baking skills are at Great British Bake-Off level or you’d make a perfect Nailed It contestant, throwing down in the kitchen can be a sweet date night (pun intended). 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 tasty treats.
Reminisce Over Old Photos
Everyone loves a walk down memory lane, no matter how long you’re been co-travelers. Share stories from your childhoods or reminisce over events you enjoyed together. It’s a fun (and free!) way to get to know each other even better.
Get your adrenaline pumping by going sledding if you live in a snowy area. Sharing a sled requires you to get super close to your main squeeze, and tumbling into the snow is a classic rom-com move. Grab some hot cocoa afterward to warm yourselves up.
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 (wink, wink). Remember, always pay attention to your body’s limits and don’t push yourself harder than you can handle.
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, plus you’ll get to enjoy a wonderful dinner together afterward.
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 nights out 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. Then, make like restaurant reviewers and critique it like a Michelin-starred meal.
Raise the stakes (and get into the competitive spirit) 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.
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 or even cookies to elevate it beyond sleepaway camp fare.
Pretend the Power’s Out
A real power outage is serious, but a fake one can encourage togetherness. 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.
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 before and after.
Play Tourist in Your Own Town
Bundle up and see the sights like it’s the first time. Check out your area’s architecture, shopping district or just take a scenic drive with some quality tunes. You’ll gain a renewed appreciation for your hometown seeing it through your partner’s eyes and may even rediscover some old favorite spots.
Even if you aren’t usually sports fans, athletic events have a way of bringing people closer. 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.
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 thrill of the hunt makes it so much more fun than the mall. 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 bonding experience, 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.
Advertisement – Continue Reading Below