When the weather outside is delightful, you have so many activities and venues to choose from when arranging a date.
Summer concerts! Fairs, festivals, Fourth of July! Sports events! Amusement parks! Bonfires and barbecues! Farmers’ markets! Walks (or bike rides, or skating) in the park! Ice cream! Restaurants and bars with patios! Camping trips! The great outdoors is your oyster.
And the outfits. So easy. You can’t really go wrong with a sundress, swimsuit, or shorty shorts in the summer. Spring and fall let you play with layers (hello, leggings) and change up your color palette.
But when the temperatures turn frightful, the sun starts going down earlier, and the long sleeves come out, things look a lot more limited. Dinner and a movieeeee-yaaaaaawwnohsorryaboutthat.
Dating, as it turns out, is a seasonal sport. To help you and your sweetie out, here are some creative winter date ideas well suited to colder weather and warmer wardrobes.
Sign up for a class in art, cooking, wine tasting, or something neither of you has done before. Look to local recreation centers, parks districts, libraries, gyms, zoos, and churches for classes open to the public. These are often listed on your local newspaper’s events directory online.
Take on a project, however big or small, serious or whimsical. Build a gingerbread mansion from scratch. Put together a huge puzzle, maybe even one of these insane 3D ones. Plan a fancy meal using a complicated new recipe. It’s easy to control for the budget factor with this idea.
Bond over a shared interest in a cause by signing up to volunteer for a local organization, fundraising drive, or event. Generosity is an attractive look on anyone. After putting in some hours of sweat equity, go get coffee or a drink together and unwind.
With these hands-on dates, you might just get your hands on something else…
After all the summer concerts and festivals, fun doesn’t pack up and fly south for the winter – it just moves indoors. Explore your city’s performance venues to find live acts of all shapes and flavors, like comedians, drag performers, burlesque, traditional theatre, ballet and orchestra, musicals, readings, speakers, and concerts as big as arenas or as small as your neighborhood corner bar.
If you have a competitive streak, hit an arcade or bowling alley for some friendly rivalry – provided neither of you are sore losers, that is. You might want to avoid weekends during daylight hours, though, because it’s hard to feel flirty and sneak in some subtle PDA with a five-year-old’s birthday party happening two lanes over.
I love these destinations in the winter because they can each provide an instant escape from gray skies, slushy roads, and dead yellow grass everywhere. My personal favorite is a local greenhouse, Krohn Conservatory, where it’s tropical-warm all year round. But there are museums for everything, and galleries to house all kinds of artists, so you’re bound to find something that interests you both.
Aquariums usually being family-friendly venues, they’re maybe a little less fancy, but no less fun. It’s easy to forget the frigid wind outside when you’re walking through a glass tunnel of sharks and jellyfish. Or if there’s a planetarium nearby, check to see if it puts on any fun lights shows or laser displays, which are often scheduled in the “after dark” hours when the school-age kids are in bed.
If you’d rather go revel in the winter weather than escape from it, or trudge the tundra than meander through a museum, by all means, have at it. Winter sports are perfect in pairs – who else will laugh with you when you wipe out, or snuggle up with you and a hot drink afterwards to thaw out your rosy noses?
Even in your own backyard, you can stage a good old-fashioned snowball fight, or better yet, catch them by surprise. Just don’t aim for the face, and remember that the best part of any fight is kissing and making up.
It’s hard to be bored for long during the holidays, a season of socializing. From public community events to private parties, there’s no shortage of selections to get you in the spirit, if that appeals to you.
One very easy, cozy date is a drive around to look at lighted decorations on display. You might find a special lights display installation at a local park or zoo (one of the most impressive ones I know of is at Pyramid Hill in Hamilton, Ohio), or just weave your way through some suburbs with Christmas music on the radio and a thermos of hot cocoa to split as you Ooh and Aah. You might even try making it into a scavenger hunt!
Warm & Cozy: Couple’s Spa Day
Relaxation and romance go hand in hand, as will you and your companion as you go on a little retreat for two. This is a popular choice for Christmas gift certificates and Valentine’s Day dates, an oldie but a goodie. I especially like this option for couples who lead busy lives and don’t get a lot of quality time to enjoy each other’s company.
If you’re on a budget, you might treat each other to an at-home spa day complete with massages, music, and mimosas. Even if you’re not an expert masseuse, it’s an excuse to be up close and personal with each other, and shut out the outside world.
Plus, you have to love any date where the dress code is a bathrobe and terrycloth slippers.
Indoors or out, high-class or budget-friendly, there are plenty of things to do on a date in your city if you just know where to look. Did I leave off any of your favorite winter date ideas? Mention them in the comments below or on the Strong is Our Sexy Facebook page!
Marisa is a professional writer/editor and creative writing teacher living in southwest Ohio with her mutt. Recently divorced, she is busy enjoying the single life and all the adventures it offers. She believes the sexiest thing you can do is love yourself first, and is a champion of clear communication and listening to your gut as well as your heart. Got a question for Marisa? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org