35 Winter Date Ideas For Couples Who Are Done With Netflix And Chilling

Looking for some fun winter date ideas? Well, you’re gonna wanna get more creative this year.

“Date night used to be about connecting with your partner after a busy week,” says Taylor Orlandoni, LMHC, a clinical psychotherapist. “Now, if you’re quarantined with your partner and spending more time together than ever, a date night could seem kind of silly—I mean, you see each other all the time…right?” Nope, wrong. Date night can help you mix it up during a stressful period, bringing you closer to your partner.

And if you don’t live with your significant other, this winter, it’s likely you’re going to have to get more creative than conventional “dinner and a movie” nights in light of social distancing protocols. “A rule of thumb for relationships: It’s never about the quantity of time spent together, but the quality of the time,” Orlandoni says. Noted.

Either way, these incredible date ideas ensure that every date night this winter is a quality one. Get out your planner!

The holiday season is an especially timely moment to get involved with some community service efforts, all the more meaningful when shared with your love. “Whether virtually or through an option that allows for distance, being able to have the shared experience of giving back to others can promote connectedness—it’s a win/win!” says Christene Lozano, LMFT, certified sex addiction therapist, specializing in sexual health and relationships.

“It’s a particularly good time to reflect, be thankful, and meditate together,” says Tara Suwinyattichaiporn, PhD, assistant professor of relational and sexual communication at California State University, Fullerton. “There are many guided meditations for couples online,” she continues, noting that this practice strengthens your spiritual connection to each other, no insignificant thing in these trying times.

After the session, Suwinyattichaiporn recommends each person share three reasons why they’re thankful for their partner. If you enjoy doing this activity together, consider making it a weekly or even daily ritual.

Parlez-vous français? Ah, non? Time to change that with language lessons pour deux. Apps like Rosetta Stone—with 20+ languages to choose from—make it a breeze (and fun) to learn how to read, write, and speak in another tongue.

“This isn’t limited to one date, as it takes time to learn a language,” says Lozano. “Practicing together can enhance your connection as you learn together, and a long-term goal can be traveling to that country when it is safe to do so.”

Fact: A pile of blankets and a roaring fireplace (or ahem, a YouTube fireplace video) pair really well with an audiobook. For an evening with your boo, I’m lovingHow Chefs Holiday,Holiday Greetings from Sugar and Booze (a music-filled holiday comedy starring Ana Gasteyer and Maya Rudolph), and Louisa May Alcott’s classic tale Little Women performed by Laura Dern, all available on Audible.

It’s always a good time to practice gratitude for what you have, but the holiday season is a particularly poignant opportunity to do so. Whether it’s toys your kids have outgrown, furniture, clothes, or kitchen appliances (or all of the above), many charities will gladly take your possessions off your hands, and some will even arrange pickup. Google organizations accepting donations in your area and decide together where you want to give your old stuff a new life.

Marie Kondo-ing your life may not strike you as the most thrilling way to spend your time. But blast some music, order in from your favorite takeout spot, and I promise it will be way more memorable than you think.

Who’s ready for an upgraded version of self-care hour? “You can prepare one experience for each other simultaneously or take turns spoiling your loved one,” says Margarida Rafael, PsyD, a sex and relationship expert at Adore Passion. “Choose candles, pick an oil for massages, get towels and a robe ready with a smell of lavender, learn a few massage techniques to practice, and end the spa day with a warm bath with homemade face masks.” Sold.

Getting out into the great outdoors is a great way to become closer with your S.O., while keeping a safe physical distance from others.

“Considering that quarantine has required many people to be online more, a camping trip can be especially helpful in disconnecting in order to reconnect with each other,” says Lozano. “Nature can be very healing, so a weekend camping date can do wonders for your mental health, which in turn can be restorative for your relationship.” And yes, you can camp in the winter! Some peeps even prefer it since there are fewer bugs.

If an overnight camping trip sounds like too much for your decidedly indoorsy soul(s), embark on an afternoon hike instead. Especially for couples who have been quarantining together, this outing is a nice way to enjoy a literal change of scenery, as well as a change of headspace. Countless studies show spending time in nature is a boon for your health.

If you’re lucky enough to have some outdoor space, this spoon-worthy, ahem, swoon-worthy idea from Markesha Miller, PhD, has all the trappings of an A+ adventure: “Create a bonfire, grab a few blankets and sleeping bags, lie out under the stars, roast marshmallows, grill, and enjoy,” she says. “This is a great way for couples to bond while sticking with the basics, and allowing time for communication, intimacy, and undivided attention.”

You can always head back inside when it’s actually time to sleep, and if you don’t have a yard, a living room picnic ranks as a pretty close second.

These days, making a photo album can be as simple as a few clicks on your phone, but there’s something to be said for ordering prints, opening up the yellow envelopes, and adding the snapshots one by one to a photo album.

If you prefer to go the digital route, streamline the process by working together to pick out a print or two to design and frame as custom wall art on platforms like Etsy or Mixtiles.

You’ll work on teamwork skills and enjoy the rush of accomplishing something together, and many cooking classes are now virtual. “This can be an especially helpful date idea if you have children at home that make it more challenging to leave for a weekend date,” notes Lozano. “Plus, you get a tasty meal at the end of it!”

Hey, nothing wrong with skipping the soups and stews and heading straight to dessert with a Christmas cookie bake-off. To make it fitting for the holiday season, each individual can cook a beloved wintry recipe and tell the story behind it when you sit down to eat. As an alternative, you can each cook different versions of a similar meal, say, a sweet potato dish, pizza, or dessert, and then rate each on taste and presentation. “The winner can receive an act of love from the other,” says Lozano. Back massage, anyone?

Another one for the foodies in the house: There’s no reason you can’t have a fancy brunch at home. Make your fave recipes, grab a pitcher for mimosas, and really do it up.

For a solid cold-weather good time, look for an outdoor, socially distanced ice skating rink in your area. This one is a classic for a reason!

What’s better than tea in the winter? Tea and scones in the winter. Plan a fancy afternoon of high tea for you and your bae…pinkies up!

Here’s a fun one to put on your calendar, per Orlandoni, especially if you’re not big on cooking (and that whole, um, dishwashing thing): “For a safe and explorative date-night, I suggest an around-the-world food tasting—your partner and you each pick up some food reflecting three different world cuisines. Grab an appetizer from all six places, and have a taste-testing date night in,” she says. “This date-night plan allows you and your partner to do something you most likely have not been able to do in some time: experience something new together. Boxed in our homes and apartments, it has been hard to experience new sights, but a shared experience brings you closer to your loved one.” Bonus: Mountains and mountains of leftovers.

Pick a theme (Italian reds? New world wines? Pinot noirs?), and snag a few bottles to compare and contrast. Bonus points for a fancy cheese plate!

If you’re in an LDR or apart because of coronavirus regulations, make the experience interactive by sharing your computer screen through an app like ScreenLeap and playing destination videos or mapping out itinerary stops on Google map. In person? Go old-school and page through road atlases and guidebooks as you jot down your must-see spots on a dry erase board or large sheet of paper. (Snap a photo of your final list and email it to yourselves for safekeeping.)

“A double virtual date provides the opportunity for connections with friends and family,” says Miller. “Discussing common topics with other couples promotes growth and is a great opportunity to have fun over food, games, and conversation.”

‘Tis the season for plenty of poinsettias. But if you live together, upping your greenery game can be the gift that keeps on giving by helping combat the winter blahs. Mix and match pot colors and plant types from Bloomscape’s expertly curated Houseplant Gift Shop or shop their Easy Indoor Plants collection.

For couples who are quarantining together or in a LDR, this sweet exercise only takes a half-hour or so and can leave both parties feeling touched and uplifted.

“Feeling connected can be difficult when you’re not face to face, so this activity helps you focus on increasing emotional intimacy,” says psychiatristAnisha Patel-Dunn, DO, chief medical officer at LifeStance Health. Before your chat, spend some time researching a poem or excerpt from a beloved author that you think will bring on the awwws for your partner.

Embrace your artsy side and tackle this project with an open mind and a blank piece of poster board. Suwinyattichaiporn advises using the framework of “We have / We Want / We Will.” Some examples are “we have trust,” “we want to work out together more,” and “we will read a new book together every month.” (Related: 100 Questions To Ask Before Marriage To Make Sure You’re Doing The Right Thing)

But get creative and feel free to use your own prompts for your board. “Vision boards help couples communicate mutual goals.”

What’s your favorite childhood board game? Now’s the time to break it out! Pair this date idea with one of the earlier dinner/wine suggestions for a full night of fun.

“When couples begin dating, they usually ask each other a million questions,” says Traci Maynigo, PsyD, program director of the Supporting Healthy Relationships Program, Montefiore Health System. But when the honeymoon stage is over, this stream of constant queries—from the seemingly insignificant such as “what’s your favorite food?” to the profound such as “what are your life goals?”—tend to dramatically taper off.

Maynigo recommends spending an evening reconnecting with your partner using relationship researcher John Gottman’s (free!) Card Decks app for ideas on what types of open-ended questions to ask your partner. You could also try this couples quiz.

Either way, it might be interesting to record the conversations so you can see how your love evolves and make this an annual end-of-year check-in.

Nothing spells winter fun like mixing up a batch of hot toddies or spiked hot cocoa. Spend some time looking up recipes in mixology books or online and each party can be responsible for making a round of drinks. If you’re booze-free, experiment with your favorite mixers and bitters, fresh herbs (rosemary FTW), and spices like nutmeg and ground ginger.

Winter is for long, heated card matches over mugs of hot apple cider, amirite? Challenge your lover to a few games of poker or gin—loser needs to make dinner.

If you’re both big card players, amp up your skills with Daniel Negreanu’s MasterClass on Poker and your game will never be the same.

Nothing beats embracing your inner kid, wandering out in a fresh blanket of snow, and getting creative with your snowman’s ensemble. When you’re done, snap a few photos of your creation and roll in the powder for some snow angels or have a friendly snowball fight.

Look, not everyone lives near a ski slope or can access the pricey gear. That’s where snowshoeing comes in as a much more approachable alternative. Flat land? No balance? No problem.

Don’t @ me on this one: Birthday cakes = happiness. And hey, there’s no law against making a birthday cake when it’s 100 percent NOT your birthday.

Buy a gingerbread house kit and go to town with colorful designs and plenty of icing—there’s no such thing as too much.

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