Are you looking for a winter date idea that will help you make magical memories – without breaking the bank? Finding something fun (and warm!) to do during the colder months can be a bit of a chore in itself, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve gathered up 7 of the best inexpensive winter date ideas that can help you beat the cold and bring you closer together. Don’t believe me? Just take a look!
1. Ice skating at the local ice rink.
First, let me throw out a little disclaimer: Please do not try to go skating on a frozen pond. Maybe it’s just my own anxiety talking here, but the chances are pretty good that the pond isn’t frozen all the way through, and you may break the ice in the worst way possible. Instead, opt for a local ice rink – whether indoor or outdoor – and have fun pretending you’re a professional figure skater. Most ice rinks serve hot cocoa and/or cider, too, or you can bring a travel mug full of your own. The best part is, if you’re clumsy (like me) and fall on your bum, you’re already icing it – say goodbye to bruises and lumps and contusions.
2. Check out that local coffee shop.
Local shops sometimes have higher prices than international chains, but for good reason: You’re not supporting some billionaire somewhere… You’re supporting a small family-owned business that often pays its employees better, and at the very least, treats them better. Check out some warm drinks that you haven’t had the pleasure of trying – just make sure you get different things so you can taste each other’s, too. (I’m pretty fond of dirty chai myself, but your experience may be different.)
3. Go to the theater together.
It doesn’t really matter whether you’re going to the movie theater or a local theater production of some obscure musical. With one, you’ll get to see the newest movies to come out, on a much larger screen than you (probably) have at your house. With the other, you’ll get a bit of culture. No matter which you choose, you’ll be getting a perfect excuse to cuddle in public. Opt for a romance – studies show that discussing those movies (and, in theory, plays) with your partner and comparing the things you see with the things you’re actually doing increases the chances of having a satisfying relationship.
4. Hit up your local library.
If you and your partner are both book lovers, the library is a great place to find a new book obsession… Or just spend an afternoon “traveling” to foreign (or fantastical) lands. It’s one of the least expensive ways to experience another culture, and it helps keep the love of local libraries alive. Seriously, as much as I love my Kindle and the books I’ve purchased, sometimes you just want a good book without all the commitments.
5. Go on a picnic at a “summer location.”
Places like lakes, rivers, and community parks often get neglected in the winter time, because people don’t want to sit out in the cold. While I totally understand that side of things, there are almost certainly no crowds at these places right now, so if you want to engage in a little PDA but one of you isn’t “out” yet, off-season is a great time to cuddle up in your warmest clothes. And besides, water sounds are calming anyway – wouldn’t it be nice to leave the stresses behind? (Assuming, of course, your local body-of-water isn’t frozen over… I repeat, do not try to ice skate on it if it is.)
6. Go on a road trip (if weather conditions are safe to do so).
Driving through sleet and snow can be scary and dangerous, but if you live somewhere it doesn’t get quite so grey and gloomy, most people are going to be staying inside. Take advantage of the open roads on non-holidays to play road games, make small (or big!) talk, and listen to the cheesiest road trip playlist you can think up. Just don’t forget to dress warm and plan accordingly!
7. Stay at home!
I know there are a lot of people out there who wouldn’t consider an at-home date to be a “real” date, but if you’re trying to save money and stay warm, nothing beats cuddling up under a thick blanket in front of the fireplace. If you don’t have a fireplace, consider making a faux fireplace and cranking the furnace up – we won’t tell anyone if you don’t.