Going on that crucial first date in the heart of winter? Sometimes, it seems like there are endless fun date options in the summer, but there’s nothing at all to do in the winter.
Don’t let the cold ruin your date – or keep you from asking her out.
Below are a ton of fun first date ideas in the winter; you’ll find that there’s much more to do than you ever imagined, and it can all be magical and romantic, a key stepping stone in a lasting relationship.
1. Hot Chocolate Makes for the Perfect Outdoor Picnic
Picnic dates aren’t just for the summer any more. Get a nice warm blanket, a thermos of hot chocolate, and a few winter snacks – like candy canes if it’s close to Christmas, or your favorite cookies – and have a winter picnic.
This is best if you do it right at sunset, as the world will look white, pristine and beautiful as the sky fills with color.
2. Take a Cooking Class
Winter is the ultimate season for staying in and enjoying a bottle of wine and a warm, home-cooked meal. But what if you don’t know how to cook that meal yourself?
Impress her by inviting her to take a couple’s cooking class with you. You’ll learn simple and yet delicious recipes in an atmosphere that is both fun and informative.
You can pick from meals, appetizers, desserts and classes that cover all of it. The beauty of this idea is that you get the food after you make it, so the class gives you a fun event and a meal, all at the same time.
3. Have a Game Night
Let’s face it: You both loved being kids during the winter, when you could sit around the table and play board games. Bring back some of that fun and excitement by setting up a game night at your house. Maybe you love Monopoly, Scrabble, Risk, Sequence or Euchre.
Just pick the games you love and enjoy them all over again.
If you can, play on the rug in the living room, in front of a roaring fire. It feels cozy and warm, and this is one of the best fun first date ideas in the winter because games are a great way to talk and get to know each other without too much pressure.
4. Imagine that You’re a Tourist
Whenever you travel to a new country or a new city, don’t you feel like there are endless things to do? You can see monuments, tour historic buildings, go to the art museum, and all the rest.
Well, what many people forget is that you probably have a lot of these things right in your own city. You’re just so used to seeing them all the time that you forget about them.
Pretend you’re a tourist for a day, pick out something you’ve never done, and you may be surprised by how much you’ve been missing right on your own doorstep.
5. Go Ice Skating
This is another winter classic: Ice skating under the moonlight, hand in hand, and really feeling the magic of winter. Depending where you live, you may want to grab your own skates and head for the frozen pond out back, or you may want to head downtown to the public outdoor rink, where you can skate below the big city lights.
Either way, it’s an enchanting way to spend your evening. It really captures the spirit of winter like few things can, and it’s sure to be romantic.
6. Head for the Spa
Maybe the outdoor options aren’t for you because it’s just too cold. If so, one of the top fun first date ideas in the winter is just to book a night for two at the spa. Get a massage, sit in the sauna, relax in the hot tub. Enjoy the smell of incense and let your worries drift away.
It’s warm and inviting and it’s sure to put both of you into a relaxed and happy state of mind; follow up your trip by going out for drinks or grabbing a late dinner.
7. Go to a Hockey Game
No sport is more entrenched in the winter spirit than hockey. It’s the ultimate sport for the frozen north, though indoor arenas now mean that it’s played all over the world.
If you don’t have a local pro team, make sure you look into the semi-pro teams. They can be just as much fun, they feature players who will someday be in the pros, and they often run specials like $1 hot dogs, $1 pretzels and $1 beers.
8. Build a Snow Fort
Nothing beat building a snow fort when you were a kid. Though you might not spend hours at it this time – you’ll be running in for some steaming hot chocolate at some point – you’ll find that it can be even more fun as an adult.
This is also one of the terrific fun first date ideas in the winter if you’re interested in a group date.
Sometimes, going out with a group and having a night you’ll remember for years to come is the ideal icebreaker, a great way to get to know each other so that you’ll have that second date in the very near future.
9. Have a Gingerbread Party
Building a gingerbread house together is a good way to embrace the season, especially in December. On top of that, it gives you a chance to show off your artistic side, and you both get to snack on a lot of candy and frosting along the way.
This date allows you plenty of time to talk – something you never get if you just watch a movie – but you get a fun activity so you never feel the pressure and the conversation comes naturally.
10. Try Out Cross Country Skiing
Think downhill skiing sounds a bit too extreme for a first date, or that you won’t have enough time to actually spend together? A great alternative is to go cross country skiing. Many local hiking trails are probably turned into ski trails in the winter, and this is one of the best ways to get out and enjoy the beauty of nature – the cedar trees covered in new-fallen snow, the fresh powder on the ground.
It’s an awesome afternoon date, as well, when you get one of those warm and sunny winter days just after a snowstorm.
11. Take Dance Classes
Even if you never feel like you know how to dance in the club, that doesn’t mean you can’t be a great dancer. One of the best fun first date ideas in the winter is to take dance classes together or with a group. You’ll learn things like the waltz, the tango, the salsa and more.
The instructors are very nice and laid back, focusing more on having a good time while still helping you learn. She’ll love that you’re interested in something like dancing, and you’re sure to have a lot of laughs and romantic moments.
12. Order in with Comfort Food
The colder it gets outside, the more warm comfort food just sounds delicious. Pick your favorite meal and order in, whether that means a pizza, Chinese food, hot soup and sandwiches, or something else entirely.
It’s all about just giving in and eating the food that you crave. Then you can cuddle up under a blanket and watch TV or a movie together, just enjoying each other’s company and the fun of being inside on a blustery night.
There’s something about a cold, windy winter night that makes the home feel like the ultimate retreat.
13. Go on a Hayride or a Carriage Ride
Of all the fun first date ideas in the winter, this is the one that is most often immortalized in songs and paintings. Many cities have horse-drawn carriages that give you a quiet, romantic ride through the evening streets, with the snow lightly falling and making the whole world feel magical.
If you get out of the city a bit more, you’ll find hayrides where the carriage is covered in bales of hay and moves through the snow-covered forest, making you feel like you’re right in your favorite Christmas story. Sip hot chocolate to keep warm and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
14. Go Snowshoeing Under the Moon
For those who thought cross country skiing was a good idea but too complicated to learn on a first date, snowshoes can be the perfect compromise. They make it easy to do some winter hiking, no matter how much snow has fallen, so you can really go exploring.
This is awesome if you do it at night, with just the moonlight to guide you. It’s pristine and romantic. Just make sure you bring a lantern or a flashlight in case a cloud goes over the moon!
15. Go to an NFL Game
People think of football as a fall sport because it starts in September, but it doesn’t end until February. If you have a local pro team, this can be a terrific date. College games are fun as well, though they end a bit earlier in the season.
For the sports fanatic, though, nothing is better than a football game, as it’s the most popular sport in the United States. Just make sure you get your tickets early, since they tend to sell out in advance.
16. Check Out Touring Musicians
Musicians make most of their money these days from tours, not album sales. There are probably some great shows near you. This can be a fun day trip if you don’t live right in the city. The big acts – pop stars, country stars and rock bands – tend to play in the local sports arenas when the team is out of town, but don’t write off the little music halls, theatres and even coffee shops.
You’ll find some of the best, most intimate shows at these places, especially if you’re into indie rock, folk music and other smaller genres. If you really want to impress her, find out what her favorite band is and buy tickets as a surprise.
17. Go to the Park, Your Own Winter Wonderland
The local park is probably full of joggers and children in the summer, but it’s probably completely empty when winter rolls around. Fortunately for you, that makes it the ultimate winter wonderland. Be sure you wear your boots, gloves and a nice warm hat. Then stroll around and enjoy the beauty of winter, even if you live in the city, where it’s usually not so clean and untouched.
You can do this at any time of day, but it’s best done at night, especially if the park is decorated with Christmas lights, lanterns and the like.
18. Munching on S’Mores
S’Mores are a terrific treat mostly made when you go camping in the summer, but they are just as tasty in the winter. If you have an outdoor fire pit and it’s not too cold, it can be fun to roast the marshmallows outside, as the firelight is beautiful and enchanting on the snow.
If it is too cold, just get a candle and roast them indoors! This event doesn’t even have to be a whole date on its own, but can definitely be a nice way to end the night, along with a good bottle of wine, after you do one of the other things listed above.
19. Go to the Theatre
Now, you may not want to go to the theater because a movie isn’t your ultimate first date – it’s a bit too cliche, perhaps – but don’t forget about the theatre. You can see classic musicals, holiday pop songs, orchestral performances and much more. Common shows that run in the winter include White Christmas and Les Misérables.
Going to the threatre is one of the best fun first date ideas in the winter because it also gives you both a chance to get dressed up so that you look stylish and she looks ravishing. Start the night with dinner at a fancy restaurant near the theatre, stroll over to the venue in the moonlit snow, and you’ll have one of the best dates of your life.
20. Write a Bucket List
You know those things that you always say you’re going to do, but you never do? Listing them with someone else can be fun and exciting, and it’s a great way to get to know one another if you’ve never been out before.
Plus, when you both write the same thing on your lists, you know exactly what to do for your second date! This gives you a very easy way to ask her out again, because you just have to check that one off your list.
RELATED: 15 Fun Second Date Ideas To Impress Her
21. Take a Date to the Local Bookstore
In these days of ebooks and television shows, the bookstore holds a sort of romantic nostalgia for a lot of people. It can be a warm and charming date destination, especially if you know she loves to read.
Buy her that book she’s been wanting and it’s a quick, inexpensive way to score a lot of points. Plus, a lot of modern bookstores come with extras like coffee shops, bakeries, concerts by local bands, author reading sessions, and more.
22. Decorate for the Holidays
Who doesn’t love decorating for Christmas as soon as Thanksgiving is over? It’s festive, it’s low-key and it’s a blast. Make some hot chocolate, put the Sufjan Stevens Christmas album on, and enjoy each other’s company while making your home or apartment look awesome.
If you don’t have a lot of decorations already, start the night off at the mall or the local stores, buying all of the streamers, paper snowflakes, garland, and Christmas lights that you need.
23. Take Yoga Classes
Not only is yoga a great way to work out, but it can help you relax and feel terrific. In the winter, hot yoga is a tremendous way to escape the cold. Go as a couple, even if you’ve never done it before, and you’ll have a fun time in a group setting.
This is a great ice-breaker and an activity you can both enjoy. The sessions aren’t that long, so you’ll still have plenty of time for other activities.
24. Set up an “Around the World” Dinner
If you’re a cooking wiz and you want to impress her, one of the top fun first date ideas in the winter is to make a multi-course meal where each course is from a different part of the world. You get to show off, you get to try a lot of different foods, and each course is an adventure.
Plus, since it’s your first date, you may not know what her favorite type of food is yet. With this date, you can’t go wrong! Have some bruschetta and egg rolls as an appetizer, eat steak or fish and chips for the main course, enjoy a soft pretzel from Germany, and finish it all off with ice cream sundaes.
That’s just one idea, but you can take this any direction you desire.
25. Play Indoor Games
There are plenty of indoor gaming facilities that give you fun and excitement, along with an escape from the weather. Go on an indoor mini golf course, ride go-karts, compete with each other in basketball toss, and win tickets so that you can buy her a gift on the way out.
It’s something like the fun of the county fair – many places even have restaurants and bars inside – but you can do it during any season.
26. Look for Local Art Galleries
Art galleries are very different than art museums, in that they have changing displays all of the time. Artists will get to set up their own exhibitions that may last for months, weeks, or even just days. If you want to look cultured and refined, locate one of the nearby galleries and take her on the night when a new exhibition is opening.
With your ticket, you’ll often get light snacks and glasses of wine, so you can really enjoy yourself while looking at all of the latest developments in the art world. Like the theatre, this also gives you a great excuse to get dressed up in a suit and tie.
27. Pretend There’s a Power Outage
If you’ve never done this before, it may not sound that fun, but trust us: It’s a great time. Flip the breaker and pretend you don’t have any power – though you should make sure your furnace is still on.
Light a fire and some candles for light, and it turns any home into a romantic atmosphere. Without the distraction of the TV, you’ll find a lot of fun things to do together, whether that means playing games or just talking and sipping some drinks.
28. Go Rock Climbing
Rock climbing is absolutely blowing up in popularity right now, and it’s a blast for two people. Even if you’ve never been before, there are short, easy walls to climb, or you can go bouldering and stay closer to the ground.
You can help each other climb by holding the ropes and shouting out advice. While beginners are often intimidated, this is actually one of the easiest sports to start, and you just might get hooked. If you do, there’s another easy way to get that second date.
29. Take Her Christmas Shopping
Before Christmas hits, even going shopping can be a lot of fun. The mall will be decorated, and there might even be a band marching through, playing Christmas songs. Children will be lining up to see Santa. It’s all festive and fun, and you had to go Christmas shopping anyway, right?
You might as well make a night of it with a beautiful girl. If you can, slip away and buy her a little present when she mentions that she likes something, and give it to her at the end of the evening.
30. Do a Christmas Lights Tour
Another good way to embrace the season is just to get in the car and drive around, looking at all of the Christmas lights and decorations. Before long, you’ll stumble on some real gems, with incredible displays.
Put some Christmas music on the sound system, get some warm, non-alcoholic drinks for the drive, and take it slow, enjoying every minute of it. If you want, just incorporate this festive drive into any other date by planning an extra hour or so into the time frame.
31. Hit Up the Comedy Club
Comedy clubs are a sure way to entertain, as you never know what you’re going to get. This is one of the best fun first date ideas in the winter because they have a drink minimum much of the time, so you know you’re getting a few drinks when you buy that ticket, helping you both relax and have fun.
The professional comedians are sure to make you hold your sides with laughter, but the amateur comedians can be even funnier – and not always in the way they intended!
32. Play Paintball or Go to the Shooting Range
If you’re into guns and the outdoors, a trip to the range or the paintball course can be a blast. While outdoor ranges – for things like trap shooting – may be closed in the winter, the indoor ranges will still be open.
If you’re a crack shot already, you can show off, but don’t offer to teach her how to shoot too quickly! You may find out that she’s even better than you are, and she won’t let you forget it if she is.
33. Set Up a Fake Beach Party
Feeling like winter will never end? Turn your basement into the beach! Get some heat lamps, some beach chairs that lay back into poolside recliners, throw some blankets down on them, and lounge away with your swimsuit and a light beer like it’s the middle of July.
This is also a great group date, if that’s more what you’re into.
You can turn on some music, play table tennis instead of volleyball and, if you really feel like going for it, get some sand to cover the basement floor. Sure, it’s going to take a while to clean up when you’re done, but who doesn’t love a trip to the beach after a few months of snow and ice?
An Epic Date
As you can see, there are a ton of fun first date ideas in the winter, maybe more than you ever considered before. Have you been trying to ask her out but wondering what you’d actually ask her to do? Did she already say yes and now you’re looking for the perfect idea?
Pick one of the above and you’re sure to have a great first date that quickly leads to a second.
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