The expectation around the holiday season has a funny way of tricking you into feeling like Christmas is the culmination of a long winter. But really, winter has just begun. That means you have at least three more months of dating in the cold, without the ambiance of carolers and twinkle lights.
Don’t let the deficit of Christmas cheer sap your romantic energy! The dead of winter is as good a time as any to cozy up and get to know one another. You might just need a little more creativity and a couple more layers. Here are nine fun ways to spend quality time with your man when the temperature drops.
01. Go sledding.
This is my all-time favorite date idea. Sledding is the perfect combination of classic charm, childish fun, and bundled-up togetherness. You can wear your pajamas inside out and backwards in the hope for snow (you did that in grade school, right?) or you can just head for the hills to go tubing any old time (pretty much the same thing as sledding). Don’t forget to schedule time for hot cocoa and a warm fire when your play day is done.
02. Work at a soup kitchen.
It’s easy to get caught up with you, you, you all winter long—but you are not the only one has to face the cold every day. Grab your guy and a hairnet and spend the afternoon or evening volunteering at your local soup kitchen. It will feel good to focus on someone else for a change, and visiting with your neighbors in need will be an opportunity for new insight and conversation. Who knows, you and your guy might make this a weekly tradition!
03. Go ice skating.
This never gets old. Nothing spells comedy of errors like speeding around in circles on razor-thin blades in a small crowded rink. Pack a pair of fluffy socks and prepare to laugh or be laughed at—let’s face it, someone is going to fall on their butt in a very undignified manner. That’s why ice skating is a winter date staple: It works your glutes, your abs, and you get to hold hands while you’re at it!
04. See a play.
When was the last time you enjoyed live theater? You don’t have to go to Broadway to enjoy good theater; every town has a local company that has been hard at work rehearsing and is eagerly waiting to entertain you. Grab some dinner beforehand and switch things up with a live show.
05. Call recess.
As an adult thinking back on recess during grade school, I marvel at my eagerness to spend time outdoors despite the bitter cold. We adults flit from house to car, from car to work, and back again, determined to spend as little time outside as possible. But the trick to enjoying the outdoors during the winter months is to get your blood pumping, recess-style. Gather a group of your friends and a football and split into teams. You will warm up in no time–and no doubt inspire a healthy amount of playful competition in your courtship. After all, girls rule and boys drool! (But don’t actually say that, because that’s annoying.)
06. Take a class.
Winter is a great time for a cooking class, dance lessons, pottery, creative writing, scuba diving certification, tennis lessons, etc. The list goes on and on. It’s time to learn something new together!
07. Try indoor rock climbing.
Active goal-oriented activities are the perfect recipe for boding and togetherness! This a great way to literally practice being there for one another and encourage each other reach the top. If you are not a seasoned climber, be prepared to discover muscles you never knew you had. And maybe schedule a massage for the next day, because you are going to be feeling it!
08. Spend a day in a local historic town.
Every city has quaint little towns an hour or two off the interstate, just waiting to be explored. Spend a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon strolling through a cobblestone street and tasting local cuisine. Find a cool nick-nack or (my personal favorite) an old looking book for your library, and duck into a pub for a craft beer. This is a chance to be together and simply shoot the breeze.
09. Co-host a night in.
Pick his place or yours; then invite your friends over to be wined and dined. Try an adventurous four-course meal and spend the afternoon preparing and cooking for your friends. If you do this right (hint: a little wine helps!), then by the time your dinner guests arrive, the party will already be in full swing!