9 Date Ideas That Will Keep Your Heart Warm All Winter Long

Winter isn’t fun, but it can be a whole lot nicer with someone special to snuggle up against.

Whether you’re casually dating, just starting out in a new relationship, or stepping out with your long-term significant other, dating in the winter can be a bit of a nightmare. It’s cold, you’re pretty limited on types of dates, and it gets dark at like 4:30.

But don’t worry. I may be a boring married lady now, but I still remember how to plan a super romantic night out. If you’ve been stuck in a rut or you can’t think of anything to do now that it’s below freezing, have no fear. Here are 9 super sweet date ideas that will keep you warm and toasty this winter.

Enjoy some good old-fashioned holiday festivities.

If you’re reading this before New Year’s Day, there are a gazillion holiday related dates you can go on. From strolling through the beautiful Christmas lights downtown at the Scioto Mile to cutting down your own tree, you can make just about anything romantic with the right attitude. If you need more suggestions, here are a couple of lists to get you started.

Brighten Up Your Holiday Season At These Columbus Christmas Tree Lightings
7 Magical Christmas Towns & Villages In Ohio

Take a stroll around the Columbus Museum of Art.

I know what you’re thinking. “Chelsea, you always put the Columbus Museum of Art on date lists.” Guilty. But I won’t apologize. It’s literally one of the best places to plan a beautiful date in the city. You don’t have to worry about the weather outside because you’ll be perfectly comfortable staring at gorgeous art in a climate controlled setting. Plus, if you’re feeling a little skint, you can check out the museum for free on Sundays. Seriously, what’s not to love?

Go ice skating.

If the weather is cooperating, you can always go ice skating outdoors. But since this is Ohio, let’s plan for the inevitable. Ice skating is always fun, even when you’re not great at it. The Chiller is the perfect solution. With public skate times, special events, and even cheap skate (so punny) nights, you can plan this date for next to nothing.

Have cocktails and hit up a concert.

If there’s one thing Columbus does right, it’s music. There are always awesome shows happening around town. You can catch local bands at intimate venues or see national touring acts in an arena, so really it’s up to you and the kind of music you and your date enjoy. Before heading out for the show, grab a cocktail somewhere delicious. I recommend my newest obsession, Law Bird, but you can get a good drink from scores of places downtown. To stay up to date on all the latest concert happenings, sign up for our daily newsletter here.

Get sophisticated at a play, musical, or BalletMet performance.

Everyone loves to get a little extravagant now and again, and there’s no better way to do that than to experience some of the live art we have here in the ‘Bus. CAPA has an awesome season lined up and it wouldn’t be December without The Nutcracker.

Have a fancy dinner.

You can always pair this one with just about anything else on this list, or you can just go all in on dinner. It doesn’t matter what your date is craving. Somewhere in this food-obsessed city, you will find the perfect place for a romantic meal. Step it up the extra notch and go for multiple courses. We’d all be impressed.

Have a coffee & a meander through The Book Loft.

Casual coffee dates are honestly my favorite winter dates. You get to drink something that literally warms you up, plus oversized sweaters and coffee shops are made for each other. One of my most favorite date nights is a coffee at Stauff’s in German Village followed by a stroll through The Book Loft. The best little bookstore in the city (yeah, I said it. Don’t @ me.) is open until 11 p.m., so it’s great for night owls like myself. Plus, the courtyard outside The Book Loft is romantic AF, especially if it’s snowing.

Fun and games should always be invited to the party.

Ax throwing. Vintage arcade games. Bowling. Board games. Columbus is experiencing quite the boom when it comes to experiential services. Places like Pins Mechanical Co. or Dueling Axes are perfect for group dates. Nothing says bonding like trying to be better at things than other couples.

Forget going out. Plan a staycation instead.

If you wanna enjoy some one-on-one time, but you don’t have the budget to jet off to the beach, you should seriously consider a staycation. Columbus has adorable Airbnb’s as well as impressive boutique hotels, both of which are great ways to experience our city in a way you may not have before. If you’re willing to take a little road trip, you can always head out on one of these amazing romantic getaways.

Get planning that perfect date, y’all.


Looking for more date ideas? Click here.

Originally published 12/4/18. Updated 12/9/19.

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