If life was like the movies, we’d spend the winter skating under twinkly lights or sipping wine in front of a fireplace while the snow falls outside.  But let’s be real: our toes freeze within a few minutes on ice and when the snow falls, most of us actually have to go outside and shovel.  Luckily, there’s tons of different ways to have fun during the cold, dark months.  Date night is one of my favorite nights of the week (or month – let’s be real, no one has time for a legit date every week) and I’ve spent the season finding really fun activities that have helped me through winter!  Here’s my top winter date ideas to try on cold, dark weekend nights.

1. Wine Bar

Super trendy but romantic and European, wine bars are huge right now.  You can find a decent one in almost any city or even town (Yelp is usually spot on for this).  If you’ve never been, a wine bar is typically a small, low-lit, cozy restaurant (think intimate but high end Italian) where you can do wine flights and snack on carbs.

2. Super Cheap and Cozy Airbnb

Another fun overnight date is to grab an Airbnb last minute – my favorites are always the tiny cabins with fireplaces – for as little money as possible, bring up some food, and hangout for the night.  If you book a few hours before you can sometimes get an awesome deal.

3. Restaurant Hop

Make a list of all different types of restaurants in your area then get one drink and one appetizer at each.  I hate going “out to dinner” because the night gets kind of depressing when you get the check, but this is super fun because it’s not over until you want to go home!

4. Winter Sports

If you’re into basketball, hockey, ice skating, or basically any other sport that takes place the winter, hit up a game for a change of pace.  I’ll sometimes grab two tickets to a college game to keep the cost down but still get the excitement of the crowd.

5. Game Night

Get into some comfy PJs and break out the games for a fun night in!  Pick a few medium length games (board or card games are both good), pour a few glasses of wine, and order some Dominos – this can shadily turn into one of the most entertaining nights in a while.

6. Trivia

My town is literally the smallest in the world and still has weekly trivia!  Show up early, grab a hightop, and snack on some nachos while you try to answer questions together – if your score is horrible (I swear I’ve never got a question right) you just have to order a few extra drinks to make up for it.

7. Cuisine Night at Home

Similar to game night, cuisine night is just changing up your normal at home routine.  Make it a little extra special by dressing trendy and whipping up some ritzy drinks popular for your chosen cuisine (Sangria for Italian, fruity martini for Asian, etc).

8. Bowling

I made fun of bowling to literally everyone back in the fall but now I’ve been more times than I want to admit.  The local bowling alley is never overcrowded, has an occasional black light show, offers bumpers (huge), holds a lot of weirdly fun games in the attached arcade, and has a small bar with beer and wine and a pizza joint right next door.

9. Beer Flights at a Local Brewery

I just tried this for the first time a few weeks ago at Stoneface Brewery and I loved it!  The vibe was really new age; we picked out 5 beers and got mini sizes of each of them for the flight.  After taste testing, we ordered our favorites and added on some garlic fries.  Definitely a cool night if you like beer.

10. Cooking Class

Check Groupon to find a decent cooking class – they’re offered surprisingly often and can be really fun if you pick out a dish ahead of time!  It’s a super fun activity to do with a group of couples as well.

11. Massages + Coffee

Spend the day getting pampered and relaxing together!  Grab a healthy breakfast before, then head to the spa early to use any amenities available.  Book a couples massage and change into comfy clothes and chat at a cute cafe afterwards.

12. Small Time Comedy Show

Small time comedians can actually be hilarious.  Find a tiny place where you’ll have a good seat but won’t spend a fortunate in tickets.  This is a great excuse to get a little dressed up for a budget event!

Let me know if you try any of these or have any of your own date night traditions for the winter months.  Cheers to February!