It’s been loooong almost two years of being cooped up together and spending more time with your partner might not be at the top of your list of things to do. But it’s important to keep the romance alive and to spend time together sans kids, even if time and money are not necessarily plentiful at the moment. These budget-friendly winter date night ideas are fun and frugal and are a good jumping off point for things to do with your special someone.
Here are 16 cheap and cheerful winter date night ideas…
Unleash your inner kid and strap on your snow pants, dig out your old toboggan, and hit the hill! Challenge each other to a race, build a jump, or double up to really pick up speed. Head out in the evenings and most kids (yours included!) are in bed so the hill’s all yours.
Take a Hot Chocolate Tour
One of our favourite winter date night ideas it to take a list of all of the places in your city that make fancy hot chocolate and then take each other out for a night on the town. Make a category card so you can vote for your favourites (and least favourites) at the end of the night! Some ideas might be “Best Presentation,” “Best Use of Whipped Cream,” “Most Unique Flavour,” or “Best Boozy Hot Chocolate,” just to name a few!
Look for Light Displays
Put on your coziest sweats, pack up some snacks, and head out in the car for a drive around town to find the prettiest Christmas light displays. Some cities publish lists of fancy displays around town online, but if yours doesn’t, maybe you could take the task on to share with others. Keep track of your favourites so you can take the kids closer to the big day.
Take a Walking Tour of Your City
Does your city offer walking tours? If yours doesn’t, check out gpsmycity.com to see if they have a self-guided tour available through their app. If you live in a smaller city or town and can’t find something available commercially, why not create a walking tour of your own? Do you want to take your date on a tour of your favourite dessert or beverage spots? Places in town that are important to your relationship? Your favourite landmarks in the city? The sky’s the limit when it comes to winter date night ideas.
Head Out on a Scavenger Hunt
If you’d like to explore your city together but want to up the excitement a little, a scavenger hunt is a great way to bring a sense of adventure to your date. Make your own list of random things to look for together, check our a pre-made list like this one, or sign up for a scavenger hunt filled with clues and photo challenges from a site like adventurehunt.com. Scavengerhunt.com even has specific date night roles to help spur on the fun and conversation.
Go Food Truck Hopping
If you and your beau are self-proclaimed foodies, why not find a map of where some of your town’s popular food trucks will be parked and head out to find a new favourite? Pick an item from a few different trucks and set up at an outdoor table, or head back home to sample everything together.
Set Up a Blanket Fort Movie Night
Movies are basically a winter date night staple, but adding a blanket fort to the evening will make the night one neither of you will soon forget. Bring out the blankets, pillows, air mattresses, and twinkle lights to make a truly magical experience. Don’t forget the popcorn!
Cook a Meal Together
Whether you and your partner consider each other chefs or not, cooking a meal together is a great bonding experience. Pick out a new recipe, go shopping for the ingredients, and work together to build a fantastic feast. For extra laughs, set up your camera and film your own cooking show!
Take a Relationship Test Online
There are all kinds of relationship quizzes available online, like this “How Well Do You Know Your Partner?” quiz from the Gottman Institute, or this test to discover your Love Language from 5lovelanguages.com.
There’s tons of fun to be found at the thrift shop! Pick out a hilarious outfit for your date to try on and have a fashion show. Find a crazy puzzle to buy and complete together, or, if you’re feeling really creative, choose a piece of furniture to repurpose together!
Make a Craft Together
Many cities have different crafting opportunities available to join in on, like paint and sip nights, sign-making events, or even pottery classes. If you’d rather do a craft at home, the options on Pinterest are endless. Find something you can make together using items from your local craft shop or dollar store, or take on something more ambitions like painting a portrait of your date (sometimes with hilarious results!)
Have a Spa Night
A day at the spa is just about as relaxing as it gets, but it can also get pretty pricey. Purchase some cheap face masks, epsom salts, lotion and mani pedi tools at the drug store, and head home to make a nice foot soak, followed by massages, facials, and maybe even some finger or toenail polish to top it all off. Throw on some relaxing music and cucumber water to really take your spa night to the next level!
Build a Charcuterie Board
Fancy deli meats and cheeses may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a charcuterie board, but the world is your oyster when you’re building your own. Delicious meats, cheeses, crackers, fruits and chocolate are one way to build your board, but fast food, candy, breakfast and dessert boards are definitely not off the table. The best winter date night ideas include things you don’t normally do with your kids, and kids don’t typically enjoy charcuterie for dinner.
Take a Hike
Regardless of the season, it’s always a good time to go for a hike! This totally applies if you’re looking for winter date night ideas. If you’re looking for a new trail, but aren’t sure what to try out, check out alltrails.com for recommendations from fellow hikers. Pack snacks or even a picnic to enjoy a break when you get to the top. Here are some ideas for hike locations and day trips in and around Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, and Vancouver.
See a Comedian
If you’re looking for a laugh, many cities have comedy clubs or open mic nights where you can take in local or big-name comedians for a great price.
Have a Cookie Decorating Contest
If the two of you love to bake, roll out the dough and cut out some sugar cookies to decorate once they’ve cooled. If not, find some pre-made cookies and start thinking of your designs! Pick out cookie decorating supplies like icing, candies and sprinkles and challenge each other to see who can create the fanciest decoration. Then, take your designs to social media for a blind vote!
What are your favourite cheap and easy winter date night ideas? We’d love to hear them in the comments!