Many people believe that it's easier to come up with date ideas for spring and summer. After all, the warmer months give us plenty of things to do in the great outdoors. Fortunately, there is plenty to do in the colder months too!
Below are some ideas for winter date ideas—even ones that work for social distancing.
1. Attend a Christmas market
If the scent of mulled wine and the sound of carols doesn't make you feel cheerful, then what does? Twinkling fairy lights, steaming cuppas of hot chocolate and lots of Christmas candy will put you in a right jolly mood.
Most Christmas markets take place outdoors, but if you don't like the cold, chances are you'll find some indoor ones as well.
Attend the outdoor markets for now. And if you buy a drink, sterilize the lid of the cup and step away from the maddening crowds before drinking it.
2. Go walking in a winter wonderland
Buy a hot chocolate, then stroll along the river, or go for a walk in a nearby park. This is particularly nice at sunset. You will then also be able to enjoy the magical glow of streetlights as they come on.
Alternatively, pack your thermoses and head to the countryside. Make sure you wear sturdy, waterproof boots and warm clothing. Finish your walk in front of a fireplace in a local pub.
If you live in a big city, you can also walk around town at night, looking at all the Christmas lights. If you're in London, have a peek at the shop windows at Selfridges, Fortnum and Mason and other department stores that create incredible displays.
3. Meet for Sunday tea at a hotel
The Ritz and other big hotels, as well as department stores like Fortnum and Mason, have served afternoon tea on a Sunday for over a hundred years. And there's a good reason for that—they offer a spectacular afternoon tea!
Tea at a luxurious tea room will offer you a selection of sandwiches, scones, cakes, teas, and, most likely—champagne.
Another perk is that you can wear your Sunday best! Nothing quite like dressing up for a new partner is there?!
4. Have a coffee at your local bookstore
Do you have a local bookstore where you can leaf through books while drinking coffees? If not, a library?
Choose two to five books for each other and then sit down and read the first few pages. That way, you can pick what books you want to bring home after having a peek!
This is an excellent way of getting to know each other's minds.
You might also want to attend author readings when the opportunity presents itself.
5. Ice skating
Nothing says winter like ice skating! Why not head to the nearest ice rink and give it a go? Particularly good right now as it's outdoors.
6. Bake your way to bliss
If you love Christmas baking, why not bake together? Decide on a couple of recipes (or one each), then get creative!
If you fancy, you can bake some cakes (or make candy), that you hand out to people in the local neighbourhood. Alternatively, bake for the homeless, or a local charity.
Nothing says Christmas spirit like making and sharing sweets.
7. Hunt down the best chocolate in town
Who says you can't walk around town in search of the best chocolate? Not I!
Set aside a Saturday when you walk across town in search of the perfect truffle. If you live in a smaller town, go to a nearby city that has some chocolate shops in it.
Along the way, stop to admire the views, check out shops and take some memorable photos.
You can create different treasure hunts like this. Go looking for the perfect spot for a photo, the best cheese, the most interesting bookshop, the ideal coffee, or the most incredible pastry.
8. Head to a museum
Find an exhibition that is to both your liking and go and see it. This is particularly nice on a rainy day! And seeing an exhibition tends to spur interesting conversations.
Some museums have great coffee shops where you can have a nice cuppa after having a look around. If not, find a local coffee shop that looks good.
9. Find a nearby botanical garden or visit a farm
Yes, it's winter. However, some botanical gardens have big greenhouses or conservatories to get lost in on rainy days. Have a look at what's available near you.
Likewise, while it might seem counterintuitive to visit a farm in winter, some offer fun activities. Have a look around in your local area to see what's on.
10. Head to a nearby village
There are so many charming villages in Britain. So many. A lot of them also happen to offer great culinary treats. You can usually find either a brilliant pub, café, chocolaterie, or restaurant.
Many villages also offer some kind of tourist hot spot, be that a monument, museum, or art gallery. Find out what's available.
And some villages have markets and festivals happening throughout the year, so you might want to time your visit with one of those.
11. Attend a show
From productions at local drama schools to big shows in the West End, theatre certainly isn't dead in Britain! Local pubs also tend to host various productions.
Get clear on what you both enjoy before booking tickets. If you love interpretive dancing and your partner loves a good old romp, you might have to compromise. Try to find something that will entertain you both. While prejudice shouldn't get in the way for you trying out each other's tastes in the theatre, you shouldn't have to suffer through performances. Then it's better to attend with friends who enjoy the same type of spectacle you do.
Bear in mind that beyond regular theatre performances, there are dance shows, ice skating shows, pantomimes, musicals, and so forth to choose from.
A nice after-show dinner or drink can also be had. It's a great time to discuss what you just saw.
12. Attend a speech, or workshop
Learning new things will keep your minds stimulated. Learning together will also make you feel like you add something new to your lives and relationship.
Check out what's on the calendar at your local library, university, and other institutions in town.
This isn't just fun if you find shared interests, but also an opportunity to meet likeminded people.
13. Have a double date and games night
If you enjoy board games, meet another couple at the local pub and play a game of something fun. Or meet at home.
It's a great way to be social and enjoy the company of your new partner.
14. Attend tastings or cooking classes
There are usually local wine and cheese tastings, chocolate workshops, distilleries that give tours, cooking classes, and similar events.
15. If you do something traditional, do it differently
While you might want to settle into a routine of having dinner once a month at your favourite restaurant, some date nights should be spicier.
For example, try out new restaurants and bars in the local area. You might want to find the best Mexican restaurant, or the most interesting mixology cocktail bar. Be sure it's something you both feel comfortable with and discuss the menu upfront.
Likewise, dinner and Netflix might be your Friday night go to. That's great. You're together, and you're relaxing. However, to make it more interesting, try to do a themed date night ever so often. For example, eat an Italian dinner and watch an Italian movie.
What to bear in mind
Some people love to know what they're getting into. They love routines. Others like the thrill of something new and don't need the itinerary upfront.
Yet others need to know the cost of everything and want value for their money.
Likewise, some people like fancy venues with a reputation for excellence, while others prefer themed venues or more traditional places.
Katherine Baldwin, love, dating and relationships coach and author of How to Fall in Love, told us: "The colder months of the year provide a great opportunity for some cosy indoor dates and some bracing outdoor adventures. I especially recommend activity dates such as museum or gallery visits, cookery classes or countryside hikes. They are all great ways to spend time with and to get to know your date better in a relaxed, non-pressured environment."
As you get to know each other, you must figure out what works for both of you. Creating a surprise date for someone who gets nervous when everything isn't planned down to the last detail doesn't work very well. Likewise, going to the same old place with someone who thrives on novelty doesn't create much romance.
You need to establish what you both want and how to satisfy that in a way that works.