The holidays are upon us. If you’re not naturally gifted when it comes to creating romance, this is your season to shine. Between the sparkling lights, cozy temperatures, and the feelings of cheer and togetherness that are in the air, when it comes to romance, the holidays do all of the work for you. It’s time to take advantage!
Planning a great holiday themed date is ridiculously easy. From tried and true classics (like ice skating outdoors) to a few that you’ve probably never considered before, here’s a roundup of some of the best holiday-centric date ideas.
1. Learn how to make mulled wine together. Then, drink said wine.
Who doesn’t love a good seasonal beverage? Mulled wine is synonymous with the holiday season. Depending on where you live, it’s not uncommon for local specialty stores or liquor providers to host workshops where you can learn how to make things like mulled wine or seasonal cocktails from scratch. And, BTW, learning is so much more fun when you’ve got a date with you.
However, if there aren’t any workshops in your area, grab a recipe off the internet (there are so many) and make a day of it. Create some holiday-themed drinks and snacks, and polish it off with a Christmas movie or two. If you’re not yet at the point where you feel comfortable snuggling up by the tree with your date, let someone else do the work and grab a cozy seasonal beverage at your favorite bar or restaurant.
2. Go thrift shopping for ugly sweaters.
It’s the week before Christmas and neither of you have found the perfect, over-the-top, cheesy holiday garb for your upcoming festivities. Why not make a date of it? Head to your local thrift or vintage store and have fun scouring through the best of the worst holiday fashions out there. You can even challenge each other to find the cheesiest item in the store (loser buys the winner a post-shopping Irish coffee.) You might even walk out of the experience with matching bedazzled sweatshirts that say, “Yule The One for Me.”
3. The toy store date.
Recreate your favorite scene from the Tom Hank’s classic “Big” and get thee to a toy store. Places that sell toys tend to be insane on the weekends, but usually mellow out later in the the evenings on weekdays. Grab some hot-chocolate and use the money you would have spent on a meal at that new hip bistro on some toys for underprivileged kids (most large stores have a spot where you can drop off the toys after you’ve purchased them.) Get to know each other, while reliving the magic of being a kid at Christmas, while doing something warm and fuzzy for your community.
4. Check out an outdoor Christmas market.
Originally a German tradition, you can now find outdoor Christmas markets in lots of cities stateside. Expect to see lots of different booths selling artisanal goods and Christmas decorations, live music, food stalls, and of course, hot cider.
Grab a cider, have fun browsing all of the stalls and pick up a few new decorations while you’re at it. You can even dare each other to find the most unique/strange/cheesy/hideous/cheesy decoration of the lot. If things go well, you’ll be able to tell your kids someday, “I got this neon blue chicken dressed as Santa the night I met your Mom.”
5. Go watch the Nutcracker.
Or another Christmas-themed play or concert. If your date is the cultured type who loves getting dressed up, nothing says holiday romance like a night at the ballet or symphony. Looking for something a bit more casual? Check out your local community listings to see if there are any Christmas plays or concerts that you can catch. If the show turns out to be terrible, at least you’ll have something to laugh about over post-Christmas concert beers.
6. Go ice skating.
Seriously. Just do it. It’s cliche, but there’s a reason it always makes it on everyone’s “top holiday dates” list: it’s a lot of fun. Plus, there’s something sweet and romantic about holding someone’s hand while you skate around in circles.