20 Holiday Date Ideas to Get into the Cozy Spirit This Season

published Nov 28, 2023
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Haul out the holly, pull out your tacky Christmas sweater, and cue up the cheesy rom-coms because the holiday season is upon us! It certainly is the most wonderful time of the year — especially if you find yourself celebrating with a significant other. And it’s the perfect time to add a dash of holiday magic to your date night, whether you’re spending them at home, or out and about. Read on for 20 Christmas date ideas that are sure to put you and your partner in the holiday spirit. 

1. Watch your favorite holiday movies.

‘Tis the season for holiday movie binging, and a perfect date night in is watching your favorites with your sweetheart. Whether you love Hallmark movies or prefer to stick with the classics, cozy up with a cup of hot chocolate and snuggle in close. 

Credit: Kristina Vanni

2. Bake cookies together.

The holiday season is simply incomplete without cookies, so throw on your cutest apron and make a batch or two with your partner. There’s nothing more lovely than a house that smells like freshly baked cookies, and what’s more adorable than bae covered in flour? 

3. Trim the tree.

Decorating the Christmas tree is always a vibe, so be sure to set aside time with your person to bust out the ornaments, hang some string lights, and crank the holiday music while trimming the tree. Nothing starts the holidays more than a decorated home, so don’t be afraid to go all out!

4. Have a candlelit Christmas dinner.

The holiday season can be one of the busiest times of the year. There are seasonal work commitments (hello, office parties), family obligations, and holiday gatherings to attend, and while all of those things are (hopefully) enjoyable, they can also be a bit overwhelming. Be sure to carve out alone time with your partner, perhaps over a candlelit Christmas dinner in your home? Let it be as chill or as fancy as you like — takeout is always an option!

Credit: Photo: Andrew Bui; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen

5. Have a hot chocolate tasting.

Who doesn’t love hot cocoa — especially during this time of year? Head to the grocery store for a variety pack, or find different recipes and prepare them from scratch. Have a taste test and rank each flavor. Adult hot chocolate (aka adding Baileys to your cocoa) is highly recommended.  

6. Snuggle by the fireplace.

Quality time in front of a fire in the arms of your love is a fantastic way to spend an evening — especially if you both are busy with other holiday commitments and need a moment of holiday zen.

Credit: Erika Layne

7. Wrap presents together.

You’re going to need an extra hand or two if you’re tying ribbon, so why not make an evening out of it? 

8. Deliver holiday goodies to your neighbors.

The holidays have a way of bringing out people’s best, so take a stroll with your partner and wish your neighbors a happy holiday season with some homemade cookies. They will be infused with so much love!

9. Walk your neighborhood and look at lights.

While you’re strolling, be sure to stop by all the houses that are lit up. (If your neighborhood is perhaps lacking in holiday spirit, take a drive to another neighborhood.) You can choose to stay in your car, or get out and walk, but there’s bound to be at least one house or neighborhood close by that goes all out. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

10. Decorate gingerbread houses.

You could decorate one together, or you could each have a house to decorate individually. Perhaps a contest? Depending on what you’d like to do with them afterwards, the winner’s house gets to be displayed, and the other one can be eaten. (Yum!)

11. Have a holiday card photo shoot.

Who says you need to have professional photos taken for your holiday cards? Don your most festive outfits, set the self timer on your phone, and have your own little photo shoot. You can make your photos as formal or as silly as you like, and there’s no need to feel awkward in front of someone taking your picture if it’s just the two of you at home. 

12. Make homemade ornaments.

If you’re feeling crafty, have a night in and make a few handmade ornaments for your tree, or as gifts for your loved ones. Salt dough ornaments are easy to make, you could write cute inside jokes on ornaments you already have, or paint some ornaments in your favorite color scheme. 

13. Shop for a child in need.

My husband and I love doing this, and it makes for a wonderful holiday date. Walmart and the Salvation Army have an Angel Tree program, where you can be matched with a child in need and shop for items on their holiday wish list. The gifts are then delivered to them on Christmas morning. Not only are you helping people in need, but it’s also fun to shop!

Credit: Adam and Kev / Getty Images

14. Go ice skating.

Is there anything cuter than ice skating hand in hand? Bundle up and head out to a local skating rink, then be prepared for laughs, inevitable spills, and mugs of hot cocoa afterwards. 

15. Holiday shop together.

You probably have to run holiday errands on top of your everyday errands, so make it a date by bringing your partner along. Browse the shops, chat about gift ideas (for loved ones and for each other), and stop by your favorite coffee shop for seasonal lattes, because are you really running holiday errands without a festive drink in hand?

Credit: AleksandarNakic / Getty Images

16. Go sledding.

Lean into your inner child and take your partner sledding. I mean, come on, playing around in the snow and sledding down a hill sounds completely romantic (and not to mention, fun!).

17. Volunteer.

Search for volunteer opportunities in your city at volunteermatch.org and take time to support and care for others. It is the season of giving, after all, and volunteering with your partner is a wonderful way to give back together. Of course, helping out in your community isn’t just for the holidays — you may find it’s something you want to do all year long.

18. Go see a holiday show.

Even if you don’t normally make your way to the theater, December is usually packed with holiday concerts and shows. Look to see if there’s a showing of The Nutcracker in your city, or another holiday concert or play. A romantic dinner and a night at the theater, dressed in your holiday best, will no doubt get you in the spirit. 

19. Take your picture with Santa.

Who says photos with Santa have to be reserved for the kids? Make a memory and stop by Santa’s workshop between shopping at different stores at the mall. You will no doubt laugh at the photo years later, and it’s a fun and silly way to celebrate the season with your love.

20. Go on a holiday getaway.

There’s nothing like taking a break from it all on a romantic getaway for two. And during the busy holiday season? Bliss. Book a stay in a cozy cabin or jet off to a ski resort for the ultimate romantic winter vibes. Be prepared for dipping in the hot tub, cozying up by the fire, and watching the snow fall.