7 Locally Inspired Winter Date Night Ideas for the Couple Who Wants to Stay Home

published Dec 8, 2021
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Falling temperatures and snow-filled winter days encourage staying in and getting cozy. But even if you never see a flurry, the colder weather may keep you and your partner from wanting to leave home this winter. If you would rather snuggle with your significant other and stay inside, think about ditching your typical pizza and movie date night and mix it up this season. 

Although it takes some creativity, it is possible to discover your town as you spend time at home together. Patronizing neighborhood businesses within the confines of your walls makes for a memorable experience while familiarizing yourself with what’s in your city. Here are seven unique ideas on planning a winter date night at home while finding out what’s in your own backyard. 

Order in from a new restaurant.

If you live in a populated area, it’s almost impossible to test out every locally owned restaurant. However, you can start crossing some off of your must-visit list by ordering in. Nowadays, restaurants have perfected their process of to-go ordering and curbside pickups, so use this to your advantage. For example, you or your partner can swing by the restaurant to grab dinner on the way home from work, or you can leave the driving to a service, such as DoorDash or Uber Eats. Who knows? You may find a new favorite place to eat. 

Write a local bucket list.

When was the last time you played tourist in your own hometown? Head to your city’s tourism website, or a site like Yelp or TripAdvisor, and discover what there is to do right in your town. Make a checklist of museums to visit, boutiques to shop, and restaurants to try when you have a free Saturday to fit it all in. Planning future events will encourage you to explore locally while having the anticipation of another date together.

Credit: Elizabeth Van Lierde

Make craft cocktails.

Locally-owned wineries and distilleries are popping up all over, and chances are there is one close to you. Head to the maker to pick up your choice of ingredients and save it for your date night. Peruse websites, such as The Kitchn, to find recipes for sangria or a creative cocktail. Warm up with a hot toddy, or try your hand at making spiced cider in your slow cooker. Making your drinks is enjoyable, but sipping them together will be even better. 

Take a class via Zoom.

Many art galleries, parks departments, and restaurants offer classes that you can access online, so see if you can have an at-home lesson for two via Zoom. Connect with a teacher to have a digital paint-and-sip night, a floral arranging demonstration, or a cooking class. Consult with the instructor to see what supplies you’ll have to purchase beforehand, and settle in for a night of creating or learning something together.

Have a book club for two.

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Make use of your library or independent bookstore, and select a book you both are interested in reading. Share one copy, or purchase individual ones if your schedules aren’t conducive to sharing. Then, as you go through the book, plan regular dates to discuss what you learned or your perspective on different characters. Don’t forget to renew your book or complete it before your due date to avoid fines if you borrow from the library.

Stargaze from home.

Winter night skies are often clear and filled with stars, which most folks miss while trying to stay warm indoors. Pretend you’re having a picnic by preparing a charcuterie and opening a bottle of bubbly if you drink, or prepare a thermos of tea if you don’t. Then head to a window with a view in your home as you stargaze. If you prefer to be outside, dress warm, take a blanket, and head to your porch, deck, rooftop, or yard to view the sky. Plan and research a few winter constellations to find and identify during your date.

Help a local charity.

One of the best ways to bond is by doing things for those in need, so reach out to a nonprofit and volunteer from home on your date night. For example, fill goody bags with toiletries and warm socks for a shelter for people experiencing houselessness, or stuff envelopes for an educational program’s capital campaign. Spending one night taking a task off of someone else’s plate can be very rewarding for both you and your partner, which can turn into a monthly evening of doing good.