5 Festive Solo Dates That You Don't Need A Significant Other To Enjoy

Between Love Actually on TV around the clock, those #couplegoals posts peppering your Instagram feed of people holding hands on a skating rink or smooching under the mistletoe, and the sappy Christmas tunes playing repeatedly on Pandora, it seems as if romance is all around you during the holidays. Basically, you’ve never been more aware of your single status. But here’s the thing: with a few festive solo dates, there’s no reason why you can’t take part in all the fun this season.

Before you balk at the idea of a solo date, consider this: Without someone else with you, you won’t have to stress about how to split the bill, where to eat that will cater to both of your tastes, or whether it’s cool to post an IG photo of your adventures. And by the way — a 2015 study showed that people have just as much fun going out alone as they would if they’d brought someone else along. A solo date is all about you — your needs, your desires, and finding ways to celebrate what’s special about this season in any way that you see fit.

Ready to simultaneously embrace your single ways and get into the holiday spirit? Here are some dates to take yourself on pronto.

Have a holiday decoration scavenger hunt.
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TBH, there’s hardly a better way to get into the holiday spirit than to gawk at the mind-blowing decorations your neighbors have set up around their houses. Take it upon yourself to scope out the most extravagant homes in your ‘hood. Better yet, draw up a list of specific things to look for (twinkle lights, an inflatable Santa, a sleigh), and keep exploring until you’ve checked every single thing off your list.

Oh, and don’t forget to take lots of pics — you never know if you’ll spot something with IG potential. Afterward, reward yourself afterward by picking up a festive piece of decor for your own home.

Give back to your community.
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If you’re looking for a way to take your mind off being single this holiday season, consider volunteering. When you’re feeling sorry for yourself, one of the best things you can do is shift your focus toward helping others. Not only will it give you a little boost in terms of your self-worth, but it could also genuinely make a difference. Plus, one 2017 study published in The Journals of Gerontology found that volunteering for two hours a week or more can actually lower the intensity of feelings of loneliness.

There are so many wonderful opportunities for giving back around the holidays — like volunteering at a local soup kitchen or toy drive, for example. If putting a smile on little ones’ faces doesn’t make you feel warm and fuzzy inside despite being single this season, I don’t know what will.

Research a different culture’s recipes — and try them out.

In Germany, people celebrate Christmas with a piping hot mug of mulled wine or sweet treats such as gingerbread-like Lebkuchen or a Stollen cake studded with nuts and dried fruit. In Mexico, it’s all about the tamales, pozole (a hominy soup), and ponche — a warm Christmas punch made with fruit and spices. Take some time to research holiday traditions from other cultures, and pick one that intrigues you. Once you’ve read about the history behind it (hooray for educating yourself!), make a solo date out of trying it out at home.

Whether or not it’s a culinary success, it’ll be fun to explore a totally new recipe. And who knows? You may decide you like the tradition so much that you keep it going for years to come.

Make a DIY hot cocoa bar.
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As far as festive beverages go, hot cocoa is s classic. It’s indulgent, it’s comforting, and it warms you right up on those frigid days and nights. And there are so many different ways to make this timeless drink, too. So why not make a date out of taste testing as many varieties as you can?

First, set up a DIY hot cocoa bar with all the fixings and plenty of mugs. In addition to the hot chocolate itself, you might include flavored syrups like peppermint, raspberry, and cinnamon, finely ground nuts and/or candy (smashed Kit Kats FTW), and candy canes for stirring, as well as whipped cream and mini marshmallows, of course. You can also include some boozy additions like Kahlua, vanilla vodka, or Bailey’s for an adult version of this childhood fave bev. Turn this into a ladies’ date by inviting a couple of your besties over. After each of you whips up your ideal mug of cocoa, sip it while you catch up on some holiday season gossip, exchange gifts or listen to some festive tunes.

Have a festive at-home spa night.
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A solo date is a stellar way to treat yourself. So kick the self-care up a notch with an at-home spa night with some DIY holiday-themed treatments, like a cinnamon-infused face mask, which has acne-fighting benefits, or an invigorating peppermint sugar scrub. Dry brushing your skin is a phenomenal measure to take during the winter because it sloughs away dead skin while also boosting circulation (thus warming you up and giving you an enviable glow). And since your skin tends to be extra dry during the colder months, you might make a DIY moisturizing foot mask to prevent pesky cracks and peeling.

Crank some Xmas tunes to get you in the holiday spirit, and finish off your spa sesh with a festive mani-pedi, of course.

Who says you need a boo to be festive during the holidays? Any of these solo dates are the perfect way to practice self-care while also getting into the spirit of the season.