In the summer, dates are easy breezy to plan — and often cheap, to boot. The warm weather can oftentimes allow you to be more carefree and spontaneous, and planning a date can be as simple as packing a picnic dinner to eat in the park, taking a scenic bike ride, or catching a free outdoor concert. As it gets colder, however, you go into #hibernationmode, and let’s be honest, since you blew so much on holiday presents, you’re slightly broke. Basically, you're strapped for affordable winter date ideas that are both realistic and romantic.
I totally get it. When the temperatures plummet and your checking account balance is too terrifying to look at, planning a date night is far more challenging. Suddenly, your couch, a pair of old leggings, and a Netflix marathon are looking pretty ideal. But all it takes is a little creativity to come up with a fun way to bond with your boo — and one that won’t break the bank. Think: a dose of childhood nostalgia via a sledding expedition, or a chili cook-off. The best part? You don’t even have to leave your home for some of them. Here are some wallet-friendly date ideas to keep that spark alive during the colder months.
Check Out A College Hockey Game
Real talk: I’m not a huge sports fan on the whole. That said, I can never pass up a hockey game. There’s something thrilling about watching the puck fly around at a rapid-fire pace and cheering on your chosen team. Tickets to a pro hockey game, unfortunately, can get rather pricey, depending on your city, the match up, and the time of year. But a college hockey game? It’s arguably just as exciting, and much, much cheaper (about $20, or typically free if you’re a student at that particular school).
Pro tip: If you’re really trying to save money, pregame with some seasonal beers at home before you head over to the game (in an Uber or Lyft, of course, or with a designated driver at the wheel).
Take A Couple's Yoga Class
Looking for a date that’s budget-friendly and a little more active? Get a solid sweat on at a partner yoga class. Not only is yoga stellar for your physical and mental well-being, but it’s a phenomenal way to get active together. Besides, if your New Year’s Resolution has anything to do with exercise, this date offers a great way to kickstart your goal.
If you can’t find a couples’ yoga class at a local studio, you can also recreate the experience at home (bonus: this is also a cheaper alternative!). All you need is one yoga mat, and a device to look up YouTube videos on partner yoga for beginners. Spoiler alert: Yes, you might both fall, or feel totally awkward at the beginning. Embrace it — and the inevitable laughter that follows. End your fitness-focused date with a little homemade smoothie (and a shower together, perhaps?).
Go Camping — Indoors
The colder season is prime time to get cozy. So bust out the sleeping bags, and enjoy a little camping right from the comfort of your your own living room. Obviously, no camping trip would be complete without s’mores. Get out some board games, and exchange scary stories as night falls. You can even play some nature sounds in the background for full effect — you’re bound to forget you never left home.
Go On A Winter Hike
Just because the temperature has dropped doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy nature. If you’re an outdoorsy couple (or just feeling a tinge of cabin fever), why not go on a winter hike to get some fresh air and take in the stunning snowy scenery?
Do some research on local hiking destinations to plot out your trail, and be sure to keep an eye on the weather leading up to your hiking date. On the day of, bundle up (layers are key), and pack plenty of water and snacks. Afterward, enjoy some warm beverages at home — hot cocoa, herbal tea, or whatever strikes your fancy. Feeling saucy? Spike that beverage to take that post-hike unwinding up a notch.
Have A Wine And Cheese Night At Home
Who says you have to hit up a fancy restaurant for an elegant date night? Class it up right at home with a bottle of wine, and some gourmet cheeses from your local market. If you really want to go all out, you can craft a full-on charcuterie board, complete with cured meats, crackers, dried fruit, and nuts. Set the mood with a romantic playlist, light a few candles, and slip into something swanky. Dressing up even though you aren’t going out will make it feel more like a date, and less like just another night dining in.
Winter presents the perfect opportunity to get in touch with your crafty side. Scope out some ideas on Pinterest, as there are plenty of options that won’t require too many tools and are simple enough to make. For example, a DIY snow globe looks darling on any mantle or work desk, and by making it yourself, you can customize it to reflect your own personal tastes. You and bae might want to each make your own version of whatever craft you choose, and then exchange them as presents. Plus, then you’ll have something to remember this unique winter date by.
So, ready to ramp up the romance factor this winter? Try any of these budget-friendly date ideas to bring you and your boo closer — without blowing your whole paycheck.