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Challenge: Romance After Kids

Date Night Ideas to Heat Up the Winter Months

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In the summer, you and your love likely made the most of the warm weather. You had picnics, dined on restaurant patios, explored Mother Nature’s finest creations, sang your hearts out during outdoor concerts…the list goes on.

Now that it’s winter, though, it’s a little bit harder to come up with creative date nights. For one thing, it’s freezing — the drop in temps might seem to be a reason to spend your winter indoors, waiting for the sun and the sizzling date nights that come with it. But you don’t have to give up on the heat you had in the literal heat — instead, you can spice up your cold-weather date nights with the following ten ideas.

1. Skate Off Into the Sunset

One of winter’s most quintessential activities can be a fun date night for you and your significant other. Head to the local ice rink — preferably an outdoor one because it’ll make your cute date even more adorable and seasonal. Oh, and while you’re skating, be sure to grab onto your partner for support, even if you don’t need it — it’s a date night, after all, so you have a great excuse to cuddle up.

2. Plan a Movie Marathon

Chances are, you and your love are pretty familiar with Netflix’s catalog at this point in the season. So, mix things up by planning a bona fide movie marathon including *gasp* flicks that might not be available with your free subscription. You could go with a theme, like a long-standing movie series or a particular genre. Or, you could watch this year’s Oscar contenders, each of your favorite movies from childhood or another series of films.

3. Cook Something Together or Have a Cook-Off

Couples who cook together eat delicious meals together. Plan a menu one night that’s more than just a main dish. Prep an appetizer, dinner and dessert to show off your cooking — and collaboration — skills.

If you’ve already mastered the art of co-meal prep, plan yourselves a cook-off. Each of you can pick a new recipe to try and see whose work is the tastiest. Try your best to vote honestly and not for your own dish — you can even invite other couples over to be the judges, thus creating a group date night.

4. Volunteer or Otherwise Do Good

In the winter, your local community needs more help than in any other season. Local shelter pups need walking, the elderly need company and food banks could use more donations — and hands — to feed those who are hungry. A date scheduled around helping others will not only serve a greater good, but it will also draw you and your boo closer together. Those feel-good vibes will be with you all day, even as you head back home in the chilly weather.

In addition to volunteering, you can spend a day at home making your life greener and thus better for the world around you, too. Making your space more energy efficient is easy in winter: something as simple as slipping into your warmest pair of pajamas, turning down your thermostat for the night and cuddling up can reduce your energy usage and, thus, your environmental impact.

5. Frolic in the Frost

When’s the last time you built a snowman? Went sledding? Had a good, old-fashioned snowball fight? These things may seem juvenile, but OMG — they are fun as an adult, too. And, of course, you’ll have a partner in your mischief: your life partner, of course. You’ll both walk away from a day of frolicking with fond memories that may make the next snowstorm more exciting than it is dreaded.

6. Tip Back Wintry Libations

Everyone has a drink they prefer to sip in winter. Whether it’s mulled wine, spiked hot chocolate or a beer that’s brewed only seasonally, schedule a date to sample your city’s best version. If you don’t have a favorite, make it your mission to find one: set up a sampling session at a local brewery or winery, or whip up some winter cocktails at home.

7. Go Extra Fancy

In the summer, you probably don’t want to go out in a full suit or ball gown because, you know, it’s hot. Use this winter’s below-freezing temps as an excuse to get dolled up, wear your (faux) fur coat and head to the theater, ballet, opera — anything that feels fancy enough for you to go full-on Hollywood glam for the night. You certainly won’t sweat off your makeup or watch your hair cave to humidity in the midst of winter, and you’ll have a few beautiful Instagram pics to share to boot.

8. Start a Two-Person Book Club

You and your bae are already bookworms, so start a club together this winter to bond over the latest or your favorite reads. Alternate who chooses the book — you can go with your all-time faves, the current list of bestsellers, classics you have yet to read, etc. — just pick up two copies. Then, convene after you read each chapter and discuss as you would with a larger club, listening to your love’s opinions and sharing thoughts of your own.

9. Light Your (Bon)Fire

There’s already a fire between you and your partner — why not light a real one to celebrate it? There’s something cozy and romantic about a bonfire in the middle of winter. Perhaps it’s because you can sit outside, even on the coldest night, and feel warm side-by-side. Or, it might just be because you can feed each other s’mores under the stars. Either way, we promise that wintertime bonfires will become a new tradition if you try it just once.

Of course, not every property is going to give you enough space to light an outdoor fire, so use your fireplace to make s'mores and have an indoor bonfire of sorts. You can snuggle up nearby on a blanket, snacking on your marshmallows as you would outside.

10. If All Else Fails…

The above are nine dates perfect for this winter, but the cold isn’t for everyone. So, if you find yourself missing the warmth too much, here’s our 10th date idea: pack a bag, book a flight and fly off with your love for a beach vacation. Sure, it might be longer than one date night, but we doubt you’ll mind. Give the kids a weekend at Grandma's house.

No matter what, one thing is for sure: this winter doesn’t have to be as cold as it appears. You can heat it up week in and week out with dates that bring you and your partner closer than ever before, preparing you for all of the seasons ahead.

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