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7 Great Winter Dates


Want to heat things up when it’s cold outside? We’ve got plenty of ideas on where to go and what to do, plus one very endearing skill you’ve got to learn now.

By Celeste Perron

1. Try a toboggan ride for two
Look for a ski resort or snowy recreation area near you that rents toboggans, and spend an afternoon speeding downhill on one of these old-fashioned two-person sleds. Or buy an inexpensive plastic sled, and head to a local park that has snow on the ground. Either way, it’s much more romantic than skiing because you ride downhill cuddled close together, and the childlike fun of messing around in the snow all day will leave you laughing and exhilarated—both signs of a perfect date.

2. Dive into a double feature
On the next weekend afternoon when the weather is absolutely
Find a fancy hotel lounge with a big toasty fireplace and order a hot toddy or Irish coffee. Sip and stare into the flames... or each other’s eyes.
miserable, retreat inside the dark and cozy confines of a theater, catching two of the season’s must-see flicks back to back. Since your local megaplex probably doesn’t do double features, create your own, with each of you getting to choose a movie (if your movie preferences differ, this is a great chance to throw compromise out the window and expose yourselves to each other’s taste). It will feel intimate to escape reality together for three-plus hours, and the nostalgia factor is high, since you probably haven’t done a double feature (or snuck into one) since you were a teenager. Sit in the back, and you’ll get the option of smooching during any dull moments!

3. Forget dinner and do fondue
Dunking pieces of bread and veggies into a steaming pot of melted cheese will totally hit the spot on a cold night, and since this dish requires you to scoot in close and eat out of the same pot, it’s the ultimate sexy date meal. Do a search for “fondue” at epicurious.com for a simple recipe, or hit a restaurant that specializes in fondue, like The Melting Pot chain, which has locations all over the country.

4. Heat things up in front of a fire
If you don’t have a fireplace of your own — or even if you do but just want to get out for the night — find a fancy hotel lounge with a big, toasty hearth and order drinks to shake off the chill. Sip a hot toddy (to make at home, combine 1/2-1 oz brandy or rum, 1 tsp
A walk along the ocean can be surprisingly romantic. When else do you get to have the place entirely to yourself?
honey and 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice in a mug and fill with hot water or tea) or an Irish Coffee (coffee spiked with 1 oz Irish whiskey and 2-3 sugar cubes, then topped with whipped cream). Sip and stare into the flames... or each other’s eyes.

5. Bond over a chessboard
Haven’t you always thought there’s something cozy and intellectually-cool about two people silently strategizing over a chessboard? A cold winter’s night is the perfect time to sit down and learn the game together. For a tutorial, check out chess.about.com, and to find a chess set, peruse the selection at thechessstore.com.

6. Go to the beach
A walk along the ocean, lake or whatever body of water is near you could be surprisingly romantic. Yes, it will be freezing, but when else do you get to have the place entirely to yourself? Bundle up and go for a stroll on the sand — cuddling close won’t be optional — then retreat to your car and share a thermos of spicy Mexican hot cocoa.

7. Celebrate the winter solstice
Even if you two aren’t an official item celebrating the holidays together, any budding couple can create its own seasonal celebration on December 21st. It’s the shortest day of the year, and ancient cultures all over the world marked it with lots of food and drink and special rituals celebrating the fact that the days would be growing longer soon. So this is the perfect night to prepare a decadent dinner for two. One of the common themes in winter solstice festivities is lots of candlelight, so turn off all that unromantic overhead lighting and let a softer glow get you both in the mood.


Celeste Perron is the author of Playing House: A Starter Guide to Being a Grown Up.
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