While saying goodbye to warm weather and long days can be difficult, there’s much to love about this time of year. Going for a crisp country walk, cooking comforting dishes, and curling up with a warming cup of cocoa are just some of autumn and winter’s unique pleasures.
But if you’re looking to go on a date – whether with your long-term partner or a new love interest – the colder weather can make deciding what to do a bit more difficult.
Whether you’re someone who prefers to stay warm and cosy, or you love going outside and getting your blood pumping, there are plenty of fun date ideas for this time of year.
Without further ado, here are 20 date ideas for autumn and winter…
1. Have an at-home spa day
Going to a spa for some pampering is a real treat – but it’s also expensive. And when it’s cold, damp, and dreary, the idea of heading out isn’t always appealing. So why not create your own couples spa day at home?
Just pick up some DIY pamper supplies like face masks and/or bath oils, light a scented candle, put on your dressing gown and slippers, and play some relaxing music.
You could trade massages, do DIY facials, or simply run your other half an indulgent bath. Putting aside some time to unwind and reconnect with your partner can have you both feeling relaxed, refreshed, and rejuvenated.
2. Play some games
Games definitely aren’t just for kids, and when it’s cold outside, there’s something really lovely about cosying up inside and playing an old-school game with your date or partner.
Chess is a great choice because it’s designed for two people, gets you thinking, and injects just the right amount of competitiveness into your evening!
Playing Monopoly and Scrabble are also fun ways to spend the evening – perhaps in front of the fire with a glass of wine or whiskey in hand, and some music playing in the background. You could even invite another couple around and have a fun game night.
For some more ideas for games to play, take a look at this list of the best board games of 2022 from Expert Reviews.
3. Go ice skating
Ice skating is a classic winter date – and it’s also a really romantic and enjoyable way to spend time with your partner.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve never been ice skating before – or if you have and found that you were more than a bit unstable on your feet! Half the fun is that ice skating pushes you out of your comfort zone, and helping each other up if you fall over is what it’s all about.
If you’re in a brand new relationship, don’t worry about looking silly; being able to be vulnerable in front of each other is a helpful way to form and build relationships.
Afterwards, you can warm up and laugh about your skating experiences over some mulled wine or cider in a cosy pub.
4. ‘Travel’ around the world
If you love travelling – and feasting on foreign cuisine – then why not have themed date nights where you travel all around the world… without actually leaving your home? You can each pick a different country for each date night, and then spend the evening sampling the best the country has to offer.
So, if you’re going to Italy, you could start your evening with an Aperol spritz and a tomato bruschetta before tucking into a bowl of pasta, followed up by some gelato or tiramisu.
Making the food with your date makes it even more enjoyable – and you can unwind after dinner with a film set in Italy, like Roman Holiday or Eat Pray Love. There are 195 countries, so this is definitely a date idea that can continue well into the New Year!
To get inspired, why not check out the food and drink section of our website?
5. Try couples yoga
Yoga is incredibly beneficial for both the mind and body, and trying a class together is an effective way to stay in tune with each other, and be aware of how you’re both feeling.
You can head down to your local gym or fitness studio, or join an online yoga class from the comfort of your own home.
If one of you has never done yoga before – or you have and found it challenging – that’s all the more reason to try a couples’ class. Bikram yoga, or hot yoga, might be especially good on a cold winter’s day. Just remember to stretch properly after!
6. Go on a staycation
While going away together probably isn’t the best idea if you’ve only just started dating, if you’re in a long-term relationship, then this could be a great option for an extended date. You don’t need to hop on a plane – just check out some of the wonderful places in the UK that make ideal winter holiday destinations.
You could book a remote cottage in the countryside if you want to get away from it all, or book a cheap and cheerful Airbnb in a new city. If money’s tight, you could think about doing a house swap with friends.
Just being in a new place with your partner and taking some time out for each other will make you both feel like new people.
7. Visit a Christmas market
With their sparkling lights, decked out Christmas trees, and snowy Alpine-styled setting, Christmas markets can be really romantic places to visit – and the festive cheer that’s in the air should certainly put a smile on both of your faces.
Why not see if there’s a Christmas market near you that you can explore with your partner? Most open from November, and wrapping up warm, sipping mulled wine, and enjoying some festive treats as you wander around is a lovely way to spend an afternoon or evening. You might even pick up some unique Christmas presents while you’re at it.
8. Go to a pub quiz
If you’ve only just started seeing someone and you both like adventure, you might want to consider an escape room experience.
Solving clues against a ticking clock is fun, an easy way to minimise any awkward silences, and can help you bond. Plus, sharing the joy of victory (or the pain of defeat!) is also a good way to assess how compatible you are.
Even if you’ve been together for decades, an escape room can still make for a unique and entertaining date. You already know you make a good team, so why not put your communication skills to the test as you solve a series of riddles and puzzles together?
Themed escape rooms (e.g. murder mystery, zombie apocalypse, etc) can be even more fun.
9. Tackle an escape room
A great date idea if you’ve only just started seeing someone is to do an escape room experience. Not only is solving clues against a ticking clock really fun (and an easy way to minimise any awkward silences) but they’re also good ways to bond together. Plus, sharing the joy of victory (or the pain of defeat!) is also a good way to assess how compatible you are.
But even if you’ve been together for decades, escape rooms make really fun and unique dates. You already know you make a good team, so why not put your communication skills to the test as you solve a series of riddles and puzzles together? Themed escape rooms (e.g. murder mystery, zombie apocalypse etc) make it even more fun.
10. Go on a hike
If you’d prefer to go on an outdoor date, then you could enjoy some fresh air and get your blood pumping by going on a hike with your partner.
This can not only encourage you both to be more active during the chillier months, but it’s also an enjoyable way to spend quality time together – whether you’re talking all the time or walking in comfortable silence.
You can head out to the countryside to admire gorgeous views, stroll along the beach if you live near the coast, or even do an urban walk around your city or town. Just remember to wrap up warm – and perhaps take a flask of hot coffee or cocoa with you! You could even take a picnic.
Have a read of our article on 10 different types of walk to enjoy for more inspiration.
11. Bake festive treats
Whether you’re a baking rookie or good enough to appear on The Great British Bake-Off, baking with your date or partner is a fun and relaxing way to spend time together.
Now the festive season is just around the corner, you could bake some festive treats together – and whether you want to give them away as personal Christmas gifts or enjoy them yourselves is up to you.
If you’re new to baking, there are lots of festive baking kits you can buy that’ll help you feel more confident – and ensure your creations come out looking beautiful.
12. Go whisky tasting
While wine tastings and brewery tours are fun date ideas, whiskey tasting is a little more seasonal. Plus, nothing warms your insides up like a honey-hued glass of whisky!
Whether you already fancy yourself as a whisky connoisseur or don’t know bourbon from Scotch, whisky tasting is a relaxing way to spend a crisp autumn or winter afternoon.
If your partner loves whisky, this can also make a lovely surprise gift, and is a chance for you both to make lasting memories – as well as get spirited away together (pun intended).
13. Go to the theatre
After around a year and a half of closures, theatres all across the UK have been enjoying a period of revival – and what better way to support the arts than enjoying a night out at the theatre? Plus, dressing up for a show will make the evening feel that bit more special.
There are all kinds of shows you can see: you can watch a play, musical, concert, dance performance, or even a comedy show. One of the great things about this time of year is that there’s so much on, so have a look at your local theatre listings and see what takes your fancy.
For some inspiration, it’s worth having a read of our article; 14 of the most popular theatre shows.
14. Drink wine and paint
Picking up a paintbrush while enjoying a few glasses of wine sounds like a rather random date idea – but so-called ‘drink and paint’ (or ‘sip and stroke’) classes are fast becoming a trend across the country.
It doesn’t matter if you’re any good at painting; the point is just to have fun – and you might find your artistic skills improve after a glass or two of wine!
You don’t have to go to an actual class to enjoy this activity. Instead, you can just buy some painting supplies and decide what you want to paint, then open a bottle of your favourite wine and have a laugh with your partner as you both attempt to channel your inner Picasso.
15. Cook together
Cooking together can be a really romantic and enjoyable experience, especially if you’re playing music and enjoying a drink at the same time.
At this time of year, there are so many tasty comfort food classics that are perfect to make together – and knowing you’ll be sitting down to enjoy the feast you’ve created makes it even more enjoyable.
If you’re not a confident cook, why not try joining an online cooking class together? To make it more intimate, you can always choose a private class.
Have a read of our article on the UK’s best cooking classes to get inspired.
16. Read together
Even if you’re both bookworms, the idea of reading together might sound a little odd – but being immersed in the same story at the same time allows you to have a unique, shared experience… and it’s also a lovely way to spend some relaxing quiet time together.
You could form your own mini book club where you choose a book you’ll both like, read it at the same pace, and then choose an evening to discuss your thoughts over some drinks and nibbles. Or, you could even take turns reading chapters out loud to each other.
For some reading inspiration, check out our articles on books and literature.
17. Go bowling
Bowling is one of those activities that never really sounds that fun – but once you’re there and knocking down pins, it’s a great laugh. Plus, there’s something really classic and old-fashioned about a bowling date – and it’s definitely not just for children’s birthday parties.
You can go bowling as a couple, or you could invite some friends along and turn it into a fun group activity. Bowling is also a good idea for a first date, as if your date is shy and not very chatty, you can focus more on the bowling itself.
18. Plan your next holiday
Now international travel is once again possible, why not spend an evening planning your dream holiday abroad?
If you can’t go away right now, you can still chase away the winter blues by spending an evening thinking about your next trip – and sometimes the planning and anticipation are almost as much fun as the holiday itself.
Rather than just talking about your holiday, really do your research. Look into accommodation options, check out some of the best sites and attractions, and bookmark all the restaurants you want to try. That way, not only will you enjoy the evening, but making your travel dreams a reality will be much easier when it’s time to actually book your break.
For some inspiration, check out our travel page.
19. Have a themed film night
These days, you don’t have to head to the cinema to catch a new film – so why not stay cosy at home and have a themed film night with your date or partner?
You could stock up on popcorn to make it feel like a ‘real’ movie night, turn the lights down low, curl up on the sofa, and lose yourself in a film. Or, have a movie marathon where you watch several films back-to-back.
You could theme your film nights too. For example, why not pick a more serious film one night, then choose a so-bad-it’s-good horror film the next? For some nostalgia, try rewatching your favourite childhood films. Or, if you want to get into the festive spirit, you could watch some Christmas classics.
To get some ideas for your next movie date, you might want to check out our articles; 18 movies everyone should see.
20. Go ‘mini camping’
While it might be too cold for most of us to pitch a tent and sleep in it, that doesn’t mean you can’t experience the magic of camping. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, why not hang a few lights up or bring out a couple of lanterns, grab a few cosy blankets, fill a thermos with hot chocolate and spend an evening outside, talking, stargazing, and even roasting marshmallows?
If you don’t have a garden, you can still enjoy this experience: just wrap up warm and walk to your local park, bring your thermos and a blanket, find a bench, and cuddle up.
Stargazing is at its best at this time of year, so why not download a stargazing app and see how many constellations you can spot? SkyView and NightSky are both free and will help your evening be that bit more special.
There’s much to love about this time of year – and while you might have to bundle up when you go outside, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a wonderful evening out.
But as this article hopefully shows, you don’t need to leave the house to enjoy a special date with your significant other – and you certainly don’t have to spend much money.
Whether you’ve been with your partner for decades or are planning your first date, autumn and winter dates can be fun, magical, inspiring, and seriously romantic. If you’d like to get back into dating – or perhaps start for the first time – you might want to join our own Rest Less dating site.