11 Fun and Inexpensive Holiday Season Date Ideas
I love the holidays. Everything's super festive and everyone is feeling the holiday spirit, I love seeing all the lights and the fun fall/winter fashion; I live for the weather this time of year, I am not a hot weather person at all.
I love getting to spoil my friends for Christmas and decorate my house all bright and colorful. I'm super excited about getting to celebrate my first wedding anniversary this December with my husband and spending the holiday season spending time together going on all of the fun and romantic holiday season dates.
Date nights during the holiday seasons are some of the best dates of the year, mostly because they're usually something you only get to do once a year, plus all of those special feelings is elevated even higher and everyone's . It's one reason why this time of the year is the most popular time to get engaged.
That being said, there is definitely an element of stress when it comes to the holidays, especially when it comes to romancing your partner. People think that giant romantic holiday gestures are what their partner want, but bigger and more expensive doesn't always mean better, sometimes putting in a little bit of effort goes a long way with the person you love.
I went ahead and complied a list of my favorite dates to go on that won't break the bank, but still show the person you love that you want to spend time making them feel special this holiday season.
Light Seeing Drive
One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is seeing all of the bright and colorful lights go up all over people's houses. There's a house right outside our neighborhood who goes all out every year with the lights and the giant holiday inflatables and I LOVE to see it. Get some blankets, some hot chocolate, put on some fun holiday tunes, and drive your partner around looking at all the fun lights. It's simple but romantic and good quality time. You can even make it a mini competition between the houses and rate each one you look at.
Walk Around Downtown
The downtown mall I work at goes all out for the holidays; there's a giant tree, millions of lights wrapped around light poles and hanging on stores, wreaths and garland everything, it's so magical.
I love getting to dress up in some warm clothes, grab some hot chocolate from one of the local coffee shops, and walk around with my husband taking in all of the sights. Doing this is also a great way to discover new stores or restaurants you would have never found otherwise!
Get a Live Christmas Tree
My husband and I started this tradition the first year we lived together, and we've done it ever since. The first year we went out to a little Christmas tree shop by the mall and picked one out and took it home to decorate, and last year, right after we got married, we got a little mini one from Target since our honeymoon ended two days before Christmas and we didn't have time to go get a real one.
You could make a day of it by grabbing some food and then taking your partner out to go get one. If you're super outdoorsy, cut your own down at a Christmas tree farm or get a pre-cut one from a local Christmas tree shop.
Decorate Your Home Together
This kind of goes along with the last date, but I wanted to make it separate in case your family doesn't celebrate Christmas. Decorating your home for the season is one of the most fun things you can do during the holidays. If you're like me and you wait until after Thanksgiving, most of the stuff you need is already on sale.
Put on some holiday tunes, maybe order some take out, throw on a holiday sweater or some pajamas, and just spend time turning your home into a holiday wonderland! Don't forget to put up some mistletoe! *wink wink*
Go Ice Skating
Now I'm not very good at ice skating, and I've never been with Ryan so I have no idea if he is, but this is a great winter date! This is perfectly romantic because you get to skate around holding onto your partner and enjoy watching the hustle and bustle around you. Plus, if you fall down, by the rules of romance, then they have to help you up and hold on tighter.
We don't have an ice skating rink in Charlottesville anymore, but I know Washington DC has an outdoor one so maybe I'll convince my husband that we should have a mini road trip date day and go ice skating.
Holiday Movie Marathon
I love Christmas movies. I love all of them from the old claymation ones to the super cheesy romance ones to the classics. Holiday movie marathons are great at home date nights because again, this is really the only time of the year that you can really enjoy them (unless you're like me and sometimes you watch cheesy Christmas movies in July when you're depressed).
Make it a thing by making some popcorn or some s'mores or something else movie binge worthy, get into your pajamas, and snuggle up on the couch while enjoying all of the big screen holiday season magic.
Sledding or Tubing
This is a great winter date because it's fun, it's outdoorsy, it's active, you can take some friends for a double date or just go the two of you. You can make it a competition and race each other down the mountain or share a tube and cuddle as you plummet down the hill.
Skiing or Snowboarding
I love snowboarding. I discovered it back in high school when my brothers and I would strap on our bicycle helmets, borrow one of our friend's snowboard, and rush over to the neighborhood golf course as soon as it snowed to practice on the driving range hill. Back in college, I had just gotten good enough to get off of the bunny and beginner slopes. I would love to go snowboarding with my husband and get a little better at it again.
This is another super fun outdoor holiday date because you can do it just for the day or rent a ski lodge at a ski resort and make it a fun little romantic getaway for the both of you amidst all of the holiday craziness.
Go to a Local Event
Like I said earlier in this article, the downtown mall in Charlottesville goes all out for the holidays; there's always some sort of event going on around here. We've got Lighting of the Lawn over at UVA and The Lights Festival at the downtown mall. My friend Jordan is from Pennsylvania and she said that some of the botanical gardens up there do light shows during the holiday season. Do some research and see what is offered near you.
I don't know what this year is going to look like, but if there's a fun event where you live and you and your partner feel comfortable going, wear a mask, stay away from people, and go have a good time. Some of these events are either sponsored by local businesses or they allow those businesses to sell or advertise at the event so it's a great way to support local while wooing your partner.
Obviously, don't go shopping for each other, but you can make a fun date night out of getting gifts for everyone on your holiday lists. If you have Secret Santa or a White Elephant or if you and your friends or family are doing a drawing names group gift exchange, going shopping with your partner could actually be helpful if they are also in the exchange. Plus this is a good opportunity to subtly drop hints to your partner about what you personally want for the holidays.
Start a New Tradition
My husband and I have gone out to see a movie on Christmas night every year since we started dating, and even though, this year might have to be a rented movie at home, this is one of our traditions that we started together. That's the fun part about traditions, you get to decide what they are, and when you make them. Plus, I personally think traditions feel like you're just building on your relationships as a family.
Well there you have it! Make sure to send this to your partner too so that they have some ideas and can take a turn in the holiday wooing this year.
Take a shot for all of the fun holiday dates that are prematurely canceled this year, and toast to getting to romance your partner during the holidays.