I know I can’t be the only one picturing herself on a Hallmark holiday movie-level date each time the clock strikes midnight on November 1. You know the experience—a horse-drawn carriage ride through a snow-covered small town beaming with holiday cheer from quirky residents. They are notoriously predictable, but my favorite part about cliche Hallmark movies is that they perfectly capture the magic of the holidays. Sure, there’s always a hiccup, general misunderstanding, or unfortunate blunders along the way. But they never fail to leave us wondering how to achieve the same level of darling cheesiness.
That’s why we’re going into this holiday season with a couple of extra special date night ideas in mind. We may not be tasked to run a Christmas tree farm with our hunky ex-boyfriend, but we do deserve to rekindle a campfire spark with our significant other with something other than simply going to dinner. If having your own Hallmark movie moment is on your wish list this year, read on for 12 of the best holiday date night ideas.
1. Go to a Christmas Market
During the holiday season, many towns will host adorable Christmas markets. You’ll find tons of festive vendors offering one-of-a-kind items like special ornaments, handmade apparel, fine jewelry, and more. Many of the markets aim to be reminiscent of Old World Christkindlesmarkts of Germany, allowing us to take a step back in time in the most picturesque way possible.
2. Head to a Christmas Tree Farm
While you may want to save actually picking out and taking home your Christmas tree for a time when the whole family can go, there’s nothing more Hallmark than exploring a tree farm with your significant other. Lots of farms will offer other activities like carriage rides, warm refreshments, and adorable shops for all of the festive feels.
3. Catch a Show
The fine arts are in especially rare form during the holiday season. Find a local theater or venture to a large venue that’s a bit farther away for an overnight date night. This time of year, you’ll find productions of musicals like A Christmas Carol, ballets like The Nutcracker, and holiday tours like Mannheim Steamroller and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra around every corner. Many local symphonies also get in the holiday spirit with special events coordinated with popular Christmas movies like Home Alone and The Polar Express. The possibilities are as endless as they are cheerful.
4. Go Ice Skating
Few dates are more classic than good old-fashioned ice skating. Either head to a local rink or find a park in your area that creates one this time of year. And don’t worry if you’ve never put skates on before in your life—that just means more laughs are likely to ensue!
5. Go Sledding
If there’s snow near you this holiday season, instead of fighting it, embrace it! Put on your warmest snow gear and go sledding. You can DIY this by purchasing tubes of your own and finding a hill, or do a quick search of tubing in your area. These places will generally provide the tubes for you, transportation up the hill, and hot chocolate after to warm up!
6. Take a Sleigh Ride
Dash through the snow on a classic horse-drawn sleigh or carriage ride for the most romantic evening (yes, we had to include it). Cozy up with plenty of blankets and a hot chocolate while taking in a starry night. Lots of cities and small towns will offer this type of experience during the holidays, making it the perfect romantic after-dinner activity.
7. Go See Christmas Lights
This is, of course, a fun holiday family activity as well. But, going to see Christmas light displays might be reminiscent of the early dating days of you and your partner. If it’s something you did way back when but haven’t experienced one-on-one in a while, it may be the perfect way to reconnect and reflect. And if it’s something you’ve never done without the kiddos before, now’s a great time.
8. Go Ice Fishing
Those of us who have an outdoorsy partner know that sometimes their hobbies can keep them out of the house more than we’d like. One fun way for us to spend quality time together is by joining them! While ice fishing might not be the most glamorous of dates, if it’s something your partner enjoys, we can only imagine how much they’d love to share the experience with the one who matters most.
9. Hit the Slopes
Speaking of being outdoorsy, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, head to a ski or snowboarding resort for an exhilarating experience! Don’t worry if you’ve never set foot into a ski boot before. Many lodges offer lessons, which could be a pretty great date in and of itself. Plus, it gives you and your partner an opportunity to bond by learning something new together. It may even lead to a new hobby you two share in the future!
10. Hallmark Christmas Movie Night
Have a Hallmark movie moment from the comfort of your couch by having a movie marathon of all the cheesiest, mushiest films. Make it an at-home date night complete with drinks and snacks and maybe even some festive pajamas to really get in the spirit. Then, spend the night dreaming about what you two would do if you suddenly inherited a failing Connecticut inn.
11. Take a Cookie Decorating Class
It’s hard to fathom making holiday cookies at home without the help of little hands. So, why not take a holiday tradition and add a fun twist to it? Find a local company that offers cooking classes and find a cookie decorating class to take together. You may even gain some skills to show off to your little ones when the annual cookie-baking day comes around.
12. Volunteer Together
Nothing brings people together like putting something good out into the world. Tap into the real spirit of the season by giving your time, energy, and resources to others. We know you’ll come out of the experience incredibly proud of the impact you were able to make together.