After several consecutive mornings of frozen hair and visible breath, we’re ready to admit it: winter is finally here! We love the cold weather for bringing us the beauty of a snowy campus, a solid excuse to start our hot chocolate and cookie diets, and most of all, some seriously romantic, snuggly dates. If you and your Campus Cutie are in the mood to cozy up, but don’t know what to do for date night (or date day), look no further: check out HC’s favorite cold weather date ideas, collegiette-approved and climate-appropriate!
Unsurprisingly, ice-skating is collegiettes’ number one go-to when it comes to dating through the wintry months. After all, who doesn’t love an excuse to hold the hand of even the most PDA-paranoid college boy in public? Skating is a collegiette classic largely due to the fact that you could be the best skater in the world, or you could be the worst; you’ll either look like a graceful pro or you’ll have an excuse to get nice and close to your date as he tows you around the rink. It’s a win-win situation!
“Last year, my boyfriend and I went ice-skating at Bryant Park,” recounts New York University sophomore Hannah Orenstein. “It felt like such a classic, adorable winter date, and we had so much fun! Hot chocolate afterwards is always a good idea, too.”
HC’s very own Real Live College Guy Andy agrees, proving that a night at the rink is fun for both you and your boy-toy. “My favorite [winter date] since I play hockey is going skating,” he says, “especially [at] the outdoor rinks put up just for the holidays. Soooo romantic.”
Taking in the twinkle lights? Hearing the holiday music? Laughing as you fall all over each other? We’re taking RLCG Andy’s advice on this one: ice-skating is super romantic and super cute.
Cook Your Favorite Comfort Food Recipes
Too cold outside to brave it past your doorstep for dinner? Stay in and cook together!
Michelle Lewis, a senior at UNC Chapel Hill, reveals that a low-key night at home is one of her favorite winter dates. “One night it snowed on campus and all the roads were closed, so there wasn’t much my boyfriend at the time and I could go out and do,” she explains. “We ended up staying in the dorm and baking cookies together, which was super nice because there’s nothing quite like eating cookies right out of the oven when it’s cold outside!”
Whether it’s a candlelit dinner for two or a batch of pre-sliced Break N’ Bake (for those of us who aren’t so handy with the oven), you and your date will have fun making a mess of the kitchen. The best part? After it’s all said and done, you’ll get to snack on some seriously delicious warm-up food! Check out HC’s favorite, healthy comfort foods for ideas.
Visit a Museum
Since a walk in the park isn’t exactly ideal this time of year (we’ll pass on frostbite, thanks), you and your date have to find a new place to enjoy a leisurely stroll. Other than malls, museums are pretty much the only place where you can wander aimlessly indoors for hours on end without getting bored. Even better, you get to soak in a little culture as you go.
Check out the exhibits going on in your area. Even if your guy isn’t an art history buff, you can still find a museum you’ll both enjoy. Think history and science museums or planetariums (because stargazing while snuggling will never, ever lose its charm, and this is your chance to do it without needing to don three parkas and snow pants). Take advantage of student discounts and check the websites for the somewhat rare – but much appreciated – winter discounts!
If you’re one of the many collegiettes whose campuses aren’t blessed with proximity to local museums, try the student art gallery. Their shows are always best come winter because students have spent an entire semester working on their pieces. Almost all schools with art departments house some sort of exhibit, and some campuses even have their own private museums that offer free admission to students!
Play in the Snow
It’s kind of a no-brainer: you have a winter wonderland waiting right outside your dorm room window… go play in it!
Brianna Wellen, a junior at Skidmore College, loves a good sledding date. “Sitting close together on a sled with someone: it’s a really cute picture,” she says. “Plus, you get to wear cute winter hats!”
If you and your boy are fans of a bit of healthy competition, Annie Robinson, a Her Campus High School Ambassador at North Toronto High, suggests setting up a snowman-making contest, double-date style!
With all the work piling up these days, it’s about time to take a break and feel like a kid again. Besides, there are few things more adorable than a good old-fashioned snowball fight between a guy and his crush. Brings us back to the playground days!
Have a Holiday Movie Marathon
You, your boyfriend, a bowl of popcorn, a blanket, and four to six hours of uninterrupted Christmas movies. What’s not to like?
While we love a good movie marathon any time of year (Harry Potter, anyone?), there’s just something special about cozying up to your boy when it’s snowing outside. It can’t be beat! What’s more, wintertime is the only time when it’s socially acceptable to watch Elf, Home Alone, and It’s a Wonderful Life in succession, and all of that heart-warming holiday spirit is bound to get you and your guy feeling all mushy inside.
See a Seasonal Show
Like museums, Broadway shows, Rockettes performances, and seasonal symphonies are hard to come by (unless you’re studying in the Big Apple – yay you!). Despite the possible lack of cultural events in your college town (some of us go to schools seemingly surrounded only by corn and that poses problems) you and your man can still get your performing arts fix.
“Freshman year, my boyfriend at the time and I went to go see the Clef Hangers (an a cappella group on campus) holiday concert together,” recounts Michelle. “We were both huge a cappella fans and it was a great way to get into the holiday spirit!”
Student productions like the one Michelle and her boyfriend attended are ideal for the collegiette because they’re budget-friendly (almost always free!) and they give a great excuse for you (and your date) to ditch the sweatpants for some fancier clothes. If you’re looking for some style inspiration, check out Her Campus’s formal dresses wish list. As Michelle explains, “So much of college dating is just hanging out together in the dorms, so it’s always nice to get to dress up and actually go out somewhere fancy.” We concur!
Take a Skiing or Snowboarding Day Trip
If you live anywhere near a mountain or even a large hill (sorry, Midwesterners) you and your date should spend a Saturday hitting the slopes. According to Brianna, “ski trips are great because you spend a lot of time together driving to the mountain and on the chairlifts, but you break up the talking with skiing, so it doesn’t get old.”
Skiing and snowboarding are great ways to escape your campus bubble and get your adrenaline pumping. The new environment will allow you and your guy to get to know a whole new side of one another, and the excitement of doing something out of the ordinary will keep you both on your toes!
Brianna says not to worry if you or your date aren’t totally comfortable with the mountain going in. “I was a better skier than the boy I was with when we went,” she explains, “but one person can teach the other person, which is always adorable.”
While we definitely recommend sticking to the bunny hill if you or your date is shaky on your skis, you shouldn’t be afraid to make the trip regardless. After all, once you get tired or want to take a break, hot chocolate and a warm fire are only a ski lodge away!
Just because it’s cold outside, it doesn’t mean you have to turn down the heat on your relationship. Make some snow angels, decorate your dorms for the holidays, and try out our favorite cold weather date ideas. ‘Tis the season to be flirty!