Coordinating dates this time of year often becomes cliché (cue to scenes of couples skating hand-in-hand at outdoor venues, or snowshoeing). Cute, maybe, but for the woman who likes a date with depth, the classic winter dates won’t cut it.

If you’re not afraid to venture out in the winter weather, here are some date ideas that are a little more thoughtful:

For the foodie
Forego a visit to your usual haunt, say goodbye to comfort food, and instead choose a restaurant that offers a tasting menu. Restaurants that feature tasting menus usually offer items specific for the time of year, and you and your plus one have the option of having each course paired with different wines. If you have a lust for food, doing something like this – although a bit pricey – is a great way to experience various dishes and drinks. The constant change in courses and flavors will add a spicy variety to an otherwise tame evening.

For the wine connoisseur
Drink dates are obvious, but grabbing a booth at your local bar is as dull as the drinks offered there. Find a venue that offers a holiday cocktail list or features some specialty drinks. Many hotel lobby bars and trendier restaurants change their drink menus seasonally, offering up festive peppermint eggnog libations or champagne-based cocktails this time of year. Do some research and find a place with a cool atmosphere to match their unique drink list. Cheers to that!

For the one who wants to set the mood

Many restaurants and bars have warmed up their environments by adding fireplaces to them. Seek out one of these fireside restos or perhaps rent a ski chalet for the weekend where fireplaces are usually part of the scene. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t slope-savvy – the après ski is where all the romantic action is, so cozy up with some hot cocoa and your date.

More winter dating ideas on the next page…


For the romantic
Going on dates doesn’t have to be at romantic restaurants or in booths at bars. In fact, sometimes the best way to get to know someone a few dates in is by hosting them at your place to see how you both interact without outside distractions. Think of interactive meals Cheese fondue followed by chocolate fondue can do the trick, and you can pick up a cheap set at a kitchenware store. Making fondue is easy, cheap and can be kind of sexy.

For the art lover
Wintery weather is the time to best indulge in indoor pursuits like attending art galleries or museums. Challenge each other to find the most obscure art installation or exhibit happening in your city, and then take it in. Perhaps it’s a photography exhibit or a random student exhibit devoted to the history of Chinese gongs. Whatever it is, go in to it with an open mind and have fun.

For the pop-culture fiend
When you’re getting to know someone, there’s bound to be some downtime just hanging out at home. In that spirit, rent a TV series on DVD that neither of you has seen. Make regular dates to watch a “disc-a-day”– not only will you have lots to talk about as it goes along, but it establishes regular hang-out time that takes the pressure off constantly having to come up with new things to do.

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