By Dani Frank
The biting chill of winter is always made a little less hostile with the warm embrace of your sweetheart. A getaway to a snow palace or chalet may be out of the question, but you can play the part with these affordable outings and leisurely nights in, made romantic with candles and other accoutrements. Whether cuddling on the couch for your annual viewing of Elf or bonding at trivia night over a shared knowledge of the Simpsons characters, these date ideas are sure to keep relationships red hot, despite the cool temperatures.
Slip, Sledding Away
Childhood winters were a flurry of snow days, snowmen, sledding down the local hill and returning home with rosy cheeks. Recreate the nostalgia of yesteryear by grabbing a Radio Flyer and challenging your beau to a race down the nearest snow-covered slope. If your topography is more flat and less high-flying, head to your nearest park or golf course for a rollicking ride through the snow. We recommend Danbury’s Stanley L. Richter Memorial Park and Fairfield’s H. Smith Richardson Golf Course for an adrenaline-filled adventure together.
Stanley L. Richter Memorial Park
100 Aunt Hack Road
Danbury, CT 06811
Cuddle Up to a Movie
Spend some low-key alone time in your own living room, adding ambiance with scented candles and a cup of hot cocoa and the perfect background to watch your favorite movie. A comfortable couch, blanket acting as a barrier from the arctic chill and some wholesome films are the hallmarks of a classic couple’s night in. Make the date more meaningful, with each of you bringing a favorite movie from past winter’s nights in. The explanation will provide a deeper insight into each person’s thoughts and emotions, and give the chance for them to act as resident expert and point out funny tidbits as the film rolls. You can count on Target having a bin full of any and every title you’re looking for.
475 Hartford Rd
New Britain, CT 06053
Hours: Mon- Sat 8am-11am; Sun 8am – 10pm
Light my Fire
Visit your local hardware store and invest in a metal fire pit, warming many a cold night with your own portable bonfire. Toast some s’mores, with a hot Toddy on the side to keep spirits bright. Sharing one drink will keep you coming back for more, without feeling too full. If an outing is more your style, head to a nearby beach or campground that allows bonfires to be held, with a permit. Voluntown of Mystic County has begun hosting winter get-togethers in the town’s center, with ice skating, sleigh rides and a toasty, ready-made bonfire. Stop into town hall and pick up a pair of skates, ending your night in front of the fire after a spin on the ice.
Voluntown Town Hall
115 Main Street
Voluntown, CT 05834
Hit the Slopes at Night
Summer has swimming, surfing and a plethora of activities to make use of the warm weather and waves, and on the flipside, winter is an exploration of all things snow. Hit the slopes, and enjoy an active date of skiing or snowboarding. This idea works for couples of any skill level; if you or your significant other is more experienced, take the lead and get your partner snow-plowing down the mountain. If you’re both newbies, picking up a new sport is a great bonding activity. Take a lesson at one of Connecticut’s four ski slopes, and cheer each other on as you glide down the mountain, or laugh it off as you take turns sliding down the mountain. At the end of your intense day, a drink at the bar or a massage is on the menu for maximum relaxation.
Woodbury Ski Area
785 Washington Road
Woodbury, CT 06798
Hours for Night Skiing 6pm-10pm
Triumph at Trivia
Sharing a brew is a great way to open up on a first date, and a bar or tavern is a great place for socializing with the local community. Find a locale that hosts weekly trivia nights, and team up to take on the town’s brainiacs. Random facts are always a great conversation starter; from the capital of Jordan (Amman) to what language a Furby speaks (Furbish, obviously!), impress your partner with the depths of your collection of factoids. Knowledge is power, and can be a money-maker, too, if the trivia is offering cash prizes. Make a pact to spend the winnings together, to ensure that your memorable night together will end with a “to be continued.”
Dani Frank is a fashion, travel and culture enthusiast and writer living in Easton, Connecticut. A recent graduate of Hofstra University, she is most happy when traversing the East Coast and beyond and documenting it all for curious readers. Read her further work at http://offmanhattan.com/author/danielle-frank/