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by Emily Batdorf February 16, 2023 5 min read

Ever feel like your date nights need a refresh? Is midwinter cabin fever spilling into boring dates with your boo? Do you want to share your love of the outdoors with that special someone?

A quick online search for date ideas yields variations of the same old thing — you know, dinner and a movie. But what about date ideas for adventure-seeking couples?

Sure, there’s plenty to do in the summer — but what about winter date ideas?

If you’re looking to impress your partner with an adventurous date, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for 7 (winter-weather-friendly) outdoor date ideas for the adventurous couple. Let’s dive in!

1. Visit a Climbing Gym

Couple climbing indoor rock wall

Climbing is one of the most exciting outdoor activities — and you can do it indoors, too. With rental gear, instruction, and beginner-friendly routes, experience isn’t even required at an indoor climbing gym. So whether you and your date are seasoned climbers or you’re giving it a try for the first time, you can have a great time at an indoor climbing gym.

A good workout and thrill aren't the only benefits of climbing. As a partner sport, you and your date will quickly build trust and communication while literally — and figuratively — supporting each other.

Bonus: Climbing is a super engaging activity, so even if you’re on your first date, you can wave goodbye to awkward first-date silence.

2. Go on a Bike Ride

Couple riding fat bikes on snowy trail

We could write an entire blog about biking alone. Whether by road or trail, biking offers endless options. The versatility of biking — in any season — is part of the reason it makes for such a good outdoorsy date. Evening not going well? No problem, cut the ride short. Are the two of you hitting it off? Extend your ride — or bike to a restaurant and continue chatting over dinner.

If you’re excited about biking but your trails are covered with snow, try fat biking.

Fat bikes were originally designed to ride over desert terrain. With wide, low-pressure tires, fat bikes make it easy to ride on dirt, sand, and — you guessed it — snow.

If you live in a cold, snowy climate, you can probably rent fat bikes at a local bike shop, park, or resort. Rental staff can give you some pointers, but here are a couple important tips:

  • For the best ride, you need firm snow. Mornings and evenings are usually colder — and therefore better for fat biking.
  • Raise your tire pressure when the snow melts, and lower it when you need more traction.
  • Start with a short, easy ride so you can both get the hang of things. 

And don’t forget to dress warm — for obvious reasons.

3. Go for a Hike

Couple hiking

One of the most affordable dates out there — requiring little more than prep work, good socks, and hiking shoes — hiking makes for an underrated and wallet-friendly date.

Hiking can provide some spectacular — and romantic — views. And by using sites like AllTrails and Outdoor Project, you can find the best hike before even leaving the house. 

If winter weather is an issue or you’re looking to add more adventure to your hike, try snowshoeing. With the proper equipment, you can hike over the snow. Snowshoeing requires a little more planning and, of course, snowshoes. If you don’t own any, rent a pair at your local gear shop or ski resort.

4. Go Kayaking

Couple on guided kayak tour near ice

If your winters are mild, you don't have to wait for summertime to get on the water. Surprisingly, you can enjoy kayaking year-round — unless your local waterways are frozen, that is. Enjoying the activity in winter just requires a little extra precaution.

If you decide to kayak during cooler months, be sure to prepare for colder water temperatures. Check out the National Center For Cold Water Safety’s website for more information.

For a bit of date night magic, see if your area offers a twilight kayak tour, where you can light up your kayak and paddle into the sunset. The peaceful ambiance of the evening paired with the reflections off the water… That's some date night magic!

5. Go Horseback Riding

 Couple kissing while horseback riding

You don't have to visit the Wild West to give horseback riding a try. A quick online search can suggest stables, tours, and trail rides in your local area. Most trail rides cater to beginners — so don’t sweat it if it’s your or your partner’s first time riding. After learning the basics, you’ll set out on the trails.

Depending on where and when you book, you and your date might join a larger group of riders. You might be able to book a private ride, but it’ll likely cost a bit more. Either way, riding off into the sunset is a novel — and romantic — date for most.

Tip: Horseback riding can be double-date gold. You can lock in more affordable group rates while getting outside with other adventure-minded couples.

6. Go Ice Skating

Couple ice skating holding hands

Like horseback riding, ice skating can make for a seriously picturesque date. And again, no experience necessary. Even if you or your partner have never skated, you can rent gear and learn as you go at the rink. While indoor rinks are sheltered and well-maintained, an outdoor rink under twinkling lightsis arguably the more romantic choice. Cue a light snowfall, and it’s pure magic.

For true adventure-seeking couples, frozen lakes, ponds, or parking lots* offer up more variety and breathtaking scenery (Just make sure you take the proper precautions when skating in unmaintained areas).

*Parking lots? Yep, you read that right. The history behind the Curry Village Ice Rink, in Yosemite National Park, makes for a great example. Now relocated, Yosemite used to flood its Curry Village parking lot every night for some scenic ice skating.

7. Go Sledding

Couple Sledding

Who doesn't like sledding?

Sledding is a foolproof dateidea. It’s fun, free, and sure to make you and your boo laugh. Plus, no technique needed.

Don’t have a sled or inflatable tube? Take a look around your house, you’re bound to have something to sled on. A garbage bag, piece of cardboard, or extra large cookie sheet works in a pinch.

Depending on your location, you can sled or rent tubes at ski resorts, local hills, and parks. As long as there’s snow, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the perfect date venue.

Tip: End your sledding date by grabbing hot cocoa or your warm beverage of choice and viola! — it’s the perfect winter date.

Bonus: Upgrade Your Date With a Picnic

Couple warming up outside with hot cocoa

If there’s a guaranteed way to pleasantly surprise your sweetheart on a date, it’s packing a picnic. Whether you’re kayaking, sledding, or hiking, you’re going to get hungry at some point.

Spend a little time beforehand packing a picnic to anticipate your growling stomachs. Hot drinks, thermoses of soup, and hearty snacks make great adventure-worthy treats for a winter date. And don’t forget the chocolate!

What kind of outdoor date are you planning?

We’d love to hear about your favorite outdoorsy dates or ideas we may have missed. Share photos of you and your sweetheart from your adventures together, and tag us on Instagram with the hashtag #cloudlinesocks.

Emily Batdorf
Emily Batdorf

Emily is a copywriter based in northern Michigan. She's happiest outdoors, whether she's hiking, skiing, paddling, or swimming. As a writer, she loves working with companies that inspire all people to get outside. When she's not writing or playing outdoors, you can find her cooking, reading, or hanging out with family and friends. Find more of her writing here.

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