12 date ideas for the holiday season!

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one of the things josh and i have tried to do more around the holiday season is spend quality time together.  while we like to try to give each other gifts at christmas, we have found over the years we enjoy sharing experiences and time together more.  so besides filling up christmas stockings for one another, we try to fill up our winter with several fun date nights!

i started compiling a list of things we’d like to do together this year (might be slightly tricky with a newborn, but we’re hoping to try to fit in a few of these at least!)

12 date ideas for the holiday season!

  1. go ice skating outside (i still haven’t been ice skating here in the city, and they have that sweet little outdoor rink in central park!  i’m usually either pregnant or holding a baby this time of year, so it is happening this year after baby gets here!)
  2. do an act of service together by volunteering or helping someone else out.
  3. take a break from holiday shopping together and dine at a hidden restaurant! (josh found this secret train car inside bloomingdales that we want to try! how cool is that?)
  4. make each other a playlist of our favorite christmas music, or search for new christmas music together. (it’s been so long since we’ve discovered new bands or artists, i think this would be a really fun activity.)
  5. take a carriage or sleigh ride while it snows (this has been on my bucket list forever! a bit harder to accomplish in NYC, but keeping it on the list!)
  6. visit santa and a toy store (preferably without the kids? kind of brings me back to the pre-marriage dating days… we visited santa together at macy’s and i loved it.  and walk through the toy store not shopping for the kids, but just to reminisce and go back in time for ourselves. ps- if you’re in NYC, THIS is the best santa to visit in my opinion.)
  7. take a cooking or dance class together.
  8. grab a hot chocolate and go see all the christmas lights and festive window displays together.
  9. make a christmas ornament together (HERE is a great list of 10 easy DIY ornaments) or make wrapping paper together (i love THIS tutorial.)
  10. build a fort out of blankets and sleep inside it (maybe once i’m no longer 38 weeks pregnant!) roast s’mores and read classic christmas stories together out loud inside the fort. (we have always loved making forts together. a few old ones HERE and HERE and HERE.) josh actually proposed to me inside a blanket fort back in the day. so they are extra special to us!
  11. head out to a matinee movie or performance. and of course share a large popcorn and large soda that is just so bad for you it’s good! that part is essential! :)
  12. find snow, make an igloo or snowman or have a snowball fight! (because seriously, corny as it sounds, it doesn’t get more fun than that!)

what are your favorite dates to do during the holiday season?

photo is an oldie of us by tim coulson.

  1. Thanks for the ideas! Definitely going to try a few of these dates with my hubbie to get us into this romantic holiday mood :))


  2. Love this list! Full of inspiration for the Holidays. I would love to take my boyfriend to the nearest ice skating place – which is actually only a few hundred meters away, and I just read yesterday, that it’s the biggest outdoor ice skating arena in Northern Europe! (Apparently we’ve lived just right beside it for 5 year and we still haven’t been….)
    I would also love to go to some of the many Christmas Markets here in Copenhagen. The one at Christiania (if anyone are visiting CPH during december) should be great!

  3. Love these date ideas! This is our first Christmas since we got married so we have tons of things I want to do!

  4. I love all those ideas! I won’t go ice skating (I am very scared about it!!) but I will definitely want to volunteer we’ve planned to do it with my husband for a long time :)
    I also really love the idea of the playlist.
    Merci beaucoup!

  5. megan

    I love these ideas! My fiance and I have decided not to give gifts this year. Instead we are planning to do a few things on your list! Looking forward to seeing pics of the new baby!!!

  6. Bea

    Everything is great!!!
    Last year he prepared for me an advent calendar:it was the calendar of Ikea, (a pine with 24 drawers) and he put in every drawer some chocolate and some pieces of a puzzle.
    The puzzle was a photo of us!
    We try to do this even this year!

  7. Lyndsay

    These are all such cute holiday date ideas! Going ice skating is at the top of my list, it looks like such a sweet date activity.

    prosecco in the park

  8. hanna

    These are so much fun! –Hanna Lei

  9. marie

    I can’t wait to celebrate Christmas with my family, and it’ll be my baby#2 first Christmas! :) Christmas dinners at home are always my favorite occasions with my family. :)


  10. Chelsea

    I love this idea, I remember it from years past and want to start that as a tradition for us too! I did however buy holidays on ice and we’ve started reading it together in the evenings- it’s very funny and were enjoying the quiet time!


  11. Allegra

    Thank you for sharing these sweet ideas! Definitely going to try to do some of them with my boyfriend this holiday season :)

    Hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday!

  12. Adrianna

    Every year my boyfriend and I take the train to NYC to do something festive. The first year we went to see the tree and have dinner at Morell Wine Bar(he Asked me to be his girlfriend too), second year we went to see the rockettes, this year we are planning on bringing some family along on our adventure.

    My boyfriend can’t ice skate, but I love to. Last year we found an outdoor homemade rink and he stood in the middle of the tiny rink while I skated around him. He let me stay out there for hours even though the temperature was 12 degrees. After a while the spotlights came on, and it was the most magical thing. So even if you are not into something that your partner is, give it a try, or make an effort to join them anyway you can. It means a lot!

  13. kiely

    i love blanket forts! my fiancé and i made one a couple of weekends together and watched a movie while we had hot chocolate! that is the cutest that he proposed in a blanket fort :)

    xoxo, kiely

  14. Leanne

    Oh my gosh — duly noted! It’s so fun how Christmastime just turns us all into little kids again. The nostalgia that skating, hot chocolate and snow brings is so awesome!

    My mom and I were just in NYC and I can now vouch for how INCREDIBLE the window displays along 5th ave are. And let’s not forget Saks’ light show. Now that is a fun afternoon (and free, too)!


  15. These ideas are so cute and perfect for the holidays ♥

  16. Jen

    This is totally unrelated to this post–

    But where did you get that colorful Manhattan skyline print in your apartment? I absolutely love it and need to get one!

  17. Tammy

    Way to sweet! But that secret train car is insanely awesome! :D

  18. Every year I have the same dilemma: what do I get my husband for Christmas??… and all of these ideas are wonderful!!!

  19. emily

    so cute! i’ve been married for a year and we’re going to do your “12 dates of christmas” idea this year! so excited!

  20. Valerie

    I love your list! I am single (and plan to stay that way), but I think volunteering together is such a great team building kind of activity. I love that idea and now is sort of the season to remember those in need so it’s so appropriate. Also, thank you so much for the secret train car info! I am taking my kids to see Lion King on Broadway in a couple of months and I really want to try to eat there. It would be so cool. I feel like I have the inside scoop now :)


  21. great ideas! we always do #8 and #11 but I will add some of the others to my list! I think it’s important to have “date nights”, keeps the relationship exciting and always nice to spend quality time together :)


  22. lydia

    Being 35 weeks myself the matinee movie, large popcorn & soda sound like the perfect date for this year! thanks for sharing! xo

  23. Meredith Marshall

    You should order this album called A New Kind of Light by three girls from Canada; Meaghan Smith, Jill Barber and Rose Cousins. It’s one of my most favourite Christmas albums!


  24. Sarah

    Great ideas!! It’s so important to spend quality time as a couple, and what better time than the holidays!

    Our “tradition” is to drive around and look at Christmas lights in our favorite neighborhoods! We just moved and unfortunately don’t have babysitters, so we will plan a few other date nights at home once our girls are in bed. I’m thinking hot chocolate and a holiday movie or making gingerbread houses!

    Good luck to you these next few weeks!!! Can’t wait to “see” your new little one!!

    -Sarah http://www.thefrugalmillionaireblog.com

  25. Beautiful suggestions! They have been pinned to my “relationships” board – it is so necessary to continue to date, no matter how long you’ve been together! Would love to do some volunteering with my love.

    Warm Regards,

  26. Justine

    Awesome ideas — and stunning photo!

  27. eva

    Ice skating in New York must be the best thing ever, but I’ll have to move to NY and get a boyfriend first to do that hehe :D


  28. These are such great ideas Taza! I’ve never gone ice skating before. It’s now or never! ;) I think meeting Santa as adults sounds super fun. Definitely saving this list for future reference!


  29. I love this list! Such cute ideas.

    We live in California so my dates are a bit different, no snow or sleigh rides, but we love to bundle up, get nice take out and have a candlelit picnic on the lifeguard towers. Can’t complain there is no snow there!


  30. Kelly

    Thank you for sharing such wonderful ideas! My boyfriend and I love making forts as well, but i’m definitely thinking the CD idea is a great one :)

  31. Samantha

    What great ideas!!! These look like they’d be such a fun way to be festive this holiday season. Now…you don’t happen to have a man for me so I can put these into action, do you? hahaha :)
    ~ Samantha

  32. Andrea


    These date ideas are so great! It’d be fun to apply them in cities that are a little warmer this time of year (:

    Your posts are always so happy and creative!

    Best wishes

  33. Allie

    Go to a classy (!) lingerie & grown up toy store together – where the staff hands you a glass of champagne…
    Get massages/spa treatments together.
    Stay overnight at a posh hotel in your own city… with a view of the city lights.
    Combine all of the above.
    Catch a midnight screening of a classic movie.

  34. Great ideas! I’m from the NYC area as well. I’ll definitely give these a try this winter. Have you been to FAO Schwartz? I hear that it’s an amazing toy store to just have fun in! Thanks for sharing!


  35. Unfortunately for me, my husband isn’t into the traditional date ideas, so I have to reeeeeallly comb my brain for fun, creative, personalized ideas. (That’s what I get for marrying an artist, I guess!)

    This season, we are starting a “bookclub” together,
    throwing an X-Man themed Christmas party,
    and watching Christmas movies from our childhood every night when the baby is in bed.
    I’m also thinking of incorporating our pen pal letters from our dating days into an advent calendar for him,
    and making one of his drawn characters into a mini-plush as an ornament for our tree.

    Any other ideas out there for the indie-inclined man? ;)

  36. Kaye

    Loooove love love these tips! So chill yet perfect for the focus of quality time! My boyfriend and I are planning on seeing Christmas lights together soon! Thanks for the tips!

  37. cheyenne

    such a great idea! sadly, i’m currently living abroad and my boyfriend is back home.. but i guess i’ll just have to make it 12 dates of february then. :D
    xo, cheyenne

  38. Emma

    A suggestion for some fun Christmas music: a Capella group Straight No Chaser, especially their new single Text Me Merry Christmas. I think you’ll love it!

  39. Adrienne

    This is such a cool idea, I need to hang out with my hubby more! I am going to plan some child free dates nights :-) x

  40. ashley

    just thought i’d share this cute little diy wrapping paper video, too.

  41. Rachael

    I love how you styled that photo with the typeface. And this list is so fun. Building a similar mental one for myself in Boston.

  42. Sinead

    Love these ideas – we’ll definitely be doing a lot of this over the festive season

  43. Greta

    Our latest idea of spending fun time together – we read to each other out loud. We choose a book that we both will enjoy ( this part is not so easy :) and we sit on the sofa after our boy is down for the night and take turns reading. We love it!

  44. Tiffany

    How did you two meet?

  45. Looove your article :-) Christmas is such a great period to date your own boyfriend again! Thx for the tips!

  46. Jenna

    If you want some great Christmas tunes, check out Hawksley workman! His album ‘Almost a full moon’ is full of holiday spirit!!

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  49. Erin Morley

    Love your blog, Naomi. Just bought some darling things from Swallows Return for my niece . . . Also, I wanted to tell you for the next time you are in Paris, the original restaurant “Le Train Bleu” is at the Gare de Lyon! We’ve never had the courage to go in with a toddler and all our luggage, but it looks really fancy and fun. Merry Christmas! ~Erin