I'm trying to keep these ideas away from the television and the ice-rink. As fun as those are, they're probably amongst the first ideas that come to mind when thinking of cheap winter activities. What I'm aiming to do in this article is to think of something new for us all to do. I apologise if you've done all of these before and invite you to comment below about your newest ideas - we're all ears (and eyes) here at WeekendNotes.
1. Cook as a couple
Cosy, heart-warming food is a must have for winter. If you cook frequently, this particular activity might not seem as special to you. However, when was the last time you made your sweetie's absolute favourite dish in the world? Better yet, when was the last time they made your favourite dish for you? Why not give that a go. If you don't know how to cook, don't sweat it. Don't be afraid. Take a cooking class together and enjoy the fruits of your labour. It'll save you oodles of money in the long-run and can give you a large amount of variety for less. You could also try out an indoor picnic if you're game and food prep is often very easy for picnics, depending on how simple you want to go.
I didn't say anything about staying away from the computer, did I now? Although, I actually meant board games, chess and other game that can require two players. Alcohol not compulsory but a nice beer can sure make a games night fun or funny.
3. Visit a local indoor heated spa or pool
If you don't know how to swim, don't fret, because you might be able to find a local pool with a spa in it. These are fantastic and are often very cheap, with entry being just a few dollars. I can't think of a nicer way to warm up during winter than sitting in a jacuzzi. It's also fairly romantic and definitely relaxing. For those of you who get too warm and you know how to swim, you can do a few laps in the pool. An added bonus of public pool facilities is that many of them have a sauna, which will definitely melt the cold of winter away.
If you go to the observatory, make sure you dress quite warmly as it can get cold at night. Seeing the stars together is pretty romantic, so I highly recommend it. If you've already done that, why not visit a local museum? Often, these are government run and incredibly inexpensive. One I loved in Sydney was the Justice and Police Museum.
5. Hot chocolate & doughnuts on the water
Make a thermos of delicious hot chocolate. In addition to the marshmallows which you want to pack in order to add to the deliciousness, why not bake or buy a doughnut each? If you don't like doughnuts, you can choose any other sweet thing (or just stick to the hot chocolate). Catch a ferry to a random location with a waterfront, sit down and enjoy the sweet sensation of the chocolatey warmth as you soak up the picturesque view. Can anything actually be better than that? If you're watching your weight, you can always take some hot tea (no sugar) and a protein ball.
6. Do some light exercise together, it's better in the winter
Whether you just go for a winter stroll (which is completely free by the way), or find a cheap deal on bowling or mini golf on a coupon site; lightly exercising together is not only productive in terms of getting your summer bod ready, but it's also far less annoying and hot. The air is denser, so it's not as tiring and you can work off the calories you gained from your hot chocolate and doughnuts on the water. It's also a great time to start the habit.
7. Brunch picnic at the beach
This activity should be done in the daytime to take advantage of the sun. The warmest part of the day is technically just on or before brunch (assuming that you're not one of those people who considers 6am a sleep-in, you guys will be admired by the rest of us forever). This can be a super cute activity if you make some delicious brunch food in the morning and take it to the beach in a little basket along with a rug and some blankets.
Dress up and go for gold. There are so many boutique little places to dance together in Australia. Whether it's a cheeky jazz bar or a spicy salsa club, it's a great way to stay active and keep warm in the winter. It can also prove to be a romantic date night and a chance to show off your moves. If you have two left feet, it can be both a challenge and a way to have a laugh. Keep an eye out for places that have little to no cover charge, they're out there.
9. Learn something together
Many universities often give free lectures and you can search for them online. In fact, you can find many great free and cheap public lectures on WeekendNotes. Just pick your city, find the category and pick whichever lecture you like. Alternatively, if you don't feel like leaving the comfort of your home, why not watch a youtube video and make something together? Try using some recyclable objects in your home or even something like paper for origami. There's plenty of material out there and it can be hours of fun.
If you've had your fun and wish to help those that are less fortunate than you, have you considered donating some of your time? It's great if you can be a skilled volunteer. Again, WeekendNotes has loads of volunteering ideas for you. A highly rewarding experience, it can bring you closer together and provide you with an extra layer of meaning in your life. If eligible, you could also consider a blood donation. I do it as often as I can.
I hope that you liked my list of fun and frugal winter date ideas. If you're not trying to save money, you could always book a holiday to somewhere with a tropical climate. Speaking of which, if you save and pre-book one of those for next year's winter, getting in early will save you from having to think about it this time next year. Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your winter.