Are you and your partner looking for some low-cost ways to beat the cold this winter? Well, you are in luck! Read on to find some amazing ideas for cheap winter fun for couples. Have a great time this winter without breaking the bank!
Cheap Winter Fun for Couples
I hate winter. In fact, I moved to Los Angeles almost 13 years ago from Chicago because I hated being cold. Unfortunately, the cheapest places in the US also experience winter(is that a geoarbitrage win? I haven’t decided yet), so here I am, gearing up for my first full winter in 13 years.
But it doesn’t have to be all that bad. My boyfriend and I are going to try really hard to not be miserable this winter. To that end, I’ve researched all the ideas on cheap winter fun for couples. Now my boyfriend and l will have some things to do to keep us engaged this winter. Hopefully, you can find some ways to have fun with your sweetie from this list too!
What Can I do in the Winter with No Money?
I get it, sometimes cheap winter fun for couples isn’t cheap enough. We need some free winter fun ideas! So, let’s talk about some of the free things you can do in winter. These are the things you can do even if you have no money or are going for a no-spend month. Here are my top five ideas for free winter fun(assuming you already have some of the supplies of course)!
When I was a kid, my absolute favorite winter activity was sledding. There was a park near our house with a giant hill that all the neighborhood kids flocked to with the first snow. We’d spend hours sledding down the hill and hauling our sleds back up it. You had to be careful to not get hit by other sledders on the trek up!
Sledding isn’t just for kids though. Grab your partner and your sled and head to the nearest hill once the snow starts falling! Embrace your inner child and enjoy the exhilaration of racing down the hill bundled up with your partner. Then, you can head home and snuggle up with a delicious cup of hot cocoa.
Another free way to have a great time this winter is to have a movie marathon. Pop some popcorn and snuggle up with your sweetie and your favorite streaming service – most of them have a variety of movies to choose from.
The best choices are the terrible B movies, which you can find pretty much anywhere. It’s a great bonding experience to sit together and make fun of the terrible acting and storylines of straight-to-cable movies. Mystery Science Theater anyone? And who knows, you may even find a gem in the bunch!
If you don’t have cable or a streaming service, you can also generally rent DVDs from your local library. The selection might be rather sparse, but hey, it’s better than no movies.
Ok, you probably won’t find me out hiking in the winter. I don’t like cold, remember? But I know some crazy people, and some of them think that winter hiking is amazing. I’m sure the scenery is beautiful and totally different than the spring and the summer, but braving the elements just isn’t worth it to me.
That doesn’t mean it isn’t right for you though! If you’re an outdoorsy person who actually likes the cold, it’s definitely worth a shot. Just make sure you wear the right boots and bring a jacket!
One of my absolute favorite things to do with my boyfriend is stay in for a game night. Usually, we play a video game (either Zelda, Mario, or some Skyrim – but pick your poison). When we play a single-player game, we switch off and watch each other play – helping out as we can. It’s such a good time.
Game night isn’t limited to video games though. If that’s not your thing, you can always play regular board games, card games, or put together a puzzle. Everyone has a few of those laying around the house, right?
Playing games together is a great way to engage with each other and bond. It’s much better than just staring blankly at the TV screen all night (though that can be fun too!).
Browse a Christmas Market
My favorite thing about winter is the festive holiday season. Although I hate the cold, I did miss the feeling you get around a certain holiday, and a lot of that has to do with the weather. It never felt like Halloween or Christmas season in Los Angeles. It’s hard to feel “Christmas-y” when it’s 80 degrees and sunny.
One of the free festive things you can do this winter with your honey is browse a traditional Christmas market. They used to be more of a European thing(so jealous!) but they’ve been popping up all over the United States.
Christmas markets are cute little pop-ups where people sell crafts, decorations, and gifts. They are usually filled with festive Christmas lights and décor. It’s fun to just walk around, see what people are crafting, and get a good feel for the season. They usually smell like Christmas too! Most Christmas markets pop in vacant lots or squares, so it’s free to get in and walk around, taking in the sights and sounds of the holiday.
Cheap Winter Fun for Couples
There are tons of other ideas for cheap winter fun for couples that cost just a tiny bit of money. Those free activities assume that you already have some games, movies, or even a sled at home (most people do have these things, right?). And you may already have some of the materials for the cheap winter fun for couples’ ideas, so if you do, you’re a step closer to doing it for free!
I seriously just learned about the wonders of scrapbooking. It was my boyfriend’s idea to start a relationship scrapbook, and what a great idea it was! We grabbed all of our ticket stubs and random junk we collected from the various places we’ve been and got to work!
Unfortunately, that wasn’t quite enough and we soon realized we didn’t have any of the materials needed for scrapbooking. A trip to Michael’s saved the day (even though it killed my No Spend September).
We got an awesome photo album, some scrapbook paper, glue sticks, fancy pens, decorative stickers, and everything else we’d need to make the most epic relationship scrapbook ever! It only cost us around fifty bucks, and we will always have something engaging to do on a cold winter’s night.
We also went to Walgreens and got a few photos developed. What’s the point of a relationship scrapbook if it doesn’t have pictures of us in it doing relationship things, right? Scrapbooking has been our go-to activity for cozy winter nights when we don’t want to brave the cold.
Make a Gingerbread House
There’s nothing more fun than goofing around in the kitchen together. And building a gingerbread house is a great option. You get to be creative and it doesn’t matter if it turns out terribly (in fact, sometimes that’s even better!).
Pretty much every store will have the standard gingerbread house decorating kit around the holidays, but if you don’t want to brave the elements to get one you can always order on Amazon. They also have fun options, like Mario castle kits and Disney kits, so you can get creative before you even start!
Have a Paint Night
To be fair, we have a paint night every Friday night, regardless of the season. But we both love art, so it makes sense. Even if you aren’t super into art, painting is a ton of fun. And it doesn’t cost that much to get started! All you need is a canvas, a few brushes, and a few colors. You can get that all at Michaels for less than 30 bucks.
I recommend getting Basics acrylics – they are easy to use, easy to clean up, and non-toxic. They are also a decent enough brand that you don’t need to put a thousand layers or wait hours for one layer to dry. That means one night should be enough to get a great masterpiece going!
When you have a paint night together as a couple, you can either work on the same canvas together or do your own paintings. You can use drawings or sketches to paint a real thing or just throw some paint on the canvas and see what happens (I do love abstract!). There are so many options that will suit everyone’s level of creativity. It’s a fun activity that you can do together that won’t cost a ton of money. And the paints should last you for quite a few paint nights, which makes the cost per night even lower.
Some people will say that you can ice skate for free at local lakes and ponds, but that is terrifying to me and I’d never recommend it. I’d rather be safe and pay to go to a skating rink.
The good news is that skating rinks are fairly inexpensive. You have to pay an admissions fee and a rental fee for the skates (unless you have your own, but who does?), but unless you are skating at Rockefeller Square or someplace similar, it’s fairly cheap. It’s a great way to get outside and be active in the winter without breaking the bank.
Go to a Museum
A final great option for cheap winter fun for couples is spending a day at a museum. Some museums do get pricey(I just looked up tickets for the MET – twenty-five bucks apiece!), but most museums are more reasonably priced, especially in smaller cities.
Lots of smaller cities also have really random museums – glass museums, train museums, local history museums, and even potato museums depending on where you live. These museums tend to be a lot cheaper, and some even offer free admission on certain days. Check your local papers for museum ideas near you.
Where Should I go on a Date in the Winter?
Ok, so I know what you really want to know the answer to. Where should you take your partner on a date this winter that isn’t going to break the bank? Lots of the ideas on this list assume that you are close enough for a cozy night in, but what if you are looking for cheap first date ideas for the winter?
There are a few things on this list that fit the bill. The Christmas Market would be a wonderful place for a first or second day. You walk around, holding hands, maybe drinking some hot cocoa, taking in the sights and sounds of the season. It can be incredibly romantic.
Another great date idea is ice skating. It’s fairly inexpensive, and you get to have fun interacting with each other and keeping each other from falling. It’s a great excuse to get close! I definitely prefer dates that keep you active, over the traditional dinner and a movie date. How is quietly sitting next to someone for a few hours going to help you get to know them? And going to the movies is getting so expensive!
The last idea on this list that would make a great first or second date activity is going to a museum. You can learn some things while getting to know each other. Doesn’t that sound great?
Cozy Winter Activities for Couples
I like to stay warm, so I’ll most likely stick to the cozy ideas on this list to have a good time this winter, though I’ll probably brave the elements to hit up a Christmas market or two. Hopefully, this list gave you some awesome cheap winter fun for couples ideas, so you and your partner can have a great time this winter.
If there’s something awesome you do every winter that didn’t make this list, let me know in the comments!
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.