Well-orchestrated Christmas date ideas can be the perfect opportunity to sprinkle some fun and festive sparkle over your relationship, particularly at a time when other priorities can easily take over.
Whether you’ve been together a few months, years, or decades, the holidays are a great time for couples to get closer, reflect on the previous year, and have real conversations — and a Christmas date is the perfect occasion.
Research shows that couples who make quality time to date each other and try new things together, build up fun memory banks and report higher levels of relationship satisfaction overall.
Feeling inspired? Here are 40 fun holiday date ideas that are guaranteed to make the end of the year unforgettable.
For some festive sparkle quite literally on your doorstep, go star gazing. Put away your phones, take a mindful walk beneath the stars (or simply sit back in a recliner in your backyard), and really connect with each other and nature.
Christmas is a great time to try it — it’s simple, it’s unlocked; and with a flask of hot chocolate to keep you warm on chilly nights, it’ll be love at frost sight.
Turn up the heat this Christmas date night by making festive, fireside s’mores. You don’t need to head into the wilderness either, simply snuggle up by an indoor fire or marshmallow burner, light a fire pit in the backyard, or bring a disposable BBQ to the beach.
For a festive twist, grab your favorite Christmas cookies, and sticks for marshmallows, and get sticky.
Mistle-toast to the holiday season by preparing an indulgent indoor picnic with fine festive foods and fizz. Put out blankets and pillows, light some candles, and use paper plates so you don’t have to worry about washing up.
Unique and unexpected novel activities add excitement and passion to your relationship, and this one can be enjoyed from the comfort of your living room.
Christmas isn’t an easy period for everyone, and sometimes it's important to take a step back from everything and clear your head.
“This year’s Christmas might be quite fraught, anxious-making, or difficult,” says Anjula Mutanda, a couple therapist and President for Relate.
“Walking side-by-side can offer up interesting conversations; in fact, even just walking and holding hands or simply ‘being’ together will create bonding moments,” she says. Plus, research shows that walking among the trees reduces cortisol, the stress hormone, and boosts the immune system through breathing in the natural oils that trees emit.
For a Christmas date night idea you’ll never fir-get, head out to a Christmas tree farm to embrace the festive magic, create memories, and get playful.
Even if you have your tree already, breathe in the smells of nature, take a Christmas couple selfie, and try a festive tipple if they have one on offer.
No matter if your balance is off or not, taking a trip to the skating rink is one of the best Christmas activities for couples!
Even if you have to cling to your significant other the whole time, Christmas time is the time to get closer! Just make sure your partner has a firm grip on that ice rink to keep you upright and away from any injuries.
If you’re lucky enough to live in an area that gets snowfall every year, this date idea is for you!
Grab your sled and head to the nearest slopes, with your partner acting as your guide down the snowy hills. Or, if you want to take a leaf out of Santa’s books, see if your town organizes any festive sleigh rides (or just use your imagination to create your own!)
This is another date idea dedicated to those in the cooler climates!
After a fresh fall of snow, it’s the perfect time to create your very own Frosty the Snowman. Or, if you’re feeling competitive, challenge your partner to a snowman-building contest.
Don’t forget to dress him up with your favorite scarf, but gloves might be tough!
Snow creates opportunities for a million different activities, even if it’s only donning your favorite cozy outfit!
If you’re not afraid of getting cold, take the chance to create a perfect row of snow angels with your partner. Or, if you’re feeling more devilish, be the first one to throw a snowball when they’re not looking! We might have a full snowball fight on our hands after long.
Ding dong merrily on high with a Christmas singalong. If you don't have a karaoke set or app, simply create a playlist of your favorite versions of the all-time classic Christmas music, find the lyrics, and sing along.
This is a playful thing to do and will allow you both to enjoy the magic of the festive season, create memories, and smile, laugh, and warble together.
Christmas is a wonderful time to get creative, and what could possibly be more festive than decorating a gingerbread house together? “Working together on a common goal both helps to build trust in a relationship and also to pushes you to deliver, says couple therapist, Pam Custers.
“This Christmas date idea is also an opportunity to teach each other new skills. If one of you is good at baking while the other knows a little thing or two about decorating with icing, you can share your knowledge, so you’ll make the perfect team.”
If you’ve got a taste for a festive ‘crafternoon’, or simply fancy a bit of DIY, you can make or decorate a Christmas tree ornament together. It’s a fun and creative activity that’s guaranteed to get you in the sparkly spirit, but will also make you smile each year you dig them out again.
Lay out plain baubles, paints, sequins, glue, and decorating supplies and get messy — and if you’re more into the natural look, go for a festive forage in the woods the weekend before for pine cones, holly, and berries.
What’s your favorite holiday movie that you just HAVE to watch during the festive season?
Everyone has their favorite Christmas movies that they like to binge-watch every year! Whether you’re in love with ‘The Holiday’ or it doesn’t feel like Christmas without ‘Love Actually’ on the television, curate your perfect watch list for movie night with your partner to get you in the holiday spirit.
“Christmas is a great time to snuggle up on the sofa together and relax together amid the holiday rush — and with a new Christmas movie being released by the day, it’s the perfect occasion,” says Dr. Jacqui Gabb, Professor of Sociology and Intimacy at Open University, and Chief Relationships Office at Paired.
“In my ‘Enduring Love?’ study, we found that TV time created deeper bonds between some couples, helped them build shared memories, and provided lasting biographical anchors over the course of their relationship. So plan a Christmas marathon, set the scene with sweets, treats, and a bottle of something bubbly, then switch on Netflix... and chill.”
To make sure you get all your favorites in, you could even write out a Christmas movie schedule, saving your favorite for Christmas Eve!
“For a fun Christmas Eve date idea, agree to have a ‘relationship stocking’ each this year that can be hung on your bedside for Christmas morning,” says couple therapist, Martin Gill.
“Inside it, each partner places either a positive memory, a special word, or a gift or object, that recognizes and affirms the specialness of your love. Whilst still in bed, (or returning to bed to unpack these stockings) share your thoughts and feelings about what you have found. Affirmations like these are a way of strengthening your relationship and letting your partner know that they matter to you, and are used in a range of therapies from CBT to Psychodrama.”
“The holiday season is a time for family and traditions spanning multiple religions and cultures, old and new. One great way to bring them together? Food!” says Dr. Gabb.
No matter who is the designated chef for Christmas, having a cook-off can still be a super fun activity! You may even take the crown for the head chef role if you win!
“This is a good way to revisit the rituals and traditions from your childhood and heritage and turn them into a Christmas date. Decide on your favorite Christmas recipes and cook them up together. This can be a lovely way to share memories that are important to you, and to teach each other something new — about food and about you. Plus cooking a meal with your partner can bring you closer together emotionally, mentally, and physically. It can even be sensual and sexy.”
Christmas is not a time to scrimp on the scrapbooking! With all the festivities of this time of the year, you’re not going to want to miss a single magical moment.
"Create an album to document your favorite couple holiday moments from this year and beyond,” says couple and family therapist, Dr. Hannah Sherberksy.
“You can roll it out every year and enjoy the combination of looking back and looking forward. Couples who spend time fondly reflecting on their relationship history learn to appreciate their togetherness, special bond, and loving feelings, so this will provide a great point of connection during the busy festive season."
Get into the Christmas spirit (get it?) by creating a special cocktail to embrace the holiday season as a couple. Chat about the ingredients you think would make up your special tipple and have fun mixing and matching.
Even if you don’t come up with the *best* cocktails in the world, at least you’ll have fun — and who knows, you might come up with a special recipe to roll out next year.
Haven’t got around to sending off a Christmas card yet? Now’s the time.
Get out the craft supplies and make each other a sentimental design they can display proudly on their desk or bedside table this season. To get in the festive spirit, make sure you don your ugly sweater and get those festive juices flowing.
The holiday season is a notoriously busy period, filled with overdue festive catch-ups and last-minute preparations for the big day. Amongst all the hustle and bustle, winter date ideas can sometimes slip through the cracks.
However, it’s important to make time for your partner, and why not make that extra effort? Recreating your first date can be super fun, with the festive spirit adding an extra allure to your original date plans!
“Whether it be the restaurant, movie, food, or place where you first met, recreate your first date,” says Dr. Terri Orbuch, Professor of Sociology at Oakland University.
“These activities and memories hold a special place in your heart because it’s what brought you together — you could even put a holiday season spin on it with a festive menu or holiday soundtrack. Spending time with your partner in this way shows you appreciate each other because it says — even through all the stress and business of the holidays — ‘I want to take time to recognize and spend time with you, my partner’.”
Even if you didn’t meet around the Christmas period, adding some mistletoe is never a bad idea!
Speaking of traditions, agree to recreate your Christmas date every year to create some memories that you can pass on to your kids!
“It doesn’t have to be fancy,” says dating coach, Dr. Duana Welch.
“It could just be having hot cocoa in front of the fire every night before you get into bed for the week of Christmas, for example. It could be going to a romantic restaurant on New Year’s Eve, reviewing the year together, and thanking one another for what you each bring to your life together. The repetition will underscore your connection, strengthen your bond, and highlight that the two of you belong together."
With all of these festive activities, it’s easy for your calendar to fill up pretty quickly — meaning that you might miss out on some of your favorite traditions.
Before the Christmas season kicks off, sit down with your partner and create a bucket list of all the things you want to do over the festive period. From stuffing your face with Christmas pudding to a trip to the Christmas tree farm, map out all your plans so that you don’t miss a thing.
And if you can’t squeeze it all in? Santa is still going to visit next year!
Winter is hot chocolate’s time to sign!
Head out with your partner on a quest for the perfect cup of cocoa by hitting up all your local coffee shops. Who is the most generous with the marshmallows? Or who pours the most delicious mocha?
Grab a cup and get cozy with your partner, letting your sweet tooth shine!
Does the silly season often get in the way of your couple connection at this time of year? This date night idea is for you. Set aside a night in December to sit down together with your favorite cuppa, a pen, and cute stationery to write a love letter to each other.
If you need any inspiration for what to write, let the following questions prompt you.
What are you grateful to your partner for this year?
What do you love most about your partner at this time of year?
What's going to be a memory you treasure from this year?
Swap your letters during the week before Christmas. Who knows, perhaps this is the start of a new Christmas tradition?
The festive tradition of Christmas caroling may be rarer these days, but the magic of this tradition can certainly not wear off!
While they aren’t often seen walking the streets, there are still lots of places you can go to get your fix of Christmas carols. Whether you want to listen to them by candlelight, or in the theatre, these wholesome tunes are guaranteed to put you in the mood.
There are also no rules against joining in!
Everyone loves a night out at the ballet, especially during the festive season.
Whether it’s The Nutcracker or another festive rendition of a classic Christmas tale, the ballet is always a spectacle worth signing up for. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to don your festive sparkles and head out for a glamorous night with your loved one, ending the night with a Christmas cuddle just for luck.
Christmas and party season go hand-in-hand, so it’s probably time to brush up on your dancing skills!
“Taking any class together, where the activity is new and novel to both you and your partner is great for your relationship,” says Orbuch.
“There are even virtual classes available on anything from jazz to salsa. Doing new and novel activities with your partner will create passion and excitement in your relationship, and with dancing, you also add a touch (which physically bonds you).”
Can’t get away this Christmas? There are plenty of virtual activities online that’ll help you escape to a far-off land from the comfort of your sofa.
Head to Airbnb Experiences where you will find everything from Portuguese sangria-tasting Christmas parties and Christmas wreath-making classes, to yuletide walking tours. All you need to do is pick a date.
Christmas can be the most amazing time of year, and even though home is where the heart is, it can be fun to explore other cultures during the festive season!
Why not switch things up this year and chase the sun for a Christmas by the beach? Or if you’re sick of your annual (but futile) wait for snowflakes, then take a quest to the snowy slopes to soak in the joys of a white Christmas!
Christmas card photoshoots are very important to some families, and even though they might seem cringy, they are super fun if you get into them!
Whether you want to go all out and dress up as elves, or prefer to keep things more casual, doing an annual photoshoot is certainly a fun tradition. If you’re proud of your elf impression, why not send out the photos as your Christmas card? Or you can always create wrapping paper from your favorite images…
For a true taste of Christmas, track down a local Christmas food market. Research shows that couples who explore new places and activities are much more likely to be satisfied in their relationship.
Here’s an opportunity to rediscover your local area in a whole new (Christmas) light. Be brave and try a Christmas dish or dessert you've never tasted before and relish breaking out of your comfort zone.
No matter the time of year, it’s important to give back to your community. Choosing to volunteer with your partner is a great to bond over the Christmas period, while also leaving a positive impact this festive season.
“Doing something ‘good’ together (that will make a difference to others) is not your typical holiday date idea, but your relationship will thank you for it, believe me,” says Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington.
“Wrap packages for a food drive or a children's hospital and be part of a visit that delivers them to these deserving people. Then go out afterward for hot chocolate and feel good that you are mutually helping the world be a bit better of a place to live in. That sense of joint goodness and joint purpose brings mutual respect — which every relationship needs.”
“My favorite romantic Christmas date idea is to go and look at the lights together,” says Judith Lask, couple and family therapist.
“Getting out into the fresh air is good for your mood and well-being, and research shows that when we are in a good mood, we are more successful partners. Who can feel grumpy and surrounded by beautiful lights?!”
Make sure to check out when the Christmas lights are being turned on in your town, as there’s always a great buzz at these events — putting you in the Christmas spirit from the start of the season!
Plan a scavenger hunt that takes your partner around your hometown or city with a Christmas twist.
Create clues based on places and things you've done during your relationship, or that mark meaningful moments of Christmases past. As well as a lot of festive fun, this date is a chance to reminisce and recreate some of your favorite memories.
Where should you make your final stop? Our vote is to set up some mistletoe, or even set up some festive surprises in the bedroom. After all, this season is all about sugar, SPICE, and all things nice.
Want to stay cozy and closer to home? Organize a Christmas treasure hunt around the house.
Hide Christmas goodies such as candy canes or mini chocolates (gold, frankincense, and myrrh, optional) in secret spots for each other, and have fun collecting a bag of treats to both enjoy over the festive season.
The early days of dating are a magical period for any couple! Even though the glow of the honeymoon period may have worn off, Christmas is the perfect time to bring all those fluttery feelings back to the fore!
“Introduce some romance from days gone by, ice skating in the park, or even get a ride in a horse-driven sleigh in the snow — trust me, this can be done, they even do it in Sun Valley during the winter,” says Dr. Schwartz.
“Whatever you choose, bring brandy and blankets and feel like you are part of a 1940s movie. The coziness and creativity of this date are going to increase your oxytocin — the bliss hormone. It will definitely create a loving feeling.”
Embrace the magic of a childhood Christmas by heading out to your local grotto for a picture with the main man.
The whole experience is about introducing lightness to your relationship, and at the same time is likely to trigger past memories and create the opportunity to have the kind of conversations that nurture understanding and intimacy.
This is all good for your mood and well-being, and research shows when we are in a good mood, we are more successful partners.
Try this Christmas date idea for size. Head out for a day of Christmas sweater hunting in your local thrift store — the funnier the jumper, the better.
Playfulness and a sense of humor are important components of a successful relationship, and this date is sure to amuse.
No luck finding a Christmas jumper for your loved one? Decorate your own. Sew on pom poms, festive sequins, even Rudolph’s red nose to an old sweater. The winner of the best jumper gets a kiss.
Planning what to get your partner for Christmas can be very overwhelming, but getting into the spirit of Santa can also be very rewarding.
If you’re worried your partner will go overboard, you can always set budgets for your Christmas spending or even try and arrange Secret Santa if you have a bigger family. Agree on your terms early on in the season, so there is no last-minute shopping stress to ruin the mood!
Christmas can stir up a lot of memories from your childhood. While many couples are lucky to have come from loving households, where Santa always made a visit, it’s not always so easy on everyone.
Take the time to chat about your Christmas memories from when you were a child, and if your partner never felt enthused by this season — it’s never too late!
Introduce your partner to all your own holiday traditions, and they can show you theirs. By taking the time to reminisce on the past, you can put things in place for a celebratory future.
Decorating the tree may seem simple, but it’s a great opportunity for you and your partner to bond — even if you have different creative visions for the ornaments!
If you’re looking for another tradition, try collecting a Christmas ornament for every year that you’re together. Before you know it you’ll have a Christmas tree of memories to look at every year, as well as something special to pass down to the next generation.