‘Tis the season for fireside cuddles, hot chocolate and hand-holding. As the weather outside gets colder, it’s the perfect time to heat things up with your significant other by celebrating the holidays with festive dates you can plan right here on Long Island. Whether you prefer a cozy night in or a chilly outdoor adventure, here’s a list of winter date ideas that will bring some holiday cheer to your relationship this season.
Visit “Magic of Lights” at Jones Beach West End
From Nov. 16 to Dec. 30, you can take an evening drive through the holiday lights spectacular at Jones Beach, kicking off on Bay Parkway, Point Lookout. The route is brought to life Monday through Thursday from dusk until 10 p.m., and Friday-Sunday from dusk until 11 p.m. You and your special someone can enjoy more than a mile of festive and colorful light displays and animations from the comfort of your car, with a hot chocolate pitstop along the way. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased at the gate or at www.holidaylights.jonesbeach.com.
Go Ice Skating
Though it may sound cliché, ice skating is a great way to take advantage of the cold weather and show off your romantic side. What could be better than holding hands with the one you love and gliding underneath the stars, surrounded by nature’s frozen beauty? And there’s no need to make the trip out to Rockefeller Center when there are plenty of scenic ice skating opportunities here on Long Island, like at Christopher Morley Park Ice Rink in Roslyn and the Arches at Tanger Outlet in Deer Park.
See The Nutcracker or a Hockey Game
Looking for a seasonal date that doubles as a gift? Invest in a pair of tickets to see a holiday performance, like Ballet Long Island’s rendition of “The Nutcracker” or an Islanders hockey game at the Nassau Coliseum. Nothing says “I love you” like a shared memorable experience (and pricey fan food).
A Festive Night In: Cookie Decorating and Holiday Movie Marathon
Not every date night requires expensive outings or big spectacles- sometimes, the most meaningful moments spent with loved ones can take place whilst cuddled up on your very own couch. Bake and decorate some festive cookies and settle in front of the TV for an all-night movie marathon complete with all of your favorite holiday classics. If you’re feeling extra creative, try decorating a gingerbread house together.
Visit the Montauk Lighthouse
New York’s oldest lighthouse, well-known for its breathtaking ocean views, is a must-see if you’re looking to take a romantic sightseeing day trip. During the holiday season, the iconic landmark is adorned in thousands of dazzling lights that make the view even more impressive. Surprise your significant other with a winter sunset on the eastern pinnacle of Long Island any time after the official lighting of the lighthouse, which will occur on Nov. 24 at 4 p.m.
Customize Glass Ornaments/Paint Holiday Plates
If you’re looking for a cute and cozy way to get out of the cold on a snowy afternoon, consider planning a pottery date. There are a handful of pottery painting spots scattered throughout the Island that offer exclusive holiday specials. For instance, “Paint a Piece” pottery, located at 6126 Jericho Turnpike in Commack, allows you to build your own holiday ornament for $18 using glass pieces that are fused together to form a unique and long-lasting creation. You could also pop into “Once Upon a Dish” at 659 Franklin Ave., Garden City to paint holiday plates that you can save for a romantic at home dinner date.
One of the quickest ways to your loved one’s heart is through working alongside them to touch the hearts of others. Volunteering together will not only bring some holiday spirit to those in need, but will be remembered as a meaningful moment in your relationship that you can turn into a yearly tradition. There are countless volunteer opportunities throughout the island, like sorting toys at the Toys for Tots warehouse in Amityville or helping prepare a hot meal at the Mary Brennan INN Soup Kitchen in Hempstead.
Hike in the Snow
If you’re the outdoorsy type, bundle up and embrace the snow with a chilly adventure in the woods. This can double as a great photo opportunity for any couple looking for a cute winter selfie to display on the mantle. A handful of scenic hiking trails can be found at Garvies Point in Glen Cove or Wildwood State Park in Wading River. Put on your boots now, because the snow will be melting before you know it.