It’s an elusive unicorn for most couples. Something we dream about as we gaze longingly into each other’s eyes over the screaming baby or the toddler who is tugging on the bottom of your skirt when you walk in the door.
If you are fortunate enough to have family or friends nearby who love to babysit your kids (Thanks, Mom and Mom-in-law!) or happen to schedule a high schooler months in advance, then the world becomes your oyster…at least that’s what it feels like when you walk out of the door sans children.
The hubs and I skip to the car, holding hands, giddy with our few hours of relative quiet (3 girls 6 and under are louder than I would have imagined!) and ability to move quickly from place to place. Inevitably, as soon as the car doors shut and we select our Sirius station for the drive, we turn to each other and say, normally in unison, “What do you want to do?”
Rather than wasting precious minutes of your together time, check out my list of amazing winter dates here in Central New York!
My hubs and I like to do this at least once in December. It gives us time and space to finish shopping for the kids and family while also motivating us to get our shopping done so we can sit down together for dinner afterward. We love Margaritaville and Gordon Biersch for apps and drinks, Cheesecake Factory or Cantina Laredo for dinner. It’s just a nice way to accomplish some holiday must-dos while still spending some time together. Plus, I love when the mall is decorated for the holidays. It makes the shopping part a little less daunting.
I went to Funny Bone for the first time with my girlfriends but this would be an awesome date night as well. The staff is great, the food and drinks are great, and the entertainment is great. We saw comedians that I had never even heard of and they were still hilarious! This is an easy all-in-one stop with a bottle of wine, dinner or apps, and entertainment for a very reasonable price on a snowy winter night.
We love the shows at Syracuse Stage (I think it’s the English teacher in me and the fact that the hubs lets me pick our date nights for him!). We try to go at least three times a year and Syracuse Stage always has a show playing during the cold winter months. Right now, Mary Poppins is playing through January 8th and Disgraced starts its run on January 25th. It’s a wonderful evening of entertainment and you can cap it off with drinks and dinner at Phoebe’s across the street!
If you haven’t taken the drive out to Skaneateles for this annual event, it should be at the top of your day date list. Every Saturday and Sunday afternoon from Thanksgiving until Christmas, Dickens and a cast of characters take to the streets of Skaneateles. Grab a cup of coffee at Skaneateles Bakery and walk around town while bumping into characters from Christmas past.
Looking for a romantic way to enjoy the winter wonderland that is CNY? Look no further than Highland Forest. Take a 20-minute sleigh ride every Saturday and Sunday from 11am-3:30pm. These horse-drawn rides run from December 17th to February 26th. Bundle up and snuggle up to your date as you ride through the forest in the sleigh. Even for someone who hates being cold, these rides are quick enough to prevent frostbite while reminding us all why we live here in the middle of winter.
If you’re feeling adventurous, give ice skating downtown a try. There’s nothing more magical than attempting to ice skate together after not being on skates for years! Skating runs all winter, weather permitting, until March 9th. Plus, starting in January, Wednesday nights skating is free! Even if it has been 20 years, take a chance and be prepared for lots of laughs on your learning curve with your honey.
- Rogue One at the Movie Tavern
This one is for my hubs! He’s been counting the days until the release of Rogue One since last Christmas. If you’re a good significant other, like me, you will let your significant other choose the movie for your date night. It won’t even bother you to see the movie of their choice (I’m trying to love the Star Wars movies as much as he does, I really am) at the Movie Tavern. This is THE way to see a movie. The seats are amazing and I love the fact that my dinner and drinks are brought right to me as I recline and watch in comfort. I don’t think we will ever go to another movie theater again.
- Dining Week
The Downtown Committee of Syracuse hasn’t released the list of restaurants or the dates for 2017 yet, but typically Dining Week takes place for two full weeks in February (Check out last year’s list here). We love it because it gives us a chance to check out restaurants we normally wouldn’t check out without a little incentive. It’s a terrific way to check out all the restaurants downtown has to offer without the price tag that many of those restaurants have the rest of the year. We love trying new menus and always find a new favorite place to eat during dining week (Last year, our favorite was Prime)!
- Syracuse Basketball or Syracuse Crunch games
Some of our favorite date nights involve thousands of our closest friends as we cheer on our hometown teams. While the walk up to the Dome might be enough to make me stay home, I bundle up with the hubs and make the trek to watch a game at least once every winter. We’ve never been disappointed with the excitement or entertainment that our teams provide. It’s always fun to scream our faces off, especially in close or big games! If you’ve never been to a basketball game (men’s or women’s) or a hockey game, do your date night a favor and check it out!
- Stay Home
I know it’s a bit cliche but my favorite winter date nights come after we put the girls to bed, light a fire in our fireplace, and hunker down on the couch with some takeout and a glass of wine. We searched high and low for a house that had a fireplace (that was one of the highest criteria on our list!) and we put it to good use in the winter. Some nights, it is too cold, too snowy, too wintery outside to brave the elements and those nights we enjoy the CNY winter from inside. We like to toss a log on the fire and watch our DVR shows every once in awhile. It’s the perfect reprieve during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season as well as reminding me of my favorite part of winter.