Forget dinner and a movie - try these creative activities to heat things up when it's cold outside. By Holly Corbett, REDBOOK.
Gather for a couples bowling night
Though freezing temps may make you want to hibernate, cultivating friendships with other couples can actually strengthen your own relationship, according to a study from the University of Maryland. Researchers speculate that socializing with other couples boosts marriage satisfaction in two ways: Seeing your partner interact with others allows you to learn new things about him, and observing how different duos communicate offers new insights into your relationship. To feel closer to your mate, try organizing a bowling night with other couples whose relationships you admire. Many bowling alleys are getting all souped up with DJs, sports bars, and even waiter service.
Host an in-home cooking class
The latest trend in the culinary world may be in-home cooking classes where you hire a chef to make a gourmet meal while sharing her pro cooking tips with you and your guests. It makes for a more relaxing dinner party since the pressure is off of you to whip up an amazing meal, and you can ask other couples to chip in to split the cost.
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Glide your way through the wilderness
Cross-country skiing together over snowy trails and past frozen lakes makes for a very romantic Saturday. Many cross-country ski resorts also offer ski-in, cozy lodging with fireplaces, candlelit meals, and even couple massages. Find resorts and packages near you with this directory.
Chill out at an ice bar
Ice bars are pretty much exactly what they sound like: places made of ice that offer drinks and usually feature creative ice sculptures. They're kept at low temperatures to prevent the establishments from melting, and will have you cuddling up to your husband to share body heat. The first and largest ice bar in the States is (surprisingly) in Orlando.
Have a spa day
Spas aren't only for girlfriend getaways: Almost half of all spas offer special guy-friendly treatments and the main reason guys visit spas is to zap stress (so not so different from the ladies), according to a survey by the International Spa Association. Bonus: A trip to the spa may help your love life, since less stress will most likely lead to better communication and more sex. Many spas offer midweek specials, so call one near you to see if they feature discounts on treatment packages.
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Play a part in interactive theater
While you may not be able to imagine your husband watching men wearing tights and sitting through an entire Shakespeare play, performances that blur the lines between actors and viewers are becoming all the rage for both sexes. Case in point: Sleep No More, a mostly wordless performance based on the plot of Macbeth that beckons mask-wearing attendees to follow actors through the dark rooms and corridors of an old hotel in New York City, is sold out for months. For a little something different, try checking out a murder mystery dinner theater.
Sweat it out as a duo
Working out can make for a better sex life by improving your body image - after all, feeling sexy is all about confidence. And it's no secret that doing shared activities helps you bond, so try exercising together. Instead of going out to dinner this Friday night, hit the gym for an evening sweat session. Unwind afterwards in the coed hot tub or sauna to take the chill out of a cold night.
Indulge your childlike side
Playing outside isn't only for kids, so send them to Grandma's for the night, and have a little snowy fun of your own. Bundle up with your honey, fill two thermoses with hot toddies (add spices such as cinnamon and cloves for extra heat), and bring your sleds to your local reservoir or park. Playing together can bring a feeling of joy back into your relationship, and you can thaw out together with a hot, candlelit bath once you get home.
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Do some stargazing
It may be too cold to spend the night under the stars, but if your hubbie is into astronomy or likes learning new things, check out a planetarium in your area. You'll spend a romantic evening looking at constellations and cuddling together in the dark.
Hit the (frozen) wine trail
You may think summer is the best time to visit wineries, but the winter months are actually ideal because you'll beat the crowds, score deep discounts, and have more access to vineyard owners in the tasting rooms so you can ask them questions. Check wineries near you for deals such as the Polar Pass offered at Seneca Lake in New York's Finger Lakes Region. For only $12 each, you can collect stamps on your passport at almost two dozen wineries.
For more great winter date ideas, visit Redbookmag.com!
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