At first blush, or in this case, snowflake, winter can pose a challenge to the Utah dating scene. Dinner and the theater is a beloved classic staple, but Utahns like to go above and beyond when it comes to spending time with that special someone, particularly when it involves hot chocolate and a crackling fire to set the mood. Fortunately, Utah has plenty to offer both inside and out, all year long.
Our readers sound off on some of their favorite winter dating activities.
“I have been snowboarding most of my adult life. Nothing excites me more than to know a girl I am dating is a snowboarder as well. There is something magical about letting a relationship flourish while doing something you love. When it is a bluebird day, right after a snowstorm, and the trees are all white, the snow is soft, and the girl sitting next to me on the chairlift has my heart. Something about that draws you together in a way that nothing else does. Strapping on the bindings, then letting the boards run.
“Laughing, charging down the mountain, and hitting every little bump and rise with more excitement than usual: other dates really can’t compete with that. That sort of connection lasts a lifetime; sharing those moments with someone you are dating makes the connection that much stronger. Then at the bottom, you get back on the chair lift, talk about how exciting the run is and laugh. Then she puts her head on your shoulder and snuggles up. You never want those moments to end. But they eventually do, then you have to go back to the mountain, and you always find that magic again. To me, that is a romantic winter date.” Charlie Owen
“I like sledding. There’s an awesome hill right behind the school up the street from us. When I’m down in Provo I like to go to Rock Creek Park, which is just north of the Provo temple.” Chris Esseltine
“Tubing at Soldier Hollow. You can learn from a person so quickly. Anyone can give a ‘good impression’ when doing something easy like dinner for an hour. However, put them in normal life situations and watch how they react or treat people. Can they be happy and fun doing simple things?” Lee Weech
“My second date with my husband was ice skating at Peaks Ice Arena in Provo. Neither of us had been on skates for quite a while, like years. We ‘had to’ hold hands and we laughed so much. The atmosphere was romantic and we had hot chocolate afterward. It was pretty nearly perfect!” Holly King
“My favorite? Horse and carriage rides! A thermos of hot chocolate and you’re ready to go. They supply the blankets …. Snuggle ‘n enjoy! We went through a McDonald’s drive-thru on one of our rides. Fun! Ridiculous! But a blast!” Susan Delong
“If it is winter, I am thinking something inside. I am NOOOOO fun when I’m cold. My ideal date would be an indoor shooting range, then sushi, then chocolate by a nice warm fire.” Krista McClure
“Snowmobiling then some hot chocolate by the fire. Daniels summit is an awesome place to snowmobile.” Brett Miller
“I would love to take a girl snowshoeing. It’s something that I’ve never done and it would be nice to go with someone, and be able to go hiking in that sense and chat. Afterwards, we could go and have a nice meal near some fire and just get to know each other.” Julio Camacho
“Paint Nite: 2hrs long, can be for beginners who know nothing about painting (like myself). You can usually order food there, and visit while doing a fun and different activity.” Tori Richins Boseman
“Ice fishing is not an easy date and takes some planning, but it allows you to be one with nature and go out to catch something and make it for dinner. As long as both are well dressed on a sunny day, even in 0 degree weather with the sunlight reflecting back, it can actually be t-shirt weather.” Mike Wong
Watch a Movie
“I love sitting by a cozy fire and watching a good movie. Since it’s is not in a noisy restaurant or with a lot of people around, it’s a great time to get to know each other.” Hilma Bellessa
Build an Igloo
“Building an igloo is a great idea for a date for many reasons: spending time outdoors in the fresh winter air, being able to work on something together while having conversation, and don’t forget about the spontaneous snowball fights. Later on warming up with hot cocoa and a bonfire beside the igloo that you and your date (or group date) built is a bonding experience. Even if it never gets finished. But that is why having a group date works so well for this activity.
“To build the igloo map out a circle in the snow. Decide where the entrance will be and start packing snow into the bread pans to build bricks. Lay the first row on the outside of the line and then another along side. For each additional layer lay two more rows slightly offset as real bricks, but also inch then towards the center to create a dome shape. And remember to take picture because once you get the fire going the igloo may either melt or ice over…have fun!” Bella Ballard
“Talk and listen. Some of us unwind by talking: give them the gift of your undivided listening. Some of us unwind with quiet, just holding each other and listening to the tranquil silence of the star filled sky. I like to bring essential oils:
Chamomile: relaxing, meditation. Use for insomnia, arthritis, and stress.
Eucalyptus: stimulating. Use for arthritis, bronchitis, and sinusitis.
Grapefruit: energizing, uplifting.
Lavender: balancing, relaxing. Use for anxiety, stress, insomnia, and burns.
Lemon: balancing, relaxing.
Orange: balancing, relaxing. Use for stress.
Rosemary: balancing, relaxing. Use for aching muscles.
Rose: balancing, relaxing. Use for depression, mature skin, and eczema.
To spark off more of a physical touch, I enjoy giving back massages as well.” David Hansen
“Bowling on a date lets you know pretty quickly how athletic, coordinated and competitive someone is. The bowling alley itself is a fairly public venue that adds to the safety of the outing, especially if you add another couple. You can go on a whim without reservations. And even if you add some food and drink, the cost of bowling makes for fairly inexpensive date.” Reed Scharman
Mineral Crater Soaking
“Dip, dive, snorkel, swim, talk or cuddle in crystal blue mineral water at the Midway Homestead Crater. The experience gives a unique opportunity for to soak up each other in a natural setting at 96 degrees. Reservations are required.” Paul Conover