14 Romantic Winter Date Ideas in Columbus Ohio

Keep the romance alive this winter with these date ideas in and around Columbus, Ohio

Beautiful Streetcorner During the Holidays in Columbus Ohio
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Kyle Reyes


Jan 21, 2021

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Image Courtesy of Experience Columbus.

Long gone are the hot, sunny days of summer. With the cold, winter weather settling in it can seem like there are no good date spots. It’s cold, gets dark early, and is often overcast. There are a few cards lined up against you in your journey for the perfect date, but don’t worry! There are still plenty of winter date spots to keep the romance alive this winter. 

Columbus is a bustling hub of places to go and people to see, so it’s no surprise it is bursting at the seams with possible dates! Take advantage of this awesome city and read on for 14 great date ideas to bring a smile to your face this winter season. 

Luxury Dates for a Special Weekend

A Relaxing Restaurant in Columbus Ohio
Enjoy a meal at one of Columbus’s finest restaurants — Barcelona Restaurant and Bar. This is one of many places perfect for a romantic night out on the town. Image courtesy of Barcelona Restaurant.  

Every relationship is full of special occasions. From first dates to anniversaries to birthdays and everything in between, there is nothing more heartwarming than treating your significant other to a luxurious night out on the town. Whether that’s a meal at a fine restaurant, a fun activity, or a long weekend getaway, here are some of our favorite things to do around Columbus as the weather gets cold and the nights get long. 

Wine and Dine

Secure a reservation at one of Columbus’s many fine restaurants for a perfect date this Winter. You can combine this with other activities for a fantastic combo date or have a wonderful dinner stand alone. With the variety of restaurants in Columbus — are you planning on trying something new or going with the favorite?

Many restaurants are offering indoor dining and carry-out, so you have the option to have a fine meal in the comfort of your apartment if you so choose. There are advantages to both. For instance, should you elect to carry out and eat at home you miss out on the elegant decor and wait staff, but your meal becomes BYOB!

Make Your Own Candles at the Candle Lab

Candles are a year-round hit, providing subtle scents to every room in the house. That being said, there’s something special about candles in the winter months. And what better way to add to your candle collection than a trip to the candle lab to make your own? This activity is perfect for a date, where you spend some time picking scents and pouring the candle then have over an hour to explore the area while they set! This opens your night up for some shopping, a meal, or whatever you wish. 

candle lab columbus
The Candle Lab knows how to romance

Put the “Wine” in “Wine and Dine”

Wineries are a classic date spot with a lot of potential! Many wineries around Columbus have a spacious and comfortable interior with tables and benches set out to sit and enjoy their wine. Winery trips are an awesome date idea for a lazy Saturday — it allows you and your partner to get dressed up (or not, many wineries are casual!) and relax with a steady supply of wine. 

The “adult’ version of the coffee date, heading to a winery brings the same classic, romantic charm to the evening. 

Here are some amazing wineries that we really like in Columbus.

Remember! Just because it's winter, doesn't mean you can't enjoy some of these amazing wineries in a cozy setting.

indian bear winery near columbus
Indian Bear Winery

Enjoy some R&R Over a Long Weekend Getaway

Searching for a break from the day-to-day? A staycation, even within the city, might be exactly what you are looking for. There is an abundance of boutique hotels in Columbus that offer a great experience and break from the norm. Boutique hotels have arisen as a response to the bigger hotel chains that dominate the market. 

These trendy locations are smaller and have pristine attention to detail to make your stay, unlike anyone you’ve had before. They will personalize your stay and ensure that your weekend is as filled or as empty as you want it to be. One of the boutique hotels around Columbus is sure to give you the rest and relaxation that you deserve. Book a boutique hotel to experience Columbus like never before!

Love is in the Air at these Romantic Date Spots

Ice Skating Holidays in Columbus Ohio
Enjoy some seasonal fun on the ice rink this holiday season — experience optional! Image courtesy of Columbus Navigator

Going on dates, especially first, second, and third dates, can be frightening. It’s okay to be nervous! But picking the right place, activity, and time is just as important as doing your hair just right and picking the perfect outfit. Finding something you both enjoy makes the whole night a lot more fun. While you might not want to bring your blind date to a five-star restaurant, there are loads of affordable places to go in Columbus to sprinkle some love in the air this winter season. 

Smile Over a Cup of Coffee

Picture this — Snowflakes drift down from an overcast sky on a cold winter day. The sky is grey, but you want to take your significant other out for a date. Look no further than a stop at a local cafe! You get to bundle up in your coziest sweater, hat, and gloves and enjoy one of Columbus’s many great cafes. Even if you or your partner does not like coffee, these cafes have tea and hot chocolate, and this trinity of hot drinks is a wintertime staple. 

Go Shopping!

Columbus is full of every kind of shopping you can imagine! Even when the weather gets cold, there are plenty of indoor farmer’s markets in Columbus and stores where you can spend a lot of time. At the farmer’s markets, there is plenty of fresh produce, baked goods, and meals to enjoy. 

Columbus is home to countless shops, ranging from big department stores, to clothing boutiques, to artisan goods and so much more! Shopping is not always a cheap date — it depends on what you’re buying! But there’s something special about walking through stores looking for clothes, shoes, food, or drinks. As the cold weather continues, shopping can be a great treat for yourself and your partner. 

Relax and Enjoy the Sights at the Columbus Museum of Art

The Columbus Museum of Art is a classic location to go on a beautiful date. Even if you are not an art aficionado, you can walk through this building with your partner and enjoy their company amidst impressive art and relaxing scenery. This museum’s winding, circuitous routes through ages of art history are pleasant places to unplug a little from the hectic buzz of everyday life and spend some quality time with your partner whilst making wildly inaccurate guesses as to the meaning behind the art on the walls.

As a bonus — this date is rain or shine! While nature is beautiful, there is something to be said for indoor Winter dates!

Lace-up Your Skates for Some Ice Skating Fun

A proper Winter’s classic. Ice skating is, weather permitting, a tremendous seasonal date for you and your partner. Whether you are an experienced, sure skater, or holding on to your partner’s hand for dear life, ice skating is a fun challenge. 

Dust off Your Bowling Shoes

It’s finally time to reveal your secret talent — bowling. Or, if you are not a professional bowler, you can rent a pair of shoes at one of the many bowling alleys around Columbus! A dash of competition can be the perfect addition to a date night. Just like ice skating, bowling is loads of fun regardless of your skill level. 

Enjoy the (Indoor!) Gardens at Franklin Park Conservatory

Too cold for a hike? Explore the gardens at Franklin Park Conservatory for an unforgettable experience walking through beautiful, well-maintained exhibits. Especially in the winter months, seeing flowers bloom is a magical experience. The exhibits at the conservatory will never fail to impress when you walk through.

Now, only some of the exhibits are indoors. Starting November 20th through January 9th, the conservatory is going to open a massive outdoor exhibit called Conservatory Aglow. This exhibit turns the gardens into a Winter Wonderland of lights. This dazzling light show is a must this winter season and is a romantic spot for a date night. Perhaps a nice dinner before going to the conservatory?

Take Your Relationship to New Heights at Vertical Adventures

Looking for a unique challenge on your date? Try a class at Vertical Adventures! There are classes at night, too, which are perfect for a date night. There are many places like this around Columbus, unconventional places where you and your partner can have a phenomenal time together. Even if neither of you has gone rock climbing before their intro courses are beginner-friendly. If rock climbing is not your thing, keep your eyes open for other unique spots to take your partner out for an experience!

Romantic Activities in and Around Columbus, Ohio

Beautiful Holiday Metro Park in Columbus Ohio
There are many parks around Columbus that are dazzling in the wintertime. Bundle up and enjoy what they have to offer! Image courtesy of Inniswood

Take advantage of all that Columbus has to offer — including free activities! There is a lot to do and explore in and around Columbus that does not have a price tag next to it, and these are important to keep in mind, too. When planning a date night, oftentimes there is time for multiple activities, and cheap or free ones pair excellently with fancier ones. Going out to a nice restaurant? Plan a short hike earlier in the day before you get ready, or plan a movie night after you get home and change into your pajamas. 

Go on a Snowy Hike

Bundle in your thickest jacket and mittens and embark upon a little outdoor adventure in one of the many parks in and around Columbus. The cold weather is no match for your and your partner’s determination to enjoy some of Winter’s prettiest effects in the parks of Columbus. 

Be sure to check the weather in advance! If there’s a day that doesn’t look too cold, a hike might be the perfect date for you and your partner. Trek over snow-covered bridges, see frozen streams, enjoy the beauty of thin sheaths of ice glittering on bare branches, and much more on your hike!

Explore German Village

A trip to German Village is a great way to spend a weekend. It is full of many small businesses serving you food and drink, and there is plenty of shopping to do as well! On top of that, this historic district’s incredible maintenance means you can walk through cobbled streets full of beautiful architecture, manicured landscaping, and inviting stores. The German Village Society oversees the care of this district and hosts many fun events throughout the year. Be sure to keep an eye out for their next event! 

A Cozy Night Inside

After all these examples of winter dates around Columbus, Ohio, we’d like to say that there’s nothing wrong with staying in for the night and spending quality time with your partner. Whether you guys cook up a fancy meal, heat up leftovers, or order takeout, blocking off time on your calendars to spend together is a date in its own right. There is romance aplenty even if you are both in your pajamas, watching a movie, and drinking wine. Take time for yourselves and do the things you love. 

Activities Around Columbus

As the cold weather sets in and this holiday season begins in earnest, there are many seasonal date options that open up. Plenty of places you and your partner can go for a night out on the town, enjoying each other’s company. Columbus is a big city, and date ideas are only limited by your imagination! We hope this list serves as an inspiration for you and your partner to decide on the perfect date this holiday season. 

What are your favorite winter dates in Columbus? Let us know in the comments!

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November 26, 2021
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