It's no secret that I love anything related to the holidays. My obsession probably has something to do with why this is not only my favorite time of year, but it is also the busiest in our house. Dan was just saying yesterday at lunch how fill our calendar already seems and it's only the first week of December. Between birthdays, work, Fire Department events, and the normal holiday get togethers our December calendar is always packed! But it's important to still fit a little time in for ourselves, so we try as best as we can to fit in some holiday date nights between all the chaos. And since I'm sure I'm not the only one who's next free day feels like it's months away, I thought I would share some of our date night ideas in case you're looking for a fun idea for a night together.
1. Zoo Lights
At first you may think this is just a fun event for the kids, but getting all bundled up and looking at Christmas lights is fun at any age (or at least I think so). Get there early and see the animals before it gets dark and then hang around until they turn the lights on. Add a cup of hot cocoa and a stroll through the zoo and you have a fun evening together.
2. Holiday Concert
During the holidays you can almost always find a choir's holiday concert, a local band in town singing Christmas music, or the philharmonic or orchestra performing their holiday tunes. Get dressed up and enjoy an evening of some of your favorite songs to remind you of your childhood or your favorite time of year.
3. Dinner & Christmas Light Tour
Enjoy dinner at your favorite restaurant and end your evening driving through different neighborhoods checking out their Christmas light displays. Pick out which one's are your favorite, or slow down and listen to the light shows that are synced with music.
4. Pizza & Holiday Movies
During the holidays, TV programing is filled with holiday movies, so what a great reason for a night in! Order a pizza, get in your PJs and snuggle up to watch some of your favorite holiday classics together.
5. Hot Cocoa & Cookies
Many local hotels or historic buildings often offer hot chocolate and cookies around the holidays. One of the hotels in our town does this a couple afternoons a week. Meet up after work, grab some hot chocolate and christmas cookies and sit and talk by the Christmas tree. Life can get so busy, especially around the holidays, so what a perfect excuse to relax and catch up.
6. Picnic & Fire by the Tree
One of my favorite things to do growing up was to have a picnic in the living room. Pull out a blanket, make dinner at home, and eat together in front of the Christmas tree or fireplace.
7. Warm Drinks & Fun Light Displays
Not only are their lights to see around the local neighborhoods, but some people even go as far as to create their own light displays. One homeowner near our hometown has a 20 minute light show that is synced to music and repeats for three hours every day of December. Grab a thermos with your coffee, hot chocolate, or cider and drive to a local display to enjoy a fun holiday spectacle. This is the house we have loved to visit every year. HERE Unfortunately last year was their last year, so we have to find a new place to visit!
8. Holiday Play/Performance
Whether it's the local ballet's performance of the Nutcracker or a rendition of The Christmas Story put on by a performing arts center, the holidays are the perfect time to see a play or performance. Get dressed up, go to happy hour before hand for a drink and a bite to eat and enjoy a play, musical or ballet.
9. Tree lighting
Does your town or one nearby have a tree they light every year? While the idea of driving 40 minutes in to Portland just to see them light the big tree downtown sounds like an excursion, I enjoy going down to our local library and watching them light the library tree after my husband and his coworkers have hung the lights. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive on an old fire engine and there are cookies and hot chocolate to enjoy. Even though we don't have kids yet, this small town activity is always a fun way to spend a holiday evening.
10. Celebrate Local
One of the perks about living in a small town, or knowing all the local firemen is that you hear about some of the unique events planned. The next town over decorates their fire engines with christmas lights and drives the whole town for a holiday parade ending at the station where you can visit santa. The same department hosts pictures with Santa where you get to have your photo taken in a fire engine next to santa for your holiday cards or just for fun. My husband's department helps wrap toys for over 300 local families three nights a week throughout December. Sometimes it might not be the most romantic date, but staying local and taking part in something that exudes small town love is even more special.
What are your favorite holiday date nights? What other special events should I add to my list for this season?