Back when we were dating my now-husband warned me early on that he didn’t believe in celebrating Valentines Day. It wasn’t a big deal to me. However, February is also my least favourite month. It’s cold and dreary, and I’m always glad it’s the shortest of the year. I feel like a little celebration with some winter date ideas can brighten up the month.
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Where we live February is still cold, but not as fresh and exciting as early winter is. Here are 10 ways rural couples will be able to brighten up the month. I think anyone will find at least one fun idea, and they’re all unexpected—no Netflix and chill.
Read a book out loud
My husband and I first did this together when we were on our first big trip. We had to find some common ground in our vastly different taste, which was a good practice in compromise. We would lay in our rented hatchback on the beaches of Australia reading John Grisham to each other by the dome light. Two years later Mr. M. read me to sleep with the Dragonriders of Pern while I was pregnant with Bam Bam. Clearly we have bonded and built some fantastic memories over reading aloud to each other.
As winter draws to a close I find it’s important to find ways to remember to appreciate the season. There is nothing quite like a quiet trek through a snow-laden landscape. Pack a thermos of hot chocolate to enjoy when you reach your destination. Snowshoes are a worthwhile investment if you live in the north (or the mountains) and enjoy getting outside together.
Do up a seed order
Does it get much more country than this? Perusing seed catalogues is a good way to dream together of warm days and of making pickles. Is spring thaw really that far away? My husband and I can spend a couple hours looking over our current seed collection and choosing new varieties to order.
Have a cookout indoors
Have a wood stove or fireplace? Use it so snuggle together and make some smokies and s’mores.
Learn a new skill together
Choose a area of expertise that you would both like to improve in and set about learning it as a team. This might mean taking a class together, or it might mean YouTube tutorials and a stack of library books. The options are endless. Cooking? Dancing? Gardening? Building? Learning and expertise are sexy, but don’t let that distract you.
Book a local Air BnB
Wherever you live, there is likely to be a cute little Air BnB rental in your area. Take a browse around the site. With a little luck there will be a warm studio apartment on a nearby farm, or maybe even a cozy tree house. Mr. M. and I have never been disappointed with our Air BnB stays. We often book through the site when we’re travelling as a family, but it would also be fun to get a place for a couple’s getaway.
Gift each other a meal request
This is something we did when we were dating. I would ask Mr. M. to make us gnocchi and then the next week he’d request green Thai curry. While we often ended up cooking together we would especially enjoy eating together. It was an exciting way to explore cuisine and we always had fun coming up with meal ideas.
Take notepads on a coffee date (or do so at home if you can avoid distractions)
Are you writers? Or artists? Maybe you just need some space to plan your garden or dream about building a house. I highly suggest a couple notepads (the real paper kind) and a fresh package of pens or pencils. Then hit up a favourite little coffee shop. The only rule is that you have to spend your time creating or engaging in a quality chat with each other. Ideally it will be a little of both, or maybe you’ll even end up working on an idea together.
Send a love letter
Ok, so I’m a word person. But I would melt if I opened the mailbox and found a handwritten love letter from my husband. I mean, he wouldn’t even have to mail it. He could leave it on a pillow when he goes to work in the morning. Or he could hide it in the pages of the book I’m reading. Or anything. Really. Anything.
Go skating (or ice fishing. Or both)
One more love-your-winter suggestion. I’m not sure that there is much that is more romantic than skating on a frozen river and holding mitten hands. An indoor arena is also a fun option if February is too warm to safely skim over the top of a pond. For those who like fishing, I imagine that ice fishing could be a great way to bond as well (I just haven’t done it!)
So, February doesn’t have to be all that dull. Why not use this lazy month to connect a little with your loved one using some of these winter date ideas?
Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?