8 Hot Date Ideas for Cold Winter Nights

Winter is the perfect season to cozy up to your special someone. After the hustle bustle of the holidays, resolve to bring date night back. You don’t have to spend a mint to enjoy some alone time outside of the house. Here are our top steals—along with a few splurges—for making the most of a romantic night on the town.

Just Dessert

Leonidas Chocolate Café has two North Shore locations (Evanston and Northbrook) for a post-dinner treat. With 10 sweet crepe varieties, including Grand Marnier, several variations on sweet Belgian waffles, and incredible ice-cream desserts, it’s the perfect place to reward yourself as a couple for keeping it all together this holiday season.

Spa Night

The famous Kohler Spa has a suburban outpost in Burr Ridge, and it is open until 8 p.m. on weekends. You and your partner can enjoy a “Massage Two-Gether,” for either 50 or 80 minutes, with the option of adding aromatherapy for just $10.

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Photo courtesy of Kohler Spa

Ice Skating

No need to drive to the city for a skate date. Starting Jan. 5, Northwestern University’s outdoor rink is open and lit until 9 p.m. Rentals cost just $7 (less if you are an NU affiliate), and it’s a great way to get some fresh air and enjoy some together time over a cup of hot chocolate.

Four-Star Bar Night

Head down to the city and hit The Bar at the Peninsula for a cozy drink (or two) by the roaring fireplace. With seasonal creations, house favorites (yes, they have the Corpse Reviver) and Scotch flights, you might just forget you’re in your hometown for a little while.

Sunday Brunch

Can’t get away at night? Make it a romantic brunch. Bistro Bordeaux in Evanston offers a prix fixe menu for Sunday brunch that includes a mimosa, fresh orange juice and dessert. New menu items have been added for winter, each of them hearty, cozy and romantically French.

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Photo courtesy of Bistro Bordeaux

A Little Night Music

Northwestern University’s Winter Chamber Music Festival starts Jan. 9 and runs through Jan. 25 with seven concerts to choose from, all at the Pick Staiger Music Hall in Evanston. On-campus parking is free and tickets cost $24.

Unleash Your Inner Goddess

Education meets libations at The Wine Goddess in Evanston, which offers wine tasting classes in January. Newbies will enjoy the Wine 101 course, or you can get a taste of the West Coast with a course called “Domestic Bliss: The Wines of California, Oregon, and Washington.”

Upscale Movie Night

Fully renovated in 2013, The Landmark Renaissance Place Theater in Highland Park not only has a bar in the lobby to enjoy fine wines and beverages, but you can take your drinks and food into the show. Select a movie in one of the Luxury Screening Rooms and you’ll get (at no extra charge) a leather recliner and a table.