Fun date ideas: get cosy whatever the weather

Man and woman on a date

A New Zealand July means one thing: winter. We swap jandals for jackets and beaches for brollies, and you better believe that, baby, it’s cold outside! At first glance this doesn’t seem an overly romantic time of year. Rain, snow and storms just don’t say swoon the way moonlit summer strolls do.

But, with a little thought, it turns out that winter can go hand in hand with love. We explored five fun date ideas – designed to add a little heat to even the coldest weather!

Reading this in the summer? You might prefer our 5 tips for the hottest summer dates

5 fun date ideas for cold winter days

1. Cosy up with a coffee

An EliteSingles survey revealed that 60.5% of women and 42.5% of men would choose coffee for a first date.1 The popularity of a coffee date makes it a great choice no matter the season, but there is something extra inviting about a warm cafe in the winter. Imagine the scene: howling wind, lashing rain, the drumbeat of a hailstorm – and you, safe indoors with a hot drink and convivial company. Pretty cosy, right? There’s an added benefit too; the feel-good factor of a cosy coffee date can actually put you in the perfect mood for romance. In fact, an advertising study linked feelings of cosiness to happiness and even mild arousal2 (in other words, perfect conditions for a date!).

2. Get rowdy at the rugby

Where would a list dedicated to a NZ winter be without a mention of the rugby? One of the best things about the cold months is the return of test season. And, while traditionally it might be more of an outing for the lads, going to a rugby game is becoming an increasingly popular place to take a date (it’s also great for double dates!). Why? Sharing the highs and lows of a game is a great way to bond with someone new (you just might want to check their team allegiances first!). It is also said that watching your team play can create a surge of testosterone3 – which is a known confidence booster.4 Good news for those nervous about impressing that special someone.

3. Stay in and cook up a storm!

There’s something about the act of cooking that just feels classically romantic. Indeed, once you’ve got to know someone over coffee (and an indulgent date night or two), heading for the kitchen can be a great way to really turn up the heat – whatever the weather! For full brownie points stick on some Dean Martin and wow your date with some home cooked pasta: in a recent EliteSingles survey, nearly 40% of Kiwis chose Italian food as the world’s most romantic cuisine. Or, for more ideas, you can always explore our Pinterest board of Romantic Recipes. </!–>

4. Be brave: hit the beach

Of course, if you do prefer something more exhilarating, you may need to embrace the cold and head outside. Studies have proven that an outing to the beach can put you in a really positive frame of mind.6 On top of that, the wildness of the coast in winter can lend the date a certain Byronic romanticism, what with the giant waves and dramatic skies. And if it all gets a little too Wuthering Heights? You can always cosy up to your date and fight off the cold by sharing a packet of fish and chips on the sea wall. True romance, Kiwi style.

5. Try a winter wine tasting

The Roman poet Ovid said ‘’wine and love have ever been allies.’’ 7 Several thousand years later this sentiment still holds true: wine does seem to be a drink (perhaps the drink) that people associate with romance. In New Zealand, starry-eyed wine lovers are spoiled for choice, with vineyards and bars all around the country offering wine tastings whatever the weather. As it turns out wine outings are popular year round, even in the winter. Fun date ideas just don’t get much better than those involving you, your potential squeeze, a roaring fire and a couple of large glasses of Otago Pinot Noir!

It would be all too easy to dismiss winter as a miserable time when it is just too chilly to leave the house. But to do so would be to miss out on some wonderfully fun date ideas. From exhilarating outdoor dates that can boost your mood to cosy indoor dates that can lead to happy companionship, the winter in New Zealand is full of romantic opportunities. It is simply a matter of getting out there and finding them. Just don’t forget to wrap up warmly!

Ready to fight the cold with a hot date? Join EliteSingles today.


EliteSingles editorial, June 2014.

Do you have any fun date ideas that would suit a New Zealand winter? Let us know below or send us an email at [email protected]


1 EliteSingles ‘First Date’ survey, 2013.

2 Different Positive Feelings Leading to Different Ad Evaluations: The Case of Coziness, Excitement and Romance. T. Faseur, M. Geuens, 2004. Found at

3 How to boost testosterone. Sam Rider, writing for Men’s Fitness, 2014. Found at

4 The truth behind testosterone: Why men risk it all. Joao Medeiros, writing for Wired Magazine, 2014.

5 EliteSingles ‘Dinner and Dating’ survey, 2014

6 Beat Winter Blues: Easy Ways To Halt Seasonal Affective Disorder. From the Huffington Post, 2014.Found at

7 Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love) by Ovid, circa .1BC

About the author: Sophie Watson

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