Don’t let winter stop you from having a great date! It might be cold outside, and it might be snowy, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing fun to do. But, if you need some help thinking of date ideas, we’re here to help! Below are a few fun winter date ideas for the Des Moines area.
Winter date ideas in the Des Moines area
Explore Downtown Des Moines!
There’s so much to do in Downtown Des Moines, and it’s the perfect place for a winter date! Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Start your day at Ritual Cafe or Horizon Line Coffee. Then stroll through Pappajohn Sculpture Park, Des Moines Water Works Park, or Gray’s Lake Park.
- Walk the Principal Riverwalk, and stop for a coffee or lunch at the Riverwalk Hub!
- Or stop for lunch at Fong’s Pizza, Spaghetti Works, 1908 Draught House, or other excellent downtown restaurants. Then, head to the Science Center of Iowa or Escape Chambers.
- At the East Village, shop at Raygun, tour the State Historical Building (free!), and visit the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.
- Go ice skating under the night sky at Brenton Skating Plaza!
- Have dinner at one of the fantastic restaurants, like Miyabi 9, Centro, Alba, and more.
- Grab a drink at a local brewery. Some places to consider are Peace Tree Brewing, Court Ave. Brewing, Exile Brewing, 1717 Brewing, and Confluence Brewing, to name a few.
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the local hiking trails! There aren’t a lot of people out, so soak up the quiet and stillness of your surroundings. Plus, there’s nothing quite like a hike in the woods when it’s snowing. So dress in layers, grab your date, and explore some area trails. (And don’t forget the thermos!)
Take a limo ride
For a special date night, hire a limo! Ride in style for a memorable shopping trip, a night on the town, or a concert. Several area limo companies also offer holiday light tours, casino tours, and brewery and winery tours.
Experience a horse-drawn sleigh ride
Surprise your date with something special at Jester Park Equestrian Center. A horse-drawn sleigh ride is a unique experience they’re sure to love! Thirty-minute rides are available December through January (ride in a wagon if there’s no snow). Book your ride online!
Go ice skating
Ice skate under the stars at Brenton Skating Plaza in downtown Des Moines for a classic winter date! And if you have your own ice skates, you can check out any of the local ponds and community ice rinks.
Rent a cozy cabin
Maybe you need a winter weekend getaway!? A cabin is the perfect winter escape, and there are some great options near Des Moines. The closest are the Jester Park cabins and the Thomas Mitchell Park cabin. And if you want to go a little further, consider Cordova Cabins, Horn’s Ferry, Whiterock Conservancy, and Honey Creek Resort.
Go skiing or snow tubing
Take your date on a short drive up to Boone to ski, snowboard, or snow tube at Seven Oaks Recreation! Then, after a day of fun, head over to Ames for a bite to eat at Hickory Park!
Learn something new
Taking a class or attending an event is an excellent way to get to know your date – and have fun too! Check out upcoming Polk Co. Conservation programs, Des Moines Parks & Rec, local libraries, and other organizations for programming!
Go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing
Cross country skiing and snowshoeing make great date activities. Especially for those who love the outdoors! Jester Park is where to go for this; they rent skis and snowshoes at the Recreation and Wellness Center.
You can go snowshoeing on any area hiking trails. Check out parks like Brown’s Woods, Maffitt Lake, Yellow Banks Park, Jester Park, and more. But, please, don’t snowshoe on groomed ski trails. And you can use groomed cross-country ski trails at Jester Park and Chichaqua Bottoms.
Take a road trip
Sometimes winter makes us feel stuck. And there’s nothing better to cure the winter blues and blahs than a road trip. The good news is that there are many great places to go on a winter getaway within the state of Iowa! Check out a few ideas here.
Go birdwatching (or build a birdfeeder)
Winter is for the birds! It’s an excellent time to go birdwatching. You can spot songbirds, jays and crows, owls, woodpeckers, birds of prey, and upland fowl. And watching Bald Eagles is easier than ever—you often see them grab fish out of open water in Iowa rivers.
Building a bird feeder is a good way to attract birds during the winter. Grab a kit, or find a plan and make one together!
Plan a getaway
During the long, dark, cold winter days, planning a getaway can be a fun way to spend a date. It doesn’t have to be far; it could even be a day trip. After all, anticipation is half the fun (and it boosts our happiness). So grab some tasty snacks, have some fun drinks, and plan your escape!
Lots of snow? Build a fort or snow sculpture
Let the child within you come out to play in the snow! Build forts and have snowball fights. Or tap into your creativity with a snow sculpture “competition.”
Plan your winter date in the Des Moines area today!
Winter won’t be around for long. So, take advantage of all these unique and fun winter date ideas this weekend!