Budget-Friendly Winter Date Ideas

Budget-Friendly Winter Date Ideas

You want to spend time with your sweetheart this winter, but you want to do it without going broke. With so many fun things to do in Pennsylvania, you don’t have to worry about finding inexpensive activities to take part in during the season. We compiled winter date ideas below that will keep you within budget when the weather’s cold.

Go Sledding

Think sledding is just for kids? Think again. There’s nothing more invigorating than flying down a snow-covered hill, feeling the wind in your face, and laughing all the way to the bottom.

Cost: If you don’t already have a sled and can’t borrow one from your kids, try a second-hand store or a yard sale, or watch for sales at toy or sporting goods stores. You can get a sturdy plastic disk for less than $10.


Have a Snow Photo Session

Do you have a friend who dabbles in amateur photography — a mom who’s always snapping photos at your kids’ soccer games or a co-worker who shoots for your office website? Ask them to take photos of you and your honey in exchange for a home-cooked meal or night of free babysitting.

Wait until it snows, and go to your backyard, a nearby park, or someplace meaningful to both of you, such as where you first said, “I love you.” Bring a couple different jackets and hats for quick wardrobe changes, plus any props you want to use. When the session is over, have your friend post the proofs to a photo sharing site, then you and your significant other can head to a nearby café to have some hot chocolate while you peruse the photos.

Cost: A few dollars for the hot cocoa, and the cost to have the photos printed and displayed.

Go to an Amusement Park

“Wait,” you might be thinking. “I thought this was winter date ideas, not summer date ideas.” As it turns out, some Pennsylvania amusement parks offer activities during the winter as well, most of them for low prices. Check out:

Hershey Sweet Lights: Drive through Hersheypark’s holiday light display in your car.

Cost: $19.15 per car on Monday through Thursday; $26.15 per car on Friday and Saturday; and $34.15 for vans any day. Check their website for dates and details.

Lakemont Park: Holidays on the Lake offers 51 acres of lights next to the amusement park, accompanied by holiday music played on your radio. 

Cost: $12 per car. Check their website for dates and details.

You could also drive around your own neighborhood to check out the lights for free!

Go to a Classic Cinema

Heading to the movies is always fun, but it’s even better when you go to a special theater with history or an interesting story behind it. Here are a few to try throughout Pennsylvania:

Hollywood Theater in Pittsburgh plays a mix of old movies and new indie releases. It offers seasonal fare as well, including breakfast-and-a-movie specials for those who like to schedule their dates in the morning. Check their website for schedule. 

Cost: $8 for adults.

Midtown Cinema in Harrisburg is an arthouse theater dedicated to educating the community about film. It also shows a mix of old and new, and offers a weekly trivia night for film buffs. Check their website for a schedule.

Cost: $8 for adults for a matinee, $9 for later shows.

Bryn Mawr Film Institute holds film exhibition and education events, aimed at spreading the magic of cinema to non-artists. You and your date can watch a movie while enjoying a hot beverage from Hothouse Coffee. Check their website for a schedule.

Cost: $12.50 for adults; $9 for matinees.

Enjoy a Board Game Night

When it’s too cold or too icy to head out on the roads, enjoy a night in — competitively. Dig out an old board game and challenge each other to a bet. The loser has to wash the dishes for a week, or the winner gets control of the TV remote for the next 24 hours. You can whip up some indoor s’mores to enjoy while you play, too.

Toast your marshmallows in the toaster oven or warm them up in the microwave. Sprinkle a few chocolate chips over the top and add the graham crackers on top and bottom to enjoy this summer treat during the winter.

Cost: Just the cost of the s’mores ingredients.

Play Tourist for the Evening

You and your loved one may have lived in your current area of PA for years, and you may take for granted all the fun activities you have around you because you see them so often. It’s time to approach them with fresh eyes. Turn yourselves into tourists for the night.

What are the hip places to go? The attractions everyone heads to when they come to your town? The cheap eats restaurant people talk about? Go to all those places, and take public transportation instead of driving. This will show you an entirely new side of your city.

Cost: It depends on where you go, what you eat, and how you travel, but you should be able to enjoy this date for less than $50.

With all these fun ideas, you can stop asking yourself what to do in winter and enjoy your time together. Best of all, you won’t spend a lot of money to have all that fun. For other money management tips and resources, check out our WalletWorks page.

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