Winter is made for romance… the changing leaves, the crispness in the air, the fresh wave of energy, the (hopefully) less sweaty temps.
The season’s also made for romantic dates — the ones that have you enacting patio-weather PDA and cuddle sessions by candlelight, nestling up in nature and bonding over an adrenaline rush, or even connecting through all kinds of culture.
With this list of 33 romantic dates, you can do all that and more with your S/O. But, even if you don’t have a BF or GF, don't dismay. Most of these things can be done with or without bae — and, even so, you’ll have plenty of ideas for when it’s time for that first date with a new flame.
Go into the woods at Brenner’s Steakhouse on the Bayou
Where: 1 Birdsall St.
Situated in a wooded retreat, the lush natural surroundings are almost as good as the surf and turf here. The Blue Bar and mood-lit patio’s perfect for a crisp evening, too, especially with their winter concert series on Sundays and live music every Tuesday.
Get the 'Tranquility for Two' at Trellis Spa
Where: The Houstonian, 111 N. Post Oak Ln.
Treat yourself — and your S/O — to some much-needed rest and rejuvenation at this lush spa. The Tranquility for Two is a lavish experience that includes the Hot Springs shiatsu tub, stone therapy massages, waterfall Swiss shower, Trellis facials, and lunch or dinner. Just a couples massage will do the trick, too, to escape the hectic winter season for a bit.
Chase waterfalls and catch butterflies at the Cockrell Butterfly Center
Where: The Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Dr.
If you're both nature lovers, The Houston Museum of Natural Science’s three-story Rainforest Conservancy (with a 50-foot waterfall!) is the place to commune with all the exotic butterflies as well as other insects. Or, you can face your fears together during Thrilling Thursdays, where you get up close and personal with the tarantula collection.
Cuddle up to a s’mores latte at Weights and Measures
Where: 2808 Caroline St.
Forget the PSL. The s’mores latte is everything you could dream of and more at this café. Of course, you may also want to grab brunch so you can get a breakfast pizza (and many other delicious things from their food menu and bake shop).
Take a swing at TopGolf
Where: 1030 Memorial Brook Blvd.
The slightly cooler temps make a day or night out at TopGolf far more chill. And, whether you’re the one giving the golf lesson or receiving it, it’s a romantic little win-win.
Make the right MATCH
Where: 3400 Main St.
You cannot really go wrong at the Midtown Arts & Theater Center (MATCH); the venue features a broad spectrum of eclectic and compelling visual and performing arts shows including dance, theater, music, visual art, film, and more.
Channel Parisian romance at Étoile Cuisine et Bar
Where: 1101-11 Uptown Park Blvd.
Paris is always a good idea. But, this charming, chandelier-laced French café is a good alternative, as it is fully inspired by the City of Light — right down to the foie-gras, filet, and frites.
Go European at Rienzi
Where: 1406 Kirby Dr.
You don’t even have to walk inside to get the benefits of this part of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston that houses its collection of European decorative arts and paintings. The outside gardens are pretty artistically (and romantically) inspired, too.
Get artsy (and craftsy) at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
Where: 4848 Main St.
With unique and innovative exhibits from both local and national artists, the center emphasizes works made from a variety of materials such as clay, glass, fiber, and recycled materials. The Craft Garden is another intriguing place that links nature and the materials that stem from it.
Have an adrenaline rush iFly Indoor Skydiving
Where: 9540 Katy Fwy.
No need to jump out of a plane together. At iFly, their state-of-the-art wind tunnel creates free-fall conditions — no parachute (or experience) required.
Go forest bathing at Houston Audubon Society’s Edith Moore Sanctuary
Where: 440 Wilchester Blvd.
Take a hike through this hidden treasure that’s located in a heavily wooded portion of Rummel Creek. It’s pretty picturesque, especially once the temperatures cool off to less than 100 degrees. During the fall, the sanctuary also hosts guided bird walks and nature walks every fourth Saturday of the month.
Hit the beach with Galveston Island Horse and Pony Rides
Where: 1929 Boedeker Rd., Galveston
Horseback riding along the beach has an inherent magical quality that’s definitely worth the drive to Galveston.
Look at the stars at Monnalisa
Where: Hotel Sorella, 800 Sorella Court
This bar’s dreamy, starlit ceiling and central fireplace are extra cozy for the winter season. Plus, the experience continues with the bar softly spilling onto an open-air courtyard that has an infinity pool, draped cabanas, luxe furnishings, and lanterns. As you can probably tell, the alluring vibe is everything here — no matter where you order your food and drink.
Have a fairytale moment at Bayou Bend Collection & Gardens
Where: 6003 Memorial Dr.
The beautifully manicured English gardens and enchanting bridge at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's hub for decorative arts and paintings are something from a storybook — and quite worthy of a romantic afternoon with your prince or princess.
Pedal around McGovern Lake
Where: Hermann Park, 6201 Hermann Park Dr.
Biking through beautiful Hermann Park is perfectly acceptable, but you could take a pedal boat out on the lake, too, for a different kind of pedaling around.
Namaste together at Discovery Green
Where: 1500 McKinney St.
The urban green space boasts endless options including free outdoor concerts, movies, jam sessions, art, and fitness classes amidst canopies of trees and cool landscaping. If you go to yoga, pop by The Grove next door to refuel after Shavasana.
Grab a drink with a view at Z on 23's rooftop lounge
Where: Le Méridien Houston Downtown, 1121 Walker St.
The rooftop lounge of Zutro restaurant is perched 23 stories up. So, you can snuggle up with your SO, a cocktail, and stellar 360-degree sunset and skyline views of downtown. Cheers to that.
Be chefs at Well Done Cooking Classes
Where: 2811 Airline Dr., Ste. 5
Date night is looking pretty delicious at this place that specializes in a host of culinary classes as well as special date-night sessions. Both their Fundamentals and Techniques series will have you both ready to host a holiday dinner party in no time.
Prove that you’ve got game at The Rainbow Lodge
Where: 2011 Ella Blvd.
The rustic-luxe lodge is an H-Town institution and a go-to place for a romantic dinner. That’s because it’s an impeccable classic that serves up beautiful renditions of wild game and seafood as well as a really solid burger — all completed with ingredients garnered from the two onsite gardens and citrus orchard.
See dramatic romance on stage with Houston Grand Opera
Where: Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave.
The winter means opera season is back. The dazzling productions of the sweeping romantic tales are only matched by the majestic venue that is the Wortham Theater Center.
Bond over your love of fried dough at Morningstar
Where: 4721 Main St.
This modern donut shop has the most creative spins on the sweet treat. Flavors rotate regularly; the frosting designs are on point — and they’re all made from scratch using real ingredients and none of that hydrogenated stuff.
Eat in a garden at Tiny Boxwood’s
Where: 3614 W. Alabama St.
This sweet eatery is tucked within a nursery, and on a nice day, the outdoor garden space is the perfect place to hang out.
Celebrate natural beauty at Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
Where: 4501 Woodway Dr.
This 155-acre urban sanctuary is a perfect place to get outdoors and feel the crispness of the winter season — along with the changing leaves and flowers.
Drive up to a movie at Showboat Drive-In Theater
Where: 22422 FM 2920, Hockley
There’s something just so romantic about a drive-in theater. After all, who wouldn’t want to snuggle up to a double feature under the stars? This retro place is a short road trip out of the city, but it’s worth the drive. Bring blankets!
Get into the aloha spirit at Lei Low
Where: 6412 N. Main St.
It’s a tropical vacation in a glass! This rum and tiki bar will transport you to the Hawaiian islands during any of the drearier days of fall.
Make Tuesday the best day of the week at Axelrad
Where: 1517 Alabama
While cozying up in a hammock is always a sure bet at this expansive beer garden, Tuesdays are especially great because of the Night Market that features local artisans, makers, farmers, and designers along with open-mic acoustic sets and an outdoor movie screening.
Cowboy up at Goodnight Charlie's
Where: 2531 Kuester St.
Whether you two-step on not at this modern honky tonk, the covered patio is always a good place to hang out and listen to the Texas tunes with a side of tacos and tequila.
Heat things up at 13 Celsius
Where: 3000 Caroline
Dimly lit and oh-so-sexy with old-world charm, the European wine bar and café has more than 450 global wines. But, any one of them will go with their tableside s’mores. The cheese plates are a must, too — and food service goes until midnight (1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays), so you can linger long into the night.
Nerd out together at Neil's Bahr
Where: 2006 Walker St.
Between the massive comic book collection and free-play arcades not to mention movie-night Mondays, video game tournament Tuesdays, and karaoke Wednesdays, this place spells “love” for all the nerds and gamers (and those who love them). The place was even named after Nobel Prize-winning physicist Niels Bohr.
Sip wine by candlelight at La Carafe
Where: 813 Congress
This downtown treasure is housed in the oldest standing building in Houston — originally built in 1845. Some say it’s haunted. But, it’s definitely a sultry-quaint little spot for a drink.
Indulge your champagne dreams a'Bouzy
Where: 2300 Westheimer Rd.
Bubbles reign supreme at this champagne-fueled concept with an expansive list of more than 250 varieties, priced from $12 to $2,000-plus. While a’Bouzy serves lunch and dinner, it’s best to go for brunch (and grab a seat on the patio) because that’s where you can get the champagne-buttermilk-fried chicken and waffles. Yes, you heard that right.
Find cloud nine at Cloud 10 Creamery
Where: 5216 Morningside Dr.; 711 Heights Blvd.
Ice cream is not just for summer — especially with Cloud 10's seasonal winter 2018 menu of ice cream flavors, sundaes, and cloud bars. Of course, the Nutella and marshmallow and toasted rice varieties are always good fallback options no matter what time of year.
Have a mélange a trois at Melange Creperie
Where: 711 Heights Blvd. #B
FYI: The mélange a trois is a crepe filled with three ingredients. You can find it at this chic spot that is ideal for brunch with bae — not only because of its pink-tinged, Parisian-inspired, Pinterest-worthy décor, but also because you can have the best of both sweet and savory worlds with their decadent crepe action. It’s also right next door to Cloud 10 Creamery. Talk about the best of all worlds.