The holidays are jam packed with events and family activities, and at times, all of that can get a little overwhelming. Sometimes, you need a reminder to slow down and take some time just for yourself and your love. So ditch the parent guilt, book a babysitter, and just focus on you and your partner for the evening. Here are 50 ideas, each under $50, for a nice winter date night, perfect for connecting and cozying up with your loved one.
If you are feeling the Christmas spirit AND don’t want to be out in the frigid temperatures, we have the perfect option for you! Head on over to Christmas Nights of Lights at the Indiana State Fairgrounds for some gorgeous light viewing. We love driving through the light displays and blasting the music that accompanies the light show. It is incredible to see how they synchronize the music and lights so seamlessly, and there are SO MANY lights to see! This event is open all season long but advance reservations are required.
Book a bay for a fun night of golf for just the two of you, or up to 6 couples across two heated bays. You read that right, heated bays. Yes, please! Topgolf is fun for everyone, even those who have never played golf before. Advance reservations are always appreciated to ensure your spot, but if you don’t reserve a bay, you can always put your name on the waitlist and head to the bar to hang out while you wait.
Head to Koteewi Archery Range to enjoy time together, while hitting fun targets with a bow and arrow. (Don’t worry if you don’t have equipment of your own. The range has all of the resources you might need available for rent, making for a great and low stress visit.) Make your reservations in advance, since this is a popular activity.
Enjoy a romantic ride on horseback. A fun place to try is Natural Valley Ranch in Brownsburg. They offer 30 and 60 minute guided rides along the banks of White Lick Creek. It’s a great way to connect to nature and your partner.
Indiana has some amazing trails that would make for a great date. Take in the breathtaking scenery at one of the state’s best parks, Turkey Run! Grab a bite to eat, then head on over to Holliday Park, for a quick after dinner stroll.
Enjoy an Igloo
Check out an igloo near you for a unique night out. Many along the Monon Trail are first come, first serve, so you might have to wait. Or reserve a heated igloo at Field Brewing in Westfield for lunch or dinner.
Indy is home to many wine tasting locations, perfect for a guided wine tasting. Find a new variety to enjoy and compare notes with your partner on their preferences. Here are some great locations to check out and each one has a lively and exciting atmosphere, perfect for date night!
Pick a sledding hill and enjoy some fun adult time going up and down on your sleds. You don’t even need snow if the hill is steep enough. Get out and enjoy some fresh crisp air. These are our favorite sledding hills.
Inquire at your local shelter, food bank, church, or humane society about volunteer opportunities. If in-person duties are not an option, ask if there is anything you can do from your home for them. Serving together is a great opportunity to connect.
Plan out complimentary outfits from things you already own and get dressed up. Go big and get fancy by doing special hair and makeup. Once you are all decked out, pick your favorite spots around town and set up the tripod (or even the timer feature on your cell phone) to capture some sweet and frameable moments.
Visit a Tree Farm
Set out on a wintry date to pick out a Christmas tree! Choose it right from the farm and cut it down yourself. They will help with the rest. We have a great list of locations to choose from.
Punch Bowl Social, located in Indianapolis, is jam packed with games and things to do for a fun night out. There’s a delicious restaurant and bar, multiple bowling alleys, karaoke rooms, giant board games, a pool table, darts, giant foosball, and arcade games.
There are plenty of places around Indianapolis to go ice skating. We have some great ideas for you here. Pick a spot, rent your skates, get laced up, and be sure to share some hot chocolate to warm up after your time on the ice.
Camel’s Carter Green transforms into a German-style open air Christmas market through the holidays. This is a one-stop shop kind of event, complete with an ice skating rink, food and gift shops, fire pits, and drinks. With all these activities, there is something for everyone. It’d make for a great date night out.
Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
Search online for an outdoor scavenger hunt or one you can do from the car at night. You could also create scavenger hunts to exchange with your date. Spend a fun night out on a mission!
Walking Lights Tour
Enjoy the free Holiday Walking Light Tour throughout the Federal Hills Commons event lawn in Noblesville. Or walk the Monon between Carmel’s Arts & Design District and Carmel’s City Center at night to take in all of the lights.
Create Couples Art Projects
Create a welcome sign, a Smores box, a tray, or custom clocks. At Board and Brush, your creations always turn out great.
Enjoy live music at a winery, brewery, or another indoor facility. Just search the type of music you’re looking for in local events and head out to support local musicians.
Fastimes Indoor Karting has a bi-level race track for a fun experience racing go karts. It’s all indoors, so when the weather limits outdoor activities, this is one place to have a fun night inside.
Look into what’s currently on the schedule at one of the lovely theatres around town, like Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, the Indiana Repertory Theater in downtown Indianapolis, or the Booth Tarkington Theater in Carmel, for example. Snag tickets and enjoy an evening of live theater.
Axe Throwing is all the rage right now, and everybody I know that’s done it, has loved it! There are several different shops in central Indiana if you want to try for the bullseye.
Dragons and Donuts
For a unique date night, head to Dragons and Donuts in Indianapolis. They have an enormous selection of board games and card games that you play while having a beer or eating a donut. Choose a game you haven’t tried before and learn it together. Keep in mind that there is a charge to play.
Plan a date to visit some of the plentiful breweries around the city. Create a list of 3 or 4 breweries to visit and either try a different style of beer at each or get a flight to sample. Rank your favorites and compare with what your partner enjoys. Grab a growler or 4-pack to take home to remember your time out.
With the right gear, hiking in the winter can be a way to have a beautiful connection with nature. There are loads of state and city parks to explore that have excellent trails. Be on the lookout for animal tracks in the snow. Bring a camera to take some wintry pictures with your loved one. Don’t forget to pack a thermos of coffee or hot chocolate to keep you warm.
Visit a Local Music Venue
Seeing a big name or mainstream artist may not be in your budget. Luckily, Indy offers plenty of other music venue options if you are looking to listen to live music. Places like MashCraft Brewing, Books & Brews, and the Jazz Kitchen offer live music throughout the week, as well as daily drink specials, making this a fun and affordable date night.
Wine and Canvas
Wine and Canvas offers date night paintings throughout the month. You and your partner will each paint a canvas that when put together creates a bigger picture. Pack some snacks and order a glass of wine to enjoy throughout the evening. The instructors are really so great at making you feel comfortable with the art materials.
How many times have you gone out for dinner and can’t order dessert because your entrée was too filling? I know I have experienced this multiple times. Instead plan to eat a light dinner at home and then go out specifically for dessert. Get one to share or two and test them both out. You can find a wide range of dessert options throughout the city from cheesecake, cookies, cupcakes, and more.
Art galleries all over the city open their doors for special programming and gallery browsing on the first Friday of each month. Galleries often feature new artists and exhibits these nights. This celebration of art is ideal for even novice art enthusiasts. The Circle City Industrial Complex and the Harrison Center for the Arts are great places to start.
Take in a Basketball Game
Cheer on some local favorites, like the Indiana Pacers or the Fort Wayne Mad Ants basketball teams. Grab tickets to a game, and head to the newly renovated Gainbridge Fieldhouse for an exciting night of basketball.
If you are looking for a lively atmosphere, head to Drake’s located near the Fashion Mall. This restaurant is known for being a great place to hangout and kick back. The food is delicious and the drinks are cold.
Take a Train Ride
Enjoy a magical date night experience this holiday season on the 21+ Holiday Cheers ride on the Nickle Plate Heritage Railroad. Enjoy holiday lights, cookies and sip on holiday beverages. Cash bar available on board for this holiday date night experience!
Indy offers a few options in the way of arcade bar. Try out either 16-bit or Tappers and play all of the nostalgic classic games as well as new fan favorites. Oftentimes, games are free or deeply discounted if you buy a drink at the bar, making this a fun and exciting way to have an affordable evening out.
If you have not yet been to the Bottleworks District, you need to go and check it out. Located on Mass Ave, there is enough to do here to fill up an entire evening. Inside the Garage hall, you will find a wide range of foods from around the world, as well as a bar, ice cream shop, and live music. You can also check out a movie at the Living Room Theater or head into Pins Mechanical for bowling and arcade games.
Make a Candle Together
Make an appointment for a candle making date at Penn & Beech! You’ll get to choose your scents, vessel, and mix it all up yourself! A selection of beers and wines are available to purchase, as well.
Indoor Rock Climbing
Located downtown in the Mass Ave area, North Mass Boulder is a new and impressive indoor venue for rock climbing. Day passes will run you $18. If the weather outside is cold and dreary, head into North Mass to warm up and get in some extra physical activity.
Monument Circle transforms into a magical date night location in the winter. The twinkling lights of the tree, light shows, and coffee shops create a wonderful ambience for bundling up and snuggling a little closer to your sweetie. Grab some hot chocolate from the Chocolate Café to keep you warm.
Going to the movies can seem like a cliché suggestion for a date night, but the Artcraft is much more than just going to a movie. It is an experience. The movies are typically shown in 35mm film, there will likely be a little entertainment before the movie starts, and you can even find “on theme” drinks for purchase. Tickets are reasonably priced, as well as concessions. During the month of December, you can be sure to catch some of your favorite Christmas movies.
Duckpin Bowling is so much fun, and there are a few spots around Indy to check it out. The bowling balls are very small, and it makes the game vastly different. We spent the evening laughing at how terribly we played and rejoicing anytime we did well at all. It was a blast and I highly recommend giving it a try sometime. You typically pay for a time frame and for shoe rental.
Fishers Test Kitchen
I love the concept of the Fishers Test Kitchen. New restaurants rent kitchen and storefront space inside the test kitchen. Customers can come in and order from any of the restaurants. This gives the restaurants the opportunity to test out menu items and gives you the chance to try out restaurants before they go big. An added bonus? SunKing Brewing is located within the same building.
Red Curb Improv Comedy
Red Curb currently has shows on Friday and Saturday evenings. The first show is a ComedySportz improv show, and the second is either local stand up or a red curb adults only style show. The tickets are $15 if purchased in advance. Spend the night laughing with your partner!
Antiquing in Franklin
Franklin has an amazing downtown area filled with shops and boutiques. There are a large amount of antique shops in the area filled with treasures just waiting to be discovered.
Playing in the Snow
This one is totally out of the box, but so much fun. The next time we get a big snow, really take advantage of it. Borrow some snow shoes and laugh while trying to walk around in the snow. Make a snowman! Have a snowball fight. Relive a little of your childhood for some good natured fun.
There are tons of great wineries in Indiana to check out. Check out Indiana’s own “Wine Trail” and visit several wineries, or make a special event of just one to check out. After the tour, head over to one of their tasting areas and sample a variety of their wines and pick a bottle to buy and take home.
Rascal’s Fun Zone
Some of my favorite dates are when we get to act like kids. Race around the indoor go-cart track, try your hand at duckpin bowling, or collect as many tickets as you can in the arcade.
It is easy to get in a rut or to go to the same restaurant over and over. Create a list of new restaurants you would like to try. Put the names in a box or jar and draw one out when it is time to leave for your date. The element of surprise is exciting and creates some spontaneity!
If you choose to do this one, you will want to reserve tickets as soon as you can, because it will sell out. Tickets are $25. This is a walking tour through the beautiful grounds at Newfields. You will see expertly designed light displays that will take your breath away. Drinks and food are available for purchase.
Check out the hockey season this winter. Promotional nights are scheduled throughout the season, including Wintertainment and All You Can Eat nights included in the ticket price. The Indy Fuel are the NHL affiliate for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Check out Flix Brewhouse on Wednesdays for Discount Day. Movies are 5.25 a ticket. Flix is unique in that they brew their own beer and have a kitchen serving a full menu. Save time and money by combining the typical dinner and movie date night at Flix.
See the Lights
Sometimes it’s nice to just drive around in the comfort of your own car. Set off to see the holiday lights around town, without the constant distraction of kids yelling in the back. Check out this map and plan your route.
Appetizers Only Dinner
Switch up your typical dinner plans and order a few appetizers from the menu to share. Sharing food brings a new level of intimacy to your dinner date. Strangebird has a great menu for this; not to mention the tiki bar vibes are sure to warm you up. Divvy is another awesome place to try this out. Their specialty is small plates and they are oh so delicious.
Indianapolis is filled with plenty of exciting and affordable options for your next date night. Consider trying out one of these ideas, and if you have a great date night idea we left off the list, et us know! Bundle up and enjoy the wonder of winter in our beautiful city. Be sure to check out all of our date night articles to stay up to date on the newest things to do in your neck of the woods.