December 20, 2019

25 Cincinnati Winter Date Ideas That Are Actually Cute

It's cuffing season, y'all. While it may be tempting to stay cuddled up on the couch with your significant other all season long, you should probably venture outside and embrace the chill at least a few times. If you do, here are some cute and cozy date ideas sure to make anyone bundle up and take on the frigid temperatures.  
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Head to the Slopes at Perfect North
Indiana may not be the most conventional place to ski, but Perfect North is pretty rad. Warning: This suggestion is most definitely an all-day endeavor, so maybe don’t go here on a first date in case it goes south. About a 30-minute drive outside of Cincinnati, you can take to the slopes via skiing, snowboarding or snow tubing. Warm up afterward at The Lodge with hot cocoa or coffee. Food options mostly consist of various sandwiches, burgers and other classic fare — from pizza to chicken tenders to soup.  $50 8-hour lift ticket; group rates and rental equipment available. 19074 Perfect Pl Ln, Lawrenceburg, IN, perfectnorth.com 
Photo via Facebook/PerfectNorth

Head to the Slopes at Perfect North

Indiana may not be the most conventional place to ski, but Perfect North is pretty rad. Warning: This suggestion is most definitely an all-day endeavor, so maybe don’t go here on a first date in case it goes south. About a 30-minute drive outside of Cincinnati, you can take to the slopes via skiing, snowboarding or snow tubing. Warm up afterward at The Lodge with hot cocoa or coffee. Food options mostly consist of various sandwiches, burgers and other classic fare — from pizza to chicken tenders to soup. $50 8-hour lift ticket; group rates and rental equipment available. 19074 Perfect Pl Ln, Lawrenceburg, IN, perfectnorth.com
Photo via Facebook/PerfectNorth
Take in the Cincy skyline in a cozy rooftop igloo
Hear me out: igloos with sweeping scenic views of the skyline. And you don’t even have to embrace the cold — they’re heated! You can get snug in an illuminated, transparent dome at The Banks’ AC Upper Deck through February. One of the best parts of winter is arguably the intense, vibrant (albeit short-lived) sunsets. Joined with a view of downtown all the way across the Roebling Bridge into Covington, is there anything really better? AC’s igloos seat up to 8 guests each — make it a giant friend date! — and are complete with blankets, pillows, LED lights and even an electric fireplace. Choose your sips from a seasonal cocktail menu that features both warm and cold beverages, from spiked hot cocoa to mulled wine to The Banks Bellini. Reserving an igloo costs $30 and there's a purchase minimum of $250 worth of food and drink. The View at Shires’ Garden also has heated igloos on their rooftop patio with blankets, board games, a bluetooth speaker to play music and more. AC Upper Deck, 135 Joe Nuxhall Way, The Banks, acupperdecks.com;The View at Shires’ Garden, 309 Vine St., The Banks, theviewatshiresgarden.com.
Photo via Facebook/ShiresGarden

Take in the Cincy skyline in a cozy rooftop igloo

Hear me out: igloos with sweeping scenic views of the skyline. And you don’t even have to embrace the cold — they’re heated! You can get snug in an illuminated, transparent dome at The Banks’ AC Upper Deck through February. One of the best parts of winter is arguably the intense, vibrant (albeit short-lived) sunsets. Joined with a view of downtown all the way across the Roebling Bridge into Covington, is there anything really better? AC’s igloos seat up to 8 guests each — make it a giant friend date! — and are complete with blankets, pillows, LED lights and even an electric fireplace. Choose your sips from a seasonal cocktail menu that features both warm and cold beverages, from spiked hot cocoa to mulled wine to The Banks Bellini. Reserving an igloo costs $30 and there's a purchase minimum of $250 worth of food and drink. The View at Shires’ Garden also has heated igloos on their rooftop patio with blankets, board games, a bluetooth speaker to play music and more. AC Upper Deck, 135 Joe Nuxhall Way, The Banks, acupperdecks.com;The View at Shires’ Garden, 309 Vine St., The Banks, theviewatshiresgarden.com.
Photo via Facebook/ShiresGarden
Visit the ice skating rink at Fountain Square
It’s a classic rom-com scene: One half a couple can barely stand on skates while the other glides past in comical fashion. No matter the skill level, Fountain Square’s ice rink is open to everyone. Grab your main squeeze and take in this magical Cincinnati staple. Skate rental is available and concessions include snacks, hot chocolate and alcohol. Santa skates select weekends in December.Through Feb. 2. $6 admission; $4 skate rental. Fountain Square, 520 Vine St., Downtown.
Photo via Facebook/MyFountainSquare

Visit the ice skating rink at Fountain Square

It’s a classic rom-com scene: One half a couple can barely stand on skates while the other glides past in comical fashion. No matter the skill level, Fountain Square’s ice rink is open to everyone. Grab your main squeeze and take in this magical Cincinnati staple. Skate rental is available and concessions include snacks, hot chocolate and alcohol. Santa skates select weekends in December.Through Feb. 2. $6 admission; $4 skate rental. Fountain Square, 520 Vine St., Downtown.
Photo via Facebook/MyFountainSquare
Get a little wild at the PNC Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo
Your Instagram feed has likely been filled with snaps taken at this wintery destination. Seriously, it seems that every couple bundles up and makes the trek to witness The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s Festival of Lights, which is in its 37th year of twinkly wonder. Voted the No. 1 zoo light show in the country by readers of USA Today, 3 million LED lights (that’s 284 miles of lights) transform the zoo into a dazzling display of color and festive cheer. New this year is an immersive Northern Lights experience and Fiona’s Fairyland, where five fairy hippopotamuses will be hidden for visitors to find. Ride the Toyland Express train past the Wild Lights show on Swan Lake, snack at the two S’mores-n-More stations, meet the “royal sisters” at the Frozen Wonderland, catch a Madcap black light puppet show and snap a pic with Santa, who will start taking visitors an hour before the festival begins. Whatever you do, make sure to do it with a cup of hot cocoa (spiked or not) in hand.
Through Jan. 4. Free with zoo admission. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Get a little wild at the PNC Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo

Your Instagram feed has likely been filled with snaps taken at this wintery destination. Seriously, it seems that every couple bundles up and makes the trek to witness The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s Festival of Lights, which is in its 37th year of twinkly wonder. Voted the No. 1 zoo light show in the country by readers of USA Today, 3 million LED lights (that’s 284 miles of lights) transform the zoo into a dazzling display of color and festive cheer. New this year is an immersive Northern Lights experience and Fiona’s Fairyland, where five fairy hippopotamuses will be hidden for visitors to find. Ride the Toyland Express train past the Wild Lights show on Swan Lake, snack at the two S’mores-n-More stations, meet the “royal sisters” at the Frozen Wonderland, catch a Madcap black light puppet show and snap a pic with Santa, who will start taking visitors an hour before the festival begins. Whatever you do, make sure to do it with a cup of hot cocoa (spiked or not) in hand. Through Jan. 4. Free with zoo admission. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Celebrate at Glow Vision New Year’s Eve at 3 Points
One of Cincinnati's most popular New Year's Eve parties, "First Midnight," returns to Pendleton's 3 Points Urban Brewery — and this year, they're bringing a black light. Hosted by Cincy Music, 3 Points and CityBeat, the Glow Vision-themed event will kick off at 9 p.m. and features live entertainment, unlimited craft beer and cocktails, a champagne toast, appetizers and midnight party favors. Complimentary UV light face painters will be present to transform guest's faces into glowing masterpieces when the brewery goes black at midnight. When the lights go out and the black lights turn on, the invisible face paint will begin to glow and the space will transform into a wild neon celebration. Guests are encouraged to wear vibrant or white clothing; the event is not a formal affair. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31. $100. 3 Points Urban Brewery, 331 E. 13th St., Pendleton, firstmidnight.com. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Celebrate at Glow Vision New Year’s Eve at 3 Points

One of Cincinnati's most popular New Year's Eve parties, "First Midnight," returns to Pendleton's 3 Points Urban Brewery — and this year, they're bringing a black light. Hosted by Cincy Music, 3 Points and CityBeat, the Glow Vision-themed event will kick off at 9 p.m. and features live entertainment, unlimited craft beer and cocktails, a champagne toast, appetizers and midnight party favors. Complimentary UV light face painters will be present to transform guest's faces into glowing masterpieces when the brewery goes black at midnight. When the lights go out and the black lights turn on, the invisible face paint will begin to glow and the space will transform into a wild neon celebration. Guests are encouraged to wear vibrant or white clothing; the event is not a formal affair. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31. $100. 3 Points Urban Brewery, 331 E. 13th St., Pendleton, firstmidnight.com.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Take a stroll to Findlay Market’s Maverick Chocolate Co. 
Brisk walks in the winter are underrated. Embrace the chill! But do it with a hot beverage in hand… and while wearing many layers. If I may suggest, Maverick Chocolate Co. has one of the richest and creamiest sips the city has to offer. Their cocoa — or, as they call it, drinking chocolate — is made in-house with a mix that is made up of 65 percent dark chocolate and whole milk. Top it with fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Made French-style, it's more bitter than its cocoa counterparts and totally worth the splurge. Walk through the market with your main squeeze as toasty as can be.  29 W. Elder St., Findlay Market, Over-the-Rhine, maverickchocolate.com. 
Photo via Facebook/MaverickChocolate

Take a stroll to Findlay Market’s Maverick Chocolate Co.

Brisk walks in the winter are underrated. Embrace the chill! But do it with a hot beverage in hand… and while wearing many layers. If I may suggest, Maverick Chocolate Co. has one of the richest and creamiest sips the city has to offer. Their cocoa — or, as they call it, drinking chocolate — is made in-house with a mix that is made up of 65 percent dark chocolate and whole milk. Top it with fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Made French-style, it's more bitter than its cocoa counterparts and totally worth the splurge. Walk through the market with your main squeeze as toasty as can be. 29 W. Elder St., Findlay Market, Over-the-Rhine, maverickchocolate.com.
Photo via Facebook/MaverickChocolate
Snow Banks at The Banks
Every Weekend in January, The Banks will transform into a snowy ski-lodge-inspired destination that could easily pass as the backdrop to one of those cheesy holiday rom-coms. The $5 admission includes attractions like a 50-foot Frisch’s Big Boy Snow Tube Run, Joe’s Snow Ride sledding hill, live ice sculptures, hockey challenges a la the Cincinnati Cyclones and more. Acoustic music performances are also on deck. Freedom Way between Joe Nuxhall and Walnut Streets will become the Frontgate Lounge, complete with firepits, drinks, sing-a-longs, rides on the SkyStar wheel, s’mores and even a “snow blizzard” made possible by special effects producer Dieter Sturm.  Kicks off Jan. 3 through Jan. 26. The Banks, 150 East Freedom Way, Downtown.  
Photo: Emerson Swoger

Snow Banks at The Banks

Every Weekend in January, The Banks will transform into a snowy ski-lodge-inspired destination that could easily pass as the backdrop to one of those cheesy holiday rom-coms. The $5 admission includes attractions like a 50-foot Frisch’s Big Boy Snow Tube Run, Joe’s Snow Ride sledding hill, live ice sculptures, hockey challenges a la the Cincinnati Cyclones and more. Acoustic music performances are also on deck. Freedom Way between Joe Nuxhall and Walnut Streets will become the Frontgate Lounge, complete with firepits, drinks, sing-a-longs, rides on the SkyStar wheel, s’mores and even a “snow blizzard” made possible by special effects producer Dieter Sturm. Kicks off Jan. 3 through Jan. 26. The Banks, 150 East Freedom Way, Downtown.
Photo: Emerson Swoger
A Zinzinnati Holiday at the Krohn Conservatory
The Krohn’s annual holiday display’s theme is A Zinzinnati Holiday and the conservatory’s cache of tropical and lush green plants will be complemented by “representations of Cincinnati’s historical architecture,” fragrant holiday floral displays, model trains and mini Cincinnati buildings constructed out of whimsical natural materials. 
Through Jan. 5. $10 adults; $7 youth; free ages 4 and under. Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams
Photo: Devin Luginbill

A Zinzinnati Holiday at the Krohn Conservatory

The Krohn’s annual holiday display’s theme is A Zinzinnati Holiday and the conservatory’s cache of tropical and lush green plants will be complemented by “representations of Cincinnati’s historical architecture,” fragrant holiday floral displays, model trains and mini Cincinnati buildings constructed out of whimsical natural materials. Through Jan. 5. $10 adults; $7 youth; free ages 4 and under. Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams
Photo: Devin Luginbill
 Catch a flick at the Esquire Theatre
The weather outside may be frightful, but the warm, buttery popcorn at Esquire, Mariemont and Kenwood Theatres sounds delightful. Catch up on 2019’s most-lauded films ahead of awards season or peep some special screenings. From warm and fuzzy Little Women to Adam Sandler-starring Uncut Gems to the much-anticipated blockbuster Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker, there’s plenty of flicks hitting the big screen this winter. For good measure, here’s a few coming out in January: a remake of The Grudge, Bad Boys for Life and Just Mercy. Dinner and a movie will forever be classic date material, so it’s hard to do damage with this choice. $10.25 adults; $7.75 seniors and kids. Esquire Theatre, 320 Ludlow Ave., Clifton.
Photo: Emerson Swoger

Catch a flick at the Esquire Theatre

The weather outside may be frightful, but the warm, buttery popcorn at Esquire, Mariemont and Kenwood Theatres sounds delightful. Catch up on 2019’s most-lauded films ahead of awards season or peep some special screenings. From warm and fuzzy Little Women to Adam Sandler-starring Uncut Gems to the much-anticipated blockbuster Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker, there’s plenty of flicks hitting the big screen this winter. For good measure, here’s a few coming out in January: a remake of The Grudge, Bad Boys for Life and Just Mercy. Dinner and a movie will forever be classic date material, so it’s hard to do damage with this choice. $10.25 adults; $7.75 seniors and kids. Esquire Theatre, 320 Ludlow Ave., Clifton.
Photo: Emerson Swoger
Set sail on BB Riverboat’s Brrrbon Holiday Dinner Cruise
Local distilleries and BB Riverboats have teamed up for this boozy cruise. There will be a buffet of holiday favorites, live music and bourbon. 7-9:30 p.m. Dec. 21. $60 adults; $42 children. BB Riverboats, 101 Riverboat Row, Newport.
Photo via bbriverboats.com

Set sail on BB Riverboat’s Brrrbon Holiday Dinner Cruise

Local distilleries and BB Riverboats have teamed up for this boozy cruise. There will be a buffet of holiday favorites, live music and bourbon. 7-9:30 p.m. Dec. 21. $60 adults; $42 children. BB Riverboats, 101 Riverboat Row, Newport.
Photo via bbriverboats.com