As the temperature and hours of daylight simultaneously decline, everyday tasks like waking up, staying up, driving, walking, etc. become a bit harder. Among these falls dating. But never fear, the winter months don’t have to hinder our connections or time we spend with the ones we love. Winter is actually the perfect time for courting your partner. This season is when we most need someone to snuggle up with, after all. Whether you prefer to be indoors or out, active or cozy, here are some date night ideas for the winter months around Fergus Falls.

If you can’t beat it, embrace it

Winter is inevitable, meaning snow, ice, and cold temperatures. While not always a great combination, there are perks that come with these things, too.

Get your ski on

Located a half hour from Fergus, Spidahl Ski Gaard is a cozy farmhouse nestled in a gorgeous ski area. The trail system ranges from beginner to expert, so no ski experience is required for this date. The park also offers ice skating, snowshoeing and hiking. Pack a picnic for you and your honey and enjoy it next to the wood-burning stove at the lodge. Glendalough State Park also offers ski rentals and lovely winter views.

Ice, ice, baby

After ice thickness is approved, our 10,000 lakes transform into 10,000 ice skating rinks. Grab your skates (check Goodwill if you need some) and head to the nearest lake. If you prefer to be inside, the Community Ice Arena in Fergus or Kent Freeman Arena in Detroit Lakes offer public skating times and concessions. Keep an eye out for the Ice Hole and Otter on the Water, two bars that open on the lakes in winter, too.

Take a hike

Fergus Falls is surrounded by undeniable natural beauty. Glendalough and Maplewood State Parks offer a network of walking trails. The Central Lakes Trail, One Mile Lake Trail, and sections of the North County Scenic Trail are also nearby and a great way to enjoy the outdoors with your loved one. Bring a sled and combine picturesque hiking with another favorite winter activity, sledding. Also check out Andes Tower Hill in Kensington to tube down the slopes, evoking inevitable laughs and instant memories.

Venture out

Fergus is both full of, and surrounded by, fun places to visit and explore. Use this winter season to take advantage of all the places Otter County has to offer.

Go bowling

As far as competitive sports go, bowling might be the best to partake in on a date. Visit Northern Aire Lanes and take a selfie on the scoreboard to see you and your partner on screen. Check out Cactus in Perham for a meal and a few games, or Shoreline Restaurant and Bowl in Battle Lake for a few rounds near the water.  Bowling can be a great date night for you and  your kids, your significant other or the entire family.

Try a new restaurant

Are there any restaurants in town that you’ve overlooked? Stop into Union Pizza for a woodfired ‘za, a drink, and homemade dessert. Check out Dining Car #423 for a chef-crafted weekend special and pair it with a cocktail. West-central Minnesota offers a plethora of restaurants; search for what you’re craving, dress to impress, and go on a mini-adventure somewhere new.

Follow the music

The Fergus area is a hub for the arts—and with that comes talented local artists. Union hosts Trivia on Tuesday nights and The Rusty Nail in Battle Lake has both live music and karaoke. The Center for the Arts has various shows happening most weekends, and with snacks and adult refreshments, it’s a full date-night experience. M-State and Springboard for the Arts also offer fine arts experiences. Look up what’s happening around town and enjoy live performances for an entertaining date.

Cozy up inside

If the last thing you want to do in the winter is step foot outside, you can enjoy plenty of dates within your well-heated four walls. Grab a couple of items to prepare, hunker in, and enjoy.

Movie night

A classic date that’s always a goodie, but consider spicing up the norm. Biffley’s downtown sells movies for almost as cheap as renting a Redbox for one night. Head into the store, browse an eclectic selection, and pick a movie you wouldn’t normally. Find a movie released the year you were born. Grab a film without even reading the description. Ask a friend to loan you one of their favorites. Then pick up some of your favorite snacks or take-out, and enjoy a night in.

Game night

If there’s any time to learn a new game, winter is it. Look up two-player card games or teach your partner a game. Cribbage, scrabble, bananagrams, or even chess can be the perfect way to spend time with your partner. Pick up Codenames, and suddenly your lover is a spy you have to defeat. Whatever you do, don’t take it easy on them.

Make something delicious

For this date, make cooking, baking, or bartending (or all three) an activity you share. Dream up an elaborate meal and make it together. Winter is debatably the best time for a sweet treat; make a pie from scratch or get inspiration for winter desserts online. Craft a cocktail neither of you has tried. Next time you see a yummy drink on a menu, grab the ingredients you need to make it. Bartend for each other and try a variety of drinks, all within the comfort of your home. If you’re feeling spunky, challenge yourself with a “cooking show meal.” Go to the grocery store and get an ingredient from each aisle, or only buy items that start with the same letter and form it into a meal. It might be ridiculous, but with your partner, it should be fun.

Overall, while our town might be little, there are many opportunities to make the most of these cold months. Like most things in the winter, a little extra effort goes a long way.

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