It seems like that whole thing about “cuffing season” (where people start dating instead of randomly hooking up during the colder months) is kind of legit – Tinder have revealed that we’re all using the dating app 18% more now that the weather’s turned icy.

Thing is, in summer it’s easy to get out/about with some cute guy or girl. The days are longer, the nights are warm enough to gallivant outside in the elements, and it feels like the entire country is aggressively trying to make you go to some sort of event (Moonlight cinemas, festivals, outdoor gigs, etc etc).

LISTEN NOW – PEDESTRIAN PODCAST NETWORKWaiting for a D8: The First Date

Then winter hits and it’s so bloody cold it’s hard to think about anything to do besides watch Netflix. But if you’re not at Netflix-and-chill levels with someone you’re into yet, what’s there to do?

Here’s some great date ideas that’ll 100/10 impress and don’t compromise on the warmth factor.

MULLED WINE, ANYWHERE

Honestly, the only good thing about winter is the ubiquitous presence of mulled alcoholic drinks. Mulled wine, mulled cider, other things that resemble mulled wine and cider. You’ll find them at pubs and bars all around Australia, and often in places that really suit a mulled wine date – think cosy, worn couches where you can sit reaaaally far apart before gradually getting close enough to basically lick each other’s faces after a few hours.

HIT UP AN ART GALLERY

Go get all cultural and shit and check out an art exhibition, or just meander through the ongoing collections at your local gallery since, um, you probably haven’t been since you were forced to in school. Art is interesting, there’s something for everyone, and it’s a nice thing to do on a rainy Sunday with someone you kinda want to kiss, since there’s plenty of little rendez-vous spots to do that in.

SEE SOME SPORTS

Unless you/your date hate sport with the fire of a thousand suns, why not buy cheap tix to the footy and go scream at some people just trying their hardest to catch balls on a field? Yes, it’s outside which is cold – but it’s the perf op to be all “brrr I’m chilly let’s hug”. Don’t eye-roll, everyone does it. Better yet – wear your fave beanie, since beanies look cute on literally everyone.

GO TO A TRIVIA NIGHT

Ok hear me out. I have this theory, which thus far is UNFAILING, that trivia is the perfect first date. If you get there and you hate the person, you have rounds and rounds of trivia to take up the time, and one thing you both agree on – combining brain forces to win. If you like them, you can bond over the shared loss/win, and you’ll have heaps to talk about bc trivia brings out everyone’s secret weird knowledge and reveals interests and shit (the last date I took to trivia knew an ad was for MYOB before it had even played on screen for two seconds, so I don’t know what that says about him but it was a convo starter for sure). End of rant.

GO ON A WINTERY DAY TRIP

If you’ve been on quite a few night dates, switch things up and do a short drive to the country. Winter is the perfect time to head to the Blue Mountains/Dandenongs/QLD Hinterland, and they’re all short-ish drives from the city. Bushwalk if you like, just hang around eating scones, whatever. Those places are made for the cold weather.

EAT SUNDAY ROAST (WITH… MULLED WINE)

Another pub event that works brilliantly in winter is the Sunday roast. Most pubs have one, they go perfectly with that mulled wine I mentioned before, and it means you actually eat so you don’t end up a drunk mess who tries to show your date how you “get down” to a softly playing Beyonce track in a quiet establishment (I have never done this, nope).

SEE A BAND

There are so many gigs on during winter, and because it’s chilly you won’t mind the extreme amount of body heat generated by the crowd. This is perfect if you share similar music tastes, but even if you don’t – go see someone you wouldn’t normally check out. Isn’t half the fun of dating learning about new shit from people?

Image: Gossip Girl