15 Unique Winter Date Ideas Near Utah Valley


Utahns are well-acquainted with winter – as it seems to stretch on forever. Make the most of the cold months this year with some unique activities and someone special to do them with!

If it’s chilly outside, but not quite yet winter check out our fall date ideas in Utah valley

Ice Blocking

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TR5ZPG7GBcQ

Ice blocking is one of those things that everyone has heard of but nobody has actually done. Well, I have actually done it … once. I may not be an experienced ice blocker, but the time that I did go was a fun and memorable date.

For those who have never heard of ice blocking, it is an activity where you get a big block of ice, sit on it, and slide down a hill. Ice blocking makes a sledding-type date possible in all seasons and conditions.

For ice blocking, you’ll need three things: a good hill, some towels, and, of course, blocks of ice.

The best hill for ice blocking is found at Rock Canyon Park in Provo, Utah (2620 N 1200 E, Provo, UT 84604). The park is shaped like a bowl with big sloping sides- perfect for sliding down.

You’ll need a towel to cover the ice block with when you sit on it. Without the towel, your butt will get cold, wet, and possibly stick to the ice (embarrassing).

Blocks of ice used to be widely available for purchase, but nowadays most stores have eliminated block ice in exchange for bags of crushed ice. Not to fear, though, because you can make your own blocks of ice at home.

Riverwoods

If you’ve never been to the Riverwoods during winter before, you’re in for a treat! They go all out with Christmas lights and it looks beautiful at night. Grab some hot chocolate from the gas station, drive down to the Riverwoods, and take a walk under the lights. Inexpensive, relaxing, and perfect for winter!

Cake and Pool at Ernie’s

Ernie’s is a pretty well-known sports deli around Utah Valley. Their most impressive location (arguably) is on Center Street in Provo. In addition to the best sandwiches, this Ernie’s also makes yummy, inexpensive cakes. Even better, they have an array of pool tables – and games are just 75 cents a piece. If you’re looking for a unique, indoor date idea, just go to Ernie’s.

Ice Castles

The ice castles are a popular winter attraction in Utah. They are pretty much exactly what they sound like – buildings made from ice. There are plenty of corridors to explore, and even two ice slides. Plus, there is irrefutably something magical about going to a place called “The Ice Castles”. If you want her to go home and brag to her friends about her date, the ice castles will do the trick. Make sure to dress warm!

Admission costs $15 per person on weekdays and $22 on weekends. A bit pricey, but probably worth it.

SmashIt Rage Rooms

I bet you’ve never gone on a date before with the sole purpose of smashing things. Well, that’s what SmashIt is.

At this “rage room”, located in Salt Lake City, you pick the items that you want to smash from a selection of satisfyingly breakable objects such as glass bottles, plates, toasters, old electronics, etc. You pay by the weight of your items, and you are taken to a secluded room. You are given a helmet and gloves, as well as a few choices for weapons (axes, hammers, etc). You go into your room, smash to your heart’s content, and emerge when your rage has been satiated.

The Wash

The Wash is like the Mormon version of a relaxed bar. Basically, they make specialty, non-alcoholic drinks. There are lots of seating options and it’s a nice atmosphere to talk and get to know someone. They open every day except Sunday from 7 to 11 pm.

Some of their drink options include “Sour Shots”, “Chocolate Chai”, “Cuddle on the Beach”, and “No-Jito”.

Basketball Game

Winter season is basketball season! Whether you choose to enjoy from the stands or from your home television, watching a game together is always a fun date idea. If you choose to go in-person, you get to experience all of the excitement and atmosphere that comes with it! If you choose to watch from home, you can invite friends over or make it a relaxing night in. Either way, if you’re both sports fans, you can enjoy the game together.

ZooLights

Every year, Utah’s Hogle Zoo hosts a special Christmas experience called ZooLights. It’s pretty self-explanatory: the zoo is specially decorated with christmas lights. Walking down the lighted pathways at nighttime with a cup of hot chocolate in your hand feels almost magical – even more so with someone special. If you’re a big fan of Christmas lights, you will love ZooLights!

ZooLights are open from 5:30 to 9 pm. Adult admission costs $12.95 per person, with a $3 discount if you already have a membership to the park.

Indoor Smore’s

On winter nights, it’s always tempting to just stay in and snuggle. You can up your relaxing evening indoors by heating marshmallows over the stove and making some smore’s!

Get a Book to Read Together

If you’ve got yourself one who’s obsessed with reading, she will love this. Reading a book together is a lot like having a special Netflix series that you only watch together. Take a trip to Barnes and Noble, pick out a book, and whenever you’re at a loss for what to do, you two can read your book! Especially perfect for your cozy nights in.

Blacklight Volleyball

Regular volleyball just doesn’t cut it – especially during winter, when it gets dark at like 4 pm.

This date takes some planning ahead but, if you can pull it off, it will be unforgettable! You’ll need a volleyball net, a ball, neon T-shirts, glow sticks, a few other couples to play against, and, of course, black lights. Plus, bring a speaker and play music for an even better experience.

Really, if you invest in the black lights and the glow-in-the-dark merch, you can use them to liven up any nighttime sport – it doesn’t have to be volleyball. Spikeball, basketball, tennis, ping pong – really, anything – is better with black lights.

Luminaria

As told by the Thanksgiving Point website, “Luminaria is an enchanting walk through Ashton Gardens that transports you to another world with all of the sights, smells, sounds, and tastes of the holidays”. Like Zoolights, Luminaria is essentially a pathway decorated with Christmas lights. If you’re looking for a special activity to get you in a Christmas mood, Luminaria has you covered!

Take the Train to Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is also known for going all-out with its winter decorations. Temple Square is an especially popular destination to see lights and Christmas-themed entertainment. Even if you’re not a huge fan of Temple Square, there is still much to see in Salt Lake City, including Fashion Place Mall and The University of Utah. Save money on gas and make the experience more unique by taking the Trax.

Antelope Island

Antelope Island is a state park in Syracuse, Utah – about an hour and a half north of Provo. It is known for being a habitat for buffalo. Because of the long drive, I wouldn’t recommend doing this for a first date. But, it is a super fun little trip to do with your significant other/ someone you’ve been seeing for a while.

Bring a ton of blankets, some snacks, and a little lamp, and take the drive. If you follow the road into the park, you’ll come across a little beach area where you can arrange your set-up, look at the stars, and talk all night.

Some things to keep in mind: it’ll be freezing, so dress warm. There is a $15 entrance fee, so bring that amount in cash. There is a bathroom by the beach area, so no worries if your date has to pee. The park technically closes at 10 pm, but only the entrance closes, so as long as you have arrived by 10 pm, you can stay for as long as you want.

The first time I visited Antelope Island was with my then-boyfriend. We left at 8 and got there at 9:30. We didn’t know about the entrance fee, and there were no employees at the station, so we scrounged together $10 in cash and left it in an envelope. We found the beach area, set up our blankets, and laid there under the stars for hours. At one point, we both got up to use the bathroom. When we came back, there was – no lie – a buffalo rifling through our stuff. We sat at the top of the hill and waited for the buffalo to move on before we dared go back to our spot. It was a great memory.

Granny’s Drive-In in Heber

I mean, you can’t really go wrong with getting food on a date. But, she’s probably been to In N Out, Chick Fil A, Culver’s, and The BYU Creamery too many times. If you’re looking for something a little more unique, try Granny’s!

Granny’s is a little ma and pa shop in central Heber that serves some of the best food I’ve ever had. They focus on burgers and shakes, as most drive-in-style restaurants do. The food is decently-priced and not going to break your bank account. Even better, the drive to Heber is scenic and just long enough for some quality conversation to emerge.

Granny’s closes at 9, so keep that in mind when planning this date!

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