The holidays are officially here, the snow is falling and it's the season of love and wonder in Syracuse, NY. Whether you’re planning the perfect date with your significant other, looking for something to do with your longtime sweetheart or just struck luck on Tinder, there’s no shortage of winter date spots in Syracuse. We’re here to fill you in on the perfect places to cozy up at or new spots to mix it up while you wrap up your year. Check out our picks for the hottest cold weather dates in the region: 

1. Ice Skating & Sweets or Samplers

Get in the holiday spirit by ice skating next to the Christmas tree or giant Menorah in Clinton Square. Rent some skates or bring your own and test your skills on ice with your significant other. The prime Downtown location of the rink allows for many options for post-skating sweets & treats. Starting early? Plan a day date to skate and grab some award-winning donuts at the acclaimed Glazed & Confused bakery, or stop in to nearby Sweet Praxis, Syracuse's prized gluten-free and vegan option sweets spot. Or if you're skating into the evening hours, round out the night with an incredible dinner at Board & Bar Charcuterie or stroll down Salina Street to hit up Oh My Darling's fine cuisine or speakeasy basement bar, or scope out the acclaimed Salt City Market where you can warm up with the never-ending comfort of Southern Soul food at Soulutions, tasty desserts or a craft cocktail at the market's new Salt City Bar.

2. A Day in Skaneateles

It may not be ideal weather for strolling through vineyards, but let's be honest, it's ideal for cozying up next to a giant fireplace and savoring some wine. Anyela’s Vineyards offers a great atmosphere to enjoy great Finger Lakes blends and cozy up while sharing a cheese plate. Take advantage of being in this quaint town and explore the picturesque streets overlooking Skaneateles Lake. You can even catch a cast of over 50 characters from “A Christmas Carol” performing interactive street theater. This event, known as Dickens Christmas, starts the day after Thanksgiving and runs every Saturday and Sunday through Christmas, noon to 4 p.m. with a limited show on Christmas Eve from noon to 2:30 p.m. 

3. Snow Leopards & Irish Pubs

The Tipperary Hill neighborhood is the perfect spot for a unique date experience. Snow doesn’t stop Syracusans, and it doesn’t stop our zoo animals either. Take a walk through the Rosamond Gifford Zoo and enjoy great indoor and outdoor exhibits. Watch snow leopards play in the fresh powder or warm up in the tropical bird aviary. After your zoo visit, check out one of the many Irish Pubs that reside in the Tipp Hill neighborhood. Get adventurous and choose from the huge craft beverage selection at Now & Later or grab a table and some pub food at the famous Colemans. You can also head over to Blarney Stone for a signature burger and get competitive with some pool or darts. 

4. Hit the Slopes

Have you found your potential chairlift partner for life? Find out at one of our many spots where you can ski, snowboard or tube to your heart’s desire. Ski power couples can hit the trails at Labrador Mountain, and boarders can test out their skills together by taking on the terrain parks (stopping for wings and live music at the end-of-the-run bar and restaurant after, of course). Couples looking for a fun thrill that doesn’t require any skill can check out Four Seasons Golf & Ski Center and race to the bottom of their tubing hill. Work up an appetite after all the outdoor play? Green Lakes Lanes next to Four Seasons serves up the top-rated chicken riggies in the area. Pick a mountain and activity, get your adrenaline racing and share in a fun day together.

5. Got Game?

Share in your love of sports together by catching one of our many great teams we like to call our own. Get on the kiss cam at a Syracuse Crunch game or share in the Syracuse University Basketball season hype by catching an Orange game. If you have the same taste in stadium snacks and sports teams then you’re pretty much meant to be, right? If you’re looking to celebrate a win then the fun doesn’t need to stop there. Whether you catch a game at the JMA Wireless Dome at SU or War Memorial Arena, there are plenty of nearby options for post-game dinner or drinks, including the notorious Ale 'n' Angus Pub, voted "Best Burger" in New York State by the New York Beef Council 2012, 2013, 2018, 2019, 2021, & 2022! 

6. Sleigh Rides & Evergreens

Looking for a romantic holiday experience? Every Saturday & Sunday starting December 17, 2022, you can take a 20-minute sleigh ride (or hay ride, depending on weather) through Highland Forest on a horse-drawn sleigh. Make it a double-date and go with a group or book a private experience. This is a great time to take in the scenery of one of the most beautiful snowy landscapes in the area, whether you prefer to by sleigh, snowshoes, skis or sleds — you can do it all together here! Make an entire weekend out of the holiday spirit by heading over to Critz Farms in Cazenovia to cut your own Christmas tree alongside your cutie, warm up with a craft beverage or cider in their tasting room, and shop for your other loved ones in their Balsam Barn Gift Shop — consider it a souvenir from a successful holiday date experience.

7. Embrace the Arts Scene

If you’re looking to bring out your creative side this season, take on the Syracuse arts scene with your special someone. Pick out your favorite ceramic pieces at the Everson Museum of Art or even join in on a class together. The Everson also hosts the stunning Festival of Trees & Light where you can view beautifully decorated Christmas trees, performances, activities and events. Go out for a night of symphony music by catching a performance by Symphoria, or catch the Syracuse City Ballet's rendition of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" at the Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theater. There are also plenty of opportunities to see a show brought to you by the world-class performing artists of the Redhouse or Syracuse Stage. The theater is a perfect place to escape the elements and enjoy a night out on the town.