17 Winter Date Ideas in the Sacramento Area
NOTE: This post was updated in December 2018.
We are lucky enough to enjoy pleasant weather in Northern California all year long. However, if you and your date find yourselves with a free Saturday this winter when it’s a bit cloudy or rainy outside, there is still plenty to do!
You can either retreat to a cozy restaurant or bar, or take full advantage of the season by hitting the slopes in the Sierras. Get out there and explore the area with your partner this winter — whether you sit down together at a booth or on a ski lift!
1. Enjoy Dinner + a Show
After enjoying a cozy and delicious meal (paired with exceptional cocktails!) at Empress Tavern, simply walk upstairs to Crest Theatre to see a classic revival or specialty film, a concert, or live show. This historic theater is the perfect venue for an artsy date night, and is made all the better with a stop at Empress Tavern!
2. Listen to Live Blues Music
The Torch Club is Sacramento’s premier blues club, hosting the best in local and national blues acts six days a week. This is one of the best venues for hearing live music in town — especially if you’re a fan of the blues!
3. Enter a Secretive Speakeasy
During the Prohibition era, speakeasies illegally sold alcoholic beverages and were often hard to find. Thankfully, there are a number of secretive speakeasies in Sacramento, from swanky lounges to rustic saloons. These make an excellent location for a cozy winter date adventure!
4. Sip Local Brews
Photo Courtesy of Hop House
For a casual and fun date night, stop by Hop House in El Dorado Hills, where you’ll find amazing burgers and of course, a wide selection of craft beers. Their clean, industrial and relaxed environment is the perfect place to spend time with your significant other — especially if Hop House has a live band or musician playing!
5. Go Bowling
Keep things light-hearted with a few bowling games at Pins N Strikes in Elk Grove. Their clean and chic interior puts a modern twist on a childhood classic. Plus, they have a full-service bar so you can grab drinks while you play!
6. Take in Sacramento Scenery on a Train
Who says you have to be outside to take in the natural beauty of the Sacramento area? Enjoy scenery from the warm and comfortable seats on the Sacramento RiverTrain. This local, family-owned operation is dedicated to preserving a piece of Northern California history and providing a variety of unique things to do for the community. The rail line spans 14 miles from West Sacramento to Woodland, and travels at a leisurely 10 to 15 miles per hour. During this peaceful journey, you can enjoy a cozy dinner together, sample wines or beer, or even enjoy an entertainment show. It just depends on which type of train ride you book!
7. Cook a Meal at Home Using Local Ingredients
There’s something extra special about creating a meal together as a couple. As the Farm-to-Fork Capital of America, Sacramento has quite the array of year-round farmers’ markets to provide the most fresh ingredients for your recipe! Head to the Davis Farmers’ Market at Central Park in Davis every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. any time of the year for some fresh vegetables, meats, local eggs and honey, fresh baked goods, and more. You can even pick up a bottle of wine and a bouquet of flowers at the market to make the meal even more fancy and romantic!
8. Hit the Slopes
Consult our list of the best ski resorts near Sacramento, from big names like Heavenly in South Lake Tahoe to smaller resorts, like Sierra-at-Tahoe. Whether you like to ski, snowboard, tube, or simply make snow angels, a trip to the mountains makes for a fun and active day together in the beautiful Sierra Mountains.
9. Sample Regional Wines
Photos Courtesy of House of Oliver
Maybe you have been exploring the incredible wines of the region together, comparing flavors, expanding your palette, choosing favorites, and attending tastings together. Further your wine knowledge at House of Oliver in Roseville, where you’ll find a carefully curated selection of wines. Save a few bucks by stopping by during their happy hour Monday through Saturday from 3–6 p.m., or visit on a Friday or Saturday from 7–11 p.m. to enjoy live music. If you love your experience, you might consider becoming a wine club member at House of Oliver!
10. Solve a Mystery Together
Enjoy the thrill and adrenaline rush of solving a mystery together as you attempt to escape a themed room at Enchambered. Find your way through the mysterious puzzle-filled environment with secrets hidden all around you in this popular escape room. Find the clues, decipher the codes, and solve the mind-bending puzzles to escape the room — within an hour!
11. Paint a Masterpiece With Wine
Explore your creativity and sip on local wines at Painted in Folsom. No matter your levels of artistic skill, you’ll enjoy this fun and lighthearted experience following step-by-step instructions as you paint pieces of art side by side! Local wines offered at Painted come from Amador, Lodi, Napa and Sonoma. Check out their calendar and plan your next date night adventure in paint!
12. See a Play in a Historic Theater
Seeing a play is one of the most classic date night options, whether or not you consider yourself a theater fanatic. The Woodland Opera House is a unique blend of the past, present and future. The historical theater was built in 1896 but has since been restored to its original glory. Within this elegant and intimate setting, you can see one of Woodland Opera House’s main stage plays, musicals, concerts and more.
13. Act Like Kids Again
Photos Courtesy of Monster Mini Golf
Who says miniature golf is just for kids? Enjoy this classic game together at Monster Mini Golf in Rancho Cordova. This indoor mini golf course is the perfect destination for a rainy day, as you play 18 holes among a scary course with monster decor at every turn. Their course is challenging enough for adults to navigate, and you’ll be entertained by an in-house DJ the entire time!
14. Watch the Area’s Finest Chefs in Action
A visit to The Kitchen Restaurant doesn’t just mean you’ll enjoy an exquisite meal; it’s truly a unique experience. There’s a reason this locally owned eatery has earned every imaginable local and regional award along with an impressive list of national accolades. During your meal at The Kitchen, you will be served a five-course prix fixe meal that displays their culinary expertise and obsession with farm-fresh ingredients. Make sure you block off ample time for this meal as there is no rushing through this delightful experience. In fact, there is an intermission between the second and third courses, in which you are encouraged to wander around the space — even in the kitchen to mingle with the chefs!
15. Grab Brunch
Photo Courtesy of The Waffle Experience
During the winter, sometimes the most attractive date idea is sleeping in and meandering to the best brunch spot in town. You haven’t had a waffle until you’ve had one at The Waffle Experience. At either of their two locations in Sacramento and Folsom, you will have an amazing time trying their creative concoctions. In addition to their more traditional sweet waffles, you’ll find unique savory options, like their Farmer in the Dell waffle with country-fried steak, egg, kale, roasted tomato, country gravy, white cheddar, and a cracked pepper herb waffle! Order some of their superior coffee from Liberty Coffee Roasting Co., or mimosas and Bloody Marys to complement your meal.
16. Try Some Handcrafted Spirits
Dry Diggings Distillery in El Dorado Hills is a cozy destination for your next wintery date night. Its central location near wineries, the gold country, Apple Hill and the Sierra Mountains makes their focus on locally produced farm fruit, grains and wine even easier. They work with local farmers, vintners and breweries to craft vodka, whiskey, brandy and bourbon that perfectly represent the flavors and ingredients of the area. Sample their handcrafted spirits with a tour of the distillery or a tasting session! Make sure you make a reservation in advance so you can guarantee a spot on the tour.
17. Get a Couples’ Massage
After a long week, sometimes the only thing you want to do is hit the spa. Get a massage together at The Spa at Arden Hills, voted the “Best Day Spa” by Sacramento magazine readers for nine consecutive years. You will find a full range of revitalizing services for both men and women, allowing you to relax, rejuvenate, and revitalize your minds and bodies. The spa’s Deluxe Romance Package includes an 80-minute signature massage in the Couples Spa Suite, in addition to dinner and glasses of champagne for two!
What cozy date ideas would you add?
Let us know in the comments below!
Category Davis, El Dorado Hills, Elk Grove, Folsom, Neighborhood Guides, Roseville, Sacramento
Cathy Harrington is Lyon Real Estate’s director of marketing, overseeing the content on the Lyon Local blog, website and social media channels.