By Amy McNeal

The weather outside might be frightful, but time with your sweetheart is always delightful. In the chill of winter, picnics in the park and wine on the roof deck are off the table when planning date activities. Baltimore’s many great warm weather attractions become less enticing when you’re freezing. So what can a pair of lovebirds do to stay warm and cozy, yet still have a great time? Spend some quality time together at one of these best winter date locations in Baltimore.


Stay warm and comfy while looking at some of the fabulous live animal displays at the National Aquarium. From fabulously colorful tropical fish to close up looks at sharks, the Aquarium provides sights to see around every corner. Get up close and personal with the beautiful dolphins at the Dolphin Show. You and your sweetie can be transported far from the icy temperatures to the Land Down Under with a visit to the warm and wonderful Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes pavilion. Funny lizards, mighty crocodiles, beautiful birds and colorful fish await you in a realistic approximation of the sun-warmed comfort of their natural habitat.

Dining options abound in the area and include Hard Rock Cafe, Tir na Nog and Five Guys Burgers and Fries.

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Treat your honey to a classic winter date in classic style – a movie date. It may be cold outside, but snuggling up in front of a great movie will warm you up quickly! The historic Charles Theater has been showing Baltimore an eclectic selection of films since 1959. This movie house offers first run Hollywood films, small company independent films, foreign films and revival showings of classic films. The Charles expanded from one screen to two in 1999, but took great care to preserve the feel of its original old school atmosphere. Classic movie lovers: don’t miss the revival series, featuring special showings of some of the best films from the 1940s to the 1970s. These classic films, shown at special time on Saturdays, Mondays and Thursdays will transport you back to the Golden Age of Hollywood. The majestic Beaux Arts building offers you and your date an evening of old school glamor with a side of hip, modern flair. Adult movie tickets are $7.50 for matinees, $9.50 for evening shows.

Located in the Station North Arts District, the Charles Theater also has plenty of dining and dancing opportunities in the neighborhood. Start your date with dinner at the renowned small plates restaurant Tapas Teatro (located at the Charles Theater), and finish your evening with some drinks at the always-funky Club Charles across the street.

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While the cold weather may prevent you and your sweetheart from being able to enjoy many of your normal active outdoor activities, the winter months can give you the chance to try something new – like ice skating. Baltimore’s Mount Pleasant Ice Arena offers the perfect opportunity to strap on a pair of skates and take a twirl around the ice. This 20-year-old rink is where Olympic champion figure skater Kimmie Meissner got her start, and the great skater and Baltimore resident Dorothy Hamill can still be found getting her workout on the ice at Mount Pleasant. But you don’t need to be a champion skater to enjoy taking some turns around the ice with your date at this large and clean facility.  It’s affordable, too – public sessions are $4 and skate rentals are $2. It’s a perfect way for two athletic lovebirds stymied by the cold to get some exercise and some snuggling in on an active winter date.

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Get in out of the cold and warm up your date with some culture! The Walters Art Museum offers collections ranging from pre-dynastic Egyptian art to 20th Century paintings. This is an especially fun museum to visit because it offers more than simply rows of paintings and sculptures to admire. You will see dozens of everyday objects used by people from other times and cultures. The museum also has a huge collection of illuminated manuscripts and early printed books for bookworms to marvel over. Of particular interest at the Walters is the wonderful jewelry display featuring exquisite Faberge eggs from Imperial Russia. This museum offers something for art and culture lovers of every stripe. Spend some time with your sweetheart in the toasty warm museum surrounded by beautiful objects.

Enjoy one of the many varied dining options nearby. For an added touch of elegance to your date, make a reservation at The Helmand and sample their famous Afghan food.

Amy McNeal is a writer and journalist living in Bowie, Md. A Baltimore native, she’s constantly intrigued by her city’s vibrant and unique culture.