Low temperatures and rain clouds? Feels a lot like cuddle weather! It’s that semi-dreaded time of year when everyone locks in a special someone to use as a space heater and meal companion. Since Netflix and chill can get old quick, and you’re not likely to get snowed-in in the Bay, we’ve got your handy dandy guide to the Bay’s best dates during these chilly winter months.
Premiering in the US right here in San Francisco this February, this exhibition projects more than 200 of Picasso’s works at sizes that are larger-than-life. Show off your knowledge of surrealism or learn something new with your boo. Plus, you can enter to win tickets here!
Break a sweat and channel your inner 70s skate crew vibes with your boo at this church-turned-roller-disco. You can buy tickets online for an hour and a half session, or pay cash at the door. Pro tip: grab tickets for one of the evening 18+ sessions if you want to skate and date sans kiddos.
What’s better than tickets to one Bay Area concert? Tickets to more than 90! With Noise Pop Festival badges, you’ll get entry to every general admission show on the lineup. That’s six days of indie music at participating venues! Not sure you like your date that much? Tickets to individual shows are always an option too.
This fully restored historical theatre boasts a full-service bar and kitchen, five screens to choose from, and awesome screenings of blockbusters as well as smaller indie flicks. You can order dinner while you watch, or stop by Bear Vs. Bull (a cozy bar tucked away just inside the lobby) after the showing for a famed piña colada.
(1096 S. Van Ness Ave // Mission)
Chow down on American fare and get ready to putt the night away at this kitschy Mission mini golf spot. The quirky indoor 14-hole course closes at 8 pm for those under 21, so you can have plenty of fun without other miniature distractions. Reservations are recommended for guaranteed entry.
House of Air
(926 Mason St // Presidio)
Wade through the Presidio fog to reach the neighborhood’s hidden gem: a trampoline park in an old airline hangar. The recreation center offers private lessons, group classes, and open access, meaning everyone can get their jump on. You can make reservations in advance online, for grippy socks and all.
This discovery zone is popular with all ages, but on Thursday nights from 6 – 10, they’re only open for adults. Sip on cocktails and try out some brain games during the After Dark series, which showcases different speakers, music, and activities depending on the theme of the week.
(2200A Market St // The Castro)
Everyone agrees that arcade games and alcohol are a match made in heaven, and so are you and your date! With a full menu, craft cocktails, weekly events, and plenty of arcade games, this popular Castro spot is a one-stop-shop for a great night. Check it out on the first Tuesday of the month for free play on all games!
Unwind from a long day, week, or season with live jazz, creative cocktails, and delicious bites in an intimate setting. Talk up a storm and catch up with your date or swing and jive the night away. Be sure to make a reservation if you want to be seated at a table instead of the bar.
Ice skating is the quintessential winter date, and Yerba Buena has you covered. When you bring your boo, you’ll have someone to cozy up to and hold hands with as you skate, or, perhaps more realistically, someone to bring down with you when you fall. Don’t forget to bundle up!
This discovery center focuses on space and science for the whole family, but appeals to nerdy adults too. Check out their exhibits, then partake in an all-consuming and psychedelic experience in their massive planetarium, or plan your tip around one of their free telescope viewing events.
(98 Broadway // Oakland)
We suggest skipping Plank’s food and heading straight for the drinks and games. This Jack London joint has you covered with an array of games like bowling, arcade, and bocce ball, all with a view of the water — a.k.a the perfect backdrop for that post-strike smooch.
Get in touch with your creative side while flexing your artistic knowledge at the East Bay’s best museum. Though their Friday night block parties are temporarily on hold due to COVID, you can still get in for a suggested donation of only $5 on the first Sunday of every month.
(9777 Gold Links Rd // Oakland)
The Oakland Zoo is a fun spot any time of the year, but Glowfari (happening on select dates throughout December and January), will make you see it in a whole new light. Larger-than-life lanterns, gondola rides above the Bay Area skyline, and activities for families and couples alike will leave you in awe of the season.
(2181 Shattuck Ave // Berkeley)
If you’re looking for something low-key, it’s hard to top a pizza dinner. With wood-fired pizzas, plenty of beers, routine live music, and a toasty fire pit, this place has everything you need for the coziest winter date night, no matter the temperature outside.
Peninsula + South Bay
(2925 Mead Ave // Santa Clara)
Get your speed demon on and challenge your date to a race at this indoor go-kart spot. Don’t forget to practice good sportsmanship and treat the loser to a bite after, and check out the arcade games if you’re thirsting for some additional competition!
The drive-in concept is the only retro thing at this fully digital drive-in theater. Watch the same first run movies you’d catch at any other theatre while you cuddle in the comfort of your own vehicle. Admission is only $8.75, and the theater also hosts specials, leaving plenty of extra funds to ball out at the snack bar.
(52 E Santa Clara // San Jose)
Vintage pinball machines and arcade games, great drinks, and amazing food (house made bourbon ice cream, anyone?) are all you need for a no-brainer date night with your loved one. Pro tip: head over during happy hour for weekday fun and on Thursday nights for free-play games!
Ball out at the Four Seasons Hotel – Silicon Valley by booking your own semi-private chalet at their luxurious holiday pop-up lounge featuring cheese and champagne fondue, fireside movies, and a nightly “snowfall.” Feel like you’re on the ultimate romantic getaway for only a couple hours.
This may not seem like the *most* romantic date spot, but who knows what can go down once you and your partner let off some steam via giant ax hurling. It might even be the perfect time to let them know your parents are coming to town. Go during walk-in hours or book your slot ahead of time for some guaranteed fun.
Board the North Bay’s most interesting mode of transportation, which also happens to serve food and wine. We can’t think of anything more romantic than traveling through wine country in a vintage train. Choose from a variety of tour options offering lunch, dinner, or afternoon tea.
(1250 Bridgeway // Sausalito)
Ship up to Sausalito for beer, wine, pizza, and, of course, bocce ball! Enjoy breathtaking views of the water and a healthy dose of competition while staying warm at their backyard fire pit. The couple that plays (bocce) together stays together!
If you and your date are both bookworms, The Depot is definitely worthy of a stop. Shop the shelves for a good read, then grab coffee and a pastry (or a glass of wine and some small plates depending on the hour), and grab a seat. You won’t even need to talk to feel cozy and connected!
Sure, the coast is here year-round, but migrating whales and seal pups are a late-winter phenomenon worth witnessing. You can easily make a day out of hiking and exploring Bodega Bay – just remember to bring some binoculars so you can observe these animals from a distance.