We’re all familiar with the typical ice cream or hot chocolate dates that seem to be the go-to at BYU-Idaho. Or maybe you’ve seen it disguised as a combo-deal when coupled with a devo-date or mini-golf. And honestly, it’s not a bad first date. It’s cheap, brief, and to the point. Alas, it lacks one crucial component: creativity. There’s no better way to get to know your date than by adding the element of creativity to bring out each other’s personalities.

It may seem like there’s not much else to do in Rexburg during the winter, but we’re here to change your mind. However, this list is not meant to become the new over-used clichés; the hope is to perhaps spark some ideas for you to add your own little creative twists this winter season.

Night on the Town

There may not be fancy art galleries or five-star restaurants around this small town, but our wallets are low-key grateful for that. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still dress to the nines for an evening out. Step out of your comfort zone and over-dress for a simple campus play or concert. While there isn’t a New York-style art gallery around, there is a mini gallery for students to enjoy in the Spori building; pretend you’ve been invited to an exclusive viewing of a high-end art exhibit and share your interpretations of the fine art.

Or, slip on your best suit or string of pearls to go somewhere totally informal such as a fast-food restaurant. Just make sure your date knows what’s going on so they can get on-board with the silly idea!

Find Your Inner-child

Adulting can be hard sometimes. Things were much simpler when we were younger and only had our imagination to keep us occupied; relieve some college stress by asking someone on a play-date. You could finger-paint a masterpiece with instructions from a Bob Ross video or paint portraits of each other using only your fingers (no paintbrushes allowed!).

Another idea is to build a blanket fort as an escape from the winter cold. Play card games in your fort or set up a laptop for a cozy movie night.

Starry Night

Stargazing is great and all until there are over six inches of snow on the ground. However, this doesn’t have to stop you from viewing the beautiful night sky with your date. Depending on the weather, the school observatory is open for free from 7:30-9:30 Monday-Thursday. Check their facebook page to see if the skies are clear enough for observations.

If your date falls on a Thursday, then kick the evening off by visiting the planetarium to learn about the different constellations. Tickets are first-come, first-served, selling at 6:30 pm, and are $2.00/person.

If you’re brave enough, then bundle up in layers, grab some hot chocolate (we’ll allow it), and head to the nature park near the fairgrounds to search for the constellations you learned about. The park is dark enough to get a good view of the stars, and there are benches to avoid lying down in the freezing snow.

Deck the Halls

The holidays are tough when you’re living far from home, but one way to bring some cheer is by decorating your apartment. The cheapest way to do this is by covering your apartment in paper snowflakes. Invite a date over to see who can make the most creative designs. Tape them to the walls, hang them from the ceiling with white thread, or stick them to the fridge. The best part is, this form of decorating can last after Christmas too!

Creative in the Kitchen

You know what they say… the stomach is the way to the heart. Rather than eating out, spend the night in with some homemade holiday favorites. Bake some Christmas cookies together or try a new soup recipe to warm up on a chilly day. Or, put a spin on the typical hot cocoa date by finding a homemade recipe to make yourselves. Spruce it up with some ‘mallows and whipped cream.

Dating is meant to be fun, so add some creativity to change it up every now and then. Step out of your comfort zone to try something silly, and see if your date is willing to be totally ridiculous with you. Take advantage of the resources on campus and check the calendars for different events. Add a creative element to the norm and have fun with it!