My partner and I celebrated our dating anniversary in the winter for years before we got married—and upgraded to a September wedding anniversary. In Boston, where we live, January is the bitter middle of winter.

Whether you’re celebrating a wedding anniversary or another kind, you’ve got options—even if the winter and even if it gets pretty cold where you are.

Photo via “Snowy January Old City Philadelphia wedding

Outdoor winter activities

I am not at all a winter sports person, so this one’s out of the question for my anniversary. But a lot of people really enjoy skiing, snowboarding and mountain climbing. If you do, more power to you!

If you’re an adventurous couple and you both like strapping on serious weather protection gear to venture out, you can make a day trip of it or even stay at a lodge somewhere to get the most out of winter activities.

There are also some less strenuous winter activities, like ice skating or horse and carriage rides, that can still be really romantic even if you two aren’t big on physical activity.

Go somewhere warm

The easy solution to the winter anniversary struggle is to travel and go somewhere warmer (ideally). Even if you travel somewhere equally chilly, you still might find that the change of scenery and exploration makes it feel special.

Even though by next year, we’ll have a new anniversary to celebrate (September wedding!), my partner and I are thinking of having our honeymoon in January to honor the original. If we do that, there’s no doubt we’ll be going somewhere warm.

If you can’t do a full weeklong vacation, consider just a long weekend away instead. And you can plan your travel around your budget, including traveling on off days or midweek to get deals on flights and hotels.


Create an adventure inside

Just because you’ve opted to stay indoors doesn’t mean the adventure has to end. You can celebrate with an escape room, paint or craft night, a winter tasting or a cooking class. You could go to a bookstore and pick out a book for each other and then trade, or check out classes at your local library. You might want to see a theatre performance, a drag show or a ballet.

Photo by Melissa van Ruiten Photography

Ask your partner if there’s anything they’ve been dying to try but haven’t, and make a list yourself. Then sit down and talk about what’s on both of your lists. Is there any overlap? Are there things that feel right for this anniversary?

Have a romantic night or weekend in

Winter is the perfect time of year to celebrate with a romantic night (or entire weekend) in. You could visit a spa together for some extra relaxation, or simply hole up together and do some of your favorite activities.

Movie marathon? Reading aloud to each other? Game night? Wine and Netflix? Whatever is you and your partner’s speed, you can still treat your night in like a special occasion if you’re celebrating an anniversary.

Little things like sharing a toast, exchanging gifts or writing each other handwritten letters can help make the occasion feel celebratory even if you’re in a familiar setting like your home.

Make a big about it — or not

Some people aren’t into hurrahs while others are quieter with how they honor anniversaries and other occasions. Don’t let the season stop you from celebrating exactly the way you and your partner want to.

If this is a big one, you can do more than just toast. Find some extra special way to bring out the love despite the weather.

On our 10-year anniversary, my partner was working because it was a weekday. I arranged to have my dad’s friend call her, pretending to be a delivery person with a package for her office. When she came out into the lobby to get it, I was there with flowers, right around the same time we started dating 10 years ago.

It was a little thing, but there wasn’t room for some of our favorite ways to celebrate in mid-January since we’re both warm weather people. It meant a lot to my partner and was a great way to share the love on an important winter day.

One of the hardest things about a winter wedding is that you’ll have a winter anniversary. So plan ahead with your partner or have some ideas prepared for spontaneity—maybe even a road trip with no map, as long as you’ve got all the blankets and coats you’ll need.