Cold-weather dates will have sparks flying

Does winter exist in sunny paradisiacal San Diego? Kind of. In the context of Buffalo’s bone chilling negative digits, 45-50 degrees isn’t really that cold. But to thin-blooded locals, it’s chilly enough. With bikini beach days and watersports potentially off the table, pulling out the arsenal of “winter” dating ideas is a must.

Here are a few suggestions to bring that snowy feel of excitement to new romances while keeping the fire alive in veteran relationships:

Hit the ice

It may seem peculiar strapping on skates in 50-60 degree weather, but nothing gets a body in the winter spirit more than ice skating. Test your balance by taking a glide (or tumble) on ice rinks around the city, including a few outdoor options along with year-round standards. Hurry to catch the rink at Liberty Station through Jan. 7. The Viejas Casino & Resort in East County hosts its ice rink until January 28. While there, check out the buffet, named a favorite by Facebook group Eating and Drinking San Diego. For indoor locales, head to the fabulously upgraded Westifeld UTC mall, San Diego Ice Arena in Mira Mesa or the IcePlex Escondido, which has live band nights.

Not athletic? Head to a San Diego Gulls game to see the pros — sitting next to the ice will give a wintry feel to the date, so be sure to bundle up.

Liberty Station: 2875 Dewey Rd., Point Loma, libertystation.com

Viejas Casino & Resort: 5000 Willows Rd., Alpine, viejas.com

Westfield UTC: 4545 La Jolla Village Dr., Golden Triangle, utcice.com

IcePlex Escondido: 555 N. Tulip St., Escondido, iceplexescondido.com

Take day trip to Big Bear

Raise your Instagram, Snapchat and GoPro bar exponentially with a quick three-hour drive north. Outdoor couples can make endless memories in the winter wonderland of skiing, snowboarding, tubing and cozy village life. Even if outdoor sports isn’t in the cards, snuggling up in a local cafe or restaurant with hot cocoa and desserts makes for a getaway you won’t soon forget.

630 Bartlett Rd., Big Bear, bigbear.com

Cozy up with a binge night

Grab local growlers of wine or beer (or kombucha for health lovers) and turn on the Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go or Amazon Prime. A few easy starters:

Game of Thrones, HBO: If you are one of the few Americans alive who hasn’t seen it, crawl out from under the rock. It couldn’t be more appropriate seasonally with its “Winter is Coming” tagline, and you are going to need that blanket to cover your eyes. Be prepared for skull smashing and violent fantasy, but the riveting show makes for great conversation, laughter, and texting during work.

The Last Kingdom, Netflix: Often compared to GOT, this one is about Danes vs. Saxons. Guys will love the Viking war mongering and violent bloodshed, while gals can fantasize about the trifecta of hotness that is Uhtred, Ragnar, and Erik.

Stranger Things, Netflix: One of the most popular binge-worthy shows on TV, this perfectly rendered snapshot of the 1980s is electric. Especially relatable to children of that decade (they get every detail right), this show will have your reminiscing about mixtapes, Dungeons and Dragons and station wagons while being transfixed to the TV.

Try indoor sports

Given, it’s hard to head inside when it’s summertime and beautiful, but as the mercury drops, the idea gains merit. Try your hand at indoor skydiving, rock climbing, and even bowling to work off those calories from couch binging and keep that summer bod in check. And spotting your new honey from below doesn’t sound like a bad idea, does it? Check out some top dates for adrenaline junkies here.

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