As the holiday season approaches, it’s the perfect time for engaged couples in Central Arkansas to create unforgettable memories together. Whether you’re looking to experience the magic of Christmas or indulge in cozy moments with your partner, we’ve compiled a list of enchanting date night ideas that will make this festive season even more special.

01. Stroll Through Winter Wonderland Lights

Central Arkansas is known for its dazzling holiday light displays. If you have grown up in Central Arkansas, you most likely know Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs is must-visit for their Holiday Lights display. Holiday Lights is currently in full swing, but you must reserve tickets before attending.

The Promenade at Chenal in Little Rock is hosting a Christmas tree lighting on Saturday, December 2nd. After the the tree lighting you and your fiance could enjoy dinner at one of The Promenade’s restaurants, drinks at Aloft Hotels bar WYXZ, or head to a movie at the Chenal 9 theatre.

And lastly you also have the Enchanted Forest Trail of Lights in Sherwood. This event opens on Friday, December 1st and also requires a reservation.

02. Ice Skating

Take your partner’s hand and glide across the ice under a starlit sky. The outdoor ice skating rink is back in downtown Benton. After you skate, walk downtown Benton and enjoy the Hallmark movie-feeling this city brings. You can easily walk to Koffee with a Kause as well to enjoy some of my personal favorite apple cider.

03. Christmas Shopping

Although technically located outside of Central Arkansas, Guess and Company’s Christmas at the Warehouse is an absolute must-visit, particularly if you’re seeking to acquire stunning Christmas decorations for your new abode. This delightful day trip is conveniently just an hour and a half away from Little Rock, providing an enjoyable escape for you and your loved one.

03. Attend the Ballet

Immerse yourselves in the melodious sounds of the season by attending the local ballet at the Robinson Center. With live music by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and the talented cast, you’ll truly be transported to a world beyond Arkansa as you watch the tale of the Nutcracker unfold. Hurry and secure your tickets, as they will sell quick!

04. Cookie Contest

Immerse yourself in the festive spirit with a delightfully charming event reminiscent of a Hallmark Christmas movie: the eagerly anticipated cookie contest.

Mark your calendars for December 9th as Benton proudly plays host to this magical competition. For couples who share a passion for baking, this promises to be a truly wonderful date-day idea. Best of all, entry is completely free, allowing you to showcase your culinary prowess and creativity. And, of course, if you’re already in Benton for the day you might as well go ice-skating too!

05. Get Crafty

If you’re looking for a unique and artistic date idea, we have not just one, but two exciting options for you! The first suggestion is to attend a captivating glass fusion or laser cutting class at The Innovation Hub. During these workshops, held on December 6th, you’ll have the opportunity to create your own personalized ornament. Don’t miss out—secure your spot now to guarantee an unforgettable experience.

For another delightful date night alternative, The Painted Pig in Little Rock offers a fantastic pottery painting experience. With expert guidance and instructions, you’ll be inspired to unleash your creativity on a beautiful piece of pottery. This enjoyable activity also presents an opportunity to craft a heartfelt Christmas present for someone special. It’s the perfect combination of fun, relaxation, and the chance to create something truly meaningful.

06. Moonshine Tastings

Discover the hidden gem of Crystal Ridge Distillery, where locally-crafted moonshine takes center stage and daily tastings await. As you plan your visit to embrace the dazzling magic of Hot Springs’ Holiday Lights, I cannot emphasize enough the delight that awaits at this esteemed establishment. If you’re of legal drinking age (21 and over), indulge in the exquisite flavors of Arkansas’ finest moonshine, with the salted caramel variant standing out as my personal current favorite. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor these exceptional spirits and enhance your holiday experience in Hot Springs.

07. Go to the Zoo

Glo Wild at the Little Rock Zoo provides a unique and enchanting experience that can make for an exciting and memorable date night. This after-hours event allows you to explore the zoo’s habitats, illuminated in whimsical colors, while enjoying music and refreshments.

And, if you’re looking for a day trip option, we are also luckily to have the Memphis Zoo just two hours from Little Rock. They also host what they call, Zoo Lights. This is a must-reserve in advance attraction.

08. Attend a Play

Murry’s Dinner Playhouse in Little Rock I feel like is often forgotten about as a date night experience. This unique venue combines delectable cuisine with live performances all year round, creating the perfect blend of romance and excitement. From the moment you step inside, the warm and welcoming ambiance sets the stage for a memorable evening. Eat and drink while being entertained by talented local actors who bring the stage to life. The intimate setting allows you to feel fully immersed in the performance, as you share laughter, intrigue, and applause with your loved one. Whether it’s a comedy, musical, or drama, Murry’s Dinner Playhouse promises an enchanting night filled with great food, laughter, and cherished memories. Currently playing through the holiday season is Beauty & The Beast. And, trust me, I’m already planning to attend White Christmas that they have set for 2024!

We hope you embrace the spirit of the season and create cherished memories with your partner that will last a lifetime with one or all of the Christmas date night ideas. And who knows? Maybe these date nights will become a long-lasting tradition.

In the Christmas wedding spirit? Here’s some of our favorite Christmas-inspired KGW weddings.

Cover Image: Benjamin Martin Photography