Part of the magic of the holiday season is spending extra time with loved ones. Make your holiday season one to remember by planning special dates to enjoy throughout the winter months. There are plenty of restaurants and activities nearby that will set the perfect backdrop for a get-to-know-you date or an I-still-love-you dinner.

Margaritas in Auburn has events each night of the week that can make a great date: “Monday through Friday, we have happy hour specials from 4:00-7:00pm that are really good deals, and Thursday is Ladies’ Night,” says Margaritas shift manager Jared Lapointe. There’s also Trivia Night on Wednesdays from 8:00-10:00pm. You can get to know your date while testing your knowledge of various topics and sampling fresh tortilla chips and salsa.

Gritty MacDuff’s in Auburn is another hotspot for date night. Gritty’s serves a variety of ales as well as hearty pub food, and there are live music performances on most weekend nights. You can get good food and drinks and be entertained, all at once. She Doesn’t Like Guthries in Lewiston also hosts regular live musical performances and serves beer and wine. At Guthries you’ll find local art lining the walls and a menu full of vegetarian and vegan-friendly fare. For fine dining, Mac’s Grill in Auburn offers a cozy atmosphere as well as signature specialties like lobster mac and cheese, parmesan crusted haddock, and of course a range of steaks, from the 10oz Mini Mac to the 8oz bacon-wrapped filet mignon.

If you want to experience something new and different, try the hibachi-style entertainment and cuisine at the casually upscale Sea 40 in Lewiston. Here you can get your fix of sushi, sashimi, and sake, as well as sampling the hibachi menu. Enjoy chicken, steak, fish, or veggies grilled right in front of you and paired with salad, soup, and fried rice. The hibachi chefs put on a show while preparing your dinner, turning your meal into a fun and exciting event. Check out the video on their website ( to get an idea of the dining style. It’s a walk on the wild side and a great way to spice up a date night.

After dinner, make dessert a fun and interesting experience by heading to Gelato Fiasco (there are locations in Brunswick and the Old Port in Portland). Gelato is a sophisticated and delicious take on dessert, and around the holidays Gelato Fiasco even creates special flavors. “We offer flavors like Italian Eggnog, Peppermint Stick, and Gingerbread”, says Gelato Fiasco Marketing Director Bobby Guerette. And you don’t have to worry if the date goes late. “We’re open until 11:00pm every day,” Guerette says, “and our rich, fresh Drinking Chocolate is delicious.” It would be a great romantic spot to hit up after dinner or a movie at a nearby theater.

Sometimes it’s nice to just kick back and relax at home with loved ones. Want a great dessert for a quiet night in? Wallingford’s Fruit House in Auburn is open daily from 9:00am to 6:00pm through December 23rd. In addition to offering some cute photo ops in their backyard area, Wallingford’s sells delicious donuts in holiday-friendly flavors like pumpkin and apple cider. The donuts are scrumptious when warm, so at home you can pop them in the microwave for a few seconds to get the same effect during a movie night.

There are many local options for great holiday dates, whether you prefer a fancy dinner or a night at home. Spending time with loved ones can be easy and fun this holiday season.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.