21 Fall Date Ideas That’ll Make You Feel All Kinds of Cozy
Maybe your love life started to heat up over the summer and you’ve got a fresh romance to maintain this fall. Or, maybe you’ve been through all the seasons (more than once) with your significant other and want some inspiring date ideas to help you out of that long-term relationship rut. Well, you’re in luck. From playing cards to taking spontaneous road trips, our round-up of fall date ideas has something for homebodies and adventurers alike—and basically anyone, at any stage of a romantic relationship.
1. Go apple picking
News to no one: Fall is the season for apple picking. It might seem a little played out, but silence your inner cynic and take a day trip to a local orchard with your sweetheart...we promise you won’t regret it. You’ll be treated to some oh-so romantic scenery as you stroll through the groves—an activity that just so happens to be conducive to quality conversation, too. Bonus: Even if it’s a bad date, you’ll still walk away with bushels of the best fruit the season has to offer (a surefire way to get rid of the bad taste in your mouth). Psst: Here are some the best places to pick apples in America.
2. Visit a Farmer’s Market
It’s sort of like going to an orchard, except the orchard came to you. Farmer’s markets are the bee’s knees whether you go solo or with someone you’re sweet on. If you bring your date along, you'll both benefit from some leisurely time outside together, while scoring some pretty delicious seasonal produce (i.e., ingredients for a romantic dinner) in the process. Here are some farmer’s market recipes to make with your bounty.
3. Go on a Hayride
If you’re under the impression that hayrides are a hokey attraction best left to the little kids, think again. These recreational tractor rides can actually be quite relaxing and, dare we say, romantic. In fact, many farms offer adult-only moonlight hayrides, which in some cases can be bought in packages that include decidedly grown-up perks as bookends to the tour of the premises. Think: Wine or cider tasting and a nighttime outdoor movie.
How do you like them apples? The phrase takes on a new (and thankfully, less adversarial) meaning when you’ve just picked a boatload of said fruit with your better half. Indeed, any couple can look forward to having a lot of fun whilst making use of their seasonal haul. Throw on your aprons and bake a classic apple pie together, or throw caution to the wind and try your hand(s) at a braided apple Danish loaf. (Hint: The best part is that no one needs to be star baker when you’re in it together.)
5. Take a stroll through the park
You don’t have to plan a full-day hiking trip to enjoy the beautiful fall landscape with someone you like. At any point in a relationship—but particularly when you’re just getting to know someone—a casual stroll through the local park is a perfect way to pair a good chat with a lovely view of the changing leaves.
6. Go Wine Tasting
Vino and romance have a long history—and if you visit a vineyard with your date, you are sure to bring that to the next level. For starters, a wine tasting trip ensures that you’ll both learn about the fascinating labor and artistry that goes into turning grapes into date night magic. Plus, aside from the obvious swirling and sipping, you’ll also be soaking up a beautiful landscape throughout the lesson.
7. Visit a Haunted House
Of course, horror movie fans can always opt to Neftlix-and-thrill...but we suggest you get off the couch and take your date to a haunted house instead. Fair warning: These attractions can be seriously scary, but when you’ve got somebody you trust by your side it should be a-okay. In fact, chances are you’ll both have a good laugh after.
8. Go to a Brewery
Good news: If you or your love interest (maybe both) are more interested in beer than wine, there’s a date for that. Check out a local brewery for a tour of the facility and a chance to taste what’s on tap. Lovebirds are likely to leave with a pleasant buzz, but the excursion will also be interesting and educational—a considerable upgrade from date night at the local dive bar.
9. Try a Corn Maze
There’s no better way to identify a true companion than by stumbling through a labyrinth together—just ask Jennifer Connely. In all seriousness, corn mazes are fun, challenging and basically the definition of a bonding exercise. The takeaway? This classic fall feature is an ideal grown-up date that will put your problem-solving skills to the test. (On that note, we should mention that corn mazes are definitely not designed for kids, so please don’t send your toddler in alone.)
10. See Live Music Together
One of the best ways to reconnect with your partner is by reconnecting with your shared interests. If you and your S.O. have similar taste in music, try to score a couple tickets to a band you both really love. Live music is back this summer, and an excellent way to bond with a date who’s equally moved by the experience.
11. Go to a Flea Market
Flea markets are amazing places where you can discover all manner of treasures—from quirky tchotchkes to precious heirlooms. They also present an ideal opportunity to get to know someone a little better, as you share your personal style and learn about theirs. Also, we hate to say it, but shopping is just kind of fun. (Right?)
12. Go to a Cafe
Maybe nostalgia has gone to our heads, but we still think a good ol’ coffee shop date has quite a bit of charm. Throw on a flannel, grab a caffeinated beverage and cozy up with your date for some one-on-one conversation in your favorite local cafe. If it’s not going well, you can always try to channel Felicity—but your best bet is probably just to boogie (and that’s blessedly easy to do in this scenario).
13. Have Dinner Al Fresco
Kudos to you if you made it to the farmer’s market with your date—that dinner will be delish. Aside from scoring the best ingredients, the only way to improve on a romantic dining-in experience is to, well, dine out. Nope, we’re not talking about going to a restaurant. Instead, plan to have your intimate dinner in the backyard or on the porch where the fresh fall air will have an energizing effect. Bonus points if you make things extra cozy with a fire pit.
14. Take a Camping Trip
If you’re looking for a way to meaningfully connect with your significant other, look no farther than the great outdoors. Indeed, a night or two at a campsite (preferably one with limited phone service) is a great way for couples to break the all-too-common rut of Netflix, sleep, repeat. Bottom line: A campfire and a few s’mores is all you really need to feel like you’re on a honeymoon again. (Just don't forget to consult this handy camping checklist!)
15. Play Cards
When in doubt, just stay in with a deck of 52. There are plenty of entertaining games you can play with a standard pack of cards, and this date night option is more intimate than the more ambitious excursions on the list, and budget-friendly to boot. Bottom line: As long as you have some good food and beverage to accompany the play, all you need is a few rounds of blackjack or gin for some fun on a blustery fall night.
16. Garden Together
Gardening hits the feel-good trifecta (i.e., sunshine, fresh air, and exercise), so it should come as no surprise that it’s also a wonderful hands-on activity to share with your S.O. Trust us, if you get your hands dirty and do some gardening with your date, both of you will benefit from the stress-relief and the sense of satisfaction the activity provides. In other words, this one is a recipe for romance.
17. Go for a Bike Ride
A bike ride promises an invigorating, but leisurely bout of exercise—depending how you set the pace—and the date planning possibilities are pretty much endless. You can plan your pit stops in advance, or just hop on your bikes for a casual ride with no destination in mind. Either way, once you’ve checked out the sights that your town has to offer and cycled back, you’ll likely enjoy the rest of the day together with a little extra spring in your step.
18. Visit the Beach
Fall is admittedly not the season for sunbathing, but there are plenty of other good reasons to have a beach date when the temperature drops. For starters, the once crowded coastline turns into a quiet, private sanctuary during the autumnal months—you know, so you don’t have to compete with a stranger’s boombox while trying to have an intimate conversation. Plus, a romantic bonfire on the beach is basically a no-brainer when the climate is cool.
19. Take a Road Trip
Make a playlist with both of your favorite tunes and tell your date to set the day aside for a short but sweet road trip. We’re not talking cross-country here, friends—just find someplace new and interesting within a two to four hour drive and make a day of it. Our suggestion: Don’t plan out every tiny detail—spontaneity is a big factor when it comes to both the fun and romance of a road trip.
20. Go to a Sculpture Garden
A visit to a sculpture garden is like a stroll through the park with a culture boost, which is why they sort of rock. (Sorry, couldn’t help it.) Pack a picnic and enjoy the beautiful art and crisp air as you tour the grounds with your date—the romance here is undeniable.
21. Do Crossword Puzzles Together
Sometimes on a chilly fall day, all you want to do is snuggle up at home. Don’t let that deter you from having a date, though. Instead, invite your love interest over for a quiet night in with a book of crossword puzzles or the Sunday Times—then see who can think of a seven-letter word for “hug affectionately.”