Autumn brings with it a bounty of romantic and fun date opportunities, whether you’re a brand new couple, approaching the altar, or you’ve already been together for what feels like lifetimes. This season presents a unique array of possibilities for seasonally-themed date ideas, from the quirky and out-of-the-box to the basic yet extremely fun. Below we’ll share a range of creative date ideas to inspire you and your partner to get out and take advantage of the beauty, activities, food, and adventure that autumn has to offer–all while nourishing your connection.
Warm Each Other Up With Knitting
While cuddling is absolutely a great date activity in its own right, that’s not what we’re talking about here. If you’ve never learned to knit or crochet, the fall is a great time to learn. Take a course or learn together on YouTube, then knit or crochet each other something simple, such as a scarf. If you and/or your bae already know how, then up the ante and try something more complex, like a sweater. If you’re feeling cutesy enough, make identical pieces for each other–and wear them in public. Or if you’re not feeling up to learning, go shopping and choose absurd sweaters for each other to wear, then go on one of the outings below.
Apple Orchard Dates
There are a variety of fun fall-themed ways to enjoy a local apple orchard together. Wander through rows of apple trees. Pick ripe apples and take them home to make a pie. Create a sample menu of all the different varieties of apples your local orchard offers, and try them all–then blindfold each other and take turns tasting the different types again, this time guessing which is which.
Fall is truly a season for community social events. Scout out local harvest festivals and fairs and enjoy the hayrides, pie contests, scarecrow displays, live music, food trucks, and carnival games together. And if your town or one nearby has one, check out an Oktoberfest celebration. These iconic German beer festivals usually involve Bavarian-style oompah bands, authentic bratwurst and pretzels, beer tents, and other charming folkloric traditions.
If there’s one in your area, check out a fall street fair as well. Peruse streets lined with artisan booths, check out crafts participate in crafty DIY activities, and enjoy street performances. If you’re looking for something even more kitschy, check out a pumpkin’ chuckin’ event. Yes, that’s a real thing. It consists of competing for accuracy and distance while hurling pumpkins using catapults, trebuchets, or maybe your bare hands. Extra points if you can do it without laughing.
There are endless romantic ways to enjoy the crisp weather and joy of the season. For starters, choose somewhere in nature and trek through the fresh air and fall foliage hand-in-hand through lush parks, in the hills, or along a lakeside path. Pack a picnic to enjoy surrounded by the vibrant changing leaves, and bring a thermos filled with hot cider or cocoa. To spice up a hiking date, add a scavenger hunt element and see who can gather and spot the required items (such as pine cones, lichen-covered rocks, mushrooms, migrating birds, and other autumn-centric finds) first. After your walk or on another excursion, stop by a corn maze and challenge yourselves to work together to navigate its labyrinthine pathways–or compete to see who can reach the end faster.
Biohacking Fall-Themed Artistic Dates
Research indicates that creating art together as a couple prompts both partners’ brains to release oxytocin, better known as ‘the love hormone.’ Here are a few ways to take advantage of this bio-hack this fall.
Let’s start with something surprising. Strangely, painting is an extra-powerful way to trigger oxytocin release in men specifically. In the study mentioned above, couples painted and also played board games together, and participants’ oxytocin levels were tested during each activity. The award for highest oxytocin levels in the whole study went to the male participants while they were painting (followed by women playing board games, women in a painting class, and men playing board games). The men in the painting class released 2-2.5 times more oxytocin than any of the other groups. So, if you really want to inspire romance, take a fall-themed painting class, then get out there and dance in leaves when you’re high on oxytocin.
Spooky and Haunted Dates
There’s perhaps no more realistic way to experience some chilling vibes than to go on a lantern-lit ghost tour around your own city or town or visit a supposedly-haunted historical site near you. Spend the evening at a haunted hotel rumored to have paranormal activity. Tours often offer intriguing history and chilling folklore behind the haunts. Expect goosebumps.
Another option is to look around for local “fright night” events, or amusement parks and other venues that host special Halloween-themed evenings. These events usually include offerings like haunted houses, scare zones, spooky shows, and creepy characters lurking in dark corners.
Fall Food Dates
One idea you might not have considered before is to visit a cider mill and learn how apple cider is pressed in the traditional style. You’ll likely have the chance to sample freshly-pressed cider, hot from the source. Plus, cider mills often sell addictive freshly fried apple cider donuts, pumpkin butter, local honey, and more. Another more low-key fall foodie date possibility is to pick up your favorite variations of pumpkin spice beverages and take them with you to a pumpkin patch, where you can enjoy the mood of the season as you chat and connect with each other.
Fall in Love with Wine
If the two of you are wine lovers, fall is also one of the most beautiful times to go on a winery tour. (Hello, beautiful fall foliage on a winery!) You’ll learn how wine is produced, taste a variety of wines, and probably nosh on cheese and fruit plates. Then, you can take home some locally-produced bottles of wine as keepsakes to share with your friends or family. That said, while autumn is a great time to get outside, it’s a great time to get cozy indoors, as well. If you’re more feeling the homebody spirit, you can have a wine-tasting event all from the comfort of your own home. Just purchase 4-5 bottles, set up a few glasses of wine, and taste test your new purchases. Who knows, you might find your new favorite wine!
Romantic Indoor Dates
Fall is associated with slowing down and turning inwards, as the cooling temperatures naturally make one want to do. Here are the best fall date ideas for those days and nights when you’d rather stay in.
Pumpkin spice bath salts: Pumpkin spice latte, who? Use one cup of sea salt and mix in your favorite fall-themed scents, spices, and natural products. You can make a pumpkin spice bath with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom essential oils. And don’t forget to pour yourself a cozy drink for the bath while you’re at it!
Face masks: You can buy some pretty nifty face masks online. Pretty much every skincare company has their version of a fun face mask. Some are made of mud or clay, others are simply sheet masks. Some even sparkle! Pick out a few and give each other a facial with your new mask purchases.
Tea party: When you finish bathing or showering, have some cinnamon-infused tea to warm up and queue audio of relaxing nature sounds, such as leaves blowing in the wind or a crackling fire.
Meditation: Another sensual and more contemplative indoor activity involves putting together an evening of meditation based on the smells, tastes, and sounds of fall. Use each of the following as meditation objects for a few minutes each:
- Various fall-scented candles (smell)
- The steam from a pot of hot apple cider (smell)
- The cider itself (taste)
- Cinnamon-nutmeg tea (taste)
- An audio of the sound of someone stepping on dead leaves (sound)
- An audio of the sound of rain falling on leaves (sound)
This activity is even better if you add in the sense of touch by trading massages at the end when you’re feeling grounded and calm following the meditation.
Fire: For those who prefer a simpler and more classic indoor date, make a fire in the fireplace and sit near the hearth with a bottle of cabernet and your favorite card games. Better yet, play a couples-themed card game designed to help you connect.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) About Fall Date Ideas
Q: What are some of the best outdoor activities for a fall date?
A: Some top outdoor fall date ideas include apple picking, hiking to see fall foliage, going through a corn maze, or taking a hayride.
Q: What should I wear on a fall date?
A: Opt for stylish but comfortable layers like sweaters, cardigans, jackets, scarves, and boots. This allows you to stay warm but also peel off layers as needed.
Q: What creative activities can we do together to embrace the season?
A: Take an art class together, make fall-themed centerpieces or leaf prints, or cook/bake something aromatic and delicious. Extra points if you can invent your own new fall dish or tradition.
Q: What fall-themed events should we check out?
A: Look for local harvest festivals, street fairs, art walks, and Oktoberfest celebrations. These will have autumn activities, live music, crafts, carnival rides, food trucks, beer gardens, and more.
Q: What are some fun rainy or cold weather date ideas for fall?
A: If the weather is iffy, try indoor dates like curling up in front of a fire and reading aloud to each other, visiting a museum, seeing a show or play, or having a spa evening.
From knitting to apple picking to face masks, there is a fall date idea for everyone. Step outside your comfort zone and try something you wouldn’t normally try! Plus, we invite you not only to try out some of the date ideas above that pique your interest but let them inspire you to create your own special dates, unique to the conditions and traditions of your own relationship. With the beautiful fall colors and coziness, autumn provides the ideal backdrop to have a cozy, romantic, and intimate date night.
Nicole Sheehey is the Head of Legal Content at HelloPrenup, and an Illinois licensed attorney. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to prenuptial agreements. Nicole has Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School. She has a deep understanding of the legal and financial implications of prenuptial agreements, and enjoys writing and collaborating with other attorneys on the nuances of the law. Nicole is passionate about helping couples locate the information they need when it comes to prenuptial agreements. You can reach Nicole here: [email protected]