Valentine’s Day is in February and mistletoe comes out in December, but I have a strong case for proving that fall is the most romantic season of the year. The weather is just getting colder, and therefore, you have the perfect excuse to cuddle under a blanket by the fire with a couple of PSLs (need I say more?). Think: warm blankets, cozy fires, and pretty scenery. In case you’re not a boring homebody like me and want to actually do something fun with your significant other, here are the fall date ideas that prove autumn truly is the best season for love.
1. Carve pumpkins
Competition is the driving force behind all the very best dates, right? Have a pumpkin carving contest to see who can make the better Jack-O-Lantern or try to carve a Jack-O-Lantern that looks like the other. Unless you’re an incredibly skilled professional pumpkin carver (does that job exist?), it likely won’t look anything like your partner, but it’ll still be fun to see the outcome.
2. Go apple picking
Apple picking? In the fall? You saw this as one of the fall date ideas we’d suggest, didn’t you? Well, it’s for a good reason: apple picking is a bucket list must-do of the season, and it’s even better if you do it together. Picture this: the two of you alone, holding hands through the apple orchard, sharing an apple cider donut (Lady and the Tramp style), and stealing kisses in between apple trees. Sounds pretty ideal, right?
3. Enjoy a scary movie night in
I don’t typically enjoy anything scary (I can’t sleep at night whenever I see a burglar alarm commercial, so forget about a scary movie!). But an excuse to cuddle up next to your significant other and squeeze them a little tighter during all the scary parts? It just might be worth the nightmares. Make your scary movie night extra romantic by making a delicious fall dinner, pouring some wine or spiked cider, and comforting each other when the best friend inevitably dies (why do they always walk into the woods alone?).
4. Venture into a haunted house
See above (read: hold onto your significant other tighter during the scary parts. Enough said). If you’re more into the scary scenes outside of your home, check out the haunted houses in your area for a fun, unique date night idea that is definitely not for the faint of heart. If you’re more in it for the laughs, opt for a local school’s haunted house or one meant for kids. If you’re both thrill seekers who love to be scared, search for the scariest in your area and make a competition out of who can last the longest without freaking TF out.
5. Go to a corn maze
If you don’t even like the sound of a kid’s haunted house (I don’t blame you), a corn maze is just as fun of an activity to do together in the fall! Whether you have a gigantic one in your town that you’ve been going to since you were a kid or you’ve never been through one at all, finding your way through a corn maze together is a great way to bond and have fun. You will inevitably get lost a time or two (or ten!) and end up at dead ends, but along the way, you will laugh it off together and work as a team all the way through the celebration at the very end.
6. Go cider, beer, or wine tasting
Even if you and your date have nothing in common (they prefer action movies while you watch nothing except rom-coms), odds are you both like cider, beer, or wine—or walking around beautiful orchards and cool breweries, testing out all the best flavors that the season has to offer. There’s just no way you can’t have fun on this cool, unique, and seasonally perfect date.
7. Have a bonfire
Is there anything more romantic? You can either host a bonfire party with your favorite couple friends for a group date idea or set up a bonfire for just the two of you. Either way, nothing will put you in the mood for love better than a crisp fall night, a starry sky, a warm fuzzy blanket, and a bonfire—except maybe all of those s’mores (because you can also be in love with a burnt marshmallow smooshed between chocolate and graham crackers).
8. Get tickets to a football game
Show off your sporty side with a fun and lighthearted football game. Rooting for the same team will bring you and your date together and help you bond. On the other hand, rooting for opposite teams will ignite some fun and flirtatious competition, so you basically can’t lose (even if your team does). Step it up a notch with a good old-fashioned tailgate, complete with chili, Bloody Marys, or your favorite tailgate food and drink. This will be one of those fall date ideas that both of you will want to come back to every year.
9. Find (or make) your Halloween costume
Whether you’ve been together for what feels like forever or it’s your first Halloween together, you’ll share lots of laughs trying to plan and put together a couples costume for a Halloween party or just an at-home Halloween night passing out candy to trick-or-treaters. Go for funny (an old couple or PB&J sandwich), chic (Cruella De Vil and a Dalmatian or a mermaid and sailor), or culturally relevant (Barbie and Ken, Belly and Conrad, or Kelsea Ballerini and Chase Stokes).
10. Bake a pie (or another fall treat)
Remember those apples you picked on your aforementioned amazing fall date? Use those to bake a warm apple pie, or opt for another yummy treat with the ingredients of the season. It’ll be fun whether you’re both talented bakers who belong on The Great British Baking Show, only one of you knows what they’re doing (and gets to teach the other their baking secrets), or neither one of you knows the difference between a teaspoon and a tablespoon (mistakes are funny!). Enjoy your well-earned baked goods when they’re fresh out of the oven and cozy up to watch yet another fall movie.
11. Make cocktails inspired by fall (or Halloween!)
Mulled wine, hot toddy, appletini, apple cider bourbon—need I say more?! Fall-inspired cocktails (or mocktails!) will make you feel warm and cozy (on the inside and out!), so why not try making a few at home together? Gather all the seasonal ingredients that you need, head to the store, order takeout or make a cozy fall meal, and become fall mixologists for the night. Bonus points if you decide to combine two fall date ideas from this list by putting a Halloween twist on your fall cocktails and bringing them to an upcoming party in your matching costumes.