Now that the leaves have begun to turn and the temperatures are cooling off, your go-to summer dates will need an autumn update. And while admittedly, our favorite fall date ideas are nothing novel, there's a reason these oldies but goodies are still our faves.
So before you resign yourself to the dinner and a movie routine, check out the 10 semi-dorky fall dates that we're still suckers for—and why we'll always love them, no matter how old we get. Try one and you just might find yourself "falling" even more in love.
1. Apple Picking Don't discard the romantic benefits of hitting up an orchard with your special someone, and late September through October is the ideal time. Not only will you show your man that you're up for anything, but it's a great way to bond with a new guy without the one-on-one awkwardness of a brunch or dinner. Plus, getting a healthy sugar rush from snacking on an apple will leave you feeling far more energized than indulging your sweet tooth over souffle. Bonus: If the date goes well, you can impress him with your kitchen skills by suggesting you turn those freshly-picked apples into a pie. Go to pickyourown.org to find an apple orchard in your area.
2. Haunted House Tour OK, we get that you might not find a mummy popping out of a coffin particularly frightening these days (especially compared to your last credit card statement), but getting a little spooked by a few ghosts and goblins hiding in the cobwebs could give your relationship a boost. Research shows that having a thrilling experience together helps to strengthen your bond, and hey, at the very least, it will be good for some laughs—another bonding tool. Oh, and it's a great excuse to grab his hand and get a little closer. Go to Hauntworld.com or Hauntedhouse.com for a house of horror in your hood.
3. Leaf Peeping We don't care how cheesy it sounds, checking out the changing leaves will always top our list of the most romantic (not to mention wallet-friendly) ways to spend a weekend afternoon. The beautiful fall foliage sets the tone for a memorable affair (and provides a great backdrop for a little make-out session). So take a drive in the country or better yet, get out of the car and go for a scenic hike. Not only is nature a great stress reliever, but exercising together is good for your sex life, according to experts.
4. Enjoy an Outdoor Picnic Grab a sweater and fill a cooler with sandwiches, cheese and crackers, and maybe a bottle of wine. Not only will dining al fresco give you the chance to enjoy the weather before the skies turn gray and the snow starts to fall, but it's a great opportunity to really get to know each other—sans the waiter and room full of strangers. Plus, you won't have to deal with that awkward moment when the check arrives.
5. Tailgate So football's not your thing? Not to worry, you can still join your guy in some football fun by adding drinks, burgers and friends to the equation. You'll end up having a blast cheering on your guy's favorite team, even if you don't care what's happening on the field. Best of all, making the effort to share something he loves will only remind him why you're such a great catch—and make him a lot more likely to agree to see that modern art show with you next weekend.
6. Build a Bonfire What could be more romantic than ushering in the new season by cuddling up in front of a fire while roasting marshmallows and swapping stories? Head to your local campground, park, or beach that boasts a (legal) fire pit, and build a blaze together. It'll give him a chance to show off his Boy Scout skills (because let's be serious, men love their fires), while giving you the romantic atmosphere you crave. Be a good Girl Scout and review your own fire-building techniques before you go, you know, just in case...
7. Carve a Pumpkin Head to your local pumpkin patch for hayrides, caramel apples, and pumpkin picking with your beau. Once you've found the perfect one, take it home and carve it up together. You'll get your hands dirty and your creative juices flowing.
8. Visit a Vineyard Looking for something a bit more sophisticated? Autumn is a great time to go wine tasting. Most wineries offer free tours and classes in hopes you'll purchase a bottle (or a case) of their vino, and studies show that learning something new together brings you closer. To find a vineyard in your neck of the woods, go to the Wine Guide.
9. Frequent a Fair Many state and county fairs take place during the fall, and although it may feel a little retro, it's actually a great way to spend a sunny October afternoon. The upbeat atmosphere will immediately put you both in a happy mood, and enjoying cotton candy and other local fare, snuggling on the ferris wheel, and winning your guy a stuffed animal, are all great ways to up the romance and fun factor. Find a local fair here.
10. Camp Out Want to show him your adventurous side? Pitch a tent and spend a weekend camping out. The crisp, sunny days are perfect for nature hikes or bike rides, while the cool evenings are ideal for cuddling around a fire before spooning in your sleeping bags. Just hurry before it gets too cold!
- 20 First Date Ideas That Won't Be Awkward
- First Date Dos and Don'ts
- What To Do On A First Date To Make Him Fall For You