7 Cheap, Cozy Fall Date Ideas For Couples

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date night ideas

The trees are orange and red, the leaves are starting to fall all over your yard, and Halloween candy is in the stores. That means it's fall! Fall is many things. It’s a time to purchase and consume pumpkin spice-flavored products and veil those purchases with varying levels of irony.

It’s also a time of year to engage in objectively strange behaviors you can’t really explain, like paying other people to allow you to perform free manual labor (also known as apple picking), and carving faces into vegetables. Fall means getting into heated debates with friends and loved ones over the merits of candy corn so that you can practice for all the political arguments that are bound to break out over the dinner table at Thanksgiving.

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But one thing we often don't think of is date night ideas designed specifically to help couples enjoy the weather and festivities. Because autumn is a time of change and transition and the beginning of a new school year, it seems like there's no better time than now to focus on your relationship.

It’s Halloween, which we all know is really just an excuse to start counting down until Christmas. It’s decorative gourd season, but it’s also, perhaps most significantly, cuffing season.

Yes, just as the cool weather encourages us to put aside the rosé in favor of a pumpkin spice latte and swap out our flip flops for riding boots, so too do we leave behind our summer flings and hot and heavy romances in order to settle down for the winter. Nothing says basic like a PSL served with a side of monogamy.

Once you’ve cuffed your new boo, it may be tempting to spend the whole season curled up together on the couch with hot cider. But let’s face it: if you’re coupled up for the fall and you don’t go on a bunch of Instagram-worthy dates, does it even count?

Whether you’re newly cuffed for the season or you and your partner have been going on annual apple picking dates for years, here are some fun and inexpensive date night ideas to help you (pumpkin) spice things up this year. Try a few fun date ideas that cost next-to-nothing.

1. Go to a horror movie fest.

date night ideas

Snag two tickets at a tiny theater’s crazy zombie or exploitation film festival (trust me, there are about a zillion of them in October). Bring your own snacks and cuddle up as you two either laugh hysterically at slow-moving zombies or bite your nails wondering what could possibly happen next in some terrifying flick.

2. Go bowling on an off day.

date night ideas

Most bowling alleys have discounted nights each month, particularly on weekdays. Check their websites and calendars to see when the next one is, then plan to go on that day. If the bowling alley has a bar too, make sure you go during happy hour to double the fun on your cheap date.

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3. Make each other dinner.

date night ideas

Go to the grocery store, collect ingredients for one of you to make a side dish and one to make a main dish, then cook together at home. You’ll probably be spending less than half the money you would have at a restaurant and you will be able to hear yourselves talk over the dinner table.

4. Check out the flea market.

date night ideas

Find a local flea market and hop on over to it with your partner. Each of you can bring $5 and spend it on anything at the flea market as a present to the other, just so long as nobody goes over the $5 limit. When you get home, wrap the little gifts and give them to one another the next day.

5. Take fun pics.

date night ideas

Sick of all the Instagram posting? Pick up a cheap disposable camera, head to the park and take snapshots of each other. No hashtags necessary.

6. Go to a brewery.

date night ideas

Love fancy craft beer but hate the prices? Check out a free brewery tour. You’ll likely get samples, but it will be super cool to hang out together in one while you learn about beer regardless.

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7. Go to a pumpkin patch.

date night ideas

Spend a sunny Saturday strolling through rows of pumpkins, and maybe even pick one to take home and carve together for date part 2. Lots of local farms will even host fun seasonal events like Jack's Pumpkin Pop-Up, featuring a corn maze, carnival games, and plenty of fall-themed sweets and treats, so be sure to look up fun events in your area.

Samantha Escobar is the deputy editor at Allure.