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Fun New Versions of Classic Fall Date Ideas to Try This Season

We all know what to do for dates in the fall: Grab your pumpkin spice latte, and take a walk through the glorious foliage. If you are feeling a little crazy, you can throw in some gourd painting or apple picking . . . and then grab another PSL after that.

The truth is, as cliché as our fall date ideas may be, we can’t get enough of them.

Fall comes but once a year. So let your guy impress you with his pumpkin-picking skills, and flirt like schoolkids as you run through the corn maze. And if you want to go beyond pumpkin patches and apple picking, here are some perfect-for-fall date ideas that you can try out before the snow comes.

Take an outdoorsy class.

What better way to enjoy the fall season with your significant other than to learn some new outdoorsy skills. REI Learn has tons of great classes you can take, from camping, kayaking, and photography to classes that teach you to navigate cross-country with just a map and a compass (I definitely want to sign up for this one!). Of course, you don’t have to take classes via REI; this is just one great resource. Get outside, and learn something new. Your guy will thank you for the hands-on bonding—and the chance to show off.

Go gleaning.

We all love to hit the orchards in the fall and come home with bushels of apples to bake pies. But what may not have occurred to you is how many of those apples, or any other favorite fall produce, go to waste. Organizations around the world look for volunteers to help collect good produce that is left behind after a harvest and distribute it to the needy. According to the Society of St. Andrew, “Each year, tens of millions of pounds of produce are salvaged and given to the poor at no cost to them or to the food pantry or kitchen that feeds them.” This fall, sign yourself and your S.O. up for a day of gleaning. Gleaning may be a bit more work then a lazy day in the orchard, but you both will find that those “helping-others fuzzies” will warm you up faster then any hot cider (although that’s great, too).

Visit a wine festival.

Pumpkin spice is not the only thing in season, you know! The autumn months are actually harvest time for most vineyards in the northern hemisphere. Checking out a local wine festival is a great way to savor the season. Getting to know one another in between swish and spit (or sip) is easy, and it’s fun to learn about local wines.

Head to the races.

When most people think of horse racing, they think of early spring, most specifically the Kentucky Derby kicking off the Triple Crown in May. But the Breeders’ Cup is another big horse race that takes place in October, and there are horse races to attend just a few hours away from many major cities. A day outside tailgating and a chance to wear a cute dress? Sounds like a win!

Make thrifty Halloween costumes.

If you and he are an item, chances are that you’re going to be attending a Halloween party together. Now, I’m not one to get too worked up about what costume to put together for “the big day,” but it can be fun to come up with something creative together. Hit up a thrift store, do a little basic stitching (or duct taping), and piece together a creative costume old-school style. This date is sure to have you both laughing and your creative juices flowing.

Borrow some kids, and trick-or-treat at an old folks’ home.

I am a big proponent of babysitting dates. Kids are funny, and you get to see how your guy performs under stress . . . or when faced with awkward situations (e.g., when the kid innocently asks him what his intentions are: “Are you going to marry her?”). If you don’t have children in your life, remedy that this fall. Call your siblings, cousins, friends, or friends of friends, and tell them that you and your man want to give them a day off. Suggest dressing up for Halloween and visiting your local nursing home. The kids and the elderly who could use a smile will thank you.