Fall is a time of change—you can see it in the trees, and you can feel it in the crisp air. For me it’s a reminder to be present because I know the beauty of autumn is so fleeting, but it’s also a reminder to be present in my relationship, too.
So don’t let fall slip away without heading out into the autumn air with your man. Here are eight date ideas that will help you savor the season and refresh your relationship.
01. Go apple picking.
You knew this would make the list. But there is nothing quite so quintessentially fall as spending a day apple picking. What’s great about this activity is that it’s a break from your usual scenery and a great opportunity to play. Plan a picnic to enjoy when you have your bushel full, and then head home to make an apple pie for dessert. September is peak apple picking season, so if you wait until late October, you might miss it!
02. Harvest grapes.
August through October is typically grape harvesting season for vineyards, and many of them are looking for volunteers. You could just go to a winery to share a bottle and take in the scenery. But harvesting beforehand will make it that much more enjoyable and provide added intimacy between you and the wine (oh, and you and your guy). Many vineyards offer free wine and a tour to volunteers as payment for their hard work, so it’s not all work and no play! Most places have waiting lists, so sign up ASAP.
03. Roast s’mores.
You don’t have to go camping to enjoy the romance and intimacy of a bonfire. Head to a nearby state park that permits campfires, or if you are lucky enough to have a yard, create your own campfire at home. This is a great weeknight date, a cozy alternative to sitting at a bar for happy hour drinks. Make a cocktail or sip cider while you roast marshmallows. The best part? The end of the evening when you find yourself watching the dying embers as you tell each other your dreams.
04. Carve pumpkins.
It’s officially pumpkin season, and it’s not too soon to buy—or pick—one! Get ready for Halloween by planning a carving night. Set up outside, and be prepared to get messy. There will be plenty of time to talk and flirt as you cut out spooky faces or elegant designs.
05. Go for a bike ride.
There are several ways to take in the fall foliage this season, but I like bike riding because it’s active, which is great for your relationship. The endorphins and the pheromonal bonding that happens when you move together amps up the quality of your quality time big-time.
06. Fix a farm-to-table brunch.
Brunch is great because it gets us out of our nighttime-is-date-time mentality. The truth is, often we are so tired at the end of the day, we don’t get much out of an evening date. So skip Friday night dinner and plan for Saturday morning brunch. Hit your local farmers market early and pick out in-season veggies and fresh eggs for a delicious omelette (and thick-cut bacon, obviously). Cooking an easy meal together will be fun, and you can while away the morning hours over a cup of coffee or two.
07. Hike a mountain.
Everyone who knows me knows that I love hiking, especially as a date idea. Hitting the trails together, crunching through the leaves hand in hand, builds intimacy and gives you a chance to clear your head, so you can really connect. High above the city life, work stress will feel far away, and you will find your mind wandering toward loftier things—such as love and great adventures. My husband and I invested in an ENO hammock that makes reaching the summit even more worthwhile. Just string up the hammock on two nearby trees and snuggle while sipping a PSL (there are thermoses that can keep it nice and hot for you!).
If there is any time of year to take a page out of A Walk to Remember, it’s now. You won’t have to stay up too late to enjoy the dark night sky, and it won’t be freezing cold. Check out Verily’s list of national parks you need to visit in your lifetime, or find any dark clearing near you. Come prepared with a good camera and tripod to capture the amazing night sky. And of course a blanket (one for both of you) and hot chocolate. There is nothing like staring at the stars for refreshing the romance.