It’s fall, y’all — AKA the best time of year to document your adorable dates. Honestly, what’s not to love? You have the perfect excuse to bust out all those stylish layers, the colorful changing leaves provide the perfect backdrop for pics, and best of all, it’s not too cold quite yet to enjoy the great outdoors. No matter where you live or what your interests are, there are so many outdoor fall activities for couples that present the perfect bonding opportunities.
While you may be itching to take your dates indoors as the temperatures drop — say, by cozying up next to a fireplace or baking a fall treat — there are lots of legit reasons why you might want to stay outside. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 is primarily spread via close contact with other people — which is why the agency recommends socializing outdoors, where the risk is lower, whenever possible. Not only that, but winter is right around the corner, and since it’ll be harder to hang outside once the temperatures plunge even further, you might as well take advantage of the fresh air now.
Whether your idea of a good time involves getting active and going on an adventure or sharing a bottle of wine over a movie, there’s an outdoor activity for every kind of couple. So, throw on your cutest flannel, pour out a pumpkin-spiced cold brew, and have your camera at the ready — because these fall date ideas are anything but basic.
Plan an autumn picnic.
Newsflash: summer is not the only season for a picnic. So, pack up a blanket, a comfort food feast to warm you up (think chili or soup and crusty bread) and a thermos of cider or sangria. Then spread out in a local park to soak up the gorgeous scenery.
Go on a hay ride.
What could be more romantic than snuggling up with your SO in the back of a wagon? Just don’t forget to bundle up (and maybe bring a cozy blanket to drape over you if it’s particularly chilly). You can also things up a notch and find a haunted hayride as Halloween approaches.
Have a fall beer tasting.
IMO, one of the best parts about fall is the delish seasonal beers. Pick up a medley of different options from your local shop, set up on your deck, patio, or in your backyard, and sample the different pours. Rate each one as you go, and be sure to keep track of your favorites so you can stock up before the season is over.
Take a scenic bike ride.
Hopping on a bike is a phenomenal way to explore your local city or town — and even if you and your partner don’t have your own, many urban areas have rental services. You may want to plan out a specific route through an neighborhood you’ve never seen before and choose a fun stopping place to take a rest for an al fresco lunch or warm beverage.
Carve up some pumpkins.
Making your own jack-o’-lanterns is an activity that not only brings a hefty dose of childhood nostalgia but also summons your creativity. After picking out a couple of pumpkins at your local farm or market, set up an outdoor carving station with paring knives and some newspaper or paper towels. Once you’re done whittling away your masterpieces, make sure to set aside the seeds for roasting.
Host a tailgate.
Football season is in full swing, so why not enjoy some pre-game festivities? Pack up some food and folding chairs and head out to a college or pro game to party the afternoon away. You and your boo can also totally get in the game-day spirit from home — just throw on your favorite team’s swag, and set up a small charcoal or propane grill in your backyard or on your deck.
Even if you don’t have a fire pit at home, you can still whip up this timeless gooey treat by roasting marshmallows over a grill — then exchange some made-up ghost stories while noshing away.
Go on a nature hike.
When you and your partner need some fresh air, consider taking a hike, or even just a casual walk through a local park — and while you’re at it, pick up some pretty leaves, twigs, and pine cones to put together the ultimate Friendsgiving centerpiece. Pro tip: pack some spiked cider for your stroll.
Take a yoga class.
Is it just me, or is exercising in nature so much more enjoyable? If you and your partner can’t find a local fitness class to sign up for (or you’d rather just stay at home), you can find a yoga class on YouTube, bring your laptop and your mats outdoors, and get your sweat on in the crisp fall air.
Visit your local farmer’s market.
From cauliflower and Brussels sprouts to sweet potatoes and pomegranates, autumn brings so many scrumptious fruits and veggies. Next time you and your SO have a day off, head to your local farmer’s market to pick up some seasonal produce. Then, you can look up dinner recipes that incorporate those ingredients and voilà — you automatically have another date idea on deck.
See a drive-in movie.
One positive consequence of the coronavirus pandemic is the resurgence of drive-in movies. Provided you can find a theater that offers them in your local area, you can enjoy a safe, socially-distanced screening right from your car. The best part? You can make out and munch away on popcorn as loudly as you want without having to worry about disturbing the other patrons.
Visit a vineyard.
Autumn marks the harvest season for wine, and there’s hardly a more epic fall date than touring a local vineyard and getting a behind-the-scenes look at the winemaking process. While sampling the different varietals, you may just find a new go-to for date night.
Go apple picking.
Real talk: is it even fall without an apple-picking excursion — and IG pics to prove it? After hitting up a local orchard or farm, you’ll have plenty of fruit to bake a pie, crisp, or whatever seasonal confection your hearts desire.
Challenge your sweetie to a fun round of cornhole — or, better yet, turn it into an all-day affair with other games, like giant Jenga and frisbee. While most games can be played with two people, you might want to turn it into a double date and get some other friends in on the socially-distanced action, too.
It’s amazing what you can do with some pinecones, branches, paint, and glue. Find a fall project you want to try on Pinterest, gather the necessary supplies, and then set up a crafting station outside for creating your masterpiece. From wreaths and other door hangers to ornaments and decorative arrangements, the possibilities are endless.
Might as well get some time in the great outdoors before it gets too cold, right? Besides, autumn temps are ideal for sleeping — and all the mosquitos are gone. If you can’t find any local campgrounds (or just want to stick close to home), you can even set up a tent right in your own backyard.
Make your way through a corn maze.
Getting lost in a corn maze together is a phenomenal bonding exercise because it forces you to work as a team. Whether you hit up a haunted maze or a regular one, you’re bound to share a few laughs while navigating your way through.
Go horseback riding.
Calling all animal lovers: Horseback riding allows you to explore nature in a unique way, and there’s hardly a better time for this activity than autumn. If you’re both newbies, look into local farms and ranches that offer beginner lessons.
Have a scary movie fest under the stars.
Whether you and your SO love horror flicks or Harry Potter is more your speed, you can have your own fall movie festival under the stars by bringing your laptop and a blanket out onto your lawn, rooftop, or patio.
Plan a nature scavenger hunt.
A little friendly competition can definitely heat things up in any relationship. So, scour the internet for a fall scavenger hunt list — or make your own — and then set out to cross things off as many things as possible in a set amount of time. Whoever loses buys cider donuts (or another seasonal treat) for you both.
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