So you had an awesome summer, maybe a brief fling (or two?), and it was so much fun coming up with cute date ideas for your sunny, class-free months. But now it’s time to go back to school. You’re not going to have as much free time during the week to go on dates (don’t classes always seem to get in the way?!), and there might not be as much sunshine to take advantage of with that cutie you’ve had your eye on. But, don’t worry, collegiettes - while we can’t really help lighten your homework load (sorry…), we can give you some cheap, fun date ideas that will help make this fall a lot more enjoyable… not to mention romantic!
1. Coffee Picnic
In the summer, picnics are a great idea for a romantic date. But in the fall, it starts to get a little too cold for a regular picnic. Instead, go get some warm coffee or tea, and head outside to a park bench to sip and chat together! This is a great idea for a first date because it’s super casual and doesn’t require much effort. The chilly air will just give you another excuse to get closer. For extra fall spirit points, get pumpkin-flavored coffee, or some apple cider!
2. Watch the Big Game
Fall is all about football. Whether you can score tickets, or you just watch on your TV at home, most guys can’t resist a girl who’ll watch sports with them. If you already know all about football, find out when your favorite teams are playing, and get tickets or watch it together. Find your inner caveman (yell as loud as you can), root with him (or against him), and eat some game time snacks. This is another good first date idea because it gives you and your boy a lot to talk about, and the sound of the game can fill in any awkward pauses. Showing him that you can hang with the bros will make him want to keep you around. For cheap tickets, look up your college team’s schedule, and head across campus for your football fun! If you don’t understand the game yet, just ask your man – boys love being able to teach girls about the things they love.
3. Apple Picking
Can you get any more “fall” than this? Apple picking is an adorable date, and it’s something you can only do in the fall. It’s cute, romantic and even healthy! Pick a bunch of apples, and then head back to your apartment (or his!) and make a yummy pie or crisp out of them! There’s even Apple Festivals in a lot of cities – click here to find one in your area! If it’s getting close to Halloween and Thanksgiving, you can go pumpkin picking too!
4. Leaf Pile Jumping
I know, you probably haven’t done this since you were in middle school. But why not start again now? In the fall, tree-covered campuses become leaf-covered campuses. So rake them up into a huge pile and start jumping! It’s a super fun way to let loose and embrace your inner child. Just don’t hurt yourself – dates to the Emergency Room are way less fun.
5. Go Ice-Skating
Ice-skating is one of those dates that look cheesy in movies, but you’ve secretly always wanted to try. So make this the year you actually do it! Bundle up in your warm layers and mittens, and find an ice rink close to you (find one indoors if you go to school where it’s warm all year long). It’s a fun way to get out and move, and although most boys won’t admit it, they think it’s a cute date idea too. He’ll probably end up holding your hand (with the excuse that “it’s so he doesn’t fall over”). If you get too cold, just take a hot chocolate break and sit and talk with each other.
Hiking is a fun way to spend time with a boy you like, because it gives you a lot of time to talk and learn more about each other. To find a place to go hiking, just type in your campus’s zip code here, and it will give you a list of hiking trails close to you. Then pick which one looks the most fun (or your level) and hike away!
7. Corn Maze
It’s like hiking… but through corn! Corn mazes are a lot of fun to do with a date, because you have to try to find your way out, and being lost in the middle of a maze together can be very romantic. You have to work together to get out! There’s also usually a cute farmer’s market or pumpkin patch attached, which are both very “fall fun.” You can click here to find mazes in your school’s state, and then pick out which design you want to navigate through! You can also find more corn mazes, and some Halloween hay rides and haunted houses here.
8. Cooking & Movie Marathon
When it starts to get cold outside, all I want to do is cuddle up inside, eat good food, and watch movies. But what makes each of those things better? Combining them all into a perfect date extravaganza! Cook a nice, warm dinner together, like a fall comfort food staple chicken pot pie, and then snuggle up under a blanket and watch a marathon of your favorite movies. For bonus points on this one, throw a pumpkin pie in the oven before the movie starts, and watch while you wait for it to be done!
9. State Fair
Fall is the time of year when most State Fairs happen, and fairs are fun with just about anyone. Regardless of where you go to school, just look up the state fair near you! What’s more romantic than eating greasy foods and riding rides together? Try to get your guy to win you a stuffed animal too, while you’re at it.
10. Take a Day Trip
This one takes a little bit of planning, but since it’s only for one day, you don’t have to plan very far ahead! When you’re at college, there are always a ton of places you never get the chance to visit because you’re too busy exploring the city your campus is in and studying for exams. Make this the year you take time to explore those places you haven’t gotten to see yet! Ask around (or ask Google) what the best places an hour or two away from campus are, and what you “have to see” before you graduate. Then make a road trip playlist on your iPod, pack some snacks, hop on the train or rent a Zipcar, and get going!
There you have it! Ten cute, fun, and cheap date ideas to get this school year off to a romantic start! So go out and find a boy, and get planning!
Have more fun ideas? Leave a comment below to suggest an idea to other collegiettes™!