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Fall is finally here. Classes are back in session, the leaves are changing colors, and the weather is getting cooler – but don’t let the autumn chill take the sizzle out of your dating life! After over a year of distancing, you’re probably ready to enjoy fall festivities again with your SO. Luckily, there are tons of fun, fall-themed date ideas that you can start planning right now. Here are some fifteen date ideas for the fall season.

1. HAVE A Picnic in the park

Sometimes, keeping a date simple is the best thing you can do. This fall, plan a picnic in the park or somewhere relaxing on campus where you won’t run into a million people and can genuinely enjoy eachother’s company. If it’s later in the semester, you can even enjoy your Thanksgiving leftovers! Pack some turkey sandwiches, pumpkin pie, a picnic basket, and a comfy blanket to enjoy a date under the fall leaves.

2. Carve or paint pumpkins

What’s a fall-themed date without a little pumpkin carving? If you’re looking for a fun date but don’t feel like going out, try channeling your creativity together. If you need some inspo, there are plenty of free designs online to choose from — but of course, a major part of the fun might be seeing what you can create together from scratch. Oh, and don’t forget to roast the seeds in the oven for a tasty fall snack!

3. Have a movie marathon

Honestly, movie marathons are always a good idea. Get in the fall spirit this year by browsing some Halloween or fall-themed movies and picking a frightening flick to watch together on your next date. Scary movies give you the perfect opportunity to snuggle up close (if you’re into that) and if bone-chilling movies are too much, you can always turn off the movie and let things heat up between you two.

4. Volunteer together

With Thanksgiving and fall holidays just around the corner, what’s a better time to do some good and volunteer in your community? For your next date, visit a local animal shelter or soup kitchen and give back. You’ll both feel good about giving back to the community, and seeing your date playing with puppies or helping people will be enough to melt your heart.

5. Go On A Hayride

Although it totally depends where you live, lots of farms and properties have free hayrides where you can go apple or pumpkin picking this time of year! You can pick out some produce or simply sit back, relax, and just enjoy the hayride together. Afterward, take a romantic stroll hand-in-hand through the orchards and enjoy each other’s company. You’d be surprised how cute this simple fall tradition can be.

6. Visit a haunted house

Whether you love Halloween or you’re simply looking for an adrenaline rush, face your fears and visit a haunted house in your area for your next date! Stay socially distanced or, if you’re comfortable, link arms and lean on each other during the scariest parts. If you can’t find any free haunted houses in your area, consider organizing your own haunted house, visiting an amusement park, or doing a tour of haunted historical sites in your town. Chances are, you’ll learn a lot about each location you visit — and you’ll learn about your date, too.

7. Go for a long drive

Leah Carey, a sex and intimacy coach and host of the podcast Good Girls Talk About Sex, says that going for a long car ride can be a sweet and surprisingly intimate fall date. “Turn off your GPS and wander to places you’ve never been before,” she tells Her Campus. “Not only is it fun to explore together, but the car is a great place to have intimate conversations. Without the pressure to look in each other’s eyes, it’s easier to dive deep into your own feelings and express them.”

Jennifer Foster, a coach and the managing editor at Authority Astrology, says that curating a unique playlist can be a way of making a long car ride extra special. “You can make a playlist together with all of your favorites — or a favorite singer you both enjoy — or, you can surprise them with music that brings back memories of you two,” she tells Her Campus. “It’s a great approach to create new memories and strengthen bonds — and, on occasion, not chatting and simply enjoying the moment can be a strong indicator that this person is the one for you.”

8. Have a late-night bonfire

One of the best parts of fall: having the chance to snuggle up next to your date next to a warm fire. If you have access to a fire pit, try building a romantic bonfire for your next date — roast marshmallows, look at the stars, or even invite your friends over for a fun game night. If you’re stuck on campus and don’t have access to real fire, browse YouTube for an ASMR-style fire video and pop some s’mores in the microwave for a chill night in.

9. Bake fall treats together

Going home over break to homecooked family meals isn’t the only time you can enjoy fall treats; why not bake something with your SO while you’re at school? Take a trip to the grocery store and grab some sugar, butter, and flour to start creating delicious desserts, or find a recipe online to follow. If you’re not into baking from scratch, you can’t go wrong with these classic ready-to-bake cookies — but careful, once your roomies smell the aroma from down the hall, they’ll want some, too.

10. Bike through the fall foliage

For your next fall date, hop on your bike and enjoy the crisp autumn air, the beautiful foliage, and the sound of crunchy leaves beneath your wheels. Not only is riding your bike a great way to spend time together while physically distancing, but it breaks up the monotony of sitting inside all day, and you’ll both feel more refreshed after getting outdoors and committing to some movement.

Tatyana Dyachenko, M.Sc., a psychologist and relationship expert, tells Her Campus, “Fall is the perfect time to go for a bike ride date — the air is fresh but it’s not too cold! It’s also great if you’re still wary of being indoors due to COVID. You’ll get plenty of fresh air and hopefully be able to take in some beautiful sites.”

11. Be kids again

Just because school is in session doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun. Fall is the perfect time to tap into your inner child and have a playful date! Carey says that visiting a local park or playground can be a fun way to spend time with your partner without the pressure of things being too serious. She tells Her Campus, “The playground at a local elementary school is the perfect place for an evening or weekend date — you’ll probably have the place to yourself, so you can run around like a kid with no one watching!” She adds, “Push eachother on the swings, hang from the monkey bars, and ride the merry-go-round for a couple hours of uncomplicated fun. If it’s getting chilly, bring a blanket and a thermos of hot chocolate!”

12. Go Trick-Or-Treating

When you need a break from wild college Halloween parties, you can always embrace your inner child again and go house-to-house with your date to score some sweets! If they’re convinced that you’re too old for trick-or-treating, suggest going to a Halloween store or thrift shop to try on some fun costumes. For extra fun, make it a contest to see who can find or create the most ridiculous costume — whoever wins gets to choose dinner.

13. Read ghost stories together

If you’re in the mood for frightening fun, head to your campus library and check out some creepy ghost stories. Cuddle up under a warm blanket and take turns reading the tales aloud to each other, and add candlelight for a romantic yet spooky touch. If you like your scary stories to have a modern flair, read some urban legends together by the glow of your laptop. It sounds simple, but on a crisp fall night when you’re cuddled up in your dorm, it just might be a date you’ll never forget.

14. Visit a fall festival

Regardless of where you live, many places host free festivals with live music, food, fall-themed activities, and more! Check to see if there are any on campus or in your area. Whether you’re hitting up the state fair with your date or strolling through the campus carnival, this is one of the most fun things you can do during this special season.

15. Get creative

When in doubt, get creative and do something you might not normally think to do with your date! Scour Pinterest for some fun fall-themed crafts, or take a fun personality test to get to know eachother better. Jessica Alderson, the CEO and Co-Founder of So Syncd, the dating app that matches people based on compatible Myers-Briggs personality types, says that you can have lots of fun with this, and you can even try to guess eachother’s answers. She tells Her Campus, “Personality tests work better when you’re a few dates in, and you’ve already spent some time getting to know each other. It’s a great way to get to know someone on a deeper level and — even better — it can be done virtually.”

Whether you choose one of the above date ideas or opt for something different, remember, fall is all about being comfy, cozy, and taking some time away from your studies to enjoy sweater weather. Plan a fall-themed date and let me know your favorite way to spend the season!

Experts
Jessica Alderson, CEO & Co-Founder of So Syncd
Leah Carey, Sex & Intimacy Coach, Host of Good Girls Talk About Sex
Tatyana Dyachenko, M.Sc., Relationship Expert & Psychologist, Peaches and Screams
Jennifer Foster, Managing Editor and Coach, Authority Astrology

Kimberly is a senior at The College of New Jersey studying journalism and communications. Currently, she is She's the First intern, co-founder/president of She's the First*{TCNJ}, co-News Editor for Her Campus TCNJ, and Webmaster for TCNJ's chapter of Ed2010. Before transferring to TCNJ, Kimberly graduated from Burlington County College where she was elected to BCC’s Board of Trustees and served as Alumni Trustee from 2011-2012. When she isn't curled up in a corner reading or hunched over her desk writing at 2 a.m., she can be found on the stage - acting, singing, directing or costume designing. Kimberly dreams of pursuing a career in magazine journalism, while performing in her “spare” time. You can follow Kimberly on Twitter @KimberlyDHorner or visit kimberlydhorner.com to learn about her recent projects.
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