I think that fall is the best season for fun, creative dates. Maybe it’s because my (now) husband and I spent many afternoons and evenings prowling around New England (arguably one of the most beautiful spots in the world during the fall) before we were married.
Seriously, it’s hard to beat Vermont in the fall! The foliage, the covered bridges, and don’t even get me started on the maple syrup…..
Even if you don’t live in Vermont, though, there are many fun, frugal, romantic fall dates to be had.
Best Frugal Fall Date Ideas
When the weather turns cool and crisp, it’s time to cuddle up under the stars with a blanket. Bring along a thermos of hot chocolate, and you’ve got yourself a date. You can also check to see if your area has any stargazing parties. A park near us has free monthly Star Watching nights where they provide telescopes and an expert to help you tell Orion from the North Star.
Or, if you live near a university, find out if they have an observatory. We are fortunate to live near the University of Virginia, which has a great observatory. Two Friday evenings a month are open to the public. Seeing the stars through such a high-powered telescope is a pretty amazing experience!
2. Hike the Trails
There’s nothing like getting out into the woods on a cool autumn day. Head to a county, state, or national park near you for some nature exploration. You could even take pictures along the way and use them as inexpensive fall decor after you print them out. One of my absolute favorite pictures of my husband and I is of us next to a covered bridge in Vermont with the patchwork quilt of leaves behind us. It is fun to look back and see the crazy kids that we were!
Cost: Free-$10 for park admission
3. Scary Movie Night
As Halloween approaches, the slew of scary movies available to watch increases. Have an in-house date night with a big bowl of popcorn and a film. Get creative! Perhaps you haven’t seen very many classic horror films. Try an Alfred Hitchcock masterpiece (I’d recommend Rear Window for newbies) or Bella Lugosi in Dracula. Or you could watch a cheesy monster movie from the fifties. Sometimes staying in is the best date night!
4. Learn Something New
If fall still brings images of freshly-sharpened pencils to your mind, you can appease your inner student by learning something new this season. Sign up to take a class together. Many community centers or parks and recreation departments offer adult classes in a variety of areas for all skill-levels. Bond as you try to decorate a cake together or learn to paint landscapes.
Taking a class from Craftsy is another great option. Craftsy is an website that offers quality online classes in a variety of topics: from gardening to photography, drawing to quilting. I have recently been taking a cooking class and have been really impressed with the quality of the course. For my class (on slow cooker cooking) there are seven videos ranging in length from 20 to 30 minutes each. I also have access to course material (including recipes). Classes range in price from free to $40. I definitely recommend taking a look at Craftsy!
5. Cider Tasting
In our region of Virginia, fall is synonymous with apples. We have 10 different apple orchards within an hour’s drive. And with apples comes…..apple cider. The craft cider industry has really taken off in the last few years. If you live near one, plan a date to a local cidery. You can take a tour and get a tasting of several different varieties. If you don’t have a nearby cidery, purchase a few different bottles of hard cider and do your own taste-testing. For couples who abstain from alcohol, this could be done with varieties of nonalcoholic cider or even of hot chocolate.
6. Fall Cooking Challenge
Fall has so many wonderful foods. Pumpkins, squash, apples, sweet potatoes, pears, and more. Go to a local farmer’s market together and give each person a budget (say $15). Each person then has to create a dish (or an entire meal if you’re super creative!) based on those ingredients.
Roasted sweet potatoes, apple crisp, butternut squash soup (check out my recipe here), mashed pumpkin. The sky’s the limit! Have fun researching ideas together, preparing your dishes, and eating the finished product. You may even discover some new favorite recipes. And, if not, you’ve at least had a good laugh!
Cost: $20-$30 depending on your budget
7. Go to a Football Game
I’m from Texas, so fall means football! Bundle up and head out to support the local team. Go to a high school football game, even if you don’t know anyone there. Share some nachos and cheer loudly! Don’t forget to bring a blanket along.
Having a fun, simple, frugal date night can be a great way to enjoy one another and the beautiful fall.
What are your favorite fall date nights?
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