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Fall is in the air — 6 ideas for a great autumn date!

By Juliet O

Who doesn’t love the unique smells and sights of autumn? Fall is in the air, and everywhere I look, I can see signs of the season changing. The leaves are starting to change color, the mornings and evenings feel crisp and cool, and we’re dusting off the sweaters and scarves we’ve set aside in the heat of summer. Even in a place where there are no ‘real’ seasons (San Francisco), I can sense subtle changes that let me know it’s time to eat lots of apples, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash.

Fall also ushers in new, interesting opportunities for fun dating. No other season offers you the chance to take your sweetie apple-picking, tailgating, or on a rustic nature drive to see the brightly colored leaves. Celebrate the new season with these 6 great date ideas — and make the chilly days just a little bit warmer.

Apple-picking

Few things in life taste more perfect than a freshly ripened, crisp fall apple plucked right from the tree. Take your date on an apple-picking jaunt, and enjoy the beautiful smells and tastes of the apple orchard with a newly kindled romance. Apple picking is a great opportunity to transition your date from date one to date two: the two of you can use the apples you picked on your first date to bake into pies on your second. An apple really does taste better when you pick it yourself, but an apple tastes best of all when you pick it with someone special to your heart.

Tailgate at a football game

Get a picnic together of hamburgers, potato salad, cole slaw, and beer, and grab your honey for a tailgating date before a big game. Tailgating for two is an adorable fall date idea for sports enthusiasts. No matter what happens during the game, at least you have each other. After the game, the two of you can go out together to drink to victory — or console each other at the hands of defeat. Either way, you’ve got a great excuse to eat, drink, and be merry with the one who puts the twinkle in your eye.

Go on a rustic nature drive or hike

Get in the car, put some romantic tunes on the stereo, and take a long scenic drive to admire the changing leaves. Or, for the more athletic and adventurous of you out there, put on your hiking boots and take your honey for a stroll through the woods. Take a little picnic with you as well, so that if you see a particularly beautiful spot you can stop and enjoy a sandwich and a pear (seasonal produce!) while admiring the view. Don’t forget your camera! When you look back on your lovely date, you’ll want pictures to remember it by.

Do something spooky

Boo! Halloween is just around the corner. Get spooky with your date this season by going to see a scary movie or checking out a haunted house! It sounds cheesy, but cheesy dates are always the best, aren’t they? Taking your date to a scary movie is perfect for some darkened theater hand-holding! Share snacks, and brush each others’ hands when you reach for the popcorn. And don’t forget to jump into each others’ arms when the suspense gets to be too much — you are watching a scary movie, after all. And haunted houses… I haven’t been to one since childhood so I’d definitely go again if the right person asked ;)

Carve a pumpkin

Pumpkin carving isn’t just for children these days. Actually, pumpkin carving — for food, that is — is a wonderful date for adults and a great way to sample and prepare some seasonal fall produce. Pumpkins are one of the most delicious and nutritious vegetables you can enjoy, and fall is the perfect time to slice some up. Make some pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin stew, and grilled pumpkin! Obviously you can’t forget pumpkin pie as the dessert. For those who don’t like the taste of pumpkin, fall offers a delicious assortment of seasonal harvests, including chard, pomegranate, squash, figs, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, endives, mushrooms, and grapes. The couple that gains weight together stays together.

One work: Oktoberfest

At no other time of the year is it appropriate to start drinking beer at 1:00 PM out of huge glass boots, while bar wenches wearing dirndls keep the kegs running until you can’t walk straight. Take your date to an Oktoberfest celebration, and eat bratwurst, pretzels, sauerkraut, and cheese noodles until you feel like you’re going to burst. That’s what Oktoberfest is all about: gluttony. And look at it this way, if your date will still go on a second date with you after seeing you at your gluttonous worst, then you know you’ve won a special place in this person’s kind heart.

photo credit: nao.k

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