This summer might have felt like it was going to last forever, but finally, fall time AKA Pumpkin Spice Season is upon us. We welcome the temperature drop and turning leaves, as autumn is the true hero of the dating calendar. But don’t just take our word for it—we’ve spoken to several Bumble daters who have kindly shared their ultimate fall activities with us. It feels like the start of a new chapter, and time for a dating reset. So to get you inspired, we’ve rounded up the best fall date ideas and tips to try out with your next Bumble match.
First of all, don't panic
It isn’t winter just yet, so don’t let the pressure of cuffing season looming on the horizon get to you. It’s totally natural to feel anxious as the days get shorter—going from plenty of busy, action packed weekends with friends, to a more calm social schedule can be a scary prospect if you’re single. As Emily, 28, says: “This weather is starting to feel like I need to get a bae before the winter hits!” But take things at your own pace, and don’t frantically try to cram in fall dates to avoid being alone for the holiday period. Just because the sun is shining less, it doesn’t mean you can’t get out and make the most of what fall time has to offer—it’s just about adapting a little.
Use the season to your advantage
The key to cute fall activities is making sure they feel relevant to this time of the year. What could be more of an ideal fall date than pumpkin picking and subsequent carving? The harvest runs between the end of August and the end of October, so scope out a local patch and dig out those long forgotten sweaters for the perfect autumn day date. Finally, a much needed excuse to layer up in a cute outfit after months of wearing shorts and tees. Not into wandering around in a muddy field? Understandable. Luckily for you, pumpkins are available at most local stores to pick up without the hassle. Carve these at home for more of an intimate, evening date vibe. Seasonal movies playing in the background will make the mood super festive, and you can put the pumpkins on display in your window or front porch afterwards. Consider the Halloween decorating done—even if you don’t want to see your date again afterwards…
However, if getting your hands dirty isn’t exactly your thing, nature can still provide the perfect backdrop to your fall date. “I love an autumn walk,” says Georgia, 31. “Get a coffee and stroll amongst the leaves to your heart’s content. Then pitch up in a pub for the night!”
Romantic fall activities that can take your date from day to night are a great way to adapt—if things are going well between you both, you can seamlessly extend your time together. A late-afternoon farmer’s market can turn into an impromptu dinner, for example. They won’t need to know you looked up restaurants in the area in advance. And if things don’t go so well, it’s fine to make your excuses after the initial meet-up and leave, as that’s all you had planned for, anyway. Flexibility and forward thinking are key!
The great indoors
Date ideas for fall don’t have to mean being outside in the cold. “I feel like something crafty is cute, like candle making or pottery,” says Lizzie, 28. Workshops make for a great fun fall activity for couples because they shift the focus from being solely on you, to an experience which you can both share. Think cooking sessions, life drawing classes, or even woodworking for the adventurous amongst us (just try not to take your date’s eye out). Aim to go for something neither of you have done before, so that you’re on a level playing field. It’s not much fun if one of you has the skills of Picasso, whilst the other can’t figure out which end of the brush to hold.
Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something interactive that requires both of you to partake. Ingrid, 32, tells us: “The cinema is a no go for me. You don't even talk, and it's always awkward to be that silent with someone on the first date.” Whilst a movie is considered a classic date, we have to agree. It’s important that you leave feeling like you’ve learned something about the other person, and not just sat next to them in a dark room for a couple of hours. So, save that one for further down the line when you’ve gotten to know one another a bit better.
Food, glorious food
We can all agree that a picnic in summer is an idyllic, easy date. However, the wasps, ants, and many other types of creepy crawlies have a tendency to ruin the atmosphere, as well as the food. Picnics in fall time, however, mean you can avoid the uninvited guests, and also the sweltering heat.
Alongside a blanket and gloves, you and your date can each bring a seasonal dish and test out one other’s cooking. Bonus points if you make something hot which requires a flask. If neither of you are aspiring chefs, then eating out is the way to go. Mark, 37, suggests: “Sunday brunch is always a good date when it’s colder. Some spots feel so cosy and autumnal.” A hearty plate of food with good company, sat next to a crackling fire is the ultimate fall date in our books. And with so many places offering different brunch menus and themes, you could even map out a route of ones to try—that doesn’t necessarily mean bringing the same date along to each, of course.
Fall time is also ripe with a plethora of seasonal treats. PSLs (that’s Pumpkin Spice Lattes, of course), pies, s’mores, candy apples, soups…some things just hit differently this time of year. And naturally, they’re better when shared. Attempting to create some of these with a date, even if the results are disastrous, is definitely high on our list of romantic fall activities. Anita, 24, recalls: “Last year, I invited a date over to my apartment. We made an apple pie, and it was only when we each ate a slice that we realised we’d forgotten to add the sugar. Needless to say, we went to the store and bought a much more delicious replacement!”
Think outside the box
Fall date night ideas can feel limiting (but hopefully we’ve proved otherwise). Especially as we’ve all become so content staying in our houses, it can be difficult to find the motivation to move past the swiping and talking phase to meeting up IRL. But it’s important to push out of your comfort zone and try new things, regardless of the time of year. “I’ve always wanted to go to an outdoor cinema for a date! I’d love to see a horror movie to make it seasonal,” says Gemma, 31. Even talking to your matches about cute fall activities that you’ve been wanting to try can be a great way to get to know them. You may also end up doing something you normally wouldn’t. “One of my best dates was at an art gallery I had never heard of,” recalls Ingrid, 32. “We did two exhibitions back to back, and it was great to hear his perspective on art. We shared such a good moment, and it really took the pressure off.” So don’t be shy to accept that invite, or suggest something off kilter—you never know where it might take you.
We hope you’re feeling reassured and ready for cosy season. Remember, don’t overthink it: fall date ideas can be as simple as walking to a coffee shop or pub, or as crafty as candle making or life drawing. Your local area will also offer plenty of fall activities that will make for the perfect first, second, or third date, so it’s worth doing some research. As always, it’s important to check in with yourself and do what feels right for you. Seasons (and dates) come and go, but we’re here for you every step of the way.