13 Date Ideas To Try In September That Will Get You Ready For Fall
As we get closer and closer to the end of this sweltering hot summer, it's hard not to look forward to the slightly chilly fall months ahead — especially because there are so many great date ideas for fall, from pumpkin or apple picking to scary movie marathons. But while the weather in September can be pretty unpredictable, that actually makes it a great month for dating: you can get away with both warm-weather activities and fall-friendly date ideas. If it's still hot AF outside, plan a mini beach getaway... then when it's rainy and gloomy just days later, go explore a used bookstore and grab a Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Plus, if you're currently single and playing the field, September is a great time to start searching for someone to cuddle up with during the impending winter months — because cuffing season is a real thing. For those of you who are already coupled up, this month is a chance to shift into autumn mode while also taking advantage of the last of the warm weather days with your partner. So whether you're single and dating around or in a long-term relationship, here are 13 unique date ideas to try this month, according to dating experts.
1. Cheer On A Local Football Team
Whether you consider yourself a Sporty Spice or whether you just really like nachos and beer (guilty!), going to a football game can make for a fun and flirty date night.
"With football at all levels returning (high school, college, and pro), if your date likes sports, September is a great time to watch a game" Jonathan Bennett, dating and relationships expert at Double Trust Dating, tells Bustle. "Rooting for your favorite team together is a great way to bond based on shared interests. Plus, seeing a football game in person can be a unique experience even for casual fans."
2. Plan A Romantic Bonfire
When the nights start to get cooler, keep warm by cozying up with your date next to a roaring bonfire — and don't forget to bring supplies for s'mores, too.
"As the days and nights get cooler (but not too cold), September is a great time for a bonfire," Bennett says. "Cuddling up to your date beside a fire can be very romantic. Just make sure to always be safe when fire is involved!"
3. Pick (And Decorate) Pumpkins Together
If your area has a pumpkin patch that's open for the season, plan a date there and have a little friendly competition to find the biggest pumpkin. Added bonus: you have a ready-made follow up date in the form of carving or painting the pumpkins you've picked out.
"Going out together to a farm to pick pumpkins together can be a unique, romantic date," Bennett says. "It’s a great way to spend time together and get outdoors. Many places make the experience more fun with cider and treats for sale."
4. Get Lost In A Corn Maze
If produce-picking isn't your style, you can still take advantage of the ~fall vibes~ by making your way to a local corn maze, where you have a perfect excuse for holding hands with your date (so you don't get lost, duh).
"If you live in a rural area, some farms will set up corn mazes in the early fall," Bennett says. "Going out on a nice night and getting lost together in a literal maze can be very romantic."
5. Cozy Up While Stargazing
Anyone who's cried their way through A Walk To Remember knows stargazing is the ultimate romantic date. Just don't forget to blankets and plenty of hot cocoa!
"Since September usually lacks extreme temperatures, it’s a great time to go to a dark and quiet place, lay down a blanket, and stargaze together," Bennett says. "You’d be amazed how meaningful it is to get away from civilization and focus on the stars and your partner."
6. Explore A Museum
If the great outdoors isn't really your thing (or if it's too cold to venture outside), take your date to your favorite museum and get lost exploring the exhibits together.
"If the weather turns a bit chilly in September, you and your date can head to a museum and spend the day there walking around, looking at the exhibitions, and even grabbing an overpriced lunch," relationship expert and spiritual counselor, Davida Rappaport, tells Bustle. "[C]hoose a museum that you like — enjoy the exhibits and learn something while enjoying the company of someone you like. By exploring together, you will also learn more about your date’s likes and dislikes in terms of art, technology, history, etc."
7. Play Tourist In Your Own City
Another fun way to spend a day? Plan a "touristy" date around your own city and look at your day-to-day sights through a totally new lens.
"Take a boat ride, hop on a tour bus or find some sort of walking tour that is available and just have fun," Rappaport says. "Why not pretend you are from out of town? And if you are especially playful, why not try on a fake accent or two just for added fun. Maybe the tour guide will play along with you."
8. Plan A Picnic Together
For anyone who's more of a DIY kinda person, planning a picnic date can be super fun and romantic — plus you can have a pre-date where you prep ingredients and shop for snacks together, so it's like two dates in one!
"If the weather is warm or chilly in September, you can still pack a picnic lunch to take with you to the beach, forest preserve, the park or a picnic area," Rappaport says. "Just remember to pack a few blankets and sweaters if it is chilly."
9. Go For A Stroll Through The Park
It might not sound like the most exciting date idea, but taking a walk around a local park in the late summer/early fall is a great way to spend time getting to know your date, free of distractions like who's paying the tab or deciding whether to order a third drink.
"Walking is a great way to get to know your date or partner," Rappaport says. "You have a chance to talk about anything that pops into your head. It is also a great place to watch people and observe life at a much slower pace. If it’s a bit brisk out, stop somewhere and pick up a coffee, latte, or cup of tea to take with you."
10. Attend An Interesting Lecture Together
Who says dates are only for learning about each other? If attending talks or lectures appeals to you and your date, choose one that interests you both and then find a quiet bar to discuss its contents together afterward.
"A fun thing to do on a date when the weather may, or may not be, favorable would be to find an interesting lecture on a topic that you and your date are interested in," Rappaport says. "You can learn something and share your thoughts afterwards. It is always a nice thing to learn something but also share the experience with another person."
11. Tour A Cider Mill Or Brewery
If you're bored of just going to the same dive bar on all your dates, try finding a cidery or brewery to explore with your next date. You still get to drink, but it's more of an experience than simply sitting and staring at each other over a cocktail.
"There are several cider mills across the United States, which you can tour to learn how apple cider is made, sample the fall beverage and purchase a bag of locally grown apples to go," Heather Ebert, dating and relationship expert at dating site WhatsYourPrice.com, tells Bustle. "Many of the mills also have other activities and treats available. This is a great evening activity for a weekday because it doesn’t take up too much time."
12. Visit A Haunted Trail
For anyone who likes a good scare, finding a nearby haunted trail or even a full-blown haunted house is a great way to get your heart racing with your date... and gives you an excuse to cuddle up, too.
"Want a reason to get a little [cuddly] with your significant other?" Ebert asks. "A haunted trail will definitely help, it’s like going to see a scary movie except it’s IRL. Most haunted trails open in September so it should be easy to find one. You can make it a date night with just you and bae or make it a group outing with your closest couple friends."
13. Have A Scary Movie Marathon
And a list of date ideas for early autumn wouldn't be complete without the classic suggestion to stock up on snacks and have a scary movie marathon with your date.
"To prepare for Halloween, binge watch scary movies with your bae," Holly Zink, a relationship expert for Grapevine, tells Bustle. "Sit on the couch, get some Halloween candy and popcorn, and get cozy. There’s nothing like a scary movie to bring you both closer together."
So before September draws to a close, spend some time enjoying the last of the warm weather with some romantic, fall-friendly outdoor dates... that way, when it's finally time to go into full autumn mode, you and your significant other are already hyped for all the spooky festivities to come in October.