Pick-Your-Own farms and farm shops
Spending an hour or two as a date at a pick-your-own farm (also known as ‘PYO’ or ‘U-Pick’) makes for a gently active but still relaxing open-air outing and is a one of the classic Autumn date ideas.
Wherever you happen to be, different ‘fruits of the earth’ will be ripe for picking at this time of year — strawberries, cherries, and other berries in the southern hemisphere, and apples and pumpkins in the north (with the added benefit of making something from your harvest for another great Autumn date idea).
Check beforehand what facilities are on offer so that if the weather is less than ideal you have the option of heading to an attached café or shop, to browse country wares and chat over a hot drink and a farm-baked specialty.
On a day when the weather can’t quite seem to make up its mind, a bookstore or library is a haven literally stacked to the ceiling with conversation starters. You might like browsing the shelves together or alternatively splitting up for a wander and then rendezvousing later to discuss your finds.
Paying a visit to the children’s or YA section and pointing out early favourites to each other tells you about each other’s formative years. Keeping an eye on the weather through the shop windows means you can either head into the fresh air for a walk to continue the conversation or stay indoors to enjoy the inhouse coffee shop. Discussing your reading reactions and viewpoints together is a great way to begin to discover each other’s inner lives.
Light Parties are now officially A Thing, having started out initially as an alternative to what has become a heavily commercialised Halloween. At a time of year when the emphasis is on darkness and fright you can opt to go non-mainstream by focusing on the Light.
You may like to drop in on a Light Party hosted by either of your churches where you’ll find yourselves instantly popular with the other adults and caught up in the sheer exuberance of young people in a space dazzle with glo-sticks and coloured lights. Due to their family nature, Light Parties tend to finish early, enabling you to round off the date in a nice quiet pub or café afterwards.
This date has the warm weather/cool weather dichotomy neatly sewn up. In warmer climes vineyard tours will still be in operation so you can enjoy a guided walk among the vines or a longer tour of the whole estate. Alternatively, in cooler areas wineries and craft breweries host round-the-year indoor visits and tastings whatever the weather, where you can appreciate the expertise that goes into creating an exquisite wine or refreshing beer and get to try a sample too.
If you prefer a non-alcoholic option, warm spiced apple or something mulled and rich as you wander a food market can be delicious for Autumn dates too.
Board game cafés
Board game cafés shine out like beacons of good-natured cheer on damp after-work evenings. Someone described them as ‘like being at your home table, away from home’, because they exude friendliness and warmth as well as serving food and drink.
Most cafés offer a library of games to choose from which means you can happily connect over a nostalgic reminder of games you played in the past — how can I get my letter ‘Z’ on a Triple Word Score? Was it Rev. Green with the Candlestick in the Study? — or try something fresh and new? Games are often sorted into helpful categories (eg ‘quick ‘n’ easy’) and there are frequently ‘gamesplainer’ staff on hand to guide you.
I admit I was nervously reluctant when I tried a variation of the board game café date during my own single years. What if I came across as clueless? What if I really am clueless? I needn’t have worried. As the evening progressed, it was obvious no one cared about your ‘performance’. What made for a ‘winner’ was being friendly, considerate, and willing to give it a go while having a laugh, including at yourself. Which is a great approach for all dates.
So, over to you! What are your favourite Autumn date ideas? Are you inspired to try something from the list – or one of our other fun date suggestions?