Though there’s something undeniably romantic about summer in the South (just watch any Nicholas Sparks movie for proof!), fall, when the sticky weather is past, is a much more natural fit for a cozy date. We’ve rounded up several favorite ideas from the Southern Weddings team and our past Southern Newlywed couples to inspire you, starting with one of my favorites: choosing pumpkins at a pick-your-own patch and strolling through a corn maze!
1. Head to the driving range. Cooler weather makes anything athletic more palatable, in my opinion, and even if you’ve never picked up a club, hitting a few balls is decidely low-pressure, and can be downright hilarious. Plus, you get to stand next to each other, mostly in one place, so there’s more chance for conversation than with most physical activities!
2. Treat the Fair like a tapas restaurant and share small bites of the… interesting options available. Bonus: compete to fill out our BINGO card!
3. Recreate travel. One of our favorite things to do is travel, and since leaving the country isn’t always an option, Curtis and I have been known to create our own Italian dates! We go to an Italian restaurant for dinner, and follow it with gelato and then dancing in a piazza. It’s always fun to pick some of our favorite places we’ve traveled to and try to recreate our favorite evenings there–you really have to get creative! – Blakely
4. Race each other. Poor Eric did not marry an outdoors-y girl, but luckily, I do love a thrill ride. And what better way to get your heart racing than with a little thrill and competition! Our ideal Friday date night would be a trip to the indoor (!) high-speed go-cart track, followed by our all-time favorite: Mexican food! – Molly
5. Picnic in your backyard. Rhett and I love to set up a picnic area in our backyard and have dinner and dessert. His dad made us a beautiful coffee table out of the wood from our wedding backdrop, so I bring that table out to the backyard and fill it with food and flowers. We sometimes even do this for breakfast! It’s the perfect date, and we love that we can just step outside our house for it. On a newlywed budget, it’s nice to not have to drive somewhere and pay a lot of money at a restaurant. – Brandee
6. Work your kitchen chops. While I love cooking and we eat at home most nights, we tend to go with standard, tried-and-true recipes that keep us from spending all evening in the kitchen. However, it can be extra fun to plan to stay in and make an ordinary evening not-so-ordinary (all while wearing pajamas and no makeup). We love to open a bottle of wine, find a “fancier” (see: more time-consuming) recipe, and maybe even pull out the nice napkins. While prepping the meal together, we are known to be pretty silly–singing (me), rapping (KPW) and dancing (both) while chopping vegetables and making marinades. – Kristin
7. Head into the city. This is when we unplug the most. We intentionally take a night (usually for a special occasion) and head into Atlanta, cell phone-free. We pick a new restaurant that has rave reviews and eat a new-to-us meal. We’ve even been known to stay the night on the 62nd floor of the Westin! – Hannah
8. Take a drive. This is one of our favorite ways to spend time together. During the afternoon, often on Sundays after church, we pick up lattes from our favorite coffee shop and just drive around together. We let ourselves get lost in the country and in conversation. We listen to music, roll the windows down, and explore our city. – Olivia
9. Have a “man night.” Carl is a big football fan, as am I, and something we’ve started doing together is what I affectionately call “man nights.” We go to a sports bar, drink beer together, and eat bar food while watching a game. It’s one of my favorite things to do together, because not only does Carl enjoy it, I do too. It’s such a fun, casual way to play and unwind together, and it’s a great excuse to eat really fantastic, greasy food. – Stephanie
10. Meet for fancy cocktails. When we want to have a night out on the town without spending a fortune, we like to compromise and hit up our favorite spots for fancy cocktails and appetizers. We’ll get dressed up and pick a spot that’s typically a pinch out of our price range (but justifiable if we’re just going to grab some snacks and sips at the bar). We love the food, drinks, and bar vibes at places like Gemma, R+D Kitchen, Bolsa, Meddlesome Moth, Stampede 66, Victor Tangos, and True Food Kitchen. We always order stiff drinks (I like martinis and specialty cocktails while James typically chooses whiskey) and a variety of savory appetizers to share. – Rachel
Drop your favorite fall date night idea in the comments, if you have one! We’d love to hear!