We’re familiar with “summer loving,” but once you take a gander at our list of fall date ideas, you’ll soon see that “autumn loving” is what it’s all about. Just think of all the possibilities! From admiring fall foliage at the best NYC parks, to holding your S.O.’s hand during New York’s spookiest ghost tours, we think these activities are the foundation for a long-lasting relationship. And, hell, these date ideas will get your through cuffing season at the very least.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in the fall in NYC
Best fall date ideas in NYC
Take a rare nighttime trip behind Green-Wood's cast iron fence on this mini-expedition called "Into the Veil," sponsored by both the cemetery and Atlas Obscura. But there's more to this evening than just strolling through the cemetery's 478 acres by flashlight: Musical events, live readings, stargazing gatherings and other cool activities are tucked away here and there, ready to be discovered at your own pace. And there's a cash bar, too! Just think: you could dance and drink with bae and the dead! (What, too morbid? It worked for Lydia in Beetlejuice.)
If you’re looking for an outdoor activity that is fun and date-friendly, we can’t think of anything more romantic than ice-skating on the iconic rink at Rockefeller Center at night. Also, gliding on the slick stuff is a surefire way to get your date to give in and hold your hand, too. (Not that you need to trick him or her into it.)
Sail at sunset aboard the Schooner Adirondack
Celebrating a special occasion or anniversary this autumn? A sunset sail aboard the Schooner Adirondack certainly fits the bill for a romantic evening on the water. The gorgeous 80-foot schooner will take you away from the noise of the city, so you can admire all the stunning fall foliage before the sky turns pitch black. You can even bring your own picnic aboard! The bright city lights will welcome you home after a night of conversing and sipping complimentary champagne with your significant other.
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Sakeeb Sabakka
Go leaf peeping in the park
Is there anything more picturesque than the beautiful autumnal colors on display at one of New York’s prettiest parks? (We would argue that nature is indeed a major aphrodisiac.) Take a moment to enjoy the great outdoors, and peep at all the multicolored leaves at parks such as Prospect Park, Central Park and Fort Tryon Park. And you could always up the romance factor by packing a picnic for two.
Take a pizza-making class
Combat cold, autumn nights by warming up next to a brick pizza oven. Why not? At Pizza A Casa (pizzaschool.com), you can sign up for a couple’s pizza-making class with your sweetheart. You’ll learn how to master the perfect crust and sauce, including how to properly place toppings, while getting creative (and a little messy). Note: It will cost you some major dough ($295 for two people), but you can’t put a price on a pizza made with love, right?
The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze is one of the best things to do in the fall in New York, and it's also a great fall date idea. Admire the beauty of your S.O. in the crisp, open-air with nothing but the romantic glow of over 7,000 jack o'lanterns to light his or her face. Ogling your honeybear and all the pretty gourds isn’t the only draw. Snuggle up with some hot cider or hot chocolate, and take advantage of the stargazing opportunities inside the Pumpkin Planetarium.
No other activity screams, “hold me,” as much as the spooky ghost tours offered in New York during the Halloween season. Take a candlelit stroll through haunted venues such as the Merchant’s House Museum (merchantshouse.org), or explore 'hoods bursting with paranormal activity (i.e. Brooklyn Heights and Astoria) with the folks behind Boroughs of the Dead (boroughsofthedead.com). Your date will be latched onto you so tight, your circulation may suffer—but, like, in a sexy way.
The best way to entertain a date is to make them laugh, right? One of the biggest fall events in Gotham—the New York Comedy Festival—brings some of the best comedians to popular clubs such as the Beacon Theatre and Carolines on Broadway. See stand-up legends (past acts include Tracy Morgan and Bridget Everett as well as Dane Cook and Trevor Noah) kill it in the spotlight.
Out of all the beer gardens and beer halls in New York, Spritzenhaus offers a romantic ambience, especially during the colder months (the haunt is craftily decorated with white twinkle lights and pine). Rather than plop your keisters at one of the long, wooden picnic tables, opt for more intimate seating by the bar. You and your date can snack on hearty traditional German processions such as pretzels and brats and sip spiked cider, mulled wine or a stein filled to the brim with suds.