The crumble of leaves underfoot and the tap of rain on a tin roof might be foreign to the eternal sun of Southern California, but you can still make a list of fall date ideas for you and your partner.
As summer folds into late September, the internet floods with fall inspiration, including Spooky Season content and spiced apple recipes. All you have to do to plan your autumn dates is steal ideas from your TikTok or Instagram feed. To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of fall date ideas in Southern California.
Scream together at one of SoCal’s haunted houses
Spooky Season always delivers when it comes to organized fun for couples. LA’s handful of truly terrifying haunted houses can’t compare to Knott’s Scary Farm, the largest and most harrowing Halloween event in Southern California. Don’t bring children unless someone cloned one of the Addams kids.
The theme park includes attractions like haunted mazes, scary shows and hundreds of employees dressed to distress looming in the shadows. It runs on select dates from September 16 to the night of fright itself, October 31. From puppet shows and paranormal activity to gory flapper parties and grotesque carnivals, you and your partner will hold each close after the nightmares induced by your evening at Knott’s Scary Farm.
Join one of San Diego’s ghost or true crime tours
San Diego might not boast as many haunted attractions as the city famed for entertainment, but it has its fair share of ghosts and murder. Old Town, Downtown and the Gaslamp Quarter are ripe with mysterious murders and haunted history. Check out the slew of true crime and ghost tours San Diego has to offer. Scary sites include a Greek revivalist house and an old bar.
Even if your tour doesn’t cover this, visit The Whaley House, a residence destined to be haunted before its construction and a San Diegan historical landmark. Grief and misfortune befell the family that owned the house, from fire to suicide. Yankee Jim Robinson was executed on the house site before the family built their home, and many residents reported paranormal encounters with his ghost. Now a museum, you and your partner should head over to check it out during October.
Apple picking or pie in Julian
Apple picking in autumn is a classic date idea. Sepia-tinged photographs overwhelm Pinterest and Instagram with enviable afternoons spent between couples donning flannel and chunky sweaters. Visit Julian, a town famous for its apples and thus its apple pie, not far outside San Diego. Volcan Apple Farm is a favorite u-pick orchard among locals.
Find fall foliage
Just because SoCal will forever be viewed as a sunny day at the beach doesn’t mean you can’t venture beyond the coast for a glimpse of some fall foliage. The mountains, including a section of the Pacific Crest Trail, offer some crunchy dead leaves upon which to tread. So go for a weekend backpacking trip or a day hike for the seasonal experience you won’t get along the coast.
Laguna Mountain has plenty of trails to explore, whether you’re looking for a day hike or a backpacking weekend. If you and your partner don’t identify as outdoorsy (yes, outdoorsy people treat their interest in nature as an identity), then consider your apple adventure to Julian your fall foliage outing.
Pretend it’s raining with an indoor fall date
Arguably the best and undoubtedly the most involved, this date idea can be split up into various evenings or stuffed into one day. Make each other fall-themed playlists. If you’re basic, make each other cute Spotify playlists. If you’re going all out, order a custom vinyl with your fall playlist.
There are middle-ground options, as well. Next, pick an autumn-themed book for your partner, whether haunted, dark academia or inspired by fall aesthetics. Then, read and annotate the text as a gift for them.
Every indoor date requires baked goods and beverages. Pick out your favorite fall recipes together, and listen to one of your playlists while creating your feast. Then make a fire or light a candle, snuggle up with each other and your fall spread.
And who can forget the obligatory movie? From Alfred Hitchcock to classics that exude a fall aesthetic, movies for your fall date nights abound. Marathon “Rear Window,” “Vertigo,” “North By Northwest,” “Psycho” and other Hitchcock hits for a scary movie night. If those aren’t spooky enough for you, then pick out some modern slashers or horror films. “When Harry Met Sally” and “Dead Poets Society” give off some classic autumn energy.
Go out and conquer fall with your partner and these fall date ideas!
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