As a lover of all-things fall, and a perpetually single yet romantic at heart college student, I believe it is my duty to assist all the young lovers on a budget with finding affordable and creative fall date ideas. Below are my top picks, and I hope you, the reader, find these date ideas useful for you and your boo this spooky season.
- Pumpkin carving
This idea is self-explanatory, but if you’re like me and are extremely competitive, I suggest you bring in an unbiased third party to judge your carvings. If you’re looking to keep the price extra low, consider buying miniature pumpkins and painting instead of carving–saving mess and money! Whoever wins can choose their reward, whether that be their choice of movie for the next movie night, or forcing their partner to plan their next date by themselves. Good luck!
- Comparing favorite fall drinks
Take a trip to your favorite coffee shops, whether they are the same or different, and try each other’s favorite seasonal drinks. To make the date extra creative, create a ranking system for the drinks beforehand to include flavor, fall festivity level, and whatever else you and your boo can include!
- Bookstore browsing and fort building
Visit a local bookstore like Dusty Bookshelf or Claflin Books and Copies, and spend your time browsing. The vibes in bookstores are often calm, and give you and your boo space to express yourselves by picking a book for the other to read. After you pick a book or two, head back to your place and build a cozy fort to read those books in!
- Apple-picking and pie baking
There are several apple picking orchards nearby, including A&H Farms and Bluestem Orchard. Take a drive to one of these orchards, pick out the sweetest apples, and head back home to bake a pie for you and your partner to share. Sweet treats equal sweet memories!
There are plenty of places to thrift in Manhattan, including the Salvation Army, Goodwill, The Budget Shop, Encore Shop and more! Take your boo to one of these stores with a budget in mind, and see if you can dress one another for a cozy and stylish night in.
- Go for a drive and get lost
This activity is not limited to the fall season, but the beautiful trees in Manhattan and sunsets over Manhattan hill make for an especially romantic night in the autumn. Pick your partner up and tell them to feed their pets, because they are going to be gone for a while as the two of you drive through the evening.
- Haunted House
I saved the best for last–haunted houses! Most are affordable, as tickets are normally under $20 per person. One of my favorites is the Haunted Forest in Smolan, Kansas, only an hour and twelve minute drive from Manhattan. The Haunted Forest provides the perfect level of scary, fun, and hold-my-hand romantic moments for you and your significant other. They also provide chili and hot chocolate for a small price, but be sure to wear warm clothes–the line for the haunted forest is long because it’s such a memorable experience!
Graphic by: Maddy Daniels