Swamp Talk: Best Fall Date Ideas

By Maureen Mariano

Just because summer is over doesn’t mean the heat can’t continue in the fall!

Whether you want to impress your newfound crush or try something new with your longtime beau, we’ve rounded up six of this season’s most romantic and fun date ideas to heat things up as the weather finally cools down in North Central Florida.

1. Attend a Fall Festival

Join the rest of the Gainesville community for yummy eats, sweet treats, rides, activities and shopping during a fall festival. There’s nothing better than holding hands, people-watching, and sharing funnel cake and warm apple cider with your BF. Check here for local upcoming autumn festivals.

2. Pay it Forward

In honor of World Kindness Day on Nov. 13, do a kind act together that will brighten someone else’s day. For example, volunteer at St. Francis House or the Ronald McDonald House of North Central Florida, or pay for the person’s order behind you at Starbucks. Simple acts of kindness that are done together will strengthen your relationship and make you two feel great about each other.

3. Star Gaze and Meteor Hunt

Spend a night (and wee hours of the morning) lying under the stars at Paynes Prairie, an easily accessible rooftop or even your backyard. The Leonid Meteor Showers will be at its peak on Nov. 17. It’s a romantic and inexpensive opportunity to catch falling stars and meteors with the person you’ve fallen for.

4. Visit a Winery

Class it up with some wine tasting. My favorite winery in town, Half Cork’d, offers premium wine, specialty beers and the best champagne for any celebration or occasion (like date night!) You’ll have fun talking and taking sips from each other’s wine or beer choices.

5. Go Horseback Riding

Although car rides can offer a scenic view, experience Mother Nature first hand on a horse. With quiet trails and beautiful autumn weather, it will be a date you’ll both remember. Check out Haile Equestrian and Thdaddledo Farm for their services and prices.

6. Have a Photo Shoot

We all have that one friend who loves taking pictures. Put him or her to work by taking pictures of you and your significant other at a pumpkin patch, frolicking in the park or having a picnic by Lake Alice. Fall weather and activities provide great photo-ops that you can cherish for years to come.


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