Five unique fall dates

Apart from imbuing drinkers with a lovely fuzzy feeling, wine tasting is also a fantastic launch...

Apart from imbuing drinkers with a lovely fuzzy feeling, wine tasting is also a fantastic launch point for lively discussions.(Shutterstock)

Suzie Elliot, Lavalife

, Last Updated: 11:34 AM ET

Toronto, Ont. – People often point to spring as the season of rejuvenation - the ideal time to approach dating with renewed vigor and fresh ideas. But there's a strong case to be made for fall. There are numerous activities that are unique to the autumn season that guarantee truly great dates for new romances and couples.

With this in mind, online dating site Lavalife called upon singles and dating expert Kim Hughes to identify can't-miss autumn date ideas.

“With any new season, there is that feeling of change that brings about the excitement for something different to do,” explains Hughes. “In order to appeal to everyone from those in new romances to life-long couples, we came up with dates that celebrate the energy of the season with activities that are memorable and distinct to fall. The best part is that these dates can easily be scaled up or down depending on budget so there is no excuse for forgoing romance to save a buck.”

Horseback Riding

Google the words "horseback riding" in just about any major North American city and you'll get loads of hits on local stables offering rides astride Appaloosas, Arabians and Miniatures for riders of just about any skill level. No matter how experienced you are or aren't, dignity is (almost) never compromised atop a beautiful, gliding horse. Plus, there's just something really cool about viewing the horizon seven feet taller than usual. And since most stables are just outside of town, you'll have lots of time to chat on the drive to and from.

Winery Tour

From Oregon to Ontario, California and Nova Scotia to Kentucky, North America is a wine drinker's nirvana. And wine growers continent-wide have thrown open their cellars to the general public for tastings, tours, cooking classes and more. Apart from imbuing drinkers with a lovely fuzzy feeling, wine tasting is also a fantastic launch point for lively discussions about food, travel, literature, culture and so on. And that bottle you buy to take home becomes a handy excuse to arrange another date.

Cooking Class

Like winery tours, group and couples-based cooking classes have really come into vogue in the last decade and man, are they ever fun. Forget dusty notions of slinging tuna casseroles in home ec; today's courses are enlightening endeavors led by real chefs and often assisted by sommeliers. And few things in life are more sensual than sharing a nosh with a squeeze. Whatever your criteria for taking a class - learning a new ethnic cuisine, tricking out your go-to meal or just pushing food around a plate - you can find a local kitchen to assist.

Hiking

Admittedly, this is the "duh" date in the roster - of course hiking in fall amid brilliantly colored leaves is a romantic, inexpensive and fun thing to do. But when was the last time you actually did it? Those lucky enough to live in turning-leaf hotbeds like New England or Cape Breton don't have to travel far afield to witness the Technicolor glory of the season but the rest of us can make a day of it. Pack a picnic lunch along with your boots and backpacks. That fresh air is certain to have your spirits soaring.

Sunday Brunch

An oldie but a goodie, a leisurely brunch at a favorite local spot accompanied by a fat newspaper and a few café au laits just never gets old. Whether you choose a traditional eggs benny-type breakfast place, a fancy hotel spread, a small, organic café or Chinatown Dim Sum, you and your date can ease into the relaxed pace of the day while swapping stories and nibbles. What you do afterwards is entirely up to you.


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