• Elizabeth Listerman

Fall Date Night Ideas

Our favorite time of the year is here! Ditch those swimsuits for a comfy, oversized sweater and ditch that iced coffee for a cup of warm, succulent, good for your soul hot coffee. We are about to enter the season of warm clothes and fuzzy feelings and it is time to embrace that pumpkin-loving, apple obsessed side of you and dive right into Fall.

Some of you might be thinking that “we are only halfway through September” and you’re right, we are. But please understand this is one and the same with people who put out their Christmas decorations or TREE after Halloween. So, if you early Christmas addicts don’t agree, then just take a look at yourselves around November and you will understand my need for early Fall celebration.

Fall isn’t Fall without the proper experiences. Apple orchards? Picnics? Cider mills? Hiking? Pumpkin carving? Vineyards? Haunted Houses? Yes please. Michigan is the perfect place for that cozy, colorful Fall experience. To make your Fall as spectacular as ever let’s brainstorm some perfect date night ideas!

Apple Orchards

Close to home:

  • Robinette’s Apple Haus and Winery – Grand Rapids

  • Blok Orchard – Ada

  • Moelker Orchards – Grand Rapids

  • Schwallier’s Country Basket - Sparta

Far from Home:

  • Anderson & Girls Orchards – Stanton

  • Crane Orchards – Fennville

  • Klackle Orchards – Greenville

An adult-take on an apple orchard? Yes, you heard me. Robinette’s Apple Haus and Winery, key word winery, is just on the outskirts of Grand Rapids. Robinette’s makes their own cider, cider slushies, wines, and hard ciders. Heaven on earth, I tell you. They also have their own bakery that make a killer cinnamon sugar donut and have activities for kids such as a petting farm and corn maze. But who am I kidding? I love a good corn maze and cute animals too.

For most of these apple orchards they have more than just apple picking. Anderson & Girls Orchards has their own bakery, ice cream parlor, pumpkin picking, hayride, and petting zoo. Their pies are divine, and the atmosphere is outstanding. Being an avid visitor since childhood with my family and significant other, I can say Anderson & Girls is one of my favorite Fall stops. Not only do they have funny goats and lemurs at their petting zoo, but it is also free for visitors! Anderson & Girls isn’t just a one-time experience, instead it could become you and your families Fall tradition for years to come.

Picnic Spots

Close to home:

  • John Collins Park – Grand Rapids

  • Wilcox Park – Grand Rapids

  • Millennium Park – Walker

  • Roselle Park - Ada

Far from Home:

  • Rosy Mound Natural Area – Grand Haven

  • Holland State Park - Holland

  • Grand Haven State Park – Grand Haven

  • Pere Marquette Park – Muskegon

  • Fallasburg Park - Lowell

A picnic is one of the cutest dates you could do this Fall. Take a charcuterie board, a blanket for you and your date, a blanket for the ground, your dog, some yummy snacks, maybe sneak some wine, a speaker for good vibes, a couple dog treats, and you are all set. At any one of these locations you can have that cozy, feel good picnic experience. But to give you my favorite, I love a sweet little hike all bundled up to Lake Michigan at Rosy Mound Natural Area. The views there are Pure Michigan and nothing beats the sand in between your toes while cuddled up with your partner while watching the waves crash.

Hard Cider Mills

Close to home:

  • Vander Mill – Grand Rapids

  • Farmhaus Cider Co. – Hudsonville

  • Robinette’s Apple Haus and Winery – Grand Rapids

Far from Home:

  • Virtue Cider – Fennville

  • Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill – Armada

  • Uncle John’s Cider Mill – St. Johns

Vander Mill is a great find for locals in Grand Rapids. Their ciders are creative, juicy, and crisp, while their hamburgers and fries pair perfectly creating the perfect tastebud experience. I love a good cider and Vander Mill exceeded my expectations immensely. I can’t wait to go back.

As for Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill, if I go here, no, when I go here. I know it will be a dream come true. I am a die-hard cider fan which made me a die hard Blake’s fan. Every flavor is a favorite of mine from Flannel Mouth, Grizzly Pear, Triple Jam, to Rainbow Seeker, and now they have a caramel apple flavor?! This cider mill is top on my Fall To-Do list.

Haunted Houses

Close to Home:

  • The Haunt – Wyoming

  • Abandoned Acres Farm – Sparta

Far from Home:

  • Niles Scream Park – Niles

  • Jackson’s Underworld – Jackson

  • Psycho Ward Haunted House – Kalamazoo

  • Erebus Haunted Attraction - Pontiac

What’s more romantic than being scared to death with you partner? Nothing brings you closer than jumping into each other’s arms when Freddy Krueger leaps out of a dark corner. All these attractions are a great date night idea or even a group date idea. I love a good adrenaline pumping situation and these places are perfect for a late, crazy, October night out. Fall includes Halloween so celebrate Fall the right way by being scared half to death with your friends and significant other!

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