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10 Perfect First Date Ideas For The Fall Season

Nothing says romance quite like a date in autumn.

Dating

Even if fall isn't your favorite season, I'd be shocked if you didn't agree that it's definitely one of the most romantic times of the year. The temperatures are mild. The scenery is beautiful. And, there are all sorts of autumn-themed activities that are ideal, whether you are considering beginning a new relationship or you've been with someone for several years now. Yeah, there's no doubt that if there's ever a wonderful time to do some old-fashioned dating, fall would be it.

That's why I'm all about encouraging couples to step out of the ho-hum box of checking out a dinner and a movie during this time; especially if it's two people who are about to go on their very first date. Whether a guy has recently asked you out or you're considering asking him (which is totally fine), here are some fall-themed ideas that are sure to make it a time together that neither of you will forget.

1. Attend a Fall Festival Together

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Something that I used to really enjoy doing when I was in high school was attending fall festivals. They're fun, they're affordable and they tend to be pretty educational too. The reason why this is a great first date idea is because, if you're going on a date with someone you don't really know, its in public, the atmosphere is casual and, even if there isn't an immediate love connection, the two of you can still have a good time while you're together.

How do you figure out when and where the fall festivals in your area will be? It's simple. Just go to your favorite search engine and type "fall festivals near me" in the search field. A schedule of upcoming ones should immediately come up.

2. Stroll Through a Maze

Another cool fall-themed date idea is to go through a maze together. You can either stroll through one side-by-side or, you can make a competition out of it by deciding to take different routes to see who will get out of it first. The prize for the winner is they can pick what activity to do next. It's a way to take some of the stress of a first date off, you can figure out how both of you are under pressure and, while you're going through the maze, you can figure out if you're feelin' him without worrying about if he can read your facial expressions or body language (just sayin').

3. Do a Little Bit of Stargazing

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OK, this is the kind of first date suggestion for two people who already know one another pretty well, but they are considering taking things up a notch in their relationship. There aren't too many things that are more romantic than pulling out some blankets, bringing along a thermos of hot cocoa, staring up at the stars and talking for hours on end. You can do this at a park (Google "stargazing near me") or even your backyard, if you'd prefer.

4. Watch Some Scary Movies Together

We all know what October 31 is; it's Halloween. I've got a friend who told me that something that he thinks is a hot date is binge-watching scary movies with someone. Between all of the cuddling up close so that you'll feel protected from anything lurking in your closet, I guess I can see the perks (LOL). As a bonus, it's also an opportunity to get educated about a genre where Black people don't always die first. If you don't believe me, check out "The Best Black Horror Movies Rated by Fans" and "The 40 Best Horror Movies Starring Black Actors and Actresses". Then make some sea salt caramel popcorn and mulled wine, dim the lights, and see who has the highest courage meter when it comes to guts and gore.

5. Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride

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Heights personally terrify me, so y'all will have to report back on how this date idea went for you. I still wanted to add it to the list because, whenever I see couples on television do it, I must admit that I quietly envy the experience.

To me, a hot air balloon date is just enough romance while still giving people the comfortable space to feel each other out. Plus, soaring over all of those leaves that are turning colors has got to be pretty close to breathtaking.

I do think it's important to give a financial heads up. Hot air balloon rides ain't cheap. But if you hop onto a site like Groupon, you might be able to find a deal for somewhere around $125 per person.

6. Hold a Test Taste at a Local Coffee Shop

Another great casual date idea is to meet up at a local coffee shop. I like coffee shops a lot because most of them are fine with you purchasing a drink and just sitting there for hours. One way that you can get to know a little bit more about each other's tastes is to suggest each of you drink the other's 2-3 top favorite hot drinks on the menu. If the energy is going well, you can then ask each other about more favorites like "What's your favorite candy?" or favorite artist or favorite cancelled television show. You can actually get a list of 170 faves to inquire about here.

7. Light a Bonfire

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If you like the chill that comes with fall weather at night, create a romantic mood by building a bonfire in your (or his) backyard. It's pretty easy to do (click here). The only other things that you'll need are the ingredients to make some homemade s'mores and you'll be good to go.

8. Go for a Drive. Then a Hike.

Something else that I really like to do during the fall is to drive around on country roads or in neighborhoods that have big houses. The weather is nice, so while you are using up gas, you're not wasting more by needing to turn on the air. And, with the right playlist (like Insecure's; pretty much any season will do), it can make for a chill day and great conversation.

It's totally optional, but if you want to, you can follow that up by going on a hike. The crisp air and scenery will make it an even better date; especially if you're an exercise enthusiast.

9. Eat Some Fall-Themed Breakfast Foods—at Night

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Cooking with someone is a fun date idea, whether it's the first or the 10th. And since breakfast food is something that most people like (and it's usually not too hard to make), why not have some of it for dinner?

Sweet potato pancakes, pumpkin French toast, apple spice muffins, mushroom omelets, baked apples with oatmeal and raisins, monkey bread, pear smoothies—something that most of these breakfast meals have in common is a key ingredient is a food that is in peak condition during the fall season.

Plus, eating breakfast tends to be cheaper than eating dinner, so it's a delicious option if anyone's budget is a little tighter than usual.

10. Check Out a Cidery

Wine tastings are also a great date. If you want to get real "fall" with it, go to a local cidery instead. Based on the options that are available in your area, some offer tours on how cider is made. Others have picnic tables for you and your date to hang out while listening to live entertainment. It's the kind of date that doesn't come with a ton of bells and whistles but, at the same time, can earn points for stepping a little outside of the box (you can find cideries the same way you can find fall festivals; just but "cidery near me" in the search field of your search engine). Happy fall (dating), y'all!

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

7 Ways To Have An Incredible First Date

15 Date Ideas Based On Your Love Language

This Is Why You're So Frustrated With Dating

This Is What You Can Get Out Of A BAD Date

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with Staples.

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