Autumn is usually a prime time to fall in love with the many dates you can plan with your partner. Traditionally, there are apples to pick, farmers markets to shop, and pies to bake. With the right game plan, you can generally be ready to hit the road in your car in no time. However, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, leaving your house and exiting your vehicle to partake in these kinds of activities are not always safe options. Fortunately, we've come up with a list of dreamy dates and fun things to do in your car this fall with your SO that take away some of the bigger risks you might face doing other activities.
Unlike taking a train, plane, or ride-sharing service, being in your own car is the safest mode of transportation, as well as setting, for a date. As Melissa Dohmen, senior communications manager at Orbitz, previously told Elite Daily, "[Your car] hasn’t come into contact with anyone else." Just remember to have an extra stash of hand sanitizer, masks, and disinfecting wipes in your vehicle at all times in case you do need to leave the safety bubble of your car. After all, making any stops on the way to your date destination for food, gas, the bathroom, or any other public setting exposes you to other people and puts you and your SO at risk.
Before you make any concrete plans to hit the road, know that if you have not been quarantining with your SO, going on a car date together would be putting yourselves and others at risk of contracting COVID-19. It's not a safe choice, considering you would be sitting less than 6 feet apart in an enclosed area. Peter Palese, Ph.D., chair of the Microbiology Department at Mount Sinai's Icahn School of Medicine, says, "Social distancing, quarantining, and isolating people are the only measures against the virus we have."
Even if you and your partner are quarantining together, still be sure to follow the proper Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) safety precautions. These include using hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, wearing a mask if you do need to leave your vehicle in a public setting, and avoiding touching your nose, mouth, and eyes (or those of your partner's, for that matter).
Once you've addressed safety, it's time to start planning. Some of these car dates include stunning views where the golden hour lighting for selfies is abundant. They might also bring you to the beach at a time of the year when it's typically quiet and serene, or onto scenic roads you've never explored before. Others are experiences that have become popular due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, such as drive-in concerts and movies where you can enjoy a show from your own front-row seats. A big perk of this type of experience is you can chat with your SO while watching a movie or show, and not feel like you're disrupting others. (Bring on the popcorn and candy, please.)
Are you ready to plan a fun car date with your SO this fall? If so, check out the ideas below, hop in your car, and get ready to cruise through the season with someone you love and make new memories.
1. Take A Scenic Drive For Some Stunning Views And Pics
Grab a backpack filled with tasty snacks and drinks, and head to a nearby scenic road. Many national parks and regions around the country have certain routes to follow, because they have stunning views of canyons, local mountains, or glistening lakes.
To give you a little inspiration, you can plan to drive with your SO sitting shotgun along the North Rim Scenic Drive in Grand Canyon National Park, down the Pacific Coast Highway where you can soak up the beauty of Big Sur, or around the Blue Ridge Parkway that goes from North Carolina to Virginia. When you're ready to head back home to check out all the great pics you took, take a U-turn and enjoy the ride.
2. Rock Out In Your Car At A Drive-In Concert
Do you and your SO typically get a kick out of going to shows together? Don't miss a single beat, and attend a drive-in concert that may be happening in a town or city near you. They might be planned with very short notice, but will also potentially feature some of your favorite artists. You can jam out with your SO in the safety of your car, all while listening to music that's made for new memories and Instagram Reels.
3. Plan A Car Parade For A Special Occasion
Car parades are not just a way to show someone you care for them. They're also a legendary date idea for bringing you and your SO closer to your crew. Plan one with your SO to happily celebrate your friend's birthday, new puppy, or a high score on a tough exam. Spend an afternoon coordinating with your other friends on when you'll meet up to plan a drive-by, as well as decorating your car with balloons, paint, and signs.
4. Camp Out In Your Trunk For A Morning Sunrise Or Evening Sunset
Spread out a bunch of blankets and pillows in the back of your SUV or pickup truck, and have a car "camping" date to see the sunrise or sunset. This is both a cozy and romantic experience and can be done almost anywhere — from the beach to a mountain overlooking a sparkling lake.
Prep for a car "camping" date by packing food and beverages in a cooler so you don't have to stop along the way. Bring a laptop so you can watch your favorite movie while you wait for the sunrise or sunset, and some string lights for the most creative photoshoot ever.
5. Adventure Through A Light Show
This time of the year, light shows are popping up everywhere. Some have a holiday theme and a specific radio station to go with the show, while others make your favorite Disney character come alive.
Find one near you to drive through, such as Magic of Lights in Jones Beach State Park or WonderLAnd, which is created by the same people who brought Hauntoween to Los Angeles this fall. Be sure to take a few pictures to commemorate your experience.
6. Put On Your Matching Jerseys And Tailgate In Your Driveway
You may not be tailgating for football games at the stadium this season, but that doesn't mean you can't set up a grill and cornhole in your driveway. Along with your SO, pop open the trunk of your car just steps away from your home and fill it with a cooler of tasty drinks, games, and pretzels. You can listen to music, watch a game on your laptop, or even FaceTime a few friends who are loyal team fans. It'll be a total touchdown of an afternoon.
7. Plan A Takeout Crawl To Some Of Your Favorite Places
Tell your SO to put on their foodie hat and go on a takeout crawl. Stop at all your go-to fast food places with drive-thrus or curbside pickup, and order one or two items from each. You can film yourselves taking your first bites of new menu items, and later upload your clips to YouTube in the form of a vlog. Eat up, because this will certainly be a tasty date.
Melissa Dohmen, senior communications manager at Orbitz
Peter Palese, Ph.D., chair of the Microbiology Department at Mount Sinai's Icahn School of Medicine
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Elite Daily's coverage of coronavirus here.