In the loop
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For those who don’t know, cuffing season is the time of year when the days shorten, temperatures lower, and feelings of loneliness begin to appear. It’s perfectly common to experience a need for company in the autumn. Although cuffing season doesn’t officially begin until after Halloweekend, it’s always good to get a head start!

Bryant Park Winter Village

It’s not winter, but it can feel like the holiday season with Bryant Park’s Winter Village. Both the shops and The Lodge will be opening on Oct. 31. The open-air market will feature artisanal food and merchandise ranging in cultural backgrounds and styles. The Lodge, with its glass façade of, is an indoor food hall comprised of many different New York City eateries and a cocktail bar. Ambling by the shops with a partner and cozying up in The Lodge within the midst of the park crowd is a romantic break from our usual college stress.

Columbia Football Game

Even if sports aren’t of interest to you, a football game can be more than just watching players on a field. It’s a fun opportunity to get to know your partner a little more in a social situation. Since the team seems to be doing well this year, the vibe will help you and your partner to bond over the cheers of the crowd. Make sure to check out Columbia Athletics’ website for the football schedule this season.

Red Bank

While not in New York, Red Bank, New Jersey is a beautiful town to visit in the fall when you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It has plenty of antique shops and other small businesses to explore with a partner. After working up your appetite browsing through the stores, make sure to stop by Antoinette Boulangerie for authentic French pastries. If you plan ahead, you could even catch a show at Two River Theater. This theater has been the source of many famous works such as the musical “Be More Chill.” The composer and lyricist of this show is premiering “Love in Hate Nation” from Nov. 9 until Dec. 1 at the theater. Another bonus of traveling to Red Bank is the train ride itself: You can enjoy a relaxed hour with your significant other on the transport to the town.

Movie Night

Don’t feel like leaving your dorm? No worries! Curl up with some blankets with your soon-to-be significant other. All you need is a laptop and preferably some streaming account. No one likes low-quality shady websites to watch films. To get in that romantic mood, check out this list of movies to watch during cuffing season—but just about any genre can work as long as you both have fun.

Ice Skating

Some might see ice skating as a winter activity, but it’s arguably more enjoyable in the fall. It’s less cold but still Instagram aesthetic to skate with a partner—even more romantic if one of you has to teach the other. Head down to Bryant Park or the Rink at Rockefeller Center to go ice skating with your partner. If you’re looking for somewhere with fewer pesky tourists, try McCarren Park in Brooklyn. With shorter wait times and more affordable skate rentals, the trip to our neighbor borough is definitely worth it.

Walk Through the Park

What’s more beautiful than the changing colors of leaves in autumn? Maybe it’s the person for whom you’re reading this article. Either way, a walk through the park is one of the most charming experiences you can have in New York City, at least as depicted in just about every urban romance movie. Take your significant other to Central, Morningside, or Riverside Park and spend the day getting to know more about each other surrounded by the beautiful backdrop of nature.

Cozy Café

Nothing says autumn like enjoying a hot apple cider in a local coffee shop. This is a perfect first date idea because you can go as close as The Hungarian Pastry Shop in Morningside Heights or Joe Coffee on campus to share a warm beverage with your significant other. Get to know each other more over the hum of coffee shop noise, and if you end up feeling like the only two people in the room, you know the connection is real.

I wish you luck this cuffing season, Columbia! If you have any other charming date ideas around the city, feel free to email me.

Staff writer Ariana Novo can be contacted at ariana.novo@columbiaspectator.com. Follow Spectator on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec.

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