By Maddie Sievers
Looking for a great date night for the Halloween season? Look no further than this list of spooky autumn activities on and around the University of Illinois campus!
Visit a Haunted House
Walking through a real-life fright fest is not only the quintessential Halloween experience, it’s also the perfect opportunity for you and your significant other to bond! Whenever something (or someone!) pops out at you, just grab your partner for protection or squeeze their hand until the monsters go away. Champaign, Urbana and the surrounding areas have a surprising number to choose from, including The Haunt at Bone Saw Mill and Midway Madness in C-U, and Baldwin Asylum in nearby Rantoul.
Carving pumpkins is undeniably one of the most exciting parts of Halloween, something that is often overlooked as people get older. You and your girlfriend or boyfriend can have a blast from the past by spending a night picking out pumpkins and designing spooky faces to carve into them. Bonus: turn out the lights and put candles in your jack-o-lanterns for some Halloween mood lighting!
Visit Curtis Orchard
Curtis Orchard is perhaps the most popular autumn attraction in all of Champaign County for adults and children alike. There’s definitely something for everyone at this Wizard of Oz-themed delight, but some of the highlights include picking pumpkins from an enormous patch, hand-picking apples of all different varieties and colors, hay rides, and all the fall goodies sold in the store! Here you will find everything fall-related in the retail section, a full scale café, apple cider (hot, cold, or slush!) and homemade apple cider donuts. You can even watch through a window as the donuts are made hot and fresh. Also, don’t leave without taking a picture of you and your bae curled up in the giant Curtis Orchard rocking chair!
Horror Movie Marathon
Watching movies jam-packed with jump scares is a surefire way to sneak in plenty of snuggles with your S/O! Check out the horror genre on Netflix or Hulu, grab lots of blankets and some popcorn, and scare your way into each other’s arms. Turn on a Halloween classic like Friday the 13th or Scream, or a Netflix original like Stranger Things (Season 2 will be released October 27!)
Navigate a Corn Maze
In case you haven’t noticed, Chambana is quite literally surrounded by cornfields. With that being said, it’s a no-brainer there are several corn mazes located in the area. One of the most popular choices, Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch, even has – you guessed it – reindeer! Hardy’s chooses a different theme for their maze each year, and the maze itself forms a picture in accordance with the theme.
Shop for / DIY Couples Costumes
One of the best parts of being in a relationship during Halloween is the endless options for couples costumes! Turn your costume search into a date by scrolling through Pinterest for dress-up inspiration, then either shop online, shop for the supplies to DIY costumes, or visit a costume store. Dallas & Company, one of Champaign-Urbana’s best party stores, also sells a huge array of costumes and is located relatively close to campus right off University and First.
Stock Up on Discount Halloween Candy
Everyone loves a good deal…especially broke college students! Load up on study snacks by waiting until just after Halloween, when all the candy goes on clearance. You and your S/O can have a competition to see who can find the best deals at places on campus like Walgreens and County Market. Why pay full price for a sugar high when you can get slightly off-season sweets for way less?