From humble, albeit awkward beginnings, to going steady and beyond, there will always be one question that greets you and your partner throughout all the phases of your blossoming relationship:
“So, what do you want to do for date night?”
Whether you ask directly or indirectly ̶ like a passive aggressive nudge to your partner to stay clear from yet another dinner and movie ̶ date inspiration can be hard to come by.
To help you and your partner drop the drama and experience a date night to remember, we’ve gathered a hit list of romantic experiences that range from high flying acrobatic displays to quiet city escapes, to satisfy all tastes. Up the romance with these fun and inventive date night ideas, guaranteed to impress your S.O.
Nothing says romance like an overnight hotel stay. But for those who like to book outside the box, Notel offers an altogether unique staycation. Veering on the other side of the luxe spectrum, this glamorous glamping experience is as quintessentially Melbourne as they come – a stylish Airstream camper located smack-back in the middle of the city. The ‘silver bullets’ (there are six to choose from in total) have been given a tasteful spruce, and come pared-back with a queen bed, all the creature comforts, as well as a well-stocked mini bar. Each site even has its own deck for some up-close city star gazing.
If you really want to dial up the romance, try and book the ‘Airstream With Benefits’ – it comes with a private hot tub overlooking Flinders Lane. Bliss.
From $399 per night
388 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
When you’re looking to dial up the romance, there’s nothing quite like dining in the open air. For a fun date afternoon, ready your rug and pack that gourmet hamper. Melbourne is brimming with top picnic spots that are ready and waiting for your next romantic rendezvous.
Team up with your boo for a session of tension-relieving axe throwing at Maniax’s date night Fridays. Engage in a mini-tournament where you compete against your partner and then other couples for ultimate axe-throwing glory. If you’re looking for something unconventional, this is something for the most competitive couples.
$110 per couple
19-21 Russell Street, Abbotsford
In need of a little pampering? Upgrade your date night to a full day of R&R, with a couple’s trip to the day spa. Providing you both with the time and space to get away from it all and lock in some much-deserved relaxation time, indulge in massages, body scrubs, facials, and pedicures. So ready your robe and sit back and let the relaxation wash over you.
If you and your other half are into true crime stories, book in a haunted gaol tour for your next date night. Maintained to look just like the day it closed in 1929, the gruesome history of the gaol and its infamous residents (Ned Kelly for one), comes alive after dark. Not for the easily spooked, the night tours run throughout the week and you can choose to take a tour of the original cell block or get acquainted with the ghostly inhabitants.
$38 per person
377 Russell Street, Melbourne
Make like Monet and paint your way into your lover’s heart. Tap into your inner artist and learn how to paint like the masters at Cork & Chroma. An artist will provide you and your date with step-by-step guidance as you paint the artwork du jour. It’s open to absolutely anyone, you can BYO booze and at the end of the three-hour session, you’ll leave with your very own masterpiece.
206 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne
Think arcade-meets-bar at this date-friendly hangout. Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq has everything from classic arcade games to virtual reality experiences to keep your date night fun and action-packed. With delicious bites and liquid courage on hand to keep you match ready, let your bowling prowess and bumper car hustle flaw your date.
Free entry (Activities from $6 per person, per ride)
The District, 440 Docklands Drive, Docklands
For creative couples and art-lovers, the NGV provides the perfect date night setting with their latest exhibition KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness. Exploring society’s deep need for companionship in a time of division, the exhibition displays works infused with humour, humanity and affection. Head there before dinner and you will have endless things to discuss.
From 20th September
180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Brunch, bloody marys and bingo – not a conventional date, but a fun one nonetheless. Every Saturday, Windsor’s favourite Japanese diner runs bingo bottomless brunches. Think pork belly bao and free-flowing prosecco, coupled with lively bingo and the chance to win a slew of prizes. Now, that’s a winning date.
$69 per person
66A Chapel Street, Windsor
The Peninsula Hot Springs is a must-try date spot, with over 20 bath experiences including plunge pools, jet pools, massaging showers and a Turkish hammam. Spread across the open-air Bath House, let the soothing waters and rejuvenating minerals do all the work, while you and your partner reconnect and unwind.
140 Springs Lane, Fingal
To make your next date night a home-cooked feast, head to The Essential Ingredient. This culinary institution has plenty of classes to choose from and you can even book a private session with your choice of chef and cuisine, if you want to up the romance.
Prahan and South Melbourne
With all that fierce staring, waist holding and hip swaying, there’s no dance form more sensual than salsa. The Salsa Foundation host free beginners’ classes each Wednesday and Thursday night, gifting you a sure-fire way to heat up your average midweek date night. It ‘s the perfect excuse to get up, close and personal with your S.O. And you get to learn a new skill while you’re at it.
Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 6pm
Free (Bookings required)
1 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda