Move over dinner and a movie, these are the coolest date nights in town
Whether it’s a first date or you’ve been dating for two decades, finding a romantic place to impress both yourself and your other half can prove trickier than you might think. But if relationships have taught us anything it’s to compromise, and sometimes that requires surprising your partner with a game of boozy mini golf or a romantic pop-up picnic.
So whether you’re celebrating a birthday, an anniversary or your regular weekly date night, these cute date ideas are guaranteed to shake things up. There’s everything from high octane dates to quiet city escapes for the more sensitive (or exhausted) soul.
Go all out for your next date night with a romantic Sydney staycation. The heritage-listed former Paramount Pictures building offers a fresh take on luxury digs, with 29 rooms ranging from ‘nook’, ‘everyday’, ‘sunny’, ‘loft and ‘mack daddy’, and naturally, the slick interiors fit in with the vibe of Surry Hills; hip and soulful. Right next door are Golden Age Cinema and Paramount Coffee Project, with a recreation club for active couples and a stylish rooftop bar on premise. Another four reasons to lock in an unforgettable date night that continues into the next morning.
From $200 per night
Paramount House: 80 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills
If you and your partner are competitive, then look no further than Holey Moley. With locations in Darlinghurst and Newtown, this Happy Gilmore-approved mini golf course is sure to bring out the big kid in you and your date.
Grab your clubs and make your way around the 18 pop-reference themed holes. Drinking on the job may affect your aim, but at least you’ll have fun doing it, right? Order the ‘Sugar Caddy’ topped with a candy kebab. If golf isn’t your thing, there’s plenty of other gimmicks to see you through the night, like retro arcade games and karaoke.
Holey Moley: 82-94 Darlinghurst Road, Potts Point and 87 King Street, Newtown
Bring out your inner Demi Moore (Ghost, anyone?) at The Pottery Shed. Offering beginner classes which cover everything from throwing, trimming and glazing in three, two-hour sessions, you will be sculpting Ghost-style in no time! Once you have mastered that you can book either for a returning student session or join one of the weekly masterclasses, because as we all know- couples that hobby together, stay together.
From $59 per person (Per session)
The Pottery Shed: 7 Nickson Street, Surry Hills
Sydney is perfect for a romantic picnic, but they can be a bit of a hassle to organise. That’s where Pop-Up Picnic steps in. They offer a range of hampers, as well as entertainment add-ons like giant ten-pin bowling, chess, or croquet. They also include rugs, crockery and picnic tables, so all you need to do is choose the location, order your package and show up on the day. As far as cute date ideas go, this is definitely up there!
Pop-Up Picnic: 227 Parramatta Road, Annandale
Take your standard weekend date to another level – literally – with a decadent high tea set inside a carriage of Luna Park’s Ferris wheel. You’ll be greeted with a glass of sparkling as you settle in for an afternoon of restaurant-quality dishes in the open air, accompanied by rotating views of the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and city skyline.
$80 per person
Luna Park: 1 Olympic Drive, Milsons Point
Gazing out at the celestial bodies of the endless night sky is never not going to be romantic. Take your date for the ultimate tour, first through Sydney’s oldest observatory and planetarium, and then it’s the galaxy and beyond. You and your partner will get to view the moon, stars and if you’re lucky, sparkly nebulae through powerful telescopes.
Sydney Observatory: 1003 Upper Fort Street, Millers Point
For creatives and art-lovers, the MCA provides the perfect date night setting each Wednesday night. Open till 9pm, you can swing by post-work to appreciate the latest exhibitions while learning new skills in their hands-on workshops. Once you have had your artistic fix, retire to the rooftop for a spot of supper and live music.
Wednesdays, until 9pm
MCA: 140 George Street, The Rocks
Wine usually comes with tasting notes, so there’s no better way to get educated than with a lesson at the Sydney Wine Centre. Offering regular events and tastings, look out for their next cheese and wine pairing event or sign up for their one-day wine appreciation course. Finishing up late afternoon, head straight to dinner with your new-found wine knowledge.
Sydney Wine Centre: Level 1/119 Harris Street, Pyrmont
A private Skywalk at The Sydney Tower Eye with your loved one is just the thing to get your heart racing. The tour includes a personal guided 90-minute walk around the Observation Deck which drinks in unparalleled views of Sydney from above, and a 4D cinema pre-show experience to get you excited.
From $75 per person
Sydney Tower Eye: 100 Market Street, Sydney
For a quintessential Sydney experience, you can’t beat a plane ride over the city. Hop on a seaplane from Sydney’s salubrious Rose Bay and head North to Palm Beach to tuck into a long, languid lunch at Jonah's Whale Beach. If you’ve time on your side, book a night at the award-winning hotel and draw out the romance a little longer.
From $220 per person
Sydney By Seaplane: 594 New South Head Road, Rose Bay
From $398 per night
Jonah's: 69 Bynya Road, Whale Beach
Govinda’s has long been a favoured date spot for those in the know – and now you do too. This non-profit restaurant and theatre offers an all-in-one package that starts with a lavish feast of vegetarian Indian cuisine followed by a movie in their bohemian cinema, where you can take your shoes off and snuggle into comfy lie-down cushion beds as the lights go down.
Govinda’s: 112 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst
Sydney By Sail organises trips around the stunning harbour with your partner so you can take in all the views the harbour has to offer. Step it up a notch with their Romance Bed & Breakfast Cruise, which includes a 2-hour harbour sail, gourmet food platters, and a breakfast basket for you to nibble on as you wake up on the shimmering waters of the harbour.
From $990 (per couple)
Sydney By Sail: 2 Murray Street, Darling Harbour
For a couple keen to have a laugh on date night, opt-out of dinner and in for comedy night at The Tudor. Featuring some of Australia's funniest comedians, this Redfern bar transforms into a riotous laugh-fest. Entry is free, so it is the perfect way to go out for date night without the expensive price tag. Fancy yourself a bit of a comedian? There’s an open mic portion of the evening, so be sure to have your best jokes rehearsed and ready.
Thursdays and Sundays
The Tudor: 90 Pitt Street, Redfern
To spice up your next date, head to Establishment on a Tuesday night for their Latin music and salsa night. Dance the night away to the sexy Latin beats and learn how to Salsa, all for free. Lessons start from 8pm and be sure to stay hydrated with their $12 Cuba Libre cocktails.
Establishment: 252 George Street, Sydney
Prepare to harness your inner Picasso – Cork & Chroma combine painting and wine for the ultimate art night out. Budding artists will be given step-by-step instructions, so no matter what your level, we guarantee you’ll be walking away with a completed masterpiece by the end of the night. The best part is that you can BYO booze and drink it throughout the lesson.
From $28 per person
Cork & Chroma: 55 Holt Street, Surry Hills
Impress your date by blending your own gin at Archie Rose. Known for their range of award-winning spirits, upgrade your G&T and book into their blending class where you explore the world of botanicals. The best part, you get to take home your creations. After the class make your way to the bar and compare your blend with the house.
From $115 per person
Archie Rose: The Cannery, 85 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery
Upgrade your date night drinks to a cocktail tasting. At mixology haven Eau de Vie, you can indulge in either a pre- or post-dinner cocktail tasting experience. Within the comfort of this dimly lit, leather-furnished 1920s-style bar, you can enjoy three perfectly balanced drinks, matched with bites from the bar menu.
From $75 per person
Eau de Vie: 229 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst
Instead of grabbing a nightcap, book in a bowl after dinner. The Standard Bowl in Darlinghurst sits above the iconic Kinselas and has that old school American arcade feel with a three-lane bowling alley. Grab a couple of drinks and enjoy a bowl as a duo. The alley sits beside the main stage, so catch a gig after a boozy bowling session. No way boredom can strike here.
The Standard Bowl: Level 3, 383 Bourke Street, Darlinghurst
To make your next date night a home-cooked feast, head to Circular Quay’s Salt Meats Cheese for a lesson in Italian cooking. At this popular providore, just about everything is made from scratch, and its classes teach you how to do the same. They host a bunch of hands-on classes, so you can learn all about making your own fettucine, ravioli, tortellini, and pizza.
Salt Meats Cheese: L201 Alfred Street Gateway, Circular Quay
For an out-of-the-box date night, book an Escape room experience. The general idea is that you're locked in a room and fed clues so you can get out. Next Level Escape in CBD has two themes, The Artefact and Ex Libris is the perfect date for crime show lovers and puzzle solvers, while Newtown's The Cipher Room has different scenarios that require you to solve a mystery and is great for a group date.
Next Level Escape: Lower Ground, 23 O’Connell St Sydney
The Cipher Room: 640 King Street, Newtown
Now that you know ‘Netflix and Chill’ won’t cut it for your next date night, we have heaps more date night ideas that will give your special someone an experience to remember. From couples-only getaways and romantic restaurants to creative classes and sexy bars, these cute date ideas are guaranteed to impress. Oh, and if you want some inspo for Valentine's, take a look at these unique gift ideas.