This Valentine’s day, don’t phone it in with a set menu and overpriced roses – we’ve done the hard yards and scoped out the most fun, exciting and unique experiences across the city for your long awaited date. There’s dinners in magical locations, movies under the stars and bonding activities like no other – the choice is yours.
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.
1003 Upper Fort St, Millers Point
Take Valentine’s dinner to another level – literally – with a three course meal 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 evening of restaurant quality dishes in the open air, accompanied by rotating views of the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and city skyline.
1 Olympic Drive, Milsons Point
This year, Valentine’s Day coincides with the launch of MGFF’s main program, which features a smashing lineup of films celebrating the LGBTQI+ experience. Delve into diverse stories of love and sexuality – on Feb 14 they’re screening a documentary about Montgomery Cliff and Woman Coming Out of the Sea, a schoolgirl romance set in 1930s Chile.
Event Cinemas, 505/525 George St, Sydney
Have your hearts warmed and your ears tingled with tunes from two of our most beloved contemporary music stars. Missy Higgins and John Butler Trio will come together on the Opera House Forecourt this Valentine’s for an unmissable double-bill that covers cherished hits alongside new material.
Sydney Opera House Forecourt, Bennelong Point
Team up with your boo for a session of tension-relieving axe throwing at Maniax’s “date night” event, which culminates 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, it’s definitely the most high-octane bonding method around.
01/75 Mary St, St Peters
Upgrade from Netflix and Chill with a movie under the stars at the world’s largest outdoor bed cinema. Snuggle up under the blankets with champagne from the bar before getting dinner from Fratelli Fresh delivered straight to your bed – it’s almost too easy. This Valentine’s they’re holding a special screening of French romance anthology Paris je t’aime.
The Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park
Take dinner and drinks into your own hands with a workshop that’ll teach you and your date how to whip up your own soft, bouncy bocconcini, then shake and stir perfectly mixed cocktails. If the cheese and martinis haven’t already got you feeling warm and fuzzy inside, the fact that all proceeds go to helping drought-affected farmers will.
The Social Corner, 30 Ebsworth Street, Zetland
Kick on after dinner at Coogee Bay Hotel’s Valentine’s Party, where The Preatures headline a full evening of live music supported by Little Quirks and Crocodylus. Before the acts begin there’ll be a pre-party in the garden, with fortune telling for those brave couples who want to see into their romantic future.
253 Coogee Bay Rd, Coogee
Govinda’s has long been a favoured date spot for those in the know – and now you do too. The not for profit restaurant and theatre offers an all-in-one package that starts with a lavish feast of vegetarian Indian cuisine before a movie in their bohemian cinema, where you can take your shoes off and snuggle into comfy lie-down cushions as the lights go down.
112 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst
Whether your loved one’s a theatre fan, sound nerd or architecture enthusiast, they’ll be delighted by this behind-the-scenes look of our most famed venue. You’ll be guided through otherwise off-limits rehearsal spaces, climb inside the orchestra pit and hear stories from the passionate, dramatic and sometimes scandalous world of showbiz. The experience is completed with breakfast in the Green Room where crew and performers sit shoulder-to-shoulder.
Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point
Warm your heart with tales of love and adversity while supporting the work of Refugees Welcome Australia, which places new arrivals with welcoming homes. Their Valentine’s fundraiser is an open mic inviting people to share their stories of the heart in poem or song form.
Parliament on King, 632 King St, Erskineville
Lots of restaurants slap together a set menu and call it a “Valentine’s special” but not the Grounds – they’ve gone all out, creating a bohemian-themed wonderland filled with wildflowers, fairy lights and chandeliers. Dinner is served through five interactive food stations: a seafood bar, tapas grazer, carvery, vegetarian woodfire and dessert laneway. Get a keepsake of your evening with a snap in their photobooth – sneaky kisses permitted.
7A/2 Huntley St, Alexandria
Wes Anderson? Gelato Messina? Cocktails? Now there’s a surefire recipe for romance. This V-Day, art deco cinema Golden Age is screening the pink-hued, bittersweet comedy and gifting all loved-up ticketholders a ‘Messina De Chocolat’ – choux pastry filled with chocolate fondant gelato, glazed with Mendl’s icing and topped with a golden almond, served in the famous pink Mendl’s box.
80 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills