Whether it’s a Tinder date you’ve been stressing over since you first swiped right or your first kid-free night since the twins were born, planning date night is a lot of pressure, especially if it’s around Valentine’s Day… From ensuring the conversation flows to making sure you don’t drink too much, there’s sometimes so much to consider that it can be easier to fall back on ol’ faithful and just go out for dinner and a movie at your local.
But, if the thought of sitting through yet another rom-com and picking popcorn kernels out of your teeth is enough to have you running for the hills, then it’s time to take a stand. We’ve rounded up our best pick of date ideas that are a little more exciting than dinner and a movie. Grab some flowers and a box of chocolates on the way and you’ve got a date that not even Hallmark could top.
Bakery Lane (you know the one – the quaint and cute one behind Fortitude Valley MVP The APO) is hosting a huge Valentine’s Day celebration this year, specifically for those of us who want to try a bit of everything. With specialised menus from Nomnom Korean Eatery, Le Petit Paris Bakery, Johnny’s Pizzeria (FYI: any pizza plus a bottle of wine for only $20!) and more, as well as an outdoor screening of a collection of heart-warming animations from Animated Alliance Australia, they are taking dinner and a movie to stunning new heights. With free gifts for the first 20 arrivals as well as the chance to win date night prizes, it’s really the easiest way to do Valentine’s Day right.
Just like in some of our fave flicks, such as Julie & Julia, No Reservations, and Lady and the Tramp, food and romance go hand in hand. If you’re keen to try something a little more hands-on (perhaps to distract from the awkwardness of small talk) turn up the heat with a cooking class at James St Cooking School. With a wide variety of cuisines to choose from, you can try everything from sausage making to delectable desserts. And even if it’s not true love, at least you’ll both pick up some new skills and enjoy a delicious feed.
A quick Google search reveals that sushi, is not only one of the most delicious foods ever, is also a powerful aphrodisiac. At Mizu Japanese Eats you and your date can enjoy a hands-on lesson covering the finer points of sushi preparation and presentation, finishing up your class sampling the fruits of your labour. The February class is on Saturday, February 17, and tickets are $75 per person.
For Tragic Romantics
Are you and your lover looking to escape for Valentine’s Day this year? The good people at Treasury Brisbane are offering couples the ultimate romantic getaway to celebrate Valentine’s Day in style. If bottles of champagne, a night in a luxurious hotel and a four-course dinner with a side of a la carte breakfast sounds like your idea of fun, then this is the kind of romantic package you need to get around ASAP. Bookings are $488 per couple and will see you and your partner enjoy luxury overnight accommodation in a Deluxe King or Twin Room, a pre-dinner drink for two at Ryan’s On The Park, 4-course dinner and breakfast for two at Lab Restaurant and Bar, two classic cocktails at The Kitty Bar, complimentary car parking and the chance to win a $1,000 Tiffany & Co gift card. Say it with love and luxury this year!
What is more enchanting than a city river cruise? With stunning views and bright city lights, you can glide down the river on the Kookaburra Queen. Stroll the outdoor decks, enjoy live entertainment and finish the night with a dance.
For the more creative types, you will love Cork and Chroma! Enjoy a wine while you paint in their relaxing and friendly studio setting. Even if you don’t see yourself as a creative, you will surprise yourself as you walk away with your very own, self-painted masterpiece (or at least bragging rights if you do better than your partner).
Surprise your loved one with tickets to see QPAC’s musical spectacular – Aladdin! Starting February 20, enjoy mind-blowing special effects, marvellous music and a talented cast bringing the magic of Disney to life. This theatrical experience is perfect for those who don’t have time around the 14th to celebrate Valentine’s day.
Speckled with cute cottages, quirky cafes and vintage shops, Paddington is the number one spot for finding antiques. The Paddington Antique Centre is packed with little goodies, keepsakes, designer fashion, retro knick-knacks, homewares, artwork and jewellery – a perfect day out for you and your special one.
With live entertainment delivered by international, national and local artists, it isn’t hard to see why the Triffid is a Brisbane favourite for catching some quality talent. Complimented by lush a beer garden, take your partner, grab a drink, and check out a couple of gigs that fall around Valentine’s Day. The makers of indie-pop, Grouplove will be bringing their Californian flair to Brisbane soil on Friday, February 9, while on Friday, February 16, one of Australia’s most respected female artists, George Maple, will be in town celebrating the release of her debut album.
You’ll need to take a seat for this one! Laugh until you drop with the stand-up comedy segments at Brisbane’s Powerhouse. Get rowdy with the stand-up comedy king Dave Hughes, get excited and refreshed with Becky Lucas or settle in for some hilarious and cleverly written songs from the brother duo of the Stevenson Experience. Most segments will be running from the February 8 until March 11, so just pick a date that suits both you and your boo best. Regardless of who you choose, you’ll be in stitches!
For The Active-Types
Just like a relationship, Victoria Park’s mini golf is fun and exciting, but isn’t without its challenges. Weave around rocky terrain, hilly slopes and challenging obstacles, and then finish up with wood-fired pizza and cold brews at their onsite bistro.
If you aren’t into the whole “Strictly ballroom” thing, Mad Dance House is the perfect alternative. Offering classes covering everything from ballet and hip-hop through to breaking and tap, you and your partner can enjoy an active, hands-on class that will have you working up a sweat. Even if you haven’t danced before, MDH will help you get on your feet and find your groove.
Mt Coolum Hike
Sometimes there’s nothing better than some Aussie bushwalking! The Mt Coolum hike is a steep track, but the mountainous and coastal views will make it well worth your while. Make your way down to the beach after for a refreshing dip.
If Mia Thermopolis can do it, so can you. Challenge your partner to a climbing adventure that is definitely different to your typical date. Catering to all abilities, Urban Climb ensures that everyone has a good time – whether you’re a seasoned climber or it’s your first time.
Put some adrenaline into your Valentine’s Day with some indoor skydiving at iFLY on the Gold Coast. iFLY skydiving will make you feel like a real-life superhero and before you know it you’ll be mastering the skills of a pro skydiver! Bookings are now available so don’t miss the chance to sweep your loved one off their feet (literally).
Feature image: Treasury Brisbane