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Five Romantic Auckland Date Ideas From Budget to Blowout

Just think of us as your cultural wingman.
By Sarah Templeton
May 17, 2022
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By Sarah Templeton
May 17, 2022
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Tired of the classic drink and dinner date night combo? Us too. That's why we're always on the hunt for new things to do, scouring the city for not-boring activities around the 09 — ones that are guaranteed to take your next date way beyond done-before beers at the pub.

Whether you're taking someone on a second date or doing your 100th with your significant other, we've got some killer (and, yes, cute) ideas for dates to go on this week, no matter how much money you've got to spend. Just think of us as your cultural wingman. You're welcome.

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FREE

CUE ED SHEERAN'S 'SHAPE OF YOU' AT A LIFE-DRAWING CLASS

Looking for a fun date activity that's a little out of the box? (And for the love of God, not Holy Moly mini-golf). Friday lunchtimes are the new Thursday evenings, so take your date to the stunning Auckland Art Gallery where they can show off their creative skills. At the very least, you'll both get a giggle out of how terrible you are. The new weekly drop-in drawing classes are free and suitable for all levels, so neither you nor your date has to be a master artist to attend. If things go really well, perhaps the date can lead to afternoon drinks — or a private art class where you get painted like one of their French girls.

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UNDER $50

ENJOY COCKTAIL HOUR WITH A TWIST

Keeping your date to a casual, post-work, pre-dinner kind of vibe? Britomart restaurant Kingi — which in our opinion, holds the prize for one of the most romantic interiors in the city —  is running a daily aperitivo hour from 4pm-6pm, which keeps things cheap, cheerful and goddamn delicious.

You can order speciality cocktails like their cold drip negronis or black lime margaritas, all for $15 and under. If you're feeling peckish, you won't shell out more than $8-$20 for one of their delicious snacks like woodfired flatbreads, marinated olives or ​​hapuka taramasalata. Then you can catch the train from Brito and bid your goodbyes — or head to one of the area's excellent restaurants for dinner if things are going particularly well.

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EAT, DRINK AND LET LOVE BLOOM...

Ponsonby is already full of some of the city's best date night spots: Mexico, INCA, Elmo's, just to name a few. This month the central neighbourhood's offerings are better than ever, thanks to the month long Eat Drink Love Ponsonby festival which is back for another year. Snap up one of the speciality menus or meal deals happening across the 'hood. Our pick? The Burger Burger date night special. Just $50gets you and your date a burger, a side and a glass of bubbles. Sorted.

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UNDER $100

GET THE EURO-SUMMER VIBES WITHOUT LEAVING AUCKLAND

On a strict budget and can't whisk your love away on a European vacay any time soon? Treat them to the next best thing with an afternoon in the lemon grove at Herne Bay hotspot Andiamo. Gin brand Malfy is putting on a series of speciality G&Ts and cocktails throughout May, with the space decked out in greenery and lemon trees so you can feel like you've really gotten out of the city. Andiamo's classic Italian fare is on offer to line those stomachs, including pasta, pizza — and that famous mac'n'cheese. After all, the best dates include booze, carbs and cheese. This is a fact.cp-line

ONE BIG BLOWOUT

MAKE A DATE WITH MANY DESSERTS

Got a date with a sweet tooth? Why take them just out for dessert when you could treat them to a 24-hour dessert-filled hotel staycation? The new Movenpick Hotel Auckland has just opened its doors on Customs Street East, and to say it's a chocolate-lovers paradise is an understatement. The hotel has a free chocolate hour every afternoon in the hotel lobby, where guests can enjoy live demonstrations of truffle rolling and cupcake icing. If you prefer to enjoy your dessert in bed, a 24-hour sundae service is also available, so if the pair of you have an ice cream hankering at 3am, you've picked the right hotel. (Come on guys, get your mind out of the gutter).

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Published on May 17, 2022 by Sarah Templeton
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