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29° & SUNNY ON SATURDAY 23 FEBRUARY IN BRISBANE
By Laura Dawson and Sarah Ward
February 11, 2019
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Five Valentine's Day Ideas Under $50 That Aren't a Set Menu Dinner

Celebrate love (or just have fun) without breaking the bank.
By Laura Dawson and Sarah Ward
February 11, 2019
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Whether this is your first Valentine's Day together as a couple or if you've been partnered for years, it's always nice to save a bit of money while still showering each other with love and affection. With our thrifty and fun date ideas, you'll be able to enjoy the best part about Valentine's Day — that is, each other — while getting off the couch and away from the undeniably strong appeal of takeaway and a movie. And, even if you're not romantically partnered, none of these options are so oozing with loved up romance that you couldn't just as easily take a mate along. Use this V Day to celebrate love, whatever form and shape it takes, and whomever you choose to spend it with. Make this one to remember.

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DIY PICNIC BY THE WATER

If you're the kind of couple that shirk the restaurants and shy away from the chintzy romance commonly thrust upon partnered people at this time of the year, then why not avoid the restaurants altogether? Grab a rug, a basket, a good bottle of rosé and a selection of your favourite olives, cheese and crackers and watch the sunset from a waterside vantage point near you. Try New Farm Park. It's close enough to the city so that you can pop down after work and have plenty of time to have a glass of wine in hand before the sun goes down. Afterwards, you can wander through the gardens before jumping on the City Cat for a jaunt down the river.

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HEAD TO AN ADULTS-ONLY ARCADE

Make your way to B. Lucky & Sons for a retro date night that'll make you place you firmly in kidult territory. The Fortitude Valley spot is a bar-meets-arcade with some actually good pawn-shop prizes, instead of the usual plastic crap you get — so if you're planning on winning your date a gift while you're there, they won't be disappointed with your haul. The bar's games are clear throwbacks for the millennial generation, featuring everything from Mario Kart and Daytona to NBA Hoops. And it's strictly adults-only at night, so you don't have to worry about being laughed at by a ten-year-old ruining your romantic vibe. For drinks, you'll find canned cocktails, alcoholic bubble teas and other creative concoctions. If you live further south, you could always hit up Timezone 

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WATCH A MOVIE UNDER THE STARS

Don't worry, this isn't your everyday movie-going experience. Taking over Roma Street Parklands for the summer is Moonlight Cinema, famous for movies under the stars in scenic surroundings. For Valentine's Day, it's screening rom-com Crazy, Stupid, Love at 7pm. Reserve your seats online and you'll come in at $40 for two which leaves just enough change to splurge on a popcorn to share. 

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CLIMB HIGH AND PEER OUT OVER THE CITY

Trying to show your special someone how much they mean to you, but also trying to fit your date into a hectic day? Located on the 21st floor rooftop of Grey Street's Emporium Hotel, The Terrace is open from breakfast onwards, so it offers plenty of options. Also, from noon you can grab $36 jugs of rose sangria to share if you're dropping by for drinks, or $24 cheese or charcuterie boards for two (and have change left over a bev each as well). Of course, as well as the luxe decor, the main attraction here is the vantage. Taking in panoramic views over the river, South Bank and across to the CBD, especially when the sun is setting — that's romantic on any day of the year.

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TAKE AN ASIAN STREET ART TOUR

Looking for an opportunity to combine your enduring fondness for art, your eagerness for getting active, your affection for this pretty city of ours and your Valentine's celebrations? Mosey on over to Brisbane City Hall to check all of the above boxes at a Valentine's Day art tour. The event will take you out under the stars and through the CBD to meet the folks involved the visual art component of this year's BrisAsia Festival, and to view their work. Plus, given that the tour is free, that leaves you with a budget for an appropriate meal afterwards — think highly affordable dumplings at Harajuku Gyoza in Albert Lane, some bibimbap at Madtongsan in Elizabeth Street or sushi from Hanaichi's upstairs bar in the Wintergarden.

Published on February 11, 2019 by Laura Dawson

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