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19° & PARTLY CLOUDY ON WEDNESDAY 1 APRIL IN BRISBANE
By Laura Dawson and Sarah Ward
February 10, 2020
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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 10, 2020
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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 shirks restaurants and shies away from the chintzy romance commonly thrust upon partnered people at this time of the year, then why not avoid the fine dining scene altogether? Grab a rug, a basket and a selection of your favourite olives, cheese and crackers, and watch the sunset from a waterside vantage point near you. Brisbane has plenty to choose from. Try Kangaroo Point Cliffs, New Farm Park or Howard Smith Wharves — they're all close enough to the city that you can pop down after work and have plenty of time to have a plate of cheese in hand before the sun goes down. And depending which one you choose, you can wander through South Bank, stroll around the gardens or mosey around Brisbane's newest waterside precinct afterwards.

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HEAD TO AN ADULTS-ONLY ARCADE

For a retro date night that'll place you firmly in kidult territory, make your way to B. Lucky & Sons or Archie Bros Cirque Electriq. You'll find one bar-meets-arcade in Fortitude Valley and the other in Toombul — so take your pick. The bars' games are clear throwbacks for the millennial generation, featuring everything from Mario Kart and Dance Dance Revolution and Daytona to NBA Hoops. At Archie Bros, you'll also find bowling and bumper cars. Thankfully, both are 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, boozy shakes and other creative concoctions. If you live further south, you could always hit up Timezone. 

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WATCH LOVE-THEMED SHORT FILMS IN A LANEWAY

Cosying up in a cinema is an incredibly standard way to spend Valentine's Day. Watching inventive, vivid and creative short films in a laneway definitely isn't. Forget Love Actually — it's Love Animated when Bakery Lane turns its tiny stretch of Fortitude Valley's pavement into a free openair cinema for one night. In conjunction with the Animation Alliance Australia, 14 animated shorts about romance will grace the big screen, including one of this year's Oscar nominees for Best Animated Short Film. And you can forget popcorn and choc tops as well, with Bakery Lane's restaurants and bars getting into the appropriate mood. You just know that Cakes & Shit will have the perfect dessert for the occasion, too.

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HIT THE ICE

Take a chill approach to Valentine's Day in a very literal way — by heading to Iceworld. As too many movies to count have taught us (including last year's Last Christmas, to mention just one), hitting the ice is a surefire way to set hearts a-fluttering. And, it's fun. That's always the case, whether you're such a whiz on the blades that you can bust out a few tricks or you definitely need to hang on to your favourite person for support. At both its Acacia Ridge and Boondall locations, Iceworld is decking out the joint with romance-themed decorations, a playlist to match and prizes for best couple — and entry, including skate hire, will set you back just $20 per person.

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WANDER AROUND A TWILIGHT MARKET

Setting up a heap of stalls at Newstead's Gasometer, The Market Folk is turning Valentine's Day into a celebration of artisanal goodies. Grab your other half, take a gander at everything from homewares and clothes to plants and ceramics, and enjoy wandering beneath one of inner-city Brisbane's most striking sights — especially when it's lit up at night. The couple that browses together, stays together, after all. Plus, if you haven't yet bought your special someone a gift, you'll be in the perfect place for it. When you're done enjoying the Gasworks Valentine's Day Market, you'll find plenty of eateries in the vicinity for a post-market bite to eat as well.

Published on February 10, 2020 by Laura Dawson

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