Tired of the classic movie 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 Brisbane activities — 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.
STARE UP AT THE STARS
On March 24, the night sky beckons at South Bank for you and your favourite person — and, no we're not just talking about staring over the river at the city's twinkling lights. No, looking up at the Wheel of Brisbane doesn't count either, and nor does enjoying the glowing colours at the new Flowstate precinct.
Instead, as part of this year's World Science Festival, stargazers will flock to the Cultural Centre Forecourt to spend the evening looking up. If you've ever wanted to peer into the heavens while standing in the middle of the city — and actually be able to see the stars shining in all their glory — this is your chance.
Don't have a telescope? Don't worry. A heap of the remote-viewing optical instruments will be set up for everyone to use as part of this free, fun, one-night-only event. It all starts at 6pm, with the neck-craning running through until 9pm.
EAT ALL OF THE GELATO YOU CAN HANDLE
When it comes to eating dessert in Brisbane, it's worth remembering two things — particularly if you and your partner are partial to hefty helpings of frozen dairy products. Firstly, it's never too cold for ice cream or gelato. Secondly, you can never have too much ice cream or gelato.
$10 gets you as much deliciousness as you can handle — in cups and cones only — so we'd recommend blocking out plenty of time. As well as just generally feasting your way through their usual flavours, they'll have five newbies only available on the day, including matcha, maple pecan pie, and coconut white chocolate and lime, plus sorbets of Earl Grey and yuzu, and strawberry and balsamic vinegar.
BOND WHILE YOU BROWSE FOR SECONDHAND BARGAINS
Does scouring the city for secondhand threads get you out of bed in the morning? Or your loved one? If so, come March 22, you'd best stay up and shopping until well into the evening. That's when Never Ever Pay Retail is hosting its next Late Night Thrifting session — and while hitting the racks between 5pm and 8pm isn't all that late in most circles, it is when it comes to the vintage and pre-loved game.
In fact, the event's host — the ingeniously named Studio Thrifty 4 — is only normally open during the daytime on weekends, so this Thursday night shindig is special for them. The same applies to SWOP Clothing Exchange, the source of the evening's wares. They might boast two Brisbane stores, but they only usually stay open past 6pm on Friday nights.
If that doesn't all sound great enough, in keeping with the venue's usual set-up, everything on offer costs $5. No more, no less. Trawl through clothing and accessories, nab a bargain, grab a caffeinated brew from She Bangs Coffee or something stronger at the bar — and, if you're keen to get a head start, jump on a VIP early entry ticket for $15, which gets you in the door before everyone else plus Champagnes on arrival. Even better: all proceeds will go to Pay A Sack Forward, meaning that more than your wardrobe will thank you.
DEDICATE AN AFTERNOON TO JAZZ, CHEESE AND FRENCH WINE
There's Sunday sessions, and then there's Sunday sessions. As varied as your state of mind on the last day of the weekend, some call for boozy brunches, others for chilled evenings — and as Vieille Branche is happy to demonstrate, some just need a relaxed bit of jazz. That's what Sunday Hot Club is all about: hanging out, soaking in great sounds, and enjoying some cheese and wine. It does take place in an Albion warehouse space that used to be a French cafe, after all.
Each week, a new lineup of musicians will take to the stage, and offer up the soundtrack to your cruisy arvo. Making an ace shindig even better, there'll also be Emile & Solange cheeseboards on offer, plus hot chips, French wine and craft beers on tap. Fabuleux!
Doors open at 1pm, and while the music doesn't kick off until 2pm, arriving early to score a good seat is recommended. Entry costs $10 on the door, though you'll need extra funs to enjoy the dairy and drinks. Keep an eye on the event's Facebook page for the weekly lineup.
ONE BIG BLOWOUT
DANCE TO BRITISH BOY BAND ROYALTY WHILE PLAYING BINGO
Bingo. Rave. Two ends of the spectrum of fine holiday fun finally came together in Australia last year. If you didn't take your date along, Bongo's Bingo is a games night like you've never seen before. Part club, part rave, and, of course, part bingo night, this unlikely fusion event has been wildly popular in the UK since 2015.
It's hardly surprising that taking the show on the road — that is, launching Bongo's Bingo Down Under — went well. And now, it's hardly surprising that is's coming back for yet another round either. What you mightn't expect is the event's new special guests: British boy band royalty, aka Westlife's Brian McFadden and Boyzone's Keith Duffy.
Under the name Boyzlife, they'll perform their respective groups' biggest hits while all of the debauchery of the original British version of Bongo's Bingo gets underway. That includes rave intervals, dancing on tables and a loose kind of bingo that you definitely never played with your nan (well, maybe you have). The victorious players can win everything from big cash prizes to some absolutely ridiculous surprises, which is all part of the fun.
Bongo's Bingo heads back to The Tivoli on March 24. Tickets cost $65.13.