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.
TOUCH SOME ART
Queensland College of Art's latest exhibition combines the familiar and the not-so. You'll enter its Project Gallery and find artworks lining its walls, as you'd expect, but that's where the standard gallery experience ends. When you walk up to one of the objects on the display, you and your partner don't just have to stand back and look. When you approach the fur bath sitting in the middle of the room, you don't have to resist the urge to jump in.
Go on, touch them all. Hop in the bath, both of you. Run your fingers over one of the items. Play with whatever takes your fancy. And, while you're doing so, don't worry about someone telling you not to. Michelle Vine's Surrogates for Social Touchis all about tactile sensations, in an exhibition that aims to explore this part of our sensory experience. There are no ropes keeping you back here, or glass cabinets protecting the artist's efforts.
Surrogates for Social Touch displays at the QCA Project Gallery from May 16 to 26, open 10am until 4pm Tuesday to Saturday.
Image: Installation shots from Surrogates for Social Touch, 2018. Michelle Vine.
PICNIC UNDER THE STARS — WHILE TRYING TO BREAK A WORLD RECORD
Been meaning to get into stargazing but don't know where to start? This could be your gateway event. On Wednesday, March 23, you can join thousands of Aussies attempting to smash the World Record for Most People Stargazing Simultaneously Across Multiple Locations in Roma Street Parklands.
There is lots of starry-eyed fun going down across the country, but the Roma Street Parkland celebrations kick off at 7pm. There'll be a little something for stargazers of all levels, with Dr Karl and Jimmy Giggle on hand to host the proceedings.
From 8pm, catch the ABC's live stargazing broadcast on the huge outdoor screen, hosted by Julia Zemiro and physicist Brian Cox. There'll also be telescopes available to order — for $13 for two — and food trucks on hand in case all that gazing leaves you feeling peckish.
KNOCK BACK A FEW COCKTAILS OVER TAPAS
Sunday session: they're two of the finest words in the English language, particularly if you like ending your weekend in style (and forgetting that you have to go back to reality the next day, even just for a few hours). Thanks to Salt Meats Cheese, they're about to be joined by a few more excellent terms: $9 espresso martinis with free tapas.
From May 20, that's what's on the menu from 2pm to 6pm every Sunday at their Gasworks store. Grab your significant other and settle in for an afternoon of sipping, eating and live tunes — and get a free tapas with every cocktail.
Yes, as part of the new weekly event, every mixed boozy concoction (aka not plain old wine, beer or spirits) comes with your pick of arancini on rocket, bruschetta, meatballs, calamari, a mini cheese plate or a deep-fried pizza pocket, with the food costing absolutely nothing. Gathering the gang and settling in for the arvo is highly recommended. Plus, extra dishes will only set you back $6.
TAKE IN SOME GREENERY — AND STARRY SCENERY — AT MT COOT-THA
Spend your weekend strolling around the bottom of a mountain. Why? Well, why not. There's always plenty on the agenda at Mt Coot-tha, but this weekend sees the city landmass come to life with not one but two huge events — with both perfect for a different kind of date.
Firstly, is your green thumb tingling? Heading to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens at Mt Coot-tha is always a great way to scratch that itch, but on May 26 and 27, it'll be even better than usual. At the Brisbane Plant Collectors Fair, you can walk through greenery and soak in the splendour of nature, as usual — and scour the auditorium for race specimens to take home with you. Browse and buy hard -to-find and unusual plant species from around the world, spanning bulbs, perennials, trees and shrubs, orchids, herbs, cacti and succulents, and exotic tropical plants. There'll be sales, guest speakers, and food and drink options.
Then, celebrate 40 years of the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium with a weekend-long shindig across the same dates. Attendees can view a Cosmic Skydome show for 40 percent off the regular ticket price, or catch a free public lecture on astrovisualisation by Dr Carter Emmart, from the New York-based American Museum of Natural History. Or, patrons can stare up above as planetarium curator Mark Rigby conducts a tour of Brisbane's starry heavens.
The other attraction is the current showcase Skylore, which delves into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander astronomy. The exhibition pays tribute to the first Australians who've been looking to the stars for tens of thousands of years.
ONE BIG BLOWOUT
TRY ALL OF THE SPIRITS
Move over, craft beer — it's craft spirits' time to shine. Everyone's been to a day dedicated to the former, but on Sunday, May 27 you can spend an afternoon with all the whisky, gin and vodka you could ever want with over 30 exhibitors and master distillers showcasing more than 100 craft spirits at 2018's Indie Spirits Tasting.
For the third time, the Indie Tasting folks are bringing their spirit celebration to Brisbane's Lefty's Old Time Music Hall for the type of event that whiskey, gin, rum, vodka and tequila-lover's dreams are made of. Yep, that means you and your favourite person. We'd keep listing different kinds of spirits, but we're getting thirsty.
Tickets are $55 each and not only include samples of the best Aussie and international indie brands on offer, but free bar snacks and access to seminars across the afternoon too.