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Five Romantic Brisbane Date Ideas for This Week From Budget to Blowout

This week, you and your plus one can head to a saucy adults-only cabaret, add margaritas to a coast getaway and wander through a hall of mirrors.
By Concrete Playground
January 24, 2023
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By Concrete Playground
January 24, 2023
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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.

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UNDER $20

EXPLORE A RIVERSIDE VEGAN MARKET

Heading to a waterside dining and entertainment precinct and only buying vegan goods mightn't always go hand in hand, but they do now at Portside Wharf. After a successful debut in 2022, 2023 marks the second year that the Hamilton venue is playing host to the Queensland Vegan Markets.

Hitting up its northside location from 9am–2pm on Saturday, January 28, this event will let you and your significant other browse more than 30 stalls, all selling cruelty-free, animal-friendly wares. The plant-based spread will include everything from burgers, bao, tacos, miso-glazed fries and katsu to custard-filled croissants, cupcakes, brown sugar boba sundaes and other sweet treats. Yes, you know the motto here: all of the taste, absolutely none of the animal products.

You'll have plenty of option, food-wise, as well as other cruelty-free wares to scope out. Also, the markets are pet-friendly, so you can bring your pooch along.

Entry is free, and so is the live music that'll soundtrack your vegan shopping.

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UNDER $60

HAVE A LAST WANDER AROUND A MULTI-SENSORY PLAYGROUND

Sometimes, we all need to get a little lost. We need to leave our comfort zones — and the homes we've been spending so much time in during the pandemic — and go wandering through an otherworldly realm. We need to explore light-filled mazes, bound through inflatable spaces and check out an electronic hall of mirrors, too, and just completely forget about our day-to-day troubles while we're moseying around a multi-sensory installation.

If all of that sounds like you and your plus one's idea of heaven at the moment, it's now a reality in Brisbane. Imaginaria is an immersive playground for kidults and children alike that's been making itself at home underneath the Goodwill Bridge, next to Queensland Maritime Museum at South Bank — but it'll finish come Sunday, January 29.

The installation is made up of different structures each filled with lights, sounds and smells. First, you take your shoes off — and then you wander through a space filled with artificial intelligence projections, sensor-triggered LED waves and giant silk parachute canopies. Also included: cosmic gardens, an anti-gravity sunset, an electronic hall of mirrors and a digital wishing well that whispers your greatest desires.

There are ten rooms in total, eight of which are brand new for Brisbane — and it's a choose-your-own-adventure kind of experience, so you can spend 15 minutes skipping through or take your time. Tickets start at $29.95 a pop for adults.

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UNDER $150

ENJOY A SAUCY ADULTS-ONLY CIRCUS SHOW

Roll up, roll up, the circus is back in Brisbane. Defying gravity, and you and your special someone's childhood memories, however, the latest show to take over Queensland Performing Arts Centre's Cremorne Theatre definitely isn't for all ages. As its name makes plain, BLUSH — Circus for Grown Ups turns acrobatics, cabaret, fire-spinning and more into a sultry affair firmly for adults.

Brisbane has been no stranger to over-18 circus displays over the years, sometimes hitting up a big top, sometimes turning one of QPAC's spaces into one — and if your cheeks do indeed get red and flushed easily, including at the sight of nudity, consider yourself warned. This performance will unfurl its delights until Sunday, February 12, with six performers taking to the stage.

Expect a seductive and sexy effort from Christine Ibrahim, Paul Westbrook, Jessie McKibbin, Sophie Seccombe, Chris Carlos and Lyndon Johnson, with BLUSH picking up awards for Best Circus at Adelaide Fringe in 2018 and 2020, and at Fringeworld 2019 in-between.

And, yes, shows like this keep heading our way because they keep proving popular — so expect plenty of company.

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UNDER $200

GET SLURPING THROUGH SIX COURSES OF OYSTERS

Next time you and your favourite person slurp down some oysters, you needn't solely opt for natural molluscs served with lemon and Tabasco. There's nothing wrong with that old favourite; however, it has company among the oyster dishes at One Fish Two Fish's returning Oyster Frenzy.

Between Wednesday, January 25–Sunday, January 29, the Kangaroo Point eatery is serving up a six-course oyster feast, taking seafood lovers through six different flavours. Start with the tried, tested and aforementioned combination, then move onto oysters with barbecue mornay and pancetta, served with tarragon and garlic butter gratin, and paired with native pepper berry and oak-aged chardonnay mignonette. You'll also be snacking on a three-cheese variety — think gorgonzola, asiago and grana padano — plus oysters with limoncello and finger lime caviar.

In total, you'll slurp your way through 18 oysters all up — three per dish — for $95 per person.

Because oysters are always popular, bookings are essential — with Oyster Frenzy running sittings at 6.30pm daily for dinner, and 1.30pm lunch sittings on Saturday and Sunday.

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ONE BIG BLOWOUT

ADD TACOS AND MARGARITAS TO A GOLD COAST GETAWAY

Living the resort life is what summer is all about, and Brisbane couples don't need to travel too far to get their fix. If an overseas holiday isn't quite calling for various reasons — leave balances, bank balances, life in general — hitting the Gold Coast's Sheraton Grand Mirage will help you feel like you've made the trip to Mexico.

Until Sunday, January 29, you can pair a stay at the Main Beach hotel with creative margaritas and a pop-up taco market. The drinks come courtesy of tequila brand Avión, which has set up an Avión Beach Cantina poolside, complete with plenty of beverages and Mexican-style bites made with Queensland produce.

In leafy surroundings with a big tropical garden bar vibe, this cantina is pouring mango, lime, grapefruit and passionfruit margs, including 'ritas infused with jalapeño for an extra kick, plus sangria jugs, frosé and mocktails.

As for the tacos, expect grilled chipotle chicken, barramundi, black beans and slow-cooked pulled pork served with salsas, as well as guacamole, corn chips and pico de gallo.

Operating from 12–7pm daily, with food over lunch from 12–3pm, the cantina does have one catch: you need to be a hotel guest to enjoy the pop-up. Yes, the Goldie counts as a vacation, even just for a night or two.

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Top image: Brig Bee.

Published on January 24, 2023 by Concrete Playground
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