Five Romantic Brisbane Date Ideas for This Week From Budget to Blowout
This week, you and your plus one can hit up the most Brisbane music festival ever, knock back chocolate cocktails and explore a room filled with lasers.
March 21, 2023
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.
LISTEN TO A SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA SHOW UNDER THE STARS
When the Queensland Symphony Orchestra turned 75 in 2022, it put on a huge free concert to celebrate, taking over QPAC's Concert Hall for an evening. It doesn't have a milestone birthday to mark in 2023, but it is hosting another free gig anyway — this time outdoors as part of a new annual tradition.
Taking place at Roma Street Parklands, Queensland Symphony Orchestra's Symphony Under the Stars will enjoy its debut hour-long outing on Saturday, March 25, in what's set to launch a yearly show.
You and your plus one will hear 'Fanfare for the Common Man' by Copland to begin, followed by Tower's 'Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman'. Also on the list Dvořák's 'Carnival Overture', Delius' 'Summer Evening', Dohnányi's 'Symphonic Minutes', Tchaikovsky's 'Capriccio Italien' and Glinka's 'Overture to Ruslan and Lyudmila'.
Given how popular last year's 75th-birthday show was, expect the maiden Symphony Under the Stars to prove the same. Although attendance is free, registration via the QSO website is recommended. Bringing picnic baskets is encouraged, too, and there'll be food options available onsite.
STARE AT TOWERING ART, GIANT PYRAMIDS AND A ROOM FILLED WITH LASERS
During its debut Night Feast until Sunday, March 26, Brisbane Powerhouse is welcoming in plenty of people — and not just in the way you'd expect. A heap of Brissie folks are flocking to the riverside space for bites to eat, drinks to sip and fire pits to sit by, and they're being joined by giant humanoids eager to explore our fantastic planet.
Taking inspiration from the 1973 animated flick Fantastic Planet, this larger-than-life light installation from artist Amanda Parer is now on display the New Farm venue with a towering spectacle of out-of-this-world sights. With the movie set in a world where such gargantuans roam the earth, rendering humanity as we know it savages, consider this bright, bold piece the next best thing to stepping into that realm.
Operating 4.30–9.30pm from Wednesday–Friday, and starting at 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays — always at the Powerhouse forecourt — Fantastic Planet is making its presence known next to the building's iconic facade. If you and your other half start thinking about how fragile and humble life is when faced with something so huge, that's the point.
As for the rest of Night Feast, it pairs food from top Brissie chefs with roving performances and an impressive arts program — laser beams that look like intergalactic events and giant glowing pyramids included.
CELEBRATE EASTER EARLY WITH BOOZY CHOCOLATE COCKTAILS
When December hits, a whole month of eating and drinking to celebrate the merriest time of the year comes with it. So, as Easter approaches, doing the same but with chocolate isn't just understandable — if you and your favourite person's respective sweet tooth loves any excuse for a treat, it's downright mandatory.
Trust Cowch Dessert Cocktail Bar to serve up a month-long special menu just for the occasion, too, running until Monday, April 10 at its Morningside, Chermside, South Bank and Broadbeach venues. On the lineup: five decadent bites to eat, two OTT dessert cocktails and a shake. Whichever you choose, they'll get into the Easter spirit — sometimes with spirits.
The chocolate-only dessert offering has been fittingly dubbed House of Chocolate, and includes a golden ticket chocolate bar (aka a chocolate mousse cake made with a crunchy wafer base, then layered with milk chocolate ganache, passionfruit gel, milk chocolate mousse and vanilla cream — and coated in chocolate), loaded brownies (which come topped with white chocolate gelato, fudge sauce, toasted mini marshmallows, brownie bites and crumble, then drizzled with milk and white chocolate) and a nutty gelato dish (featuring milk and white chocolate gelato balls with dark chocolate fudge centres, then dipped in dark chocolate and hazelnuts served with chocolate fudge sauce).
Drinks-wise, the white chocolate margarita is made with white chocolate gelato, tequila, crème de cacao and white chocolate ganache, then garnished with a white chocolate and salt rim — and the fudge nut fantasy includes chocolate sorbet, Frangelico, vanilla vodka and fudge sauce, then topped with whipped cream and crushed hazelnuts. Prices vary from $12.99 for the honeycomb crunch shake — which is sans alcohol — through to $19.99.
PARTY IN A MUSEUM AFTER DARK
Everyone knows someone who can't wait to throw a party, and will use any occasion and excuse they can to do so. Queensland Museum is that pal in venue form, regularly putting on after-hours shindigs for its exhibitions — and also dedicating two nights to after-dark festivities during World Science Festival 2023.
On Friday, March 24–Saturday, March 25, running from 5.30pm on each evening, the South Bank spot will welcome in Brisbanites to see baby turtles, get meditating with the dinos, listen to live tunes and more — all with cocktails. QM's usual After Dark sessions are normally huge, but Social Science levels up the fun and activities for the city's annual science fest. And, you and your significant other's $60-each tickets also include entry to Dinosaurs of Patagonia.
Attendees can also hear discussions about the science of sex and what's good in the metaverse, watch short films about the ocean, and sling questions at The Conversation's Lee Constable about the human body — any questions you like, because this is basically an IRL AMA. Or, watch artist Deb Mostert sketch pics based on QM's collection, check out Madame Lark and her musical saw — and penchant for bird voices — and take a lie detector test with a room full of strangers. Plus, Jeremy Neale, Kalopsia, Saint Barae and Paul Dempsey are on the music bill.
Indeed, this program is so big that you can even nab weekend passes for $100 each and head along on both evenings.
DANCE YOUR WAY THROUGH THE MOST BRISBANE MUSIC FESTIVAL EVER
If it seems like only yesterday that Regurgitator, Custard, Butterfingers, Resin Dogs and Screamfeeder were playing every venue around Brisbane every night, then you obviously have strong recollections of the city's 90s and 00s music scene. It was only a few months back that most of the above names teamed up to help celebrate The Zoo's 30th birthday, in fact, so your thoughts don't need to span back too far. But now you and your special someone can also cement new memories on Saturday, March 25 at Units, aka what just might be the most Brisbane music festival ever.
Described as "25 years of Unit in one electric stream of sound and colour", this new one-day event nabs its name from Regurgitator's 1997 album Unit, its second record and the source of synth pop-meets-alt rock bangers like '! (The Song Formerly Known As)', 'Polyester Girl' and 'I Like Your Old Stuff Better Than Your New Stuff'. In fact, this fest is completely based around celebrating Unit's big anniversary — with more than a little help from some other huge Brisbane music names.
So, that's where Custard, Butterfingers, Resin Dogs and Screamfeeder all come in, all as part of a fest that'll take over Eatons Hill Hotel's ballroom and outdoor gig space. It's a two-stage, no-clash affair, so you'll be able to see everyone on the bill. And yes, the Gurge is playing Unit in full.
Dance to the band's 90s hits, with the Brissie legends also working through plenty else from their hefty catalogue — then enjoy the fellow acts that've been making Brisbane the music-filled city it is for decades. DZ Deathrays weren't releasing tunes back when Unit first released, of course, but they're also on the bill.
The rest of Units' roster of talent includes Models, Flangipanis, Glitoris, Mitch, Please, The Stress of Leisure and Platonic Sex, in what's set to be a helluva day. Things don't get no better, better than you and this lineup, clearly.
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