Nothing warms the heart like the company of those you love, and with these cooler temps, we could all use a little extra warmth. Also, with the sun setting so early these days, you've probably found yourself cold, in the dark but still looking for something to do after work. So, take the social coordinator role this month, hit up your group message and let the gang know you're all heading out. You don't have to do the usual dinner and drinks either. In fact, to help you plan, we've teamed up with RACQ to round up some top after-dark activities to do with your mates. RACQ offers some pretty decent discounts on Brissie activities for their members — and even if you're not a member, you can still join as a Lifestyle member just to gain access to all those sweet, sweet discounts. Time to keep spirits high as we enter the thick of winter this July; here are our five picks of things to do once the sun goes down.
NIGHT NOODLE MARKETS
July in Brisbane gets a little colder than we Queenslanders are typically comfortable with. Luckily, we have Brisbane Good Food Month to warm our bellies and compensate for this chilly weather. As part of the tasty month, the Night Noodle Markets pop up with twinkling fairy lights, a stunning riverside location and a massive amount of incredible Asian dishes to try. Grab the gang and head down to South Bank to indulge in a night of bao, gyoza, pad thai, something called a 'phorrito' (where pho meets a burrito) and even more dishes from abroad. This year, there'll be 23 food stalls to choose from, so you may even plan a few visits to the markets to eventually make your way through all the eats on offer. Pull up some grass, enjoy the live music and feast on all the treats, washed down with a refreshing brew from the pop-up bar. And maybe after, why not take it all in from above with a cheeky ride on the Wheel of Brisbane?
Get out and see Brisbane from a whole new perspective on a night kayaking tour. Kayak under a starry night, as the lights of Brisbane's skyline glitter across the water. The evening kayaking tour goes for an hour and half, taking you from Kangaroo Point Cliffs, up to the iconic Story Bridge, to Mowbray Park and past the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Maritime Museum and South Bank Parklands. And once you've finished, reward yourself for all that arm effort and opt in to the big Aussie barbecue complete with prawns, lamingtons and Aussie beer, all to be enjoyed while overlooking the beautiful Brissie River.
THURSDAY NIGHT KARAOKE
Are you that person who's always singing along to the radio and secretly wishing you were Mariah Carey? Well, maybe it's time to find out what your vocal chords are made of by heading along to the Brunswick Hotel's Thursday night karaoke. Grab a few friends and head to this New Farm local early to grab a prime spot in the sports bar. Flag down the karaoke masters, make your request and wait your turn to flaunt your vibrato for all to hear. If you're truly stuck on which tune to choose, drag some friends up with you to take turns belting out verses from No Scrubs, or play it safe with basically anything by Queen.
GLOW WORM TOUR
If you and your mates are the type of people who are always up for an adventure, consider journeying into the Gold Coast hinterland for an evening tour of the mesmerising glow worm caves within Springbrook National Park. Like a real life tour through Pandora or Ferngully, you'll wander through lush rainforest, past a beautiful cascading waterfall and into the illuminated caves. As a bonus, you'll also get to learn about the history, culture and lifestyle of the traditional Aboriginal landowners. A wintry adventure into a World Heritage-listed rainforest with magical sights and a rich history, how could you lose?
NIGHT ROCK CLIMBING
Fire up that competitive streak by challenging your mates to an evening rock climb; book the crew in for a night of scaling up Kangaroo Point Cliffs. Forgo the indoor, colour-coded, plastic 'rocks', for an outdoor climb up the 20-metre rocky facade. Once you've made it to the top, take a long moment to look out over sweeping views of our fine city and river at sunset. Remember to pack a picnic (and maybe a few blankets) so you and your friends can cook up a dinner under the stars with onsite barbecues after.