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13° & CLOUDY ON WEDNESDAY 20 FEBRUARY IN MELBOURNE
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Five Melbourne Date Ideas for This Week That Aren't Dinner and a Movie

Just think of us as your cultural wingman.
By Concrete Playground
February 05, 2019
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Five Melbourne Date Ideas for This Week That Aren't Dinner and a Movie

Just think of us as your cultural wingman.
By Concrete Playground
February 05, 2019
  shares

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 Melbourne 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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FREE

SEE A FREE GIG AT THE MUSIC BOWL

A staple of Melbourne's cultural calendar for 80 years and counting, the Sidney Myer Free Concerts are back for another year. Held at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, the latest of this long-standing favourite will, as always, feature a trio of performances from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. The first night — this Friday — will feature a series of famous songs by American composer George Gershwin. Drinks and snacks will be available to purchase, but you can also BYO — just make sure you pack plastic cups. Whether you're a classical music buff or just want to stretch out with a picnic on the grass, this is a great (free!) summertime date.

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EXPLORE CHINESE ART AT THE NGV

Spend your Saturday celebrating Chinese art and culture when the NGV rings in the Chinese New Year with a full day program of workshops, tours, performances, music and food. Start off with a guided tour of the gallery's Chinese and Asian art collections — it spans a whopping four millennia of culture and history through artist mediums such as sculpture, ceramics, jade, calligraphy and prints. They'll be running throughout the day, with a curator's tour at 11am. Traditional paper cutting and good luck couplet making workshops will also run in the morning — no booking is necessary and it's all free. Musical acts DJ Small Fry and The Film School Collective will each perform, and dumplings, noodles and desserts will be on offer in the Great Hall throughout the day.

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UNDER $20

DRINK COCKTAILS WHILE SHOPPING FOR PLANTS

Cocktail-slinging Footscray bakery Bad Love Club is dishing up quite the treat this weekend, when it hosts its Pimm's & Plants party on Saturday. Local greenery gurus Plant Creepers will be setting up a mini market filled with plant babies for you to browse and buy, featuring easy-care classics alongside a few lesser known varieties. And, while you're shopping up a storm, you can enjoy summery signature cocktails (Pimm's included, of course), craft beers and a few nostalgic dessert creations, courtesy of Bad Love Club's unconventional menu. Some of its latest gems include a mint-choc custard pie, a boozy peaches and cream cheesecake, and a Turkish delight negroni, so we're forecasting pretty delicious times ahead. Check your date has a sweet tooth and get there early.

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UNDER $50

Kate Shanasy

CHECK OUT THE CBD'S NEWEST ROOFTOP BAR

The Dexter boys have done it again with the opening of two more levels above their BBQ meat restaurant Cheek. New cocktail bar and rooftop Peaches is a pastel pink fantasy land. It's intimate and flirty with a whimsical scattering of glowing peach-like light bulbs — that is to say, it's perfect for a date. Head upstairs to the 80-person rooftop and get around, what we believe to be, one of the most enticing and best-value bar snacks in town. It's the classic chicken sanga, available 'hot' with Sichuan-spiced fried chicken or 'cold' with yuzu mayo and pickles, both served in a soft bun. It's a steal at $7 a pop during happy hour (normally $10) — which runs from 12–2pm and 12–2am. The rooftop opens at noon, and Peaches stays open until 3am.

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UNDER $100

SEE SOME SHAKESPEARE IN THE BOTANIC GARDEN

The Australian Shakespeare Company celebrates 30 years of Shakespeare Under the Stars with the presentation of one of the historic playwright's best known and darkest tragedies: Macbeth. The play has currently taken over Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens, with performances every Tuesday through Sunday night. A story of the conflict between morality and power, the new production features an all-star Aussie cast, including Nathaniel Dean (Alien: CovenantThe Secret River) as Macbeth and Alison Whyte (Frontline, Satisfaction) as Lady Macbeth. As an added bonus, tickets aren't too pricy, with general admission setting you back $45–50 and gold class packages costing $90. The latter gets you a low rise chair, picnic rug and souvenir programme, plus a pre-show beverage (wine or soft drink) and intermission tea or coffee.

Published on February 05, 2019 by Concrete Playground

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