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.
PLANT TREES IN THE OTWAYS
If you and your date usually get deep into environmental discussions, why not do so while planting trees? The Great Otway Tree Plant aims to re-green Cape Otway for the local wildlife, providing homes and habitats for future koalas and birds and protecting the ones that are already there. You can drive down on either Saturday or Sunday, or make a weekend of it — Bimbi Park has offered up its grounds, and all volunteers can camp there for free. Before you head down to the Great Ocean Road, make sure you RSVP here.
SEE A $10 FILM AT THIS FITZROY NORTH BAR
Sinematek is a roving movie night, and it's popping up at Fitzroy North's LongPlay. It'll show a film at the bar every Sunday night in June — and tickets are just $10 a pop.
The theme for the month is Winter Darkness, and the four chosen films will all celebrate the archetypal conflicts of one's self and surroundings. And there's certainly some twisted and conflicted flicks on the agenda. The Decline of Western Civilization, Penelope Spheeris's doco about punk groups on the US west coast in the 80s, is up this week.
Sinematek will make sure you're feeling even more warm and cosy with LongPlay's winter menu of gnocchi and risotto.
HEAD TO THE QUEEN VIC NIGHT MARKET
It's back. The Queen Victoria Market's winter night series is arguably one of the best things about the days getting cooler. The market will pull together a global array of eats, a plethora of live entertainment and roaring open fires.
As always, this year's market promises to not only brighten up your winter Wednesday nights, but to fill your hungry stomachs. The 30-strong lineup of food stalls will send punters trekking across the world, this year featuring the likes of traditional Italian loaded flatbread from Beato te Panigaccio,c hurro bowls with oozy hazelnut sauce and vanilla ice-cream from Churro Kitchen, a debut appearance by Tribal Tastes Whole Foods and their African-style fish and chips, and That's Amore's legendary pastas, which are tossed in a parmesan wheel before landing on your plate.
Of course, there'll be mulled wine from ReWine and steaming hot cider from Coldstream to warm your belly and hands as you browse over 50 carefully curated design and specialty stalls. Top all that off with a dollop of live music and roving entertainment, and you've got one hell of a cosy winter situation.
DRINK BOOZY HOT CHOCOLATES ON A CBD ROOFTOP
Located at the top end of Melbourne's CBD, the Imperial Hotel offers some of the best city views from its lofty rooftop. And while summer is long gone, the pub is keeping things cosy with its boozy winter rooftop garden. Inspired by the rolling highlands, with comfy blankets, wooden furniture and back country greenery, the massive transparent rooftop marquee — equipped with a dozen new heaters — will keep the great city views without the winter chill.
Keeping things toasty is a boozy cocktail selection offering an assortment of delicious winter-themed drinks and a special build-your-own hot chocolate menu. Create your own concoction, starting with a base of either Kahlúa, Baileys, red wine or choc-mint mezcal. Then, top it off with your choice of marshmallows, crushed nuts, choc mint, grated chocolate or chocolate syrup. Gazing out over Treasury Gardens, Parliament House and the city skyline, with a boozy hot chocolate in hand seems like the perfect winter date choice.
TAKE YOUR DATE ON A TOUR OF THE NGV'S NEW MOMA EXHIBITION
MoMA at NGV features more than 200 works — and it might be one of your only chances to see some of these works outside of New York with 127 of the showcased artworks having never left MoMA's walls before. You'll find masterful paintings that signalled a modern age with works from Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin; art based on emerging technology with Cubism pioneers Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque; collections of post-war American culture that are "bursting with energy"; as well as participatory artworks, pop-art icons, Space Invaders, and many more.