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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Five Top-Notch (and Not Boring) Melbourne Date Ideas for This Week

Just think of us as your cultural wingman.
By Concrete Playground
January 18, 2022
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By Concrete Playground
January 18, 2022
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Tired of the classic drink 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

CHECK OUT THE OPENING NIGHT OF MELBOURNE'S NEWEST ARTS SPACE

What better way to show off your cultural side — and your finger-on-the-pulse awareness — than taking your date to the launch party of the northside's hot new arts hub? This week, The Motley Bauhaus is celebrating its huge new digs with a free opening night shindig filled with live performances, exhibitions and more. You'll be among the first to check out the multidisciplinary arts destination, which features a 75-seat black box theatre, gallery, recording studio, dedicated cabaret stage and working artists' studios. There's also two onsite bars, should you find yourself in need of some liquid courage for date night.

Opening night is set to showcase a taste of what's to come for Motley Bauhaus, giving you the opportunity to let your hair down, scope out some fresh talent and support the local arts scene. Win, win, win.

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UNDER $20

Bri Hammond

DOSE UP ON HAPPINESS AT AN IMMERSIVE SUNSHINE-THEMED POP-UP

The dating game isn't always sunbeams and happiness — but at this cheery new out-of-town pop-up, where good vibes abound, it sure will feel that way. The folks at Sugar Republic, the team behind Australia's pop-up dessert museum, have launched their latest immersive venture Bloomville, which is all about flowers and sunshine.

Take your date for a spin around its brightly-coloured themed spaces and props, and let those happy feels roll on. You'll trip between the likes of sunshine rooms, cherry blossom installations, sparkly swings, a scratch 'n sniff flower wall and a 'flower power' bedroom, all housed in a series of shipping containers in a park in Aintree, northwest of Melbourne. Best of all? 100-percent of ticket sales are being donated to local charities.

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UNDER $50

Simon Shiff

WHISK THEM AWAY TO BOLOGNA FOR APERITIVO HOUR

Woo your SO with the balmy, romantic vibes of a European summer, when you take them for a cheeky aperitivo hour at Pasta Poetry. Fairfield's artisan pasta spot has recently opened its adjacent courtyard and the sunny space is now hosting Italian-inspired summer sessions every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Head along from 3pm to unwind, as you catch up over antipasto boards and primo serves of fresh pasta. The latter even comes in sampler-size portions, perfect for avoiding overly full date night bellies. Those in the mood for a tipple will find plenty of local beer, vino, and Italian-accented sips like spritzes and negronis. And if you're after a fun ice-breaker, invite your date to engage in a little friendly competition on the dedicated bocce court.

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UNDER $100

WINE DOWN AT THIS MONTH'S MACEDON RANGES CELLAR DOOR FESTIVAL

If a breezy afternoon of wine-sipping and cellar door-hopping sounds like the way to your date's heart, Summertime Fling should be top of your agenda this month. The Macedon Ranges wine festival is serving up a three-week, region-wide program of festivities, hosted by some of the area's best-loved wineries. It's a diverse lineup, too, with something for just about every palate and mood.

You might unwind with some live jazz at Kyneton Ridge Estate or head to Cleveland Winery to play petanque while sipping pinot among the vines. Elsewhere, Parkside Winery and Farm is hosting a series of sparkling-filled brunch sessions, Gisborne Peak is throwing a riesling-matched seafood fiesta and Hesket Estate invites you for a sumptuous Italian lunch feast in its stunning Cellar Door Pavilion. Suss out your SO's favourite wine varietals so you can plot out the perfect pit-stops here.

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ONE BIG BLOWOUT

EMBARK ON A SUNSET ZOO SAFARI

Got an animal-lover you're hoping to impress? Werribee Open Range Zoo's new after-hours tour will be the ticket to their affections. Now running Saturdays and Sundays, the Sunset Safari sessions are designed to transport you straight to the wilds of Africa, as you roam the zoo's savannah habitat enjoying a glimpse of resident critters including zebras, hippos, giraffes, ostriches and lions.

Also on the evening's agenda is a program of traditional African performances, featuring drums, dancing and songs. Plus, you'll find a range of food and drink options available to add on, spanning from grazing hampers to an authentic, African village-style 'braai' (barbecue). Best of all, a portion of ticket profits go towards supporting Zoos Victoria's ​​international partners, so you can feel extra good about your date.

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Top Image: Pasta Poetry, by Simon Shiff

Published on January 18, 2022 by Concrete Playground

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