Five Romantic Melbourne Date Ideas for This Week From Budget to Blowout
Just think of us as your cultural wingman.
June 22, 2022
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.
BREAK THE ICE WITH HOT LIVE TUNES AND MULLED WINE BY THE BEACH
The beach might not be the first place you think of for a successful winter rendezvous, but hear us out: there's a brand new free music festival hitting the St Kilda shoreline from this week that's well worth leaving the warm embrace of your couch for. The inaugural Southside Live will descend on South Beach Reserve across two tune-filled weekends, blasting away the winter chills from Friday, June 24–Sunday, June 26, and Friday, July 1–Sunday, July 3.
The beachside stage will fire up with sounds from a diverse bunch of Aussie acts — soul-pop songstress Akosia, renowned Indigenous vocalist Emma Donovan with The Putbacks and post-punk outfit Pinch Points, alongside Mitch Tambo, Kaiit, Kira Puru and Freeds. What's more, the whole precinct will be decked out like a wintry wonderland, with market stalls, neon art and food pop-ups. The fest is free, though budget a few extra bucks if you fancy treating your date to a toasty serve of mulled wine or two.
TAKE YOUR DATE ON A WINTER WANDER THROUGH A GIANT KALEIDOSCOPE
If your favourite art is the kind you can really immerse yourself in, then ditch the standard art gallery date for a visit to Keith Courtney's latest reality-bending walk-through installation, Kaleidoscope. From the same mind that gifted us House of Mirrors and 1000 Doors, this new work comprises 700 square metres of glass, steel, mirrors and moving prisms, with a labyrinth of corridors decked out in a revolving showcase of lights and colours that you can wander through.
Set up for this year's Rising festival, but sticking around until Sunday, July 24, it's currently shimmering and luring Melburnians in the Art Centre Melbourne forecourt, open daily. You and your SO can expect to be totally swept up in its shifting illusions, sense-disorienting visuals and immersive soundscape. Date night in a whole other dimension, if you like.
CATCH A DRAG, CABARET, CIRCUS AND BURLESQUE SHOW, ALL IN ONE
Looking to chase date night dinner with a show? Make it one your boo won't forget in a hurry and nab yourselves tickets to YUMMY's high-camp variety extravaganza, ICONIC. The award-winning cabaret troupe is returning to Melbourne for a whirlwind visit, set to dazzle audiences at Meat Market with one of its best-loved shows, from Wednesday, June 22–Saturday, June 25.
A powerhouse production that trips boldly between circus, drag, burlesque and comedy, ICONIC promises a feast for all the senses. And costumes to die for, of course. It's risqué, raunchy and a whole lotta fun. International drag cabaret superstar Valerie Hex is both the creator and emcee, joined by celebrated queer performance artists including Jarred Dewey, Karlee Misi, Bendy Ben, Velma Vouloir (Miss Burlesque Victoria) and Jandruze.
WHISK YOUR BOO AWAY FOR A WEEKEND OF WINE IN THE YARRA VALLEY
Rug up, hit the Yarra Valley, and warm your cockles with some good old fashioned vino appreciation at much-loved food and wine festival, The Shortest Lunch. The event returns from Saturday, June 25–Sunday, June 26, and it's the ideal setting for a relaxed day out or weekender with your main squeeze. Especially if they dig wine as much as you.
Festival-goers can hop between 12 of the region's family-owned boutique wineries, enjoying unlimited tastings along with live tunes and a broad menu of small plates. You'll get to meet and chat with the makers as you sip an array of varietals, or purchase a glass or bottle to settle in with while you soak up the live sounds. Each venue will also be slinging a curation of entree-sized dishes — from the slow-cooked paprika lamb shoulder and polenta at Kellybrook, to Fin's Chinese mushroom bolognese jaffles. Romantic picnic, sorted.
ONE BIG BLOWOUT
HIT THE ROAD FOR AN ART-FUELLED WEEKEND GETAWAY
Keen to take date night beyond drinks at your local? If you and your number one have a relationship that's road-trip-ready, then we've found the ideal art adventure to get you out of the city and into a fresh change of scenery. Regional Victoria's famed Silo Art Trail just scored its latest creative addition — a large-scale artwork titled Yangga Dyata ('Walking on Country'), by photo realism artist Smug AKA Sam Bates.
Gracing a silo and flour mill in Horsham, the newcomer marks the 13th mural for the cultural attraction, which winds over 200 kilometres through the state's northwest to form Australia's largest outdoor gallery. And it's an excellent excuse to jump in the car and spend some time with your SO exploring impressive art on an out-of-town jaunt. Book some accomodation along the way, lock in a visit to a country pub or two, and you can easily make a weekend of it. What's more, Music Victoria has your car tunes sorted, with its new regionally-inspired playlists curated by local artists.
Top image: The Shortest Lunch.