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Five Romantic Melbourne Date Ideas for This Week From Budget to Blowout

Just think of us as your cultural wingman.
By Concrete Playground
September 28, 2022
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By Concrete Playground
September 28, 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

By Naga Sonu Kasu

TAKE A STARLIT STROLL THROUGH A NOCTURNAL ART INSTALLATION

If you and your date are both into art but not so much the whole staring-at-pictures-on-a-wall thing, this is the art fix for you. The entire Abbotsford Convent precinct has been transformed into an after-dark gallery space, lighting up each night for otherworldly multi-artist exhibition Interspecies and Other Others.

Showing until October 2, the world-premiere showcase invites you on a multisensory, nocturnal exploration of the Convent's 16-acre grounds, through diverse artworks reflecting on the complexities of the human condition, our history and habitat. The free program of installations, projections, performance, sculpture and sound has reimagined building facades, open spaces, nooks and crannies. And it makes for a pretty mesmerising nighttime stroll hand-in-hand with your SO. Check it out for free after sunset Wednesday to Sunday — and maybe grab a bite at one of the Convent's venues while you're there.

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UNDER $50

HIT THE NIGHT MARKETS TO TAKE YOUR TASTEBUDS ON A ROMANTIC HOP THROUGH EUROPE

Missed out on a Euro getaway this year? Fear not — you can treat your date to a taste of Italy, the Iberian Peninsula or maybe even the City of Love, at the Queen Vic's spring market series, the Europa Night Market. Every Wednesday night, until October 26, it's dishing up a vibrant Euro-style bazaar, with entertainment and wafting food aromas promising to transport you to a different European destination each week.

One week might take you on a trip to Central and Eastern Europe, by way of pierogi and traditional dance performances; while the next could be your ticket to Oktoberfest, complete with a German-inspired beer hall serving up sausages, Oompah bands and European brews.

You and your fellow foodie can spend the evening feasting your way through the hefty lineup of food stalls — think, That's Amore's cheese wheel pasta, 400 Gradi's woodfired pizza, oozy raclette, croissants, Casa Nata's famed Portuguese tarts and more. And to match, catch roving entertainment and live performances, themed to each week's destination.

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UNDER $75

INVITE YOUR SO ON A SPRING SOJOURN TO SEE ORCHARDS FULL OF CHERRY BLOSSOMS

Rather than buying your boo one single bouquet of blooms, whisk them out to the Yarra Ranges to wander through millions of them. Running until October 2, Cherryhill Orchards' stunning annual Blossom Festival serves up cherry-infused sips, cherry ice cream and plenty of live tunes, which you can enjoy while strolling through its rows of blossoming cherry trees.

You can show off your creative side at one of the guided workshops, and book a romantic picnic spread courtesy of The Posh Palais, which'll see you and your date wining and dining beneath the blossoms. Got a pooch who'd like to tag along? Dogs are welcome to join in on this year's blossom adventures.

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UNDER $100

GET AMOROUS OVER GERMAN BREWS AND PRETZELS

If the way to your number one's heart is through pretzels, beer and oompah tunes, well, the West's grand Oktoberfest celebrations are destined to impress. Oktoberwest returns to Seaworks on Saturday, October 1, for a huge day of Bavarian-flavoured revelry.

Don your best dirndl or lederhosen and join 4000 festive punters raising steins, shouting 'prost' and polishing off pretzels. Just like the real deal, there'll be long communal tables filled with people sipping their way through a menu of imported German brews, beneath blue and white banners repping the colours of the Bavarian flag. Local Bavarian-style craft beers will be flowing just as freely, as will bubbly from the dedicated champagne bar.

There'll be lots of live tunes and, if you fancy challenging your SO to a spot of friendly competition, a roster of traditional Oktoberfest games including the Pretzel Pass, the Barrel Roll and a Schuhplattler dance-off.

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ONE BIG BLOWOUT

Vue de Monde, by Harvard Wang

AIM EXTRA HIGH FOR YOUR NEXT DATE NIGHT FEAST

Fancy a blowout-level date night dinner…without a huge blowout for your wallet? Now's your time to shine. A fresh round of Victoria's popular dining and entertainment rebate program has just kicked off, and it's offering you up to $125 cash back on your next dinner bill. Making it the perfect opportunity to book that fancy, knock-their-socks-off date night feed you've been wishing you had the cash for.

Here's your shot to lock in a world-class feast at Gimlet, a glam night out at Vue de Monde, or maybe a show-stopping lunch at Society (where you can also take advantage of the new Chris Lucas Group dining rebate on top of the government's one). If ever there was a time to treat yo'selves, it's now.

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Top image: Cherryhill Blossom Festival

Published on September 28, 2022 by Concrete Playground
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