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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
November 23, 2022
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By Concrete Playground
November 23, 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

Installation view of 'Sentiment Honk' by Rachel Smith (UK) in Science Gallery Melbourne's 'Swarm', captured by Alan Weedon.

NERD OUT AT THE INTERSECTION OF ART AND SCIENCE

If you and your date are a couple of curious, inquisitive minds, Science Gallery Melbourne's current immersive exhibition will get those brain cogs whirring in all the right ways. Running until Saturday, December 3, Swarm is an interactive showcase that doubles as a giant experiment, featuring 16 large-scale installations, all exploring various ideas around collective social behaviour.

Ponder whether it's better to operate as part of a pack, or to fly solo, as you immerse yourself in highly creative works from around the world. Among them is an eight-metre-tall kinetic sculpture by performance artist Stelarc and Uni of Melbourne, which reacts in real-time to the presence of people using movements modelled on that of the human body. Willoh Weiland's installation Scrape Elegy spits you out a personalised profile based on what's in your mobile phone using data-matching software, while Emmy Award-winning biomedical animator Drew Berry will wow you with the kaleidoscopic antibody swarms in his molecular visualisations of human viruses.

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UNDER $50

Simon Fazio

SKATE YOUR WAY INTO YOUR DATE'S HEART

Got some smooth moves to showcase? This weekend is your time to shine, because we reckon your boo will be wheely impressed when you take them for a spin around the retro roller rink at Collingwood's 'Bourne Local artisan market. The next instalment is happening on Sunday, November 27, and as always, the market will have plenty to keep you and your date entertained.

Shop up a storm browsing locally-made fashion, homewares, crafts and produce, while enjoying the day's lineup of live tunes and snacking your way through a rotation of food trucks. Then, you can hire some wheels and hit the pop-up roller rink disco for a cute hand-in-hand cruise with your SO. Feeling competitive? You'll also find a table tennis hall, along with a suite of other activities and pop-ups.

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UNDER $75

TAKE YOUR SWEETIE-PIE ON A CHERRY-FILLED PICNIC

It's hard not to think sweet thoughts when you're feasting on all-you-can-eat cherries plucked fresh from the tree. Which surely means good things for anyone who centres a date around CherryHill's annual Cherry Picking Festival. It's happening daily across the orchard's two locations (Wandin and Coldstream), from now until around Christmas, with lots of fruit-focused fun to enjoy while you're there.

Book in for a cherry-picking timeslot, and you'll have two hours to pick and eat your fill of delicious fruit straight from the tree, with any extra take-home haul charged by the kilogram. You can pack your own picnic for you and your sweetheart to enjoy onsite, or let The Posh Palais take care of you with one of its all-inclusive 'Luxe Lounge in the Orchard' picnic set-ups. There'll also be food trucks, live tunes and market stalls, which you can enjoy alongside scoops of CherryHill's famed cherry ice cream.

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UNDER $170

SWAP DATE NIGHT FOR DATE HIGH TEA — COMPLETE WITH BOTTOMLESS BOOZE

Make a date with some fancy cakes and cocktails thanks to the latest culinary offering from the bottomless brunch stars at House of Lulu White. The South Yarra eatery has teamed up with Ladybird Cakes pastry maestro Gina Tubb (Vue de Monde) to launch a decadent new Sunday series — a generous sweet and savoury high tea spread matched with free-flowing drinks.

From 2–4pm each week, you can treat yourselves to a porcelain tea stand brimming with handmade bites. There are finger sandwiches and brioche buns to kick things off, starring fillings like smoked salmon with cucumber and horseradish cream, and poached chicken with pickled celery and yuzu mayo.

Expect sweet sensations aplenty, too; perhaps G&T-inspired marshmallows (designed to pair with the venue's signature lavender gimlet), fluffy strawberry and champagne cupcakes, and Chambord-soaked pineapple sponge. And if you're after some liquid courage to wash it down, you've got a choice of bottomless bubbles or cocktails, with 90-minute sittings clocking in at $85.

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ONE BIG BLOWOUT

ESCAPE TO GIPPSLAND FOR A ROMANTIC WEEKEND OF PAMPERING

Looking for an excuse to enjoy some out-of-town time with your boo? Here it is: the much-anticipated Metung Hot Springs has officially opened its doors and it's time to treat yo'selves. The first phase of the 25-hectare wellness precinct is welcoming guests — right now, you can soak away your worries in the various hot springs pools, treat your feet to a reflexology walk, bathe beneath geothermal showers and get the blood pumping with dips in the icy plunge pools. And up at the Hilltop Escarpment, overlooking Lake King, there's a collection of private cliff-top barrels where you can indulge in a romantic float while revelling in some very dreamy views.

There's also a spa offering a range of authentic Larn'wa Aboriginal Lore wellness rituals incorporating ethically-sourced native botanical spa products. And if you and your special someone are making a weekend of it, there's the new safari-style glamping tents, each decked out with its own four-poster bed complete with luxe soft furnishings, plus a private balcony and geothermal bathing barrels.

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Top Image: Metung Hot Springs

Published on November 23, 2022 by Concrete Playground
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