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 Sydney 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.
GO FOR APPLE PIE
Or, better yet, free apple pie. The masterminds behind the famed Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart sweet treats are also responsible for another Japanese dessert craze: PAFU. The apple pastry puffs loaded with fuji apple and warm custard have seen perpetual queues since their launch in the Melbourne last December.
Each year, Sydney says a big screw you to its regular programming and turns things up to 11 for Vivid Sydney. That counts for extra gigs at the Opera House, parties at galleries and talks at various institutions, but it also gives the city the opportunity to turn on every bright light it can get its hands on. And, while you've probably
This year is no exception, of course — but it's all over this Sunday. More areas of the city are lit up this year than ever before, with the trail stretching from Kings Cross to Barangaroo and over the Bridge to Luna Park and Chatswood. There's a lot of ground to cover and — as has been noted during the opening weekend — a lot of crowds. So put on your walking shoes and your most patient face and take one of these walking trails. Lights come on at 6pm and turn off at 11pm.
EXPLORE THE ART GALLERY AFTER DARK
Take your date to the AGNSW this hump day — the gallery is keeping its doors open late for a free evening of music, art and sex. Well, discussion about sex — an all-female panel will discuss sexuality, pleasure and modern attitudes to it all. Well, it's doing this every Wednesday during Vivid (hurray for free dates). There'll also be live music from Haiku Hands and free guided tours of the gallery's Biennale exhibitions. You can find the night's full lineup here.
If your date is into craft beer, they might be interested in visiting Stockade Brew Co's brand new brewery — it opens this Thursday, June 14. Located in an old factory space in Marrickville, the production brewery and bar boasts a communal dining space for 250 punters.
Stockade's sessionable core five beers will be poured alongside the brewery's out-there seasonal releases. The maple syrup-infused imperial stout will be available exclusively at the venue and the award-winning imperial stout Old Money will be on tap for the launch. The Stockade brews will sit next to guest taps pouring the likes of Marrickville locals Bucket Boys and Melbourne's Hop Nation. Patrons can also expect wines from Urban Winery Sydney blended on-site in Stockade barrels and hop-infused cocktails using spirits from Australian craft distilleries. Hop Dreams, for example, will feature a combination of gin and house-made citrus liqueur.
EAT DINNER FOR A GOOD CAUSE
Yes, we said we wouldn't mention dinner dates — but this is more than just dinner. Four Brave Women in Summer Hill is a restaurant run by a different refugee family every eight weeks. It provides the families with the experience and capital needed to set up their own business after the training period is over. As the families change, so does the menu, which means one visit you might find Syrian fare and the next Ethiopian. At the moment, the kitchen is led by Krishna, who's serving up a mix of Indian and Sri Lankan dishes, including curries and handmade roti.
As well as being super tasty, the meals are also super affordable. Small, medium and large plates will set you back $10, $13 and $16 respectively, which'll leave plenty of cash leftover for dessert. If you're more of a day-date kinda couple, the restaurant is also open for breakfast and lunch — during which Adi is serving up an Ethiopian menu.
DANCE LIKE DINOSAURS AT THE MUSEUM
You can always count on Jurassic Lounge to produce the goods when it comes to an all-out themed super-fun time. Considering the location at the Australian Museum, it's easy to see why the Lounge is one of Sydney's favourite adult playgrounds. This Saturday's party will see it throw an adults-only celebration for Vivid Sydney and Comic Con. The theme? 2099.
That means you can expect all things sci-fi and futuristic, including VR experiences, a silent disco an interactive wormhole installation that will let you virtually travel through space and time. On top of that, DJs will have you dancing into the next century and pop-up bars will keep you well watered like the half-robot, half-humans you are. There'll also be a comp for best dressed if you have your Fifth Elementcostume ready to go. Tickets are $25 if you book them in advance.
CATCH ONE OF THE BEST TITLES OF SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL
This year's Sydney Film Festival finishes up this week. But fret not, we've rounded up ten films that you can still get tickets to, including the lovely Cold War, opening night film The Breaker Upperers and Piercing, a psychosexual drama about a man (Christopher Abbott) who wants to kill, the sex worker (Mia Wasikowska) he hires to be his unwitting victim and the kinks they end up indulging and testing together. Round it out with a visit to the hub and this won't be your usual dinner-and-a-movie date night.
TRACK DOWN (ALMOST) HALF-PRICE DRINKS
If the sudden onset of winter has both of you dreading the blustery days ahead, fear not — Merivale is giving Sydneysiders a reason to push forward into winter. For all of June, the Sydney hospitality empire is saying Bottoms Up, Sydney with a whopping 49-percent off all the booze at 37 of its venues between 5pm and 7pm.
No joke. For those two hours every day in June, its bars and pubs will be slinging all cocktails, mixed drinks, spirits, beer, wine and even Champagne at nearly half price.
That's precisely $8.67 packaged Japanese cocktails at Ms. G's, $9.95 thyme Campari tonics at Charlie Parker's and $7.65 margaritas at El Loco, plus cheap wines by the glass at The Newport and Fred's and even cheaper craft beers at the Queens Hotel and The Paddington.
So grab your significant other and head to your closest Merivale venue — you can get many half-price wines and beers for a pineapple.
EAT CHEESE IN CENTENNIAL PARK
After spending the last two years celebrating cheese in the Hunter Valley, the Kurrajong Kitchen Cheese Lovers Festival has an extra gift for Sydney dairy fiends in 2018: it's bringing the love to the city. For its third year, the fest will take over Centennial Park for a day of gooey, creamy goodness — and sharp and bitey too, if that's your preference.
This cheesy, cheesy festival will showcase over 50 cheese, wine and craft beer stalls with tasting opportunities, all included in the $25 entry fee. Yes, tasting opportunities. There's an amateur 'fancy cheesecake' competition, cheesemaking classes and workshops with White Rabbit Brewery to help you pair beer and cheese like a pro. There'll also be a cheese sundae on offer — that is, molten knafeh cheese in a waffle basket with syrup, crushed pistachios and rose petals on top — that is just calling out for you to share with your date.
ONE BIG BLOWOUT
Image credit: Daniel Boud
SEE BANGARRA'S NEW SHOW
Got paid this week? Spend your hard-earned dollars on tix to Bangarra Dance Theatre's new work, Dark Emu. It's an exploration of the relationship between Australia's Aboriginal people and the land — and their extraordinary knowledge of Australia's plants, animals, landforms and climate. It's also a portrait of the harrowing impact European settlement had on this bond. The show takes inspiration from Bruce Pascoe's nonfiction book of the same name, which covers the complexities of indigenous farming, fishing and landcare techniques.
It's premiering at Sydney Opera House between June 12 and July 14. In putting together the 70-minute, four-part show, he worked closely with dancers and collaborators Yolande Brown and Daniel Riley, as well as the Bangarra troupe.