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23° & CLOUDY ON SATURDAY 21 APRIL IN SYDNEY
By Concrete Playground
April 17, 2018
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Ten Sydney Date Ideas for This Week That Aren't Dinner and a Movie

Just think of us as your cultural wingman.
By Concrete Playground
April 17, 2018
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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.
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FREE

CHECK OUT WHITE RABBIT'S NEW EXHIBITION

If, like us, you've been eagerly (and none too patiently) awaiting the next show at White Rabbit, we've got good news. The Sleeper Awakes is here — and it's quite incredible. Titled in reference to the 1910 science fiction novel by HG Wells — in which the hero awakens from a 203-year-long coma to a dystopian world where a special council use propaganda to keep an enslaved, poverty-stricken populace under their control — the exhibition finds parallels between this fictional universe and 1940s China, when Mao Zedong and his revolutionaries set out to build a new nation. Does current day China look like the "socialist utopia" they envisioned?

Expect to see work from some of China's most original contemporary artists, exploring the contradictory complexities of life in present-day China, where "unprecedented freedom, ambition and optimism coexist uneasily with anxiety, isolation and ubiquitous state surveillance." Highlights include Some Days, a series of large-scale photographs exploring memory by former photo-journalist Wang Ningde; Republic of Jing Bang, an imaginative multimedia installation by Beijing-based artist-to-watch Sun Xun; and Weight of Insomnia, a painting robot that will create an entire landscape painting from a digital feed during the exhibition, dreamt up by Chinese Neo-Realist painter Liu Xiaodong.

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TRAIPSE THROUGH AN OTHERWORLDY SECRET GARDEN

A new three-week celebration and showcase of cutting-edge, genre-bending theatre and performance is coming to Sydney's Stables Theatre this April. Griffin Theatre Company's inaugural Batch Festival fuses spoken word, comedy, visual arts and music with immersive theatre and cabaret to create a veritable feast of powerful, provocative performance.

While event tickets can get pricey, the program's free offering is worth a visit in itself. Glimpse is an ethereal hidden garden where theatre goers can kick off their shoes and explore an otherworldly land in the heart of the city. Entry into this mysterious space is completely free — you just have to rock up and register in person.

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SNACK ON SOME LOCAL VEGGIES

Pocket City Farms are joining forces with Crop Swap Sydney again this month, and inviting patrons to bring along their homegrown fruit, veggies and herbs, along with any homemade preserves, honey or other treats to be shared or swapped with other attendees. Eggs, seeds, edible plants and gardening goods are also welcome.

If you're unsure of what to bring, check out these past events photos for inspiration. Even those who are not currently farming or gardening are encouraged to come along, learn a little something about urban gardens and see how easy it is to start your own. Crop Swap is running this Saturday from 9.30–11am.

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UNDER $20

MAKE YOUR HOME FEEL LIKE YOU'RE ON SAFARI

If you missed out on The Jungle Collective's previous warehouse plant sales, be sure to clear this weekend. Because there's another one on its way. This time, it's safari themed, so wear some khaki with a hat and binoculars.

While plenty of rare plants and indoor favourites will be on offer, philodendrons will be in the spotlight. Previous sales have had everything from hanging pot plants to palms to a giant Bird of Paradise, so prepare to welcome a few into your home. Taking place in St Peters, the sale run from 10am till 4pm on Saturday and 10am till 2pm on Sunday, with ticketed sessions. The good stuff tends to go first, so we recommend booking a morning session on the Saturday. But if you just want to have a wander, any time will be fine.

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NAB $10 COCKTAILS AT THIS NEW ROCK AND ROLL BAR

Potts Point's Kit & Kaboodle has just been given a revamp. The bar — located on level two of the old Sugarmill Hotel, which became the Potts Point Hotel under new ownership last year — is set to reopen this Thursday, April 20 as Boogie Mountain, a self-indulgent venue dedicated to rock and roll. The bar takes it name from a commune set in 1970s Arizona desert and boasts a passion for the hedonistic. Think luxe red velvet lounges and hidden timber-panelled nooks, plus magnums of rosé and decadent lobster poutine.

It's open Thursday through Saturday only, with weekend hours offering lock-in until 3.30am (as long as you're inside by 2am, of course). Thursdays will see vinyls on the turntable and all-you-can-eat poutine specials on offer, too. You can expect non-stop tunes all night, with the rock soundtrack including the likes of Talking Heads and Iggy Pop.

When you're not getting your boogie on, it's got classic American cocktails for $10, plus an all-Australian wine list and craft beer tinnies to accompany those aforementioned magnums. For food, the poutine menu is joined by share plates like saffron risotto 'disco balls' and cheese boards, along with a post-midnight snacks menu of burgers, fries and apple pie.

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UNDER $60

DIY AT SYDNEY'S NEWEST KOREAN BBQ JOINT

Market City's newly minted 1909 Dining Precinct has a fiery new addition: an upscale Korean barbecue offering named Kogi. Joining a fast-growing contingent of eateries in the new third floor food court — that already houses the noodle house from Mr Meng of If You Are The One and Japan's famed Yayoi — the 80-seat restaurant is now plating up a contemporary Korean nosh punctuated by top quality local produce.

Seoul-trained chef Hang Jun Chung has designed a menu of raw, fresh and marinated proteins and vegetables, headlined by 15 primo cuts of pork and wagyu beef. This one's a hands-on food experience, with diners invited to cook directly over charcoal — right there at the table. Expect to find yourself salivating over the likes of marinated beef spare ribs (galbi) while it cooks on the grill alongside authentic side dishes. Bibimbap will be on the menu too.

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TASTE HUNTER VALLEY'S FINEST DROPS

For a taste of the Hunter Valley's finest food and wine without the long drive, take a day trip to the beachside suburb of Avalon, where you can experience all the delights of Australia's premium wine-growing region at Uncorked Avalon. Returning for its second year, the one-day festival features 23 Hunter Valley wineries and a host of gourmet food suppliers coming together to provide a taste of what's to come at this year's Hunter Valley Food and Wine Festival.

Tasting vouchers are $4 each on the day, or you can skip the line and pre-purchase a Riedel wine glass with four tasting tickets online for $26 per person. Wine is accompanied by a host of local bites, including pastries, seafood, Italian street food and heaps of gooey and smelly cheeses. Prepare your palate — it's set to be a big day of wining and dining.

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UNDER $100

TUCK INTO BOTTOMLESS FRIED CHICKEN BRUNCH

Sydneysiders are about to get another taste of Morgan McGlone's Nashville-style cooking, as new Haymarket food street Steam Mill Lane prepares to welcome the sixth national outpost of Belles Hot Chicken. Set to launch this Tuesday, April 17, the city's third Belles follows a slightly different script to the others, with the group's signature menu of fiery chook and natural wines rounded out with a few exclusive extras.

But the fun doesn't stop there. To celebrate its newest digs and this foray into the wine game, Belles is also launching a series of bottomless boozy brunches at all three of its Sydney venues, from 11.30am every Saturday and Sunday. Pay just $50 and you'll sit down to a decadent two-hour feast, featuring that famed chicken and crisp waffles, alongside unlimited cocktail jugs and bloody marys. The latter sees Belles team up with the crew at Sydney's own Westmont Pickles to create the ultimate AM combo of pickle brine, fresh-pressed tomato juice and cayenne pepper.

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SMASH STUFF WITH YOUR LOVED ONE

Have you always wanted to reenact the Office Space printer smashing scene with your loved one? Well, your chance has finally come. Melbourne got The Break Room way back in 2016, and now it's Sydney's turn.

Smash Brothers is popping up in Kogarah for three months, starting this Saturday, April 21. You actually can smash printers here, along with plates, bottles, blenders, toasters and even televisions, fridges and — the most satisfying of all — computer monitors. So how does it work? Choose your weapon of choice and you'll be escorted to a break room filled with a crate of smashable goodies (plus a few 'mystery items') to break to bits. You'll be outfitted with overalls, gloves and a face shield, so you can go at it without the machines taking their revenge.

Though on dates your generally do things together, for safety reasons you can only smash solo, but you'll only be apart for ten minutes at a time. The price for two is $70 for 20 minutes — to book a session, head over here.

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ONE BIG BLOWOUT

WATCH HARRY POTTER PERFORMED WITH A LIVE ORCHESTRA

If you're dating a Harry Potter nerd, this is good territory. After doing the honours with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, it's hardly surprising that this piece of prime movie and music magic for muggles has now turned its wand to the third flick in the series. Across April 18 to 21, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban will be heading to the Sydney Opera House, with the film screening while the score is played live by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

It's arguably the best movie in the series, as directed by a pre-Gravity Alfonso Cuarón, and it's certain to prove even more enchanting with live music. Tickets that are still available range from $89–149 per ticket, so nab a pair while you still can.

Published on April 17, 2018 by Concrete Playground

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