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11° & CLEAR SKY ON MONDAY 27 MAY IN SYDNEY
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Five Sydney Date Ideas for This Week That Aren't Dinner and a Movie

Just think of us as your cultural wingman.
By Concrete Playground
May 21, 2019
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Five Sydney Date Ideas for This Week That Aren't Dinner and a Movie

Just think of us as your cultural wingman.
By Concrete Playground
May 21, 2019
  shares

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) Sydney date ideas for 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

EXPLORE FIFTEEN POP-UP LIGHT INSTALLATIONS IN THE ROYAL BOTANIC GARDEN

Vivid is back, which means two things: Sydney is full of lights and live music, and you're not short on date options. Excitingly, it means there are lots of free things to do, too. One of them is to explore the Royal Botanic Garden, which has been filled with 15 immersive and mesmerising light installations.

Open till 11pm every day — from Friday, May 24 — the garden is now home to an interactive, audiovisual artwork, a field of 500 glowing fireflies, a wall of giant buzzing bees and a field of 'dancing grass'. Spending a night wandering through the garden and the many installations is thirsty work, so, if you have any spare cash, head on over to the pop-up bar for a glowing gin cocktail (or a mulled wine) when you're done.

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UNDER $20

EAT YOUR WAY AROUND THIS FOOD FESTIVAL ON THE NORTHERN BEACHES

Like food? Like wine? Want to avoid the city during Vivid? A date at the Taste of Manly ticks all three boxes. A free celebration of all things food, drink and culture, the festival takes over the Manly beachfront and The Corso for a two-day extravaganza on Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26. Here, you and your loved one can enjoy the beachside surroundings while enjoying snacks and drinks from some of NSW's best venues.

Local restaurants — like The Herring RoomManly WineFika Swedish KitchenEl Camino Cantina, The Bavarian and The Artisan Cheese Room — will put on special menus, so expect everything from tacos and smelly cheeses to Swedish meatballs and giant schnitzels. To drink, NSW wineries and northern beaches breweries, including 4 Pines, Modus Operandi and Dad & Dave's Brewing, will showcase their locally made beers and wines.

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UNDER $50

CHECK OUT SOME AWARD-WINNING ART, AFTER DARK

Art enthusiasts, it's time too book in a late-night art date with your significant other. Australia's most prestigious portrait prize is back and hanging on the walls of the Art Gallery of NSW. And you can check it out after work this Wednesday, April 22, when the gallery will keep its doors open till 10pm.

While we know who's won the coveted Archibald Prize — this year,  Tony Costa's portrait of fellow artist Lindy Lee, simply titled Lindy Lee, took out the top gong — it's the actual exhibition that's the exciting part. It's a chance to catch an incredibly varied collection of portraits of some pretty exceptional people by some of Australia's top artists. Plus, if you and your date don't agree with the judges' pick for the Archibald, you can cast your own vote for ANZ People's Choice Award while you're there.

The late-night event is also the perfect time to visit the exhibition, as you'll also be able to grab a drink, join a guided tour, listen to some live tunes and watch a flick — all for free, and all happening in the AGNSW. The only thing you'll need to pay for is a ticket to the exhibition, which you can pre-book here.

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UNDER $100

SHARE A BOX OF HOT MELTY CHEESE

If you're ok with your date night being a little cheesy (ok, very cheesy) head along to Darlinghurst's Black Bottle. Every Wednesday night from 4pm, it's serving up oven-baked fromage in a box. The dish is similar to raclette, but smaller and better. Plus, it comes ready-made for date nights, with each hot and melted portion perfect for two.

Not only do you get a glorious parcel of melted cheese, but you'll be able to pour it on potatoes, dip cured meats into it and also feast on salad. The fromage in a box special is $39 per person, with a two-person, $78 minimum. If you're at the bar between 5–7pm, you can pair the cheese with happy hour drinks, which include $5 Aperol spritzes and $10 negronis.

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ONE BIG BLOWOUT

DRINK BUBBLES TOGETHER INSIDE A POP-UP 'IGLOO' ON THE HARBOUR

Here's an excuse to cuddle up close to your date — cosy igloos have popped up by the harbour. And, once again, one of them has its very own hot tub. Yes, a hot tub. So if you've been hankering after wintry waterside drinks with your loved one — but aren't quite willing to brave the cold — this should be a very viable option.

In case you're wondering, the igloos aren't made of snow and ice. They're transparent dome-shaped structures that you can hire for yourself and your date, as long as you're willing to indulge in a few cocktails, glasses of Champagne and snacks from the Igloos on the Pier menu.

To hire out the hot tub igloo, you have to spend $300 for 2.5 hours and pay a $200 hire fee. Which is fairly steep. But, the hire comes with fluffy robes, towels and a change room — and some incredible harbour views.

Published on May 21, 2019 by Concrete Playground

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