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By Concrete Playground
January 15, 2020
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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
January 15, 2020
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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) 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

'What Lasts!' (Sarcophagus) by Ahmed Umar at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Photograph: Zan Wimberley

CHECK OUT SYDNEY'S HUGE ARTS FESTIVAL THEN HIT UP AN AFTER-DARK ART PARTY

If your date nights have mostly been at home of late, then make tracks to the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, which is located all over the city. The arts festival has a lineup of 100-plus artists, with works that examine a poignant issue close to the heart of Australia: First Nations sovereignty and intergenerational trauma. Running from Tuesday, June 16 until Sunday, September 6, the 2020 Biennale is entitled Nirin and helmed by First Nations artistic director, famed interdisciplinary artist Brook Andrew. It's currently on display at the Art Gallery of NSW, Woolloomooloo's Artspace, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Cockatoo Island and the MCA.

If you're keen to make a day of it, we suggest you and your date hit up a few locations. Then, head back home for a night of more art-filled fun with the MCA's much-loved Artbar on Saturday, June 26, from 7–10pm. While usually you'd be running around the gallery after hours, this time you can catch it all from your couch — which, after a day of gallery hopping, will be well-suited. The online program will include a Welcome to Country by Dharug artists Julie Bukari Webb and Corina Norman, a dance class led by artist Caroline Garcia, a live DJ set on the rooftop terrace by DJ MzRizk and more. Best of all, it's all completely free.

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UNDER $20

CHECK OUT A CHERRY BLOSSOM ROOFTOP POP-UP

You may have had to put your trip to Japan off for a while, but you can still hit up a cherry blossom-filled rooftop bar. Inspired by the Japanese tradition of hanami, which translates to 'seeing flowers,' The Rook has launched a dining experience that is aesthetically pleasing all around. As you walk through its doors, you'll be immersed in a world of pastel pink, artful cocktails and funky dishes — all while being surrounded by wonderful views of Sydney's CBD. Plus, being in the city, it could be a good pitstop for a quick drink or plate of loaded gyozas ($17), salt and pepper squid ($16) or karaage chicken ($12) in between exploring galleries.

If you can be persuaded to spend a little more, the pop-up is offering all-you-can-eat dumplings on Saturdays for $30 (or $59 with bottomless tap beers and wine). Sittings are at 11.30am and 2pm.

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UNDER $50

CATCH A FLICK AT A POP-UP DRIVE-IN CINEMA

Dinner and a movie is a well-worn date idea, yes — but adding cars into the mix is a whole other ball game. Mov'In Car's drive-in cinema has a popped-up at the Entertainment Quarter and is screening from Wednesday–Sunday weekly, with one movie on Wednesdays (at 6.30pm, with gates open at 5.30pm) and two showing on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (at 5.30pm, with gates at 4.45pm; and at 8.30pm, with gates at 7.40pm). This week, you can catch classic flick Good Will Hunting, starring Matt Damon and Robin Williams, plus newer titles such as The Hangover, Murder on the Orient Express and Spiderman: Far From Home.

You can grab snacks, food and beverages there (it's not BYO) and if you want to bring your pooch along on date night, you can, although your dog will need to stay in the car. And, if you're wondering how much it'll set you back, tickets for a car with two people cost $49.90. But, if you were after a double date night, it'll set you back $59.90.

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Berrima by Destination NSW

ROAD TRIP TO A PICTURESQUE COUNTRY TOWN NEAR SYDNEY

With international and most interstate travel off the cards for the moment, we're sure you and your partner have been itching to go on a holiday. Luckily, there's plenty to explore in your own backyard. Just a short drive from Sydney, you'll find ten country towns where you can spend a day exploring friendly pubs with crackling fireplaces, cosy cafes with comforting winter dishes, dramatic sunsets and brisk walks. One of our favourites is Berrima in the Southern Highlands, which is dotted with sandstone buildings and, some say, haunted by ghosts. Head here for baked goodies at Gumnut Patisserie, platypus spotting in the Berrima River and a meal at Australia's oldest continuously licensed pub, the Surveyor General Inn. If you don't have a car, Uber has just launched its own rental service — and it's fairly affordable.

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GO ALL OUT

Alana Dimou

SPLASH AROUND IN A HOT TUB INSIDE YOUR OWN PRIVATE IGLOO

For those looking to really indulge on their next date, you'll want to check out Pier One which has transformed into a winter wonderland this season, with a bunch of pop-up igloos by the harbour. While the venue has a few different igloos on offer, there's only one with a hot tub, so you'll want to book in sooner rather than later. But, this luxe night out doesn't come cheap. To hire it out, you have to spend $400 on drinks and food from the Bar One menu — think cocktails, glasses of champagne, plenty of tasty snacks and luxe food hampers — and pay a $200 hire fee, which covers 2.5 hours in the transparent dome. You'll get fluffy robes, too.

You can hire out the igloos daily, from 12–2.30pm, 3.30–6pm or 7–9.30pm, between Friday, June 19 and Sunday, August 30. If you opt for the latter, you can add on a night's stay in the suite for an $350, which includes overnight accomodation for two, plus breakfast and parking.

Published on January 15, 2020 by Concrete Playground

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