There are many ways to start – or jump start – attraction, from getting cosy in romantic bars to taking a weekend getaway. But, if you want your frisson backed up by science, then one of your best bets is to give your lover (or prospective lover) a serious fright. Why? Because it's said an adrenaline rush can increase feelings of attraction.
Luckily, you don't have to go crawling through canyons or abseiling cliff faces to get your kicks, because there's plenty of them to be had at Luna Park this winter. Plus, if thrills really aren't your thing, loads of other romantic possibilities are on offer, including ice skating, watching dreamy light shows and cuddling over Baileys hot chocolate. Here are five ideas to get your started. Note that, on weekend nights, Luna Park stays open late – till 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays — and entry is free. So you can spend all your loose change on sideshows.
There's an undeniable magic about ice skating, whether you and your date are making figures like Torvill and Dean or bumbling along like a couple of awkward penguins. Either way, you're never short of excuses for holding hands and giving one another a little help. Luna Park's pop-up ice skating rink was so popular in 2017, it's making a comeback this winter. It'll be open throughout the July school holidays – from Friday, July 6 to Monday, July 23 – and entry is included with a Twilight Saver, which gets you unlimited rides and ice skating after 6pm for only $35.
HAVE A FAIRGROUND FEAST
Go straight back to your childhood with a fairground-style feast. At Helter Skelter, a retro takeaway outlet, you'll be tucking into Hot Diggity Hot Dogs, Pluto Pups and American burgers, including the Easy Peasy Nice 'N' Cheese. Meanwhile, health-conscious dates are catered to with rotisserie chicken and salads, plus there's a bunch of vegetarian and gluten-free options. If you'd prefer to sit, head for the carousel-inspired Hungry Horse restaurant. Here, you'll find pizza, seafood and salads, as well as sticky pork ribs, buttermilk fried chicken and cheesy chicken loaded fries.
DESSERT AT THE POP-UP FOOD HUT
To help keep visitors warm through winter, Luna Park is hosting a pop-up food hut. This cosy little spot is right near the ice skating rink, so you can refuel after conquering some newfound skills. The menu is all about sweet, comforting snacks and piping hot drinks. To beat winter German-style, tuck into a pretzel layered with gooey caramel. Alternatively, head across to France, with a crepe, cooked before your eyes and covered in Nutella or Grand Marnier. Its perfect match is a hot chocolate infused with Baileys.
GET LOST IN A LIGHT SHOW
Vivid might be over, but Luna Park's Ferris Wheel installation is yet to be switched off. Titled Phantasos – after the spirit of surreal dreams – the five-minute display involves 3,000 LED lights, which continually change colour and pattern, soundtracked by hypnotic music. You're welcome to watch it for free from the ground or immerse yourself completely by jumping on the Ferris Wheel. Either way, Phantasos is definitely a mesmerising escape from the winter blues: and a dreamy way to spend time with your date.
RIDE THE RIDES
For a major adrenalin rush, go straight for the Hair Raiser, which lifts you 50 metres above the ground, before plummeting at a rate of 80 kilometres per hour. Then there's the Wild Mouse rollercoaster, a 61-second blitz of dips and drops and hairpin bends. Meanwhile, the old-school, hand-painted carousel – fitted with 1,640 lights and dazzling mirrors – travels at a slower pace. The same goes for the Ferris Wheel, which transports you to a height of 40 metres, taking in epic views of the Opera House, the Bridge and the Harbour. You can pay for each ride individually or grab the aforementioned Twilight Saver, letting you ride to your heart's content for just 35 bucks.
To find out more about what's happening in Luna Park this winter, and to secure your Twilight Saver tickets, head to lunaparksydney.com.