Ten Sydney Date Ideas That Aren't Just 'Grabbing a Drink'
You're not boring. Don't be boring.
Nothing screams first date more than the suggestion of casually 'grabbing a drink'. This oh-so predictable site of small talk and cringeworthy conversations exists as the 20-30-40-50-plus-somethings dating default. It's non-committal and virtually foolproof. Pick a spot, set a time and the guarantee of booze is sure to give you both the added incentive to show up (at the very least). But these dates can tend to be incredibly uninspiring. And let's face it, drinking your way to slurry incoherence isn't the best way to 'wow' your potential partner.
So if you feel its time to spice up your dating game, here are some ideas to get you started. From budget-friendly daytime spots to revamped tried-and-true classics, this is your go-to guide of Sydney's best actually interesting date ideas.
BYO PICNIC AT WENDY'S SECRET GARDEN IN LAVENDER BAY
In a city as spectacular as this, why wouldn't you want to head outdoors? And nothing spells a romantic evening like a sunset picnic by the sea. Pack a basket full of goodies, fling out a blanket and crack open a beer or two at this secluded oasis complete with hidden artworks and harbour views. Tucked away from the masses of buildings that crowd the shoreline, this scenic spot makes for the perfect date night venue. Plus, it's as budget-friendly as you want it to be. Check out our favourite Sydney picnic spots if all goes well and you're up for a second date.
SEE A CULT CLASSIC FILM AT GOLDEN AGE CINEMA
Before you groan in protest at the idea of seeing a flick, think again. Golden Age is much more than your average movie theatre. Hidden underneath Surry Hills' old Paramount building, this venue brings back the romance and nostalgia of early cinema. Screening beloved cult classics plus a carefully selected array of recent releases, Golden Age's intimate session sizes make this spot perfect for taking that someone special. Best of all, you'll be sipping some of Sydney's best cocktails and chomping through some mighty tasty snacks like the ever-changing selection of popcorn flavours or even cheese or charcuterie boards.
PADDLEBOARD OR KAYAK YOUR WAY ACROSS SYDNEY
For those who like to take a bit of a risk, this one's just for you. Learn how to navigate the waters of the harbour like a pro by taking a stand-up paddleboarding lesson from the crew at Rose Bay Aquatic Hire. Or, you can check out one of our five other favourite SUP spots around the city. They'll be guaranteed spills and possibly a few bruised egos along the way. But this has to be one of the best ways to experience Sydney's sparkling scenic spots. Otherwise, if balance isn't your strong suit, kayaking?
TAKE A TUMBLE AT SKYZONE
We've all still got a bit childhood spring in our step. And to really surprise your date, a trip to Alexandria or Miranda's Sky Zone indoor trampoline parks could be just the way to liven things up. For just $18 you can get yourself a whole sixty minutes of gravity-less mayhem. Not for the faint hearted, this one's definitely a must-see for all the adrenaline junkies out there. Both venues also have a insane climbing walls too.
STAY AFTER HOURS AT THE GALLERY
Live music, drinks and the city's best art. No, this isn't the opening of the hottest new nighttime venue. On Wednesdays throughout the year, the Art Gallery of NSW keeps its doors open late to bring together Sydney's art loving community for Art After Hours. Each one features live music, some talks or classes and access to the gallery's latest exhibition. If you're keen for more late-night cultural adventures, you can also head to the Australian Museum, Powerhouse Museum, MCA or one of the Sydney Living Museums after work as part of the new Culture Up Late program, running from Jan–March 2021.
LEARN SOME SUSTAINABLE CULINARY SKILLS WITH A COOKING CLASS
New year, new chance to learn new skills. For most of us, that's how every January starts — but once February, March and April roll around, it's easy to let that plan fall by the wayside. Enter a new collaboration between Carriageworks Farmers Market and Cornersmith, which will load you up with new know-how. And, you'll expand your sustainable repertoire in the kitchen, too. The Sustainable Kitchen Workshops series will take place every Saturday morning at 9am from February 6–April 17 and, because Cornersmith is leading the charge, there's a big focus on preserving, pickling and fermenting. Always wanted to know how to pickle plums? Fancy making your own bottled tomatoes? Desperate to create and perfect your own signature hot sauce? Head along and you'll learn everything you need to
LEVEL UP WITH ARCADE GAMES, DODGEMS AND BOWLING
If the couple that hits the arcade together stays together, then this town of ours has a few options to help your relationship keep going strong. From the moment you walk into Newtown's 1989, you'll notice a laidback vibe, rows of games consoles, walls covered with VHS tapes and cereal-spiked cocktails, so you and your date can hit flippers, smash buttons and pass go. Otherwise, you can head over to B. Lucky and Sons to shoot hoops, show off your dance game skills and race through Mario Kart, all while drinking boozy bubble cups; to Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq, to bowl a few sets, speed around the dodgem cars and try to win your other half a romantic prize; Or, you can head west to Sydney's largest indoor fun park.
TRY TO ESCAPE FROM A LOCKED ROOM (FOR FUN)
By now, we've all heard about escape rooms. They've been one of the big thing in adult puzzles for a few years now, so much so that Brooklyn Nine-Nine even based one of its storylines around the concept. And, they've popped up all around Sydney, so you can choose between an eerie Australian outback-themed room in Redfern, a 1940s espionage mission in Newtown and a Sherlock Holmes-style murder mystery in Alexandria. But, no matter which kind of room and experience you choose — because picking from all the different themes is part of the fun — trying to find your way out of a confined space is a great bonding activity.
HEAD TO THE THEATRE TOGETHER — WITHOUT SPENDING A FORTUNE
Being a culture vulture in our city ain't always cheap — especially when it comes to stage performances. With so many top-notch theatre productions coming to Sydney shores this year, it's hard to imagine how our wallets will handle them all. Lucky for us, Sydney's top theatre companies offer highly discounted tickets throughout the year. From independent and experimental productions right up to the latest Broadway hits, you can get your cultural kicks on the cheap. One of those offers is $21 tickets to the Sydney Opera House, which are on offer every day until the end of March.
GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY AT A PASTA MAKING CLASS
So, you both like eating pasta. Why not learn how to make it? Paddington's Italian eatery Barbetta lets you do just that at its regular (and super popular) pasta making classes. Running regularly throughout the week, the classes let you get your hands dirty while you learn to roll out the likes of gnocchi, lasagna, fettuccine, orrechiette and strozzapretti. Once you've finished cooking, you get to sit down to a hearty carb-filled lunch, too — and take even more pasta home with you. As we mentioned, these pasta classes fill up quick, so we suggest you book this date night well ahead of time.
Top image: Golden Age by Cassandra Hannagan
Published on February 08, 2021 by Concrete Playground