Planning a date can go a few different ways. You might ask your partner what they want to do and you receive the dreaded reply, “I don’t mind”. It could be a first date meaning there are so many other factors to consider—good lighting, avoiding messy foods, an atmospheric setting. Aside from agreeing on the perfect plan, the good news is that there is an endless list of date ideas in Brisbane. Stick to the old reliables like going to the movies or bowling, or try Dining in the Dark with your partner.
1. Enliven your senses at Dining in the Dark
Dare to don the blindfold and immerse yourself in the Dining in the Dark experience coming to Brisbane. Dining in the Dark entails indulging in a delicious three-course meal while only relying on your sense of taste, touch, and smell. If you and a special someone are looking for a unique way to shake up a typical date night, look no further than this tantalising experience taking place at C’est Bon Restaurant & Le Bon Bar.
2. Play some mini golf
For decades mini golf has proven to be a popular idea for a date. There is something about the eccentric themes, bright colours, and variety of challenges that makes mini golf irresistible. Brisbane has a number of mini golf courses each offering different degrees of golf craziness. If you prefer to play outdoors, Victoria Park Putt Putt gives you the chance to confront a meandering course with unexpected twists and turns. You can enjoy the light-hearted perks of the game with the romantic view of Brisbane’s CBD skyline.
Holey Moley is an extreme form of mini golf designed for couples that prefer to plunge head first into an immersive round of golf. You can make yourselves at home here with a bar serving drinks and delicious food. After you’ve battled it out on the course, putt it behind you with a Cubano sandwich and a house signature cocktail.
3. Try your hands at bowling
Sometimes there is nothing better than a chilled-out activity in the company of your favourite person. Bowling sets a similar tone to mini golf. It’s an informal, fun way to spend time together. The retro interior of most bowling alleys, the sharing of shoes, and side-by-side laneways brings you back to the 8Os. Substitute a quiet dinner date with all of its ceremoniousness for stolen glances, flirtatious slagging, and comfort food.
It is easy to make a plan to go bowling because there are so many bowling alleys to choose from. Zone Bowling is one of the OG alleys in Australia with six of them spread across Queensland. If you’re looking for the classic bowling experience, Zone Bowling has you covered. For a more regal date night, Kingpin brings entertainment to another level. Tired of trying to get a strike? Try table tennis, arcade games, or laser tag instead.
4. Brave axe-throwing together
Leave behind soft romance and try your hand at axe-throwing—a therapeutic sport for you and your date to slash any unreleased frustration or to simply show off your strength. Organised activities like bowling or axe-throwing eliminate the unpleasant potential boredom that can takeover a date. Run with the theme and after an hour or two of hurling the sharp blade at a visible target, top it off with a hardy craft beer or dinner at a burger joint.
Travel back to the Middle Ages at somewhere with the aid of professionals. After an hour and a half of non-stop throwing, you’ll be ready for your flannel shirt and blue jeans. You can be a barbarian for a session at Maniax in Newstead but with the added perk of beers.
5. Attend a Candlelight concert and use music as a way into their hearts
What could be more romantic than a room lit up solely by candles and a string quartet playing in the heart of it? Candlelight concerts have taken the world by storm and it’s easy to see why. In unique locations across Brisbane, you can catch a show celebrating classical greats such as Vivaldi or Tchaikovsky. Tributes to artists like Adele and Coldplay take place in historic buildings including St. John’s Cathedral. Surprise your date with an evening set to the tone of glowing light and the spellbinding affect of classical instruments.
6. Keep it Smooth At A Jazz Bar
Oh the blues… who dares deny the sweeping sentimentality of skilful improvisation and irregular beats? The speakeasy vibes and dim lighting pervading jazz bars makes them a great place for cosying up with your loved one. There are plenty of live jazz bars to be found in Brisbane where you can unwind and let the syncopated rhythms seep into your skin. If you and your partner are dog owners, bring your pooch along with you to The Charles’, a jazz bar and café serving a signature “Pup-fast menu”.
7. Movie nights al fresco
People are drawn to the idea of sitting on the grass or driving up in their cars to watch a movie on a big screen. It brings people back to a simpler time and they fall for the romantic nostalgia of it all. Audiences watching al fresco are also not plagued by the heat in a movie theatre during the summer months.
For all you starry-eyed lovers in Brisbane, pack a thoughtful picnic and matching vichy cloth for a showing at an open-air theatre. Moonlight Cinema in New Farm Park is a must if you want to shake up the traditional movie date.
8. Old-school drive-in showings
While it seems it cannot get more romantic than leaning into your date on a picnic blanket with the Notebook on the screen, there is a date idea that matches the humble open lawn. A drive-in cinema! Rolling up and aligning your car with your auto neighbours feels like the Utopia of modern dating. Make it even more special by bringing buttery popcorn and soft drinks and return to the 1950s.
Yatala Drive-in is keeping old Hollywood traditions and outdoor theatre alive in Brisbane. They screen the latest films and classics (especially on special occasions like Valentine’s Day). After stationing your wagon, visit their snack bar and order a ‘Couples Combo’.
9. Paint/clay and sip classes
A class incorporating art and alcohol is the perfect plan for a quiet Sunday or weekday. The studios tend to be open spaces with calm atmospheres. Not only do you get to experience it with your date but there are also blissful moments of sheer concentration where you unlock your own artistic prowess. Whether you are a limited painter, questionnable ceramicist, or art enthusiast, it’s hard to not find the fun in ‘Sip ‘n’ Dip’ classes.
Across all of Brisbane you will find places providing classes such as these. You will generally discover places following a specific theme or honouring a celebrated artist such as ‘Pinot & Picasso’ or ‘Cork and Chroma‘. When it comes to going on a date, craftworks focus on tactile matters and provide a multi-sensory experience. Get to know your loved one’s true colours at somewhere like ‘Colour my Pot’. They have a BYO drinks and snacks policy making an evening class at their studio very relaxing.
10. Cooking classes
If you are the designated chef in the relationship, why not bring your partner to a cooking class to test their skills? Cooking and learning new techniques together establishes common ground in a relationship. Experimenting with new ingredients and tasting new flavours opens you up to new possibilities. Whatever you learn at the workshop you can bring home with you and apply in your own kitchen.
Depending on which cuisines you want to get a better understanding of, there are countless cooking classes spread across Brisbane. Remove yourselves from the confines of the kitchen and go on a culinary adventure with cooking schools like Taya Kitchen or try a pizza making masterclass.
11. Picnicking with a view
Sometimes it can be nice to go for a picnic together without seeing an open-air film or concert. Go to your favourite park or find the perfect spot under a shaded tree and switch the city’s urbanscape for some natural views. You could be that picture-perfect couple, one of you candidly resting your head on your significant other, and the other reading a book. Preparing the picnic is part of the fun. Surprise each other with a smorgasboard of tupperware delights to choose from. Bring some bubbles and don’t forget the essentials like cutlery!
Lay your blanket down at New Farm, one of Brisbane’s treasured parks. Sit under the purple jarcandas and afterwards take a walk along the river. Take in the aesthetics at the City Botanic Gardens where you’ll see ornamental ponds, sculptures, and the Bamboo Grove.
12. Cheese & wine tasting
If in doubt, wine out! The easy answer to an ideal date with your partner is transporting yourselves to the cheese havens of France or the vineyards of Italy. Swill glasses, sample seductive Camemberts, or share a charcuterie board.
There are a lot of noteworthy places in Brisbane for turophiles and honorary sommeliers. You can go to a rustic restaurant and order a board of cheeses or get inspired at Brisbane’s finest delicatessens and create your own selection. Visit Rosalie Gourmet Market in Paddington or The Cheese Board in Albion.
13-17. Miscellaneous suggestions
- Don’t forget to catch a sunset or sunrise every now and again. Leave the city behind and head to somewhere like Main Range National Park.
- Visit distilleries and learn more about spirits while sipping some tasty concoctions.
- Return to nature and try out quirky activities like goat yoga or a trek at an alpaca farm.
- Pitch a tent, fire up a makeshift barbecue, and get closer under the stars on a camping trip.
- Make the most of a Sunday or free morning and see how you and your significant other would fare at a popular bottomless brunch spot.