It’s easy to fall into the trap of going on the same formulaic dates over and over again. Whether you’re meeting someone for the first time or want something to do with your long-term significant other, boring dates are a recipe for disaster and can be avoided with a bit of out-of-the-box thinking. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but doing something a little more unique makes all the difference in the world and can turn things from “thanks but no thanks” to “let’s do this again sometime”. Luckily for you, Brisbane is a vibrant city full of opportunities for unconventional but excellent dates to be enjoyed by people of all ages, tastes and budget. Here’s a list to get you started, but don’t be afraid to branch out and discover your own – after all, there are plenty of hidden gems to be found in Brisbane.
Take a three-stop foodie tour of Brisbane’s best eateries
Okay, this is the most conventional on the list, but we’re starting off easy to warm you up. If you want a safe option with a twist, take your date out for a three-course meal with a different stop for entrée, main and dessert. Make it a mini-adventure that keeps things interesting with a regular change of scenery, and you can always make a fourth stop for cocktails if things are going well. There are plenty of options in Brisbane CBD and inner suburbs, so get creative and create your own itinerary.
Sip cocktails over Pac-Man and Mario Kart
We all love a bit of liquid courage on a date, but one-on-one drinks can sometimes lead to patches of awkward silence. Head along to one of Brisbane’s arcade bars and sip cocktails over classic video games and tasty snacks for a bar date without the pressure of constant conversation. B. Lucky & Sons, Netherworld and Archie Brothers both have their fair share of neon-soaked entertainment from arcade classics to retro consoles to Dance, Dance Revolution, so you’ll have no trouble keeping yourself occupied for hours.
Take your dating game to new heights… literally
Craving some adrenaline after one too many dates at the local coffee shop? Throw all caution to the wind and convince your date to join you in jumping out of a perfectly good plane from a dizzying height. After all, there’s nothing more romantic than coming together and putting your life in the hands of an instructor you met two hours beforehand. The rush of endorphins upon landing might be enough to snag you another date, so head to Brisbane Skydive in Redcliffe or take a drive to Byron Bay or the Sunshine Coast for an alternative jumping spot.
Talk birdie at Holey Moley mini golf club
Nothing gets a good date going like a bit of friendly competition (or serious, whatever floats your boat). Holey Moley in Fortitude Valley has made it easy to go on a mini golf date without seeming uncool by combining the time-honoured sport with outrageously cool themes and decor, a slick cocktail menu and plenty of finger-lickin’ bar snacks. If you and your date sink a few too many along the way, take advantage of the situation by snatching one of the karaoke rooms and ending the night with an awful duet of their favourite tune.
Relax and unwind at an outdoor bathhouse
Dates should be anything but stressful affairs, so why not guarantee a zen time with a lazy day at Cenote Casa Bathhouse? Just quietly, it’s also a chance to glimpse your date in their swimmers. Sit back and relax with a glass of bubbles in one of the venue’s rooftop hydrotherapy spas, destress in the cedar wood sauna and revitalise in the magnesium plunge pool. If you need to take a break, drape yourselves over one of the comfortable lounge areas and sip a cup of teafor your troubles. You’ll practically feel the worries of the week ebbing from your soul.
Cuddle the furry residents of the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is an Australian treasure and an amazing spot for a date, even if the other half isn’t a hardcore animal lover. The centre offers insightful tours, free movies at an outdoor cinema and the chance to cuddle one of the 130 ‘residents’ – who could say no to that? When you’re not meeting the koalas, take the opportunity to hand-feed the kangaroos and check out some of the other native wildlife that call the sanctuary home.
Take a trip to the beach… in the heart of the city
If you’re new to Brisbane, it might be confusing to hear that there’s a beach next door to the CBD. But head down to South Bank Parklands and you’ll come across Streets Beach, a delightful man-made strip of paradise with excellent views of the city skyline. It’s entirely free and a great place to retreat to on sunny days, so why not use the opportunity to turn your date into a mini-holiday right in the heart of Brisbane. Bonus points for adding a fish and chip lunch and offering to rub in their sunscreen.