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  • 20 Cool Date Ideas in Melbourne That Are Better Than Dinner & Drinks

20 Cool Date Ideas in Melbourne That Are Better Than Dinner & Drinks

Looking for fun things to do in Melbourne for you and your partner? We’ve rounded up the coolest date ideas in Melbourne for date night with a difference.

Notel Melbourne
Notel Melbourne

From humble, albeit awkward beginnings, to going steady and beyond, there will always be one question that greets you and your partner throughout all the phases of your blossoming relationship:

“So, what do you want to do for date night?”

To help you and your beau settle on a date night to remember, we’ve gathered a hit list of romantic experiences that range from high flying acrobatic displays to quiet city escapes, to satisfy all tastes. Up the romance with these fun and inventive date ideas, guaranteed to impress your S.O.

Spend A Day At Melbourne's Coolest New Arts Precinct

For creatives and art lovers, Collingwood Yards provides the perfect date setting. The not-for-profit arts precinct is home to artists, agencies, book shops, cool clothing stores, not one but two gorgeous bars, gallery spaces, a coffee shop and more.

Visit on the weekend and the space is alive with artsy shoppers during the day and avid bar hoppers at night. The newly opened rooftop bar, Runner Up, is perfect for a spritz at sundown and features extremely stylish interiors, while downstairs at Hope St Radio you can enjoy a view of the leafy green courtyard while dining on delish pasta and vinos.

35 Johnston Street, Collingwood 

Pottery Date

Bring out your inner Demi Moore (Ghost, anyone?) at The Wheelhouse. Offering one-off classes where you and your beau can learn the art of throwing on a potter’s wheel, you will be sculpting Ghost-style in no time! The two-hour session includes all clay, tools, glaze and the firing of 1 piece. Once you have mastered the wheel you can book either for one of their six- or eight-week terms, because as we all know- couples that hobby together, stay together.

From $120 per person (per session)

The Wheelhouse: 174 Gladstone Street, South Melbourne

Escape Room Melbourne

If you're on the hunt for an activity that's thrilling, quirky and accommodates multiple couples (but also just one), why not shake things up with an escape room experience? Help miners return to safety in 'Mine Escape', enter the mind of Robert, a World War II veteran who has fallen into a coma in 'Fractured' or solve a series of puzzles in order to snag the prized role of magician's assistant in 'Kellar's Magic Emporium'. Nothing says romance more than trying to escape a room in seventy minutes or under. 

12-18 Yarra Street, South Melbourne

Planetarium Nights
Planetarium Nights
Planetarium Nights

For a date night idea in Melbourne that’s out of this world (literally), book an after-hours experience at Scienceworks. See the Planetarium come to life by venturing through fluorescent underwater corals, marvelling at the cosmos and witnessing an alien invasion from the dome. Choose between a presenter-led tour through the night sky and a fulldome art film offering an immersive voyage into unseen worlds.

Every Friday (7:30pm & 9:00pm sessions)

2 Booker Street, Spotswood 

Image Credit - GoBoat
Image Credit - GoBoat
Rent a GoBoat

Why settle for a waterfront view when you can kick back with your date on the Yarra?⁠ With no boat licence required, all you need to do is pack a spread and you're good to go. Launching in January 2019, GoBoat's state-of-the-art, Scandinavian designed vessels give you the freedom to cruise along the river in style and make the most of the Yarra River’s impossibly romantic vistas from the best spot in the city.

Southbank Boulevard, Southbank

Hit Some Balls and Some High Notes

Holy moly this has one of our favourite date night spots in Melbourne. Whether you’re looking to take the pressure off a first date or show your partner who is boss, there’s plenty of hilarious fun to be had at Holey Moley. Making golf and karaoke infinitely better, this nostalgic wonderland serves up some of the coolest cocktails around. Forget orange peels and cherries, these guys top their creations with your childhood favourites like Wizz Fizz and sour worms (90s kids you know). Out of the kitchen, there’s sando’s and pizzas because what would mini-golf and karaoke be without fast food to finish off the night.

Multiple locations across Melbourne

Make Your Own Wine 

Ditch the standing dinner date with your beau and make your own wine instead. Over a series of workshops, Noisy Ritual will guide you through the whole process from grape to glass. Stomp, press, and bottle your very own vintage and do a whole lot of tasting along the way. All workshops are included in the membership as well as three barrel tasting sessions, 6 bottles of your personal handmade wine, and 20% off their entire selection of drops for the whole year.

$450 for annual membership

249 Lygon Street, Brunswick East

Row Row Row Your Boat

Allie and Noah, Jack and Rose, Alfalfa and Darla: what do all the greatest love stories of all time have in common? A romantic boat ride that’s what. Head out on the calm waters of the Yarra at Fairfield Park Boathouse and sail (or in this case row) off into the sunset. The insta-worthy hand-built rowboats were designed by a shipwright from Portsmouth U.K and are the only ones of their kind in the Southern Hemisphere. While we recommend leaving the romantic serenades to Alfalfa, the river is the perfect spot to get to know a new person or kick back and relax in silence - either way it’s chill vibes all around. Post cruise, head up to the Tearoom for a drink and bite.

Fairfield Park Drive, Fairfield

Go Glamping in the City

Nothing says romance like an overnight hotel stay. But for those who like to book outside the box, Notel offers an altogether unique staycation. Veering on the other side of the luxe spectrum, this glamorous glamping experience is as quintessentially Melbourne as they come – a stylish Airstream camper located smack-back in the middle of the city. The ‘silver bullets’ (there are six to choose from in total) have been given a tasteful spruce, and come pared-back with a queen bed, all the creature comforts, as well as a well-stocked minibar. Each site even has its own deck for some up-close city star gazing.

If you really want to dial up the romance, try and book the ‘Airstream With Benefits’ – it comes with a private hot tub overlooking Flinders Lane. Bliss.

388 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Pack a Picnic

When you’re looking to dial up the romance, there’s nothing quite like dining in the open air. For a fun date afternoon, ready your rug and pack that gourmet hamper. Melbourne is brimming with top picnic spots that are ready and waiting for your next romantic rendezvous.

Practice Axe Throwing

Team up with your boo for a session of tension-relieving axe throwing at Maniax’s date night Fridays. Engage in a mini-tournament where you compete against your partner and then other couples for ultimate axe-throwing glory. If you’re looking for something unconventional, this is something for the most competitive couples.

Bookings available Sunday-Friday

$110 per couple

19-21 Russell Street, Abbotsford 

Splurge on a Spa Day

In need of a little pampering? Upgrade your date night to a full day of R&R, with a couple’s trip to the day spa. Providing you both with the time and space to get away from it all and lock in some much-deserved relaxation time, and indulge in massages, body scrubs, facials, and pedicures. So ready your robe and sit back and let the relaxation wash over you. 

Spend a Night in Gaol

If you and your other half are into true crime stories, book a haunted gaol tour for your next date night. Maintained to look just like the day it closed in 1929, the gruesome history of the gaol and its infamous residents (Ned Kelly for one), comes alive after dark. Not for the easily spooked, the night tours run throughout the week and you can choose to take a tour of the original cell block or get acquainted with the ghostly inhabitants.

$38 per person

377 Russell Street, Melbourne

Get Painting

Make like Monet and paint your way into your lover’s heart. Tap into your inner artist and learn how to paint like the masters at Cork & Chroma. An artist will provide you and your date with step-by-step guidance as you paint the artwork du jour. It’s open to absolutely anyone, you can BYO booze and at the end of the three-hour session, you’ll leave with your very own masterpiece.

From $55 per person

206 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne

Hang at the Arcade

Think arcade-meets-bar at this date-friendly hangout. Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq has everything from classic arcade games to virtual reality experiences to keep your date night fun and action-packed. With delicious bites and liquid courage on hand to keep you match ready, let your bowling prowess and bumper car hustle flaw your date.

Free entry (Activities from $6 per person, per ride)

The District, 440 Docklands Drive, Docklands

Art Appreciation

For artsy duos, the NGV provides the perfect date night setting. As Australia’s oldest public art gallery, it’s built up a collection with both breadth and depth, spanning everything from irreplaceable classical paintings to contemporary acquisitions from modern masters. In short, this is the place to see your Picassos and Rembrandts. Enter from the famous water wall and make your way around four floors of galleries. Head there before dinner and you will have endless things to discuss.

180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

Tokyo Tina
Tokyo Tina
Bingo Date

Brunch, bloody marys and bingo – not a conventional date, but a fun one nonetheless. Every Saturday, Windsor’s favourite Japanese diner, Tokyo Tina runs bingo bottomless brunches. Think pork belly bao and free-flowing prosecco, coupled with lively bingo and the chance to win a slew of prizes. Now, that’s a winning date.

Saturdays 12pm-2:15pm

66A Chapel Street, Windsor

Get Hot & Steamy

The Peninsula Hot Springs is a must-try date spot, with over 20 bath experiences including plunge pools, jet pools, massaging showers and a Turkish hammam. Spread across the open-air Bath House, let the soothing waters and rejuvenating minerals do all the work, while you and your partner reconnect and unwind.

140 Springs Lane, Fingal

The Essential Ingredient
The Essential Ingredient
Test Your Cooking Skills

To make your next date night a home-cooked feast, head to The Essential Ingredient. This culinary institution has plenty of classes to choose from and you can even book a private session with your choice of chef and cuisine if you want to up the romance. 

Prahran and South Melbourne

Learn to Dance

With all that fierce staring, waist holding, and hip swaying, there’s no dance form more sensual than salsa. The Salsa Foundation hosts free beginners’ classes each Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, gifting you a sure-fire way to heat up your average midweek date night. It‘s the perfect excuse to get up, close, and personal with your S.O.  And you get to learn a new skill while you’re at it.

Free (Bookings required)

Looking for more date night inspo? We've got plenty to keep you and your loved one entertained besides these cute date ideas. From underground cocktail haunts and cosy Melbourne pubs, to weekend getaways and boozy brunches, we've whittled down the coolest things to do in Melbourne to make sure your next date night is a complete success.