5 Unconventional (and Totally Romantic) Date Ideas

After last month’s onslaught of red roses, teddy bears and chocolate boxes, you might feel a little tired of conventional store-bought romance. Here are some date ideas that are anything but conventional — no heart-shaped balloons in sight!

Book a flight anywhere
This is a tip for the more spontaneous couples out there: book the cheapest flight available to a city you don’t know, or have never been to, and fly away for the weekend! It could end up being a thrilling mini holiday, or it could leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere without any sign of accommodation or food. Either way, it will prove to be an unforgettable experience.

Chuck a Ferris
Take a leaf out of Ferris Bueller’s book and both call in sick for the day. The world is your oyster! Take a long lunch, wander around your local second-hand bookstore, go swimming at the pool together or just watch the world go by from the comfort of your bed. Or, do absolutely nothing at all in the knowledge that you would ordinarily be at work by now. Sometimes the best date is just spending time together.

Do something for others, together
Dates don’t have to ooze romance or cheesiness. Volunteer at the local soup kitchen with your partner and revel in the fact that you are making a contribution to your community. The experience is something you can share and it may even spark a new appreciation for one another.

Board games
Yes, you play board games with your family at get-togethers, on rainy days when cabin fever sets in, or when the power goes out and the Wifi is down. However, a quiet night in with a bottle of wine and a board game is simplistic fun and a great inartificial date. One tip: never play Monopoly on a date — it always ends in tears.

Go to the zoo
Who doesn’t love animals? The zoo is the perfect daytime date, and because it involves unlimited conversation triggers and constant movement between animal enclosures, it is a mighty fine first date idea also.

There are baby animals everywhere, and ice-cream kiosks on every corner. There is nothing more you could possibly want from a daytime date.

What has been your most memorable unconventional date?

By Elizabeth Rowe

March 10, 2014

Cute Date Ideas for Foodies

If food is your passion, we’ve found some romantic and cute date ideas to keep you – and your taste buds – tantalised.

Visit a farmer’s market
A farmer’s market is the perfect place for a morning or afternoon date. Stroll together browsing through the season’s best fruits and vegetables. Sample local cheeses and smoked meats, baked goods and gelato. Then go home and cook up a spectacular brunch with all the locally-produced treats. You make the eggs, he makes the cocktails (hint: mimosas just need freshly-squeezed orange juice and sparkling wine!).

Tour a vineyard and do a wine tasting
Few locations are as scenic and relaxing as a vineyard. Take a tour of the vineyard and winery and learn about the whole process of wine-making. There’s nothing like being outdoors in the sun and fresh air together to make a date feel fun and energising. Then, try the wines, comparing tasting notes. Relax together and choose a few bottles to bring home with you as souvenirs of your romantic date.

Do a food safari
Forget travelling overseas to experience different tastes and cultures – have a food safari in your own city. Spend an evening hopping from place to place, grazing on delicious bites from around the world. Maybe you could start with a plate of soup dumplings at a Chinese restaurant, share some grilled skewers at a Malaysian hawker food stand, and finish with Korean BBQ (late-night karaoke is optional, but recommended!).

Get out on the ocean and catch your dinner
OK, so you think fishing is not for you? After spending a few weekends this summer fishing, I can tell you it’s completely exhilarating! Consider taking your date on an unforgettable deep-sea fishing trip and catch the freshest dinner you’ll ever enjoy. Or you can hop on a fishing charter or hire a private boat with all the fishing gear included. Sail out onto the open water and just have fun together as you see who has the superior fishing skills. When it’s time for dinner, get out the BBQ, pop open a bottle of bubbly and celebrate your fresh catch.

Discover a new restaurant together
Is there a new restaurant that’s creating lots of buzz? Start with cocktails first and really make a night out of it. Ask about the restaurant’s signature dishes, or consider the tasting menu so the chef can highlight their favourite dishes for you.  Try to book a romantic table out of the way of the busiest part of the restaurant so the two of you have a lovely spot to talk about the food, and each other, and really soak up the atmosphere.

What are your favourite food date ideas?

February 5, 2014

4 (Non-Cheesy) Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

So you want to do something fun and romantic on Valentine’s Day, but then, of course, you don’t want to be a cliche. You want a genuine experience with your partner, not a Nicholas Sparks novel brought to life.

What are your options? How can you create a special night for the two of you (without rose petals on the bed or edible underwear?). Here are four Valentine’s Day date ideas you’ll both love.

Cook together
It sounds too simple, right? The best dates are often just that: simple. Cook something delicious, but not too complicated. Spending time together in the kitchen on Valentine’s Day should be fun and flirty, so no stressful soufflés or tricky tapenades. What do you both love to eat? Maybe you can recreate a dish you ate together on your first date, on the night you got engaged, or any time that was memorable for you as a couple.

Make a mess, spice things up, and then enjoy the meal together together. This is the time to open that bottle of wine you’ve been waiting to open on a special occasion (while it gathers dust on your wine rack). Make the meal feels like a celebration, which it is! You’re celebrating your love, and that deserves a toast.

Pack a picnic and go to an outdoor movie
The weather’s perfect for a picnic, and really, is there anything more romantic? If you can drink wine under the stars while watching a movie on the big screen, you’ve got yourself a pretty perfect date. Fill a basket with fun foods and a bottle of bubbly and spend Valentine’s Day in the fresh air.

Schedule a couple’s massage
Okay, this one may sound cheesy, but once your cares are being melted away by a warm, relaxing massage, you won’t care.  And trust us, most men might role their eyes at the idea of a massage, but we’ve yet to meet one who hasn’t loved it as much as you. After a session of pampering, both of you will feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready for a sexy evening in.

Do something adventurous
Whether adventure for you means a light hike or a ride on a rollercoaster, get outdoors and do something a little challenging together. There is nothing more exhilarating than getting out of your comfort zone and enjoying a daring adventure together. Take in the breathtaking view at the top of a mountain. Spend the night at an amusement park. Jump in the waves together at your local beach. Get outdoors and hold hands. You’ll have an unforgettable experience.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all about red roses and heart-shaped chocolates if that’s too cheesy for you. Just think about what would be most fun for you and your partner and go with it. Celebrate your relationship and enjoy each other without any distractions. If you’re both relaxed and doing something you enjoy, your Valentine’s Day is sure to be a memorable, romantic date!

What are your favourite Valentine’s Day date ideas?

January 23, 2014

5 Hot Summer Date Ideas

It’s hot, the days are long, and you’re stuck for date ideas with your honey. There’s no better time to plan something fun and creative, whether it’s your second date or you’ve been together for, well, ever. Get inspired with these cute date ideas that make the most of summer.

Summer festivals
It’s raining festivals and fun across the country right now, from the Sydney Festival to Melbourne’s Friday night markets at Abbotsford Convent. Hit up your local Time Out website and check out their event listings. Or take a road trip to check out a nearby festival.

Dinner alfresco
Move your dinner outside in the summer. Many parks have free or cheap barbecues. The meal doesn’t have to be fancy – pack some drinks and cook up some steaks or seafood, sit and watch the stars – it’s even better than camping (all the romance, but no public showers to deal with). A picnic in the park – or on your balcony, is just as fun. Just don’t forget the citronella…

Cool off
Temperatures are soaring, so cool off with your honey. Hit up your favourite ice cream or frozen yogurt shop – it’s a great way to start or end the evening. See if there’s an aquatic park near you and splash around like kids. Sometimes finding refuge in air conditioning is the best answer – you can never go wrong with a bowling alley, cinema or crank up the AC at home and have a movie marathon.

A little culture
From outdoor movies to Shakespeare in the park, summer is the season to enjoy the arts without the stuffiness. Stop bemoaning the lack of live music and check out the bands at your local pub. Or do a gallery hop and unearth some undiscovered artists.

Sand and surf
Whether you sunbake, surf or stroll at sunset, there’s no better place to be in summer with your partner in crime than at the beach. If you don’t have a beach near you, enjoy the water at home with some daiquiris by the pool. No pool? No problem! We picked up a kid’s blow-up pool and it’s the best $30 we ever spent!

What are your favourite summer date ideas?

January 17, 2014

Date Ideas for this Weekend

Want to do something different with your partner this weekend? Or maybe you?re after an original idea for a great date with that special someone? We?ve got some out-there activities for you that will keep you and your relationship fit and healthy.Climb

The top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the most romantic and unique places to take your partner. BridgeClimb is perfect for couples looking for a ?thrill-seeking? experience that will be remembered for a lifetime. PS Did you know that over 750 people have been proposed to at the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge?

Check the BridgeClimb website for more or phone the BridgeClimb Ticket Hotline: (02) 8274 7770

WIN a BridgeClimb for two!


If you thought that sipping champagne and watching the sun rise with your loved one was the height of romance we?ve got a twist on the old champagne sunrise that will leave you breathless. Imagine soaring in a fabulous hot air balloon, drifting across the sky taking in the sunrise from a vantage point previously reserved for things with wings. Balloon Aloft has been helping us mere mortals take to the sky for over 22 years. For further information, or to book online see the Balloon Aloft web site or call (02) 4938 1955.

WIN a Champagne Balloon Flight for two!


We all know how divine it is to be pampered for an hour to two at a gorgeous day spa. Just think of how decadent a treatment for two would be?

Retreat at the Lyall is a holistic spa experience for men and women offering an extensive range of face and body treatments designed to enliven your senses and leave you totally rejuvenated. A must for any pleasure-seeking couple is the Retreat Rasul treatment for two.

Your scrub, mud and moisturising treatment takes place in the heady vapours of a private steam room ? just you and your partner – nude?(You can have an assisted Rasul with one of the lovely therapists, but three?s probably going to be crowd?).

Contact Retreat at the Lyall 03 98686 8333 for bookings and more information.

Or try…

Indoor rock climbing ? scale new heights and work up a sweat!

Sexy salsa dance classes ? learn the moves together!

Hiking ? head for the hills and experiences the thrill of the great outdoors. Don?t forget to take a blanket?

January 21, 2003