Want to make up for a whole lot of lost friend time while we were in lockdown, but not a clue what to do? Introducing: friend dates.
Friend dates are the perfect pick-me-ups and the ultimate memory maker, and can entail literally any idea or activity under the sun. With good plans and even better company, there is no limit to the fun things you can get up to with your crew in the big city.
So whether you’re with your extended group or your closest pals, we’ve got you sorted with 15 of the best friend date ideas in and around Brisbane to add to your social calendar.
Have A Picnic In The Botanical Gardens
Get outdoors and brunch in style with a delicious gourmet hamper from the uber luxe Westin Brisbane. While we’re in lockdown, they’ve taken it upon themselves to put together some mouth-watering picnic hampers and platters, with everything you need (including a basket and blanket) to satisfy all you and your friend’s food cravings. Bonus, the Westin is only a short five minute walk from the stunning City Botanical Gardens—the perfect backdrop for that group picnic aesthetic. Talk about brunch goals. Get yours here.
Paint And Sip An Afternoon Away
What’s better than drinking? Drinking and painting. Whether you’re an art connoisseur or are still drawing stick figures, Cork & Chroma has everything you need for a fun night out with your crew. The studio offers step-by-step boozy painting tutorials led by experienced artists—all you need to do is find a friend, grab a bottle of wine and let those creative juices flow.
Do A DIY Crawl Of Brisbane’s Best Breweries
Switch up your next social drinking sesh with a crawl across Brisbane’s best breweries. From Fortitude Valley to West End, set your sights on Brisbane’s local brew heroes and treat your tastebuds to some of the best quality craft beers and seasonal brews around. Grab some mates, plan an itinerary and get ready to head out on the ultimate local brewery tour for guaranteed good times.
Take Up Arts And Craft At Home
Then again, who said you had to go anywhere to have a good time with mates? Invite the friends around to your place and try your hand at pot making. From classic pot making with the help of Only T’s isoKits and hand moulding thanks to Crockd’s deliveries, to mosaic masterpieces using Dawdle’s crafty kits, these creations will be perfect for your growing indoor plant collection. Plus, they’re all local Brisbane businesses—what’s not to love?
Hit Some Balls At Victoria Park
There’s nothing more thrilling than a bit of friendly competition. Put your putting skills to the test and best your mates in a mini golf tournament at the stunning Victoria Park Golf Complex. Even better, you can down a brew while you putt with an onsite bar as well as 18 challenging holes scattered across rocky terrain. Putt putt not your style? Hit up Brisbane’s only inner-city driving range, right next to the mini golf course. Afterwards, head for the stunning bistro next door to dine overlooking the city after working up an appetite.
Slay Zombies At Zero Latency
Imagine this: you’re in a dark room the size of a tennis court, weapon in hand. Zombies are running at you full force. Will you survive? Strap on a VR headset and find out at Zero Latency. The free-roam gaming arena offers an array of immersive virtual reality experiences for you and up to 8 friends, that last between 15–30 minutes long. If you’ve ever wondered how you and your mates would go in a zombie apocalypse, then this is the activity for you.
Bop And Jive At Mad Dance House
Dust off those dancing shoes, and bust a move with a class at Mad Dance House. Their in-studio classes have just started running again, so now’s the perfect time to get your crew together to and brush up on your favourite moves, whether it be hip-hop, jazz, tap, contemporary, or your classic ballet. Be sure to call ahead—classes have a capacity of 20 people maximum, and bookings are essential.
Blow Off Some Steam At Maniax
You’ve seen people throw plates at walls in the movies, but how about throwing axes? Now you can right here in Brisbane, at the fully licensed Maniax. Incredibly therapeutic and a great way to blow off some steam, throwing axes is a unique trend taking Australia by storm. What better way to celebrate a friendiversary than by hurling some hatchets together?
Go Chasing Waterfalls
Prefer to spend the day somewhere away from the city? No worries! Brisbane happens to have some of the best waterfalls hidden in the surrounding national parks. So pack the 4WD, grab some snacks and head on your next great adventure outdoors chasing waterfalls with some close mates. Sometimes all you need is a little nature fix. Hunt them down here.
Play Arcades At Archie Brothers
Get lost inside the circus-themed, vibe-slaying, game-playing wonderland that is Archie Brothers Cirque Electric. Literally the stuff of our dreams, Archie Brothers is a euphoric place where you and your mates can slingback cocktails, while immersing yourself in hours of entertainment. From trying out the VR roller coaster, to having a go at the shooting range or hitting up the dodgem cars, embrace every bit of the childhood feels that the arcade has to offer, you’ll love every second of it.
Strike A Bargain While Op Shopping
Dress like a boss for half the cost and take the gang to pop some tags on a tour of Brisbane’s trendiest thrift shops. Make a day out of it—try venturing to an op shop you haven’t visited before, or aim to cover as many stores as you can across the span of a day. Op shops are like a box of chocolates—you never know what you’re gonna get, but we can guarantee you it’s practically impossible to walk away from one empty handed.
Pick Flowers At The Brisbane Flower Market
The Brisbane Flower Market is any flora-fans dream, and is the perfect destination for a wholesome catch up with friends. Located just a short drive from the CBD, the Brisbane Flower Market is overflowing with fresh, beautiful blooms, all at very reasonable prices. You can wander around the different stalls, support local wholesalers, pick the perfect bunch, and then head home to make aesthetic arrangements for each other as gifts from the fresh flowers you chose.
Make Your Own Gin At Brisbane Distillery
Mix up your next night out by bringing your buddies along to a gin making masterclass at Brisbane Distillery. With an impressive range of flavours and botanical notes to choose from, you’ll be guided step-by-step through the distilling process with an expert to make your own unique combination of flavours, culminating in the perfect gin. And the best part? You and your friends can take your creations home with you in a personalized bottle.
Hit The Road On A Trip
What does a group of friends, a car, and a clear schedule call for? A road trip! Venture beyond the city limits and explore the sights and scenes of somewhere new—all in one day. You could discover the rural paradise of the Scenic Rim, just on the outskirts of the Gold Coast, or opt for a trip to the Garden City of Toowoomba, indulging in its rich country character. You could paddle down the river at Mary Valley, or complete the scenic nature walks on Tamborine Mountain. Wherever you decide to go, these day trips will be worth every minute, so get onto the group chat and start planning.
You could also sample gin at Brisbane’s new gin tasting sessions.
Image credit: Westin Brisbane, Victoria Park, Sophie Spencer for Urban List