Spring is definitely my favourite time of year. Not just because it’s my birthday (though this is a large reason), but because we live in Melbourne, and spring means the first days of sunshine we’ve seen in months.
Spring means its time to get that haircut, refresh your Tinder bio and take bae on the date they so desperately deserve. To make the transition a smooth one, here are a list of 12 outdoorsy dates for Spring that won’t break the bank. Godspeed, cheapskates.
1. Go On A Picnic
No matter what stage you’re at, picnics are ALWAYS a good idea. Visit your local market and stock up on olives, cheese, bickies, dip (the Italians know how to picnic right) and wine, lots of wine. There’s so many pretty gardens to choose from in Melbourne. We recommend Fitzroy Gardens, The Royal Botanical Gardens and Edinburgh Gardens because they’re all big and you can always cop a sneaky kiss under a leafy tree somewhere. For Melbourne’s best markets, click here.
2. Pizza In The Park
The guys from Small Print Pizza in Prahran do this really cute thing where you can order pizza, take a numbered flag and complimentary picnic rug and go sit in the park across the road (Victoria Gardens), where they will actually bring your pizza to you. Plus? It’s a doggo park. Win, win, win.
3. Camping At Lake Catani
For those who’ve been dating for long enough to score the slightly intimidating ‘camping date’, this one’s a winner. Camping at Lake Catani is open from November and can be done either cheaply (roughly $13 a night) or boujee with their new Glamping experience. Head out for the weekend and check out the beautiful scenery and waterfalls around Mount Buffalo National Park. We’ve also rounded up Victoria’s best campsites over here.
4. Burgers And Beers At Rooftop
If you haven’t been to Rooftop, you’re not a true Melbournian. Sorry, but it’s true. Located on the top level of Curtain House, Rooftop has one of the sweetest views of Melb CBD and they do burgers for $10. Start here in the arvo and if all goes well, hang around on Friday and Sat nights for DJs and ultimate boogie time. Don’t forget, Rooftop Cinema kicks off on 2 December too.
5. Run The 1000 Steps
Ok. This one is most likely for those who are at least on their second or third date, or properly dating their SO. 1000 Steps is a bit of an endurance test, and let’s face it, by the end you’re not going to look your finest. At least it’s free, right? That’s why we recommend taking someone who you’ve pinned down just in case they’re not into your sweat soaked hair and delightful odour. You can reward yourself afterwards at Lorna, nearby.
6. Go Chasing Waterfalls
Forget what TLC said, you chase ‘dem waterfalls hun. Regional VIC is full of beautiful waterfalls, they just require a bit of a drive and a walk to find them. Nature costs nothing, you guys. This is a really fun date that’s out of the city, so you can really get to know one another. Check out our selection of our top picks here.
7. Test Limits At Trees Adventure Park
This is another one not for the faint-hearted. It could be a fun experiment to see how well you and bae do when suspended 12 metres above the ground. Probs check if your date suffers from vertigo first. There’s long and short courses (depending on how game you are) and tickets are relatively inexpensive at about $48 per person. Trust building exercise? Check.
8. Catch A Drive-In Movie
Melb is home to three awesome drive-ins that make for the perfect first, second, third or five hundredth date. Dromana, Dandenong’s Lunar and the Coburg Drive-In. It’s cheap, cheerful and even if it’s a shitty movie, you can keep things interesting from the comfort of your car (hint, hint). You can get our full list of open-air cinemas over here.
9. Hit Up The New Rooftop Pool Bar
We’re still waiting for the big reveal date for Reunion Island Pool Club, but we’ve heard sometime around late October. Time to break out those wintery pale pins and get on top of your manscaping lads, summers just around the corner. The news about this place is off the chain: plunge pools, cocktail bars, live tunes and good food from the guys behind St. Jeromes (RIP).
10. Cuddle Some Baby Animals
Craving something a bit more savory? If you’re like me and struggle with the fact you don’t have your own little furry friend, we’ve got a solution for you. We’re talking baby lambs, deer, alpacas, cows, sheep and even emus! Here’s a list of the cutest farms to visit this Spring. You can also offer to do some volunteering at Edgar’s Mission. It’s not a traditional date, but damn those animals are cute. Collingwood children’s farm is also a good bet.
11. Bike Ride From St Kilda To Half Moon Bay
If you don’t have your own bike, don’t fret (but seriously, you def should). Melb is full of those share bikes that only cost about $3 for day hire, granted you need to dock them every 30 minutes. If you need a tip, ride along the 13km track from coastline from St Kilda to Half Moon Bay. It’s good exercise and not to mention very, very pretty. Here’s some of our other fav bike tracks in Melb. And if you’re looking for a cheap bike, keep an eye on Lekker’s semi-regular garage sales.
12. Watch The Sunset At Half Moon Bay
While you’re at Half Moon Bay, watch the sunset at Black Rock. It’s not only stunning but one hundred Insta-worthy. VIC is full of incredible hidden beaches. We’ve also got a list of Melbourne’s best beaches and Melbourne best fish n’ chips (you do the math).
If you've got cash to splash and these are a bit budget for your liking, here's a rundown of every best date night hot-spot in Melbourne.
Image credit: Jovo Jovanovic