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8 Valentine’s Day Ideas That Aren’t Just Dinner And Drinks

By Rick Stephens
3rd Feb 2020

Dinner and drinks are great and all, but nothing says "I love you" more than indoor skydiving, hiking or science, right? This year, do something special for your partner in crime that doesn't involve four sets of cutlery and a fancy napkin.

Take Your Date To A Gig

With Melbourne being the live music capital of the world, it’s safe to say you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to spoiling that special someone. Our pick for Valentine’s Day is The Internet’s bonafide heartthrob Steve Lacy performing at Max Watts, or Australian legends The Cat Empire playing at Zoo Twilights.

Take Your Date To An Outdoor Cinema

Get comfy on a picnic blanket under the stars, because there’s plenty of outdoor cinemas with screenings primed for Valentine’s Day. 

Moonlight Cinema will be screening 1990 romance fantasy and maybe sci-fi, Ghost. A bold choice, especially for a first date, but you don’t get anywhere by playing it safe, right? Lock in a space for the picnic rug here.

Yarra’s Edge, Docklands is setting up a gigantic screen by the Yarra for the weekend, and they’re screening Crazy, Stupid, Love for those after a more traditional love story. For the ultimate swooners out there, there’s also a free ferry departing from Federation Wharf that’ll pull up right by the destination. This one's absolutely free, so all you need to do is remember to book.

Nothing like a movie in bed, nothing like a movie in bed under the stars either, and Mov’in Bed has nailed it. Hold your loved one close and shed a tear, because they’re also screening The Notebook this Valentine’s Day.

Take Your Date To The NGV 

Valentine’s Day or not, the NGV is a failsafe for a date without looking like you haven’t made an effort. Aim for an evening visit on Friday 14 February for NGV Friday Nights. Your ticket gets you entry into the Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines exhibition, along with access to the party in the Great Hall which runs until late.

There’s also a Bombay Sapphire Gin Garden out the back, and they’ll be giving away gin-infused popsicles all night long. 

Do Something Unexpected With Your Date

You could go parachuting, but If your relationship isn’t quite at the point where you’re willing to throw your partner out of a plane, then why not take them for a spot of indoor skydiving? iFly has just opened in Melbourne, where you can float in a 14ft diameter wind tunnel and practice your formations with your lover.

Or, if you’re after something with a little less pressure, take a drive out to Urbnsurf, Victoria’s first indoor surf park. Surf lessons in the shallows are available if you have no idea what you’re doing, but the park also caters to the pros—because couples who get barrelled together, stay together.

Go Hiking With Your Date

Low cost but high impact. All you need is a pair of runners or hiking boots, a date and you’re good to go. With no distractions aside from the trees, birds and bees, you and your significant other can make the most of some quality time together. 

You don’t have to travel as far as you think, either. Check out our list of walks all within a stone’s throw of Melbourne. 

Take Your Date To A Classical Music Concert

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is putting on their third and final concert for February at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, and it’s free. The MSO take to the stage at 7:30pm on Valentine’s Day, but it’s worth getting yourself there from about 4pm to secure a decent spot. 

Go For A Picnic With Your Date

Plenty of gardens in and around Melbourne to smash down your version of a charcuterie board with a partner in crime, but if that all sounds like too much effort, let the Melbourne Botanical Gardens put in the leg work for you. They’ve curated the whole experience for you, from food to deck chairs—hot tip: request your setup by the ornamental gardens, your date will thank you. Bookings essential.

Geek Out On Science With Your Date

Spend the night under the stars (sort of) with your number one at Scienceworks this Valentine’s Day. The full-dome will screen two experiences, and there’ll be a live presentation of the night sky which highlights celestial love stories. There’ll also be cocktails, but that goes without saying when it comes to Valentine’s Day. Bookings recommended.

For more date inspo, see what else Melbourne has to offer on our Things To Do section.

Photo credit: Roger Keller | Unsplash

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