30 fun summer date ideas
It’s tough coming up with date ideas. If you’re someone who stresses about this, you’re definitely not alone.
This blog will hook you up with some date options for Melbourne, but even if you’re living elsewhere, read on to stimulate date ideas for just about any city you happen to be living.
Here’s 30 fun date ideas for this summer and holiday period:
ACTIVE / OUTDOORSY IDEAS
1. Go for a walk
around a local lake, river, beach or park then grab a drink somewhere nearby. In Melbourne, a walk around the Tan followed by a nibble at the Botanical could be fun and can provide the best of both worlds. Another option is meeting up at St Kilda Sea Baths, then walking along the beach. Even though it’s simple, on a nice day it can take the pressure off and support a more relaxing vibe.
2. Have a picnic.
Now before you go “WOW, that’s a lot of effort!” Think about it; how hard is it to grab some dips, a blanket, a couple drinks and head somewhere with a bit of sunshine? The Botanical Gardens in the city, St Kilda Botanical Gardens, Rippon Lea in Elstenwick or the Studley Park Boathouse in Kew are some good options.
3. Go to a driving range.
Head to one of Melbourne’s driving ranges and have a little playful competition on the date. This type of thing can work even if you’re both TERRIBLE at it. It won’t matter if you approach it playfully and with good humour.
4. Indoor Rock Climbing
If you and your date are both active, adventurous types (without a fear of heights), why not go Indoor Rock Climbing? Because this is a little more involved (and you’ll both have to sign a waiver of some kind), I wouldn’t recommend surprising your date with this idea. But if you’re both game, it could be a lot of fun.
5. Go go-carting!
Yep, some women like this stuff too gents and when in doubt, just ask. By the same token, ladies, if you can see yourself doing this on a date, suggest it.
INJECT A BIT MORE PLAY
Look out for limited events like Christmasland from Sugar Republic. This playful pop-up is filled with fun for the young at heart. Think of it like a Christmas playground for adults who’re in touch with their childhood sense of fun. There’s a pool full of marshmallows, human snow globes and a gingerbread cottage PLUS plenty of playful selfie opportunities scattered throughout. Christmasland is open until 23 December and is at 379 Smith Street, Fitzroy. https://www.sugarrepublic.com.au/
7. Holey Moley
This is an IDEAL choice for a playful date. Besides, what’s not to like about the mini golf + cocktail combo? They have multiple locations spread Melbourne. Pre-book this one. https://www.holeymoley.com.au/locations
8. Outdoor Cinema
An option that can be something different that takes the pressure off constant interaction on your date. The Moonlight Cinema runs in Melbourne between 28 November 2019 – 29 March 2020.
9. Board Games
Have you discovered any bars where you can play board games yet?! You and your date can have a drink, a bite to eat and get to know each other against a playful backdrop that might even conjure some childhood nostalgia. Queen of Spades Bar in Fitzroy lets you play as many games as you like for just $5 per person. https://www.queenofspadesbar.com/
10. Rooftop cinema
https://rooftopcinema.com.au/ is a great option if you’re in the mood for a film especially over the warmer months.
11. The Australian Open
The Aus Open is on in Melbourne between 20 January – 2 February 2020 and its guaranteed to play host to hundreds of first dates over that fortnight. You can grab a ground pass, watch a match or two, watch some live performances from different bands at the AO live stage or just explore one of dozens of pop-up experiences throughout Melbourne Park.
FOR DOG / ANIMAL LOVERS
12. Got a dog?
Suggest a doggie date in a park somewhere followed by a bite to eat or a glass of wine. Your fur-baby will also no doubt appreciate the opportunity to screen your date.
13. No dog but love them?
Heading to a dog friendly cafe for lunch is a great way to kill two birds with one stone: a) to get your dog fix AND b) inject some cuteness into your date that you don’t need to bring yourself.
The Stables of Como is a beautiful café with a great vibe and is guaranteed to have a dog or four there on the weekend. https://www.thestablesofcomo.com.au/
Go to the Zoo. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with a Zoo, Animal sanctuary or wild life reserve, these can be a great date choice for animal lovers.
YOU KNOW WHAT, I STILL JUST WANT A COCKTAIL
It’s true, meeting for a drink is a more traditional date, but there’s nothing wrong with that if it’s what you’re in the mood for. Picking an interesting venue with great atmosphere can sprinkle a little special dust on your date.
14. Bomba Rooftop
This bar in the CBD is a great evening venue with more a romantic, date-appropriate vibe. Great for a post work or weekend cocktails. https://bombabar.com.au/rooftop-bar/
15. Good Heavens
Also in Melbourne’s CBD is another cute rooftop venue that’s guaranteed to have atmosphere and it’s open pretty much all day and night. https://www.goodheavens.com.au/
16. State of Grace
A dynamic venue with something for everyone in Melbourne’s CBD. You want a cocktail? Done. Want to stay for dinner? Done. Just want a nibble on a share platter? Done. Want a secret bookshelf that transports you into an underground romantic cocktail bar? Done (it’s called ‘Fall from Grace’). https://www.stateofgracemelbourne.com.au/
17. Jungle Boy
On Chapel Street Windsor is still one of my favourite ‘date’ options that serves up some of Melbourne’s BEST cocktails. This is one of the best intimate, secret bars I’ve ever been to. This place is great for an early evening cocktail that can stop there or quite easily turn into dinner at another local Chapel Street restaurant. https://www.facebook.com/jungleboybar/
LOVE A GOOD COFFEE
Now, you know my attitude to coffee dates. You’re allowed to have coffee, but preferably not at a ‘café’ for your date. And listen, with this in mind, this blog is about FUN date ideas so… what role has a coffee date got unless it’s mixed in with something else here, k?
And listen, sometimes you get out what you put in to a date. If you’re making a habit of squeezing your dates into an AM weekend slot in hopes it will ‘save you time’ if they turn out to be a dud, you’re already sabotaging the date by sending a very clear message you’re not that excited to meet them.
Even if this isn’t your intent, it’s the quickest way to start on the back foot.
HEAVY DOSE OF SUMMER VIBES
18. Arbory Afloat
A pop-up bar on the Yarra over summer in Melbourne located next to platform 13 at Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station. Apparently, this year the bar will have a bit of a ‘Miami’ theme, so it’s guaranteed to bring the summer vibes in spades (although, it is Melbourne so check the weather, then check it again). https://arboryafloat.com.au/
This is a really cute bar in Melbourne’s CBD that is ideal on a nice summer day. https://www.peaches.melbourne/ It’s open during peak ‘date’ times and has a very cool 80-person rooftop bar at Level 2, 301 Swanston Street, Melbourne.
20. The rooftop at QT
Melbourne has a sleek, contemporary vibe that’s great day or night for a drink. The amazing views here mean it can get quite busy so get there early to scope out a spot. It’ll be worth it once you and your date settle in and take in the skyline. https://www.qthotels.com/melbourne/eat-drink/rooftop-at-qt/
YOU BOTH LOVE GOOD FOOD
21. Discover somewhere NEW together.
If you’re both foodies, ask your date if there’s somewhere they’ve been dying to try. It doesn’t need to be fancy, just somewhere you can both tick off your list. If there’s no new hot spot you’re itching to check out, ask your date their favourite cuisine, do some research and try a new place together.
22. Treat your sweet tooth
Foods like chocolate and ice cream have this power to the passionate, playful side in people. Meet up for an up for afternoon drink followed by ice cream somewhere like Pidapipo Gelateria which now has three locations: Carlton, Windsor or the CBD. Grabbing ice cream can be a FUN start OR spontaneous end a date. Going somewhere just for dessert can have the same effect.
23. Do a Cheese tasting!
One of my favourite date venues in Melbourne is the Milk the Cow fromagerie where you get to taste cheese, drink some wine (or coffee) without that boring coffee date vibe. I love that you can head here at all times of the afternoon and evening without it feeling too casual or too stuffy. It’s not so involved that your date has to last for hours and there’s a menu that suits those in-between meal times that can be popular for dates. https://milkthecow.com.au/
24. Head to a market!
Suggest meeting at a landmark so it’s easy to find each other, then go for a stroll and grab a bite to eat. For example there’s Queen Vic Market, St Kilda Twilight Market https://www.stkildatwilightmarket.com/ and for those south siders, theHank Marvin Food Truck Market https://www.hankmarvin.com.au/
IN THE MOOD FOR MUSIC
25. Head to a Melbourne Zoo
There is a Twilight session over summer that’s perfrect for dates. There are loads of great artists performing against the beautiful Melbourne Zoo backdrop. https://zootwilights.org.au/
26. Head to a beer garden with live music.
Literally punch that into Google and you’ll find a venue. For example, the Prince Alfred in Richmond has a great beer garden for a sunny afternoon (shade is available) and there’s often live music on weekends. https://princealfredhotel.com.au/
JUST NEED A LAUGH!
27. See a comedy show
I’ll level with you. Comedy CAN be risky for a first date because it’s hard to know what style of humour will sit well with your date, what their tolerance is for swearing, what their politics are and whether they even like comedy. HOWEVER, once you get to know your date, comedy can be fun. Do your research and pick something you think your date will like. A great venue in the city for comedy is https://thebutterflyclub.com/
HAPPY TO GET OUR HANDS DIRTY
28. Visit a paiting class
Did you know there are several providers around Melbourne offering the opportunity to PAINT FOR FUN, make a mess, then leave? Yep, I know. What could be more playful and creative than going to a social painting class together. Here’s an example. https://www.paintforfun.com.au/
29. Go to a cooking class!
Whether you’re a complete novice or an aspiring chef, learning something new together can be fun, flirty and delicious. There are heaps around Melbourne to suit all kinds of budgets.
Bonus tip: For a first date, neutral territory is a good idea.
Remember, safety first. It’s best to meet somewhere public that isn’t right by your work or home OR somewhere you visit regularly. EVEN if your first date involves taking your dog for a walk, don’t do it in the park right next to your house.
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