Attention, lovers! Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, so it’s time to start planning your dates for 14 February.
Like most things Aussies do, you might not be surprised to find Australians’ laid-back approach to life extends to our outlook on sex and dating. Dates can often be very casual, and it’s not unusual to date more than one person at a time, especially in the initial stages of a relationship.
So, whether you like to go all out with your significant other, or prefer to express your love for friends and family, we’ve pulled together our best date spots in Sydney.
A picnic at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
While the weather is still warm in Sydney, pack a blanket and picnic basket and head to the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney for a daytime date. Stop by the supermarket and fill up on delicious picnic fare such as sandwiches, chocolate-dipped strawberries and a cheese board you can nibble on while you sit back and relax on the grass. Or, for a hassle-free option, consider ordering a hamper from Catering Project, which provides a range of choices from artisanal cheese boards to salad platters.
A picnic is a great budget-friendly option if you don’t want to splurge on an expensive meal, and you and your date will have a great time soaking up the views of Sydney Harbour.
For a fun date night idea, impress your date with your knowledge of the city and spend the evening bar-hopping around Sydney. Start early and make the most of the many happy hour deals offered by restaurants and bars, usually between 4-6 pm depending on the venue.
Try $8 house wines, beers and spirits at Henley’s Kitchen and Bar, $12 negronis and $6 Gin and Tonics at Restaurant Hubert or $10 Aperol spritz at The Rook. You’ll be able to tick a number of places off your must-visit list while saving a few dollars!
Visit a museum
For a more low-fuss and low-cost date, take a stroll through one of the many museums or art galleries around Sydney.
Check out beautiful contemporary sculptures along the wharf at Woolloomooloo for ARTPark Australia, explore the best wildlife photography at the Maritime Museum’s 57th Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition or check out works from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art collection – called Yiribana Gallery – at the Art Gallery of NSW.
Splurge on a dinner date
For a more intimate date, enjoy dinner at one of the best restaurants in Sydney like Alberto’s Lounge, Totti’s Bondi, Ester or Kiln. If you’re looking for something a little more budget-friendly, opt for cheaper alternatives that don’t skimp on flavours such as Mamak Haymarket, Bar Reggio, Gumshara or Fabbrica.
Whatever your budget, make sure you book in advance, as reservations can fill up quickly for Valentine’s Day.
Channel your inner artist and book a class at one of the many paint-and-sip venues around Sydney.
Don’t worry if you’re not a professional! If you’ve never been to these events before, just reserve your spot in a casual class and you’ll be guided by a professional artist on simple painting techniques.
Many studios encourage you to bring your own drinks and nibbles so you can paint your own masterpiece while sipping on your favourite beverage. This is a great weeknight date idea, and you’ll walk away with a special piece of art you can hang in your space that will remind you of your date.
Check out the following paint and sip companies:
Enjoy a date with a view
Make the most of Sydney’s outdoor cinemas over the summer and relax with the stars – both on the big screen and under the night sky!
If you’re out west, pop down to the Skyline drive-in cinema in Blacktown for a screening of Madame Web.
Hit the trails
Get your blood pumping and your body moving with a date in the great outdoors. Take advantage of some of the most beautiful walks in and around Sydney for a fun date you won’t need a reservation for.
Head to the east and do the famous Bondi to Bronte coastal walk, take on the Manly to Spit Bridge walk, enjoy harbour views along the Glebe Foreshore, or explore the stunning nature of the Aboriginal Heritage walk in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
Netflix and …
Need we say more? Construct your best blanket fort and invite your date over for a fun movie marathon in the comfort of your own home. Prepare all your favourite snacks and enjoy a stress-free evening watching Valentine’s Day classics like rom-coms and horror films.