We live in Melbourne, so naturally, grabbing a coffee is the instinctive move when thinking about a first date. But, if you’re feeling a bit bored and you want to shake things up, or if you’re scared of awkward silences while you sip frantically on your cup, why don’t you try something different? Melbourne is full of great things to do for a first date, so you can keep the conversation flowing while looking at a piece of art or playing a game. And hopefully, these dates will blossom into a wonderful relationship. But if not, that’s ok too, because at least you did something fun. Without further ado, here are some great first date ideas to try in Melbourne.
1. Follow your senses at Dining in the Dark
Feeling a little adventurous? Put on a blindfold and embark on a culinary journey through a mysterious three-course meal. Just choose between a vegan, seafood or meat option, and let the team do the rest. This unique experience is sure to get the two of you giggling through the night. The next session of Dining in the Dark is at Gingerboy on Wednesday September 27. Get your tickets here.
📍Gingerboy, 27-29 Crossley Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
2. Visit the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne
Immerse yourself in nature and go for a stroll in these spectacular gardens. Across 38 hectares, you’ll admire over 8,500 species of plants. Find a nice quiet space to walk and have a chat, like in the lush Fern Gully section, or relax and have a picnic in a romantic spot, like next to Ornamental Lake. If you’re feeling particularly romantic, you can go Punting on the Lake during select seasons. Or, for something relaxed, grab a bite to eat from The Terrace café.
📍Birdwood Avenue, Melbourne VIC 3004
3. Embrace your inner artist at Art & Glow in the Dark
Show off your skills or bond over your artistic struggles at Art & Glow in the Dark. This paint and sip experience at Hanover House in Southbank features a mixture of classic and fluorescent paint, so that you can create cool paintings that glow in the dark. Follow along with the teacher, or unleash your own creativity, while painting along to music and sipping a drink. Find your tickets here.
📍158 City Road, Southbank VIC 3006
4. Feel star-struck at Melbourne Planetarium
Head to Melbourne Planetarium at Scienceworks and gaze at the stars with your date. With their 16m dome and projection system, you’ll go on an immersive journey through the universe. Every Friday evening, there’s the 18+ event, Planetarium Nights, which features full dome screenings. After you voyage the cosmos together, grab a drink at the bar.
📍2 Booker St, Spotswood VIC 3015
5. Have fun at Luna Park
Feel like you’re in the movies and take your date to an amusement park. Get your heart pumping on the world’s oldest continually operating roller coaster, share a snow cone or some popcorn and win a prize at their carnival games. Find out more about Luna Park here.
📍18 Lower Esplanade, St Kilda VIC 3182
6. Throw darts at Oche
For something casual and fun, meet up with your date in the heart of the CBD for some drinks and darts. Whether you’re an expert or a novice, you’ll have fun playing the different games that Oche has to offer, and keeping an eye on your score thanks to the digital display board. While you talk and play, nibble your way through food that can be eaten with one hand, and sip on their delicious range of cocktails.
📍263-269 Elizabeth St, Melbourne VIC 3000
7. Row your way into their hearts at Fairfield Park Boathouse
Feel transported back in time and have a tranquil date together at Fairfield Park Boathouse. Located in Yarra Bend Park, unwind with some tea and scones while overlooking the Yarra River. After that, hire a rowing boat, canoe or kayak and have some fun on the water. No bookings are necessary, and pets are welcome to come along.
📍Fairfield Park Dr, Fairfield VIC 3078
8. Have a tee-rific time at Holey Moley
Putt your way through some seriously fun and nostalgic mini golf courses at Holey Moley. You’ll find unique themes at each location around Melbourne, so you’ll never get bored. Enjoy some food while you’re there, and sip a cocktail to keep the good times going.
📍Little Bourke St, Crown, Chadstone, Eastland and Frankston
9. Listen to live music at The Paris Cat Jazz Club
If you like jazz or live music, head over to The Paris Cat Jazz Club for an unforgettable night. The venue was built in 1895, so you’ll feel transported back in time as you enjoy its unique ambiance. While you listen to the sounds of live jazz, sip on wine, champagne, spirits, beers or cocktails. A tapas menu is also available.
📍6 Goldie Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000
10. Explore a museum or art gallery
Melbourne is full of art and culture, so why don’t you spend your date at a museum or art gallery? It gives you something to talk about, and any silence on the date will seem like more contemplative than awkward. Plus, if you want to save money, places like ACMI and NGV have free exhibitions, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank.
11. Keep it cool and go ice skating
Head to Docklands for a fun date at O’Brien Icehouse. If you’re both beginners, you’ll have a great time bonding and wobbling your way around the ice rink. They offer a range of skates for hire so you don’t have to worry about a thing. Just remember to dress warmly!
📍Ground/105 Pearl River Rd, Docklands VIC 3008
12. Cuddle a cat at this charming cat café
Visit the first cat café in Melbourne on your first date. At the aptly named Cat Café Melbourne, you’ll play and relax with cats in this two-level space. Get to know one another over a coffee, and try one of their snacks. Walk-ins are welcome if you’re feeling spontaneous, but you can also book ahead online.
📍30 Guildford Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
13. Have a laugh at a comedy night
They say laughter is the best medicine, but could it also be the best matchmaker? Find out by going on a first date to one of the comedy clubs around Melbourne. There’s the Melbourne International Comedy Festival of course, but there’s also venues like The Comic’s Lounge, Basement Comedy Club and Kings of Comedy.
14. Attend a Candlelight concert
Love music and looking for a romantic vibe? Look no further than a Candlelight concert. Listen to live music performed in some of Melbourne’s most spectacular venues, while bathed in the gentle glow of candlelight. See what’s on here.
15. Catch a movie at The Astor Theatre
Add a dash of old world glamour to your classic movie date at The Astor Theatre. This historic site opened in 1936, and its massive single screen, golden curtains and stunning auditorium will give an extra dose of grandeur to your first date in Melbourne. They play a nice mixture of new releases, cult films and nostalgic favourites, and run special events like movie marathons too. See what’s coming up here.
📍1 Chapel St, St Kilda VIC 3182