If you can smell the scent of roses and chocolate in the air, it’s because Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. And, whether you love it or hate it, it’s time to embrace it and live life to the fullest. Celebrate this romantic day by spending it with your lover, or enjoy a bit of platonic love with your best friend. From the fun to the romantic, but in no particular order, here are some awesome date ideas and things to do on Valentine’s Day in Melbourne.
1. Have the classic theme park experience at Luna Park
Create wonderful memories together on these classic carnival grounds. Head to Luna Park on Valentine’s Day from 6pm to 10pm, and go on as many rides as you can handle. Cosy up on the Ferris wheel, zoom on the Great Scenic Railway and go round and round on the carousel. Find what’s in your future at tarot and palm reading sessions, take photo souvenirs, win prizes at the carnival and stay cool with heart-shaped ice cream. This lovely evening at Luna Park costs $99 per couple. Learn more here.
Start your Valentine’s in the daytime with a bit of high tea at Melbourne Museum. Nibble on French-influenced dishes inspired by the rich history of the Titanic. Then, explore the Titanic exhibition, and see James Cameron’s iconic movie at IMAX in the evening. Find all the different things happening at the museum here.
6. Try a Notting Hill-inspired gelato popsicle
The team at Pidapipo have created an adorably sweet treat for Valentine’s Day. Try “The Last Brownie”, a heart-shaped popsicle with chocolate gelato and a rose-infused brownie centre, coated in a layer of chocolate and waffle cone crunch. This dessert is inspired by the dinner party scene in Notting Hill, where Julia Roberts’ character fights for the last brownie. You can try it at Lorne Theatre on Valentine’s Day and watch a special screening of 10 Things I Hate About You or Romeo & Juliet. Or, if you can’t make it to Lorne, you can also try this at Pidapipo stores in Melbourne. Learn more here.
7. Listen to live jazz at 1806
Sit back and listen to the sounds of live jazz at bar 1806. As you listen to romantic tunes, unwind throughout the evening with Valentine-inspired cocktails and complimentary gourmet bites. This event is free to attend, but you’re welcome to make a booking. See more here.
9. Relax in spas and hot springs
You deserve a day of rest, relaxation and luxury. And thankfully, Melbourne and Victoria are full of tranquil places for you to find your inner bliss. Escape to the iconic Peninsula Hot Springs, take a break in Alba Thermal Springs & Spa, go further to Metung Hot Springs and much, much more.
10. Have fun with bowling and chocolates at Kingpin
Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, whatever you’re celebrating, there’s a fun offer at Kingpin that’s perfect for any two people. At $60 per person, you can enjoy a game of bowling, a selection of Darrell Lea chocolate treats, two limited cocktails and four gourmet share plates. This is available from February 9 to 14. See more here.
11. Watch a movie in St Kilda with Sunset Cinema
Head to St Kilda Botanical Gardens, and watch the hilarious film, 10 Things I Hate About You, on Valentine’s Day. See the full program here.
12. Celebrate Galentine’s Day at Harlow
Gather the girlies for a fun Galentine’s Day at Harlow in Richmond. There will be a shared charcuterie board, bottomless rosé and a drag queen hosting the event. The fun will kick off from 6:30pm and costs $55 per person. See more here.
13. Attend Anti-Valentine’s Day at Welcome to Brunswick
Head to Welcome to Brunswick from 4pm onwards for their Anti-Valentine’s Day celebration. This event will include a shredding station, anti-love anthems and frozen raspberry daiquiris. There will also be a Heartbreak Happy Hour and 2-for-1 love burgers. Walk-ins are welcome, but you can also make a booking.
14. Go punting on the lake
Enjoy a serene day out by punting on the Ornamental Lake at Royal Botanic Gardens. See all the different bays and islands from a new perspective on your very own boat. You’re welcome to bring along your own picnic, and dogs can come too! There’s also parasols for you to whirl and twirl.
Punting on the Lake is open from 11am to 5pm.
15. Go on a $10 date at Funlab venues
Have some fun this Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank. Pre-book bowling at Strike or Archie Bros, or have a fun game of mini golf at Holey Moley for just $10. While you’re there, enjoy $10 cocktails. Book online and use the code LOVEFUN to enjoy the deal. This is available after 5pm from February 12 to 15.
16. Watch the sunset from the Royal Exhibition Building
Take in spectacular views of Carlton Gardens and the city skyline from the Dome Promenade of the Royal Exhibition Building. Go on a tour, learn about the building’s history, then enjoy the magnificent sunset from the top of the building. You’ll also receive a complimentary glass of bubbly to enjoy. See more here.
17. Go on a hot air balloon ride
Soar through the air and enjoy breath-taking views in a hot air balloon ride for two. Global Ballooning is doing special Valentine’s Day sale on their weekday Yarra Valley flight. Read more here.
18. Head to Cinema Nova for a movie session
Cinema Nova is offering films for the love-sick and the cynical alike with their Love Fest series on Valentine’s Day. Enjoy some unusual takes on love, with films like The Lobster, Shiva Baby and Caligula: The Ultimate Cut. Don’t forget to grab a cocktail from the bar while you’re there! See more here.
19. Head to Summer Night Market for a Taylor Swift celebration
Round up the gals and feel utterly enchanted at this Taylor Swift celebration. Taking place at Queen Vic Market on Valentine’s Day, there will be plenty of Taylor-inspired activities and entertainment. Take part in friendship bracelet workshops, attend a silent disco, listen to a cover band and try a Swift-themed cocktail. On top of that, there will be all of the usual food stalls, market stalls and festival bars at Summer Night Market. Check it out from 5pm to 10pm.
20. Put your brains together and try out an escape room
Escape your day-to-day life and enter challenging and thought-provoking scenarios. Takle the room with your partner, or go on a double date, and see how well you do in one of these escape rooms. Will teamwork and friendship be enough, or will you be lost forever (or at least, until the session ends)?
Joan Linday, author of Picnic at Hanging Rock, had an interesting connection with Valentine’s Day. It was the day she married her husband, and it was also the day of the fateful picnic in her iconic novel. Check out her personal Valentine’s Day Card collection in the exhibition, My Day of Days, at her home, Mulberry Hill, every Sunday from February 11 to March 31. Learn more here.
22. Indulge in a bit of high tea
For an elegant date on Valentine’s Day, graze on fluffy scones, finger sandwiches and sweet treats at one of the many high tea places around Melbourne. Pair it with tea or a bit of bubbly. You’ll find high tea at plenty of romantic places, from the CBD’s historic arcades to places further out like Werribee Mansion and the Dandenong Ranges.
23. Take a stroll through some tranquil parks and gardens
Hold hands, amble along the path, admire blooming flowers, gaze at towering trees, and find a quiet moment together at some of the wonderful parks and gardens around Melbourne.
24. Meet your match at a coffee tasting
Love a good cup of coffee? Chances are, your future partner will too! Perhaps you’ll find them at a free coffee tasting run by the team at Toby’s Estate. They’re taking over Slayer Espresso in Abbotsford with their latest single origin coffees. Try it out and learn how to make the perfect brew on Valentine’s Day from 4pm to 6pm. And if you don’t meet anyone, at least you’ll find your dream coffee. Learn more here.
25. Go for a walk along the beach
26. Don’t forget about the flowers
27. Take in the view from a rooftop bar
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a glass of bubbly, a fun cocktail and plenty of great views at some bustling rooftop bars around Melbourne. From CBD venues to places further out, you’ll have a great time in the sunshine or under the stars.
28. Sweeten things up with an ice cream festival
Drive out to Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery for this tasty ice cream festival. There are heaps of different flavours over 12 delicious days. Who knows what interesting flavours you’ll try on Valentine’s Day? This festival is on from February 7 to 18.
29. Jump in the car, load up a playlist and just drive somewhere
Spend some nice quality time with your loved one in the car, and go on an adventure. Check out some amazing scenic drives around Victoria and enjoy some astounding natural scenery in national parks. Go chasing waterfalls and take a nice day trip somewhere. There’s plenty of charming towns to explore near Melbourne, and cool road trip pit stops to check out. Stay overnight at a romantic getaway. Whatever you choose, you’ll have a grand time.