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. If you’re alone on the day, why don’t you go on an adventure and show yourself some self-care? 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.
Fed Square is welcoming a series of free Candlelight concerts this February and the first is a super-special Valentine’s Day affair where the romantics among us will be treated to an enchanting evening featuring songs from famous artists like Céline Dion, Whitney Houston, Adele and John Legend as well as musical scores from Piazzolla, Puccini and Verdi among other greats.
Like all Fed Square events, it’s free. And, there’s free ice cream too for the first 100 people.Find out more here.
2. Get something good to eat or drink
Melbourne is full of wonderful places to treat yourself and your loved one. Whether you’re looking for an afternoon tea, a late night dinner, or just some drinks to set the mood, this list should help you get started.
3. 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, fly high on the swing tower and go round and round on the carousel. You’ll receive a custom photo souvenir, two chocolate love hearts from Chocolatier, and Hava Heart ice creams from Peters. Then, play one carnival game per couple and listen to music from The Engagement.
This lovely evening at Luna Park costs $85 per couple. Learn more about it here.
4. Enjoy a round of Ping Pong Speed Dating
Dating app Boop and fun venue Ballers Clubhouse have collaborated to create an amazing night of speed dating this Valentine’s Day. In rounds of mixed doubles, you’ll get to know other single people in a whirlwind ping pong tournament. Spend five minutes on, five minutes off, swap partners and then start the fun all over again!
When you’re not playing ping pong, mingle with the others, enjoy some canapes and try drinks at the bar. Tickets start at $45 per person. Find more details here.
For the best views of the city, and for an awesome day out, it’s hard to look past On A Boat and their deluxe electric boats. Rent one and you can cruise up and down the river to see the city and surrounds like never before. You can rent a boat for up to four hours, which should be ample time to do a bit of exploring, sightseeing and picnicking as well. So, pack lunch or dinner and rent an electric boat for a fun day out with your chosen one.Ready to hop On A Boat? Learn more here.
6. Go to an open-air cinema
It’s summer, love is in the air, and there’s plenty of amazing open-air cinemas to try. Snuggle under a blanket with your date, and watch a movie together under the stars. On the 14th, Barefoot Cinema will show a screening of Dirty Dancing. Meanwhile, Lido, Cameo and Classic Cinemas will all be showing 10 Things I Hate About You. And although Moonlight Cinema is closed on Valentine’s Day, they’re giving viewers a whole week of romance, ending with Clueless on February 15.
7. See the Burt Bacharach Songbook in Concert
Head to Southern Cross Lawn in the Royal Botanic Gardens to see this special Valentine’s Day performance. The show starts at 7pm, and a series of guest performers are coming together to perform classic hits from this magnificent composer.
Tickets start at $25, and the show will last for about 2 hours and 20 minutes. Learn more here.
8. Enjoy drag bingo at Newmarket Hotel
Grab your gals and your pals and head to to St Kilda for a bit of Drag Bingo. There’ll be fun DJs, plenty of drinks and laughs all around. The doors will open at 6:30pm and the balls will drop at 7:30pm.Learn more here.
9. Put your brains together and try out an escape room
Escape your day-to-day life and enter challenging and thought-provoking scenarios. Grab your crew, 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)?
10. Relax in a spa
You deserve a day of rest, relaxation and luxury. Escape to the iconic Peninsula Hot Springs, go even further and try some amazing spas in regional Victoria, or stay close to home with some of these Melbourne spas.
11. Paint your Ani-mate at Pinot and Picasso
In this special Valentine’s Day edition, you’ll paint your partner in cartoon form. Bring your character to life, and have fun! Take your partner, your friend, or whoever you please, and enjoy this animated session.
This Valentine’s Day session will take place in the Melbourne CBD studio. Learn more here.
12. Go to the Disney + Drive-In
Head to Melbourne Showgrounds and watch The Proposal from the comfort of your car. There will be classic cinema snacks available, like popcorn, and if you’d like a hot meal, you can get it delivered straight to your vehicle. You can also pack your own food to enjoy.
Gates will open at 8pm and the movie will start at 9pm. Find more info here.
13. Forget romance! See an Anti-Valentine’s movie at Cinema Nova
Don’t feel like celebrating love on Valentine’s Day? Think it’s all a corporate sham? Why don’t you head to Cinema Nova, for some… interesting explorations of love. There’s two cool films to choose from, with tickets at only $10. Will you opt for a screening of The Lobster, or Gone Girl?
Learn more about Anti-Valentine’s at Cinema Nova here.
14. Go axe-throwing
Going through a break up? Need to let out some stress? Just not really feeling the romance? Head to Lumber Punks in South Melbourne and channel your inner-Viking. Let it all out by throwing axes, learn the best techniques to nail your target and play some axe throwing games.
Tickets are $45 a person. Find more details here.
15. Indulge in an ice cream festival
Drive out to the chocolateries in either Yarra Valley, Great Ocean Road or Mornington Peninsula for this tasty ice cream festival. There are 144 limited-edition flavours over 12 days. Who knows what interesting flavours you’ll try on Valentine’s Day?
16. Sculpt your loved one in a clay workshop
Head to ARTea Art School in South Melbourne and try this fun pottery class. In this beginner-friendly workshop, you’ll learn how to make your own clay sculpture, and get a little messy along the way! Go with your partner or friend, and loosen up with a signature cocktail.See more details here.
17. 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.
18. Go on a picnic
Did you know that you can picnic on a cliff? If you’re looking for something thrilling, Bright Adventure Company is here to help you seek new heights. Head to Mount Buffalo and be suspended 300m above the floor on your own private ledge.
Or, if you’d rather have a more traditional, ground-level picnic, try one of these picnic places around Melbourne.
19. 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. Or, hit up the Victorian Silo Art Trail and enjoy some cool murals. Go chasing waterfalls and take a nice day trip somewhere. Since it’s summer, you might enjoy looking for some of the best beaches in Australia, right here in Victoria. Whatever you choose, you’ll have a grand time.
20. Watch the Super Bowl in Fed Square
Love a bit of sport? It just so happens that the Super Bowl is playing on Valentine’s Day this year. Head to Fed Square, relax in the summer oasis, and catch the game on the big screen. It will be broadcast live from California from 10:30am.
There will also be free hot dogs, from 12pm while stocks last. There will be both vegetarian and meat options, so no one has to go hungry.
21. Feel like you’re in a Monet painting at Blue Lotus Water Garden
Go strolling around this magical garden, bursting with beautiful flowers and calm lakes. See 40 different ponds, lakes and water features, and admire the world’s most extensive collection of lotus flowers. Have a picnic by the lake, under a romantic pavilion, or try out their café. Then, when you’re ready to cool down, enjoy a scoop of gourmet ice cream.
Check out their website to learn more.