Forget Dinner and Drinks: 19 Quirky Date Ideas in Melbourne
Looking for some date ideas for Melbourne? Well, it’s a great city for couples, with plenty do see and do – particularly on the more quirky side.
As you most probably know, the whole dinner and a movie (or just simply “drinks”) routine when dating can get tiring, quickly.
If you’re in a relationship, you may want to do something different once in a while, to spice things up.
If you’re single but playing the field, there is only so many times you can go through the routine of let’s-get-to-know-each-other-over-a-drink-or-two before your head feels like it’s going to explode out of boredom.
Most fortunately, there’s a tonne of fun things to do in Melbourne as a couple. Some are more culinary, others are a bit more active. Some options are versed in history and there are those with a sustainable twist.
Here are some fun and quirky date ideas for Melbourne, no matter what your preference or relationship status (ie long-term loving, or single and mingling).
If you’re interested, here’s a massive list of unique things to do in Melbourne.
Take a new class at Laneway Learning
Laneway Learning hosts classes on just about everything you could imagine and more.
There are practical classes, like Spanish for travellers and money management sessions. You can get a bit crafty with terrarium building, embroidery classes and water colouring.
You can brew your own kombucha and learn how to make shortbread.
It can get a little deep, with psychology classes, defeating procrastination …even mindful sexuality, for those wanting to inject a little something something back into their love lives.
A first date may prove to be a bust, but you know how to tango now and that’s something.
Go on a Ghost Tour in Williamstown
Fancy yourself a bit of a ghostbuster? This might be the date activity for you.
The old port town of Williamstown is said to be home to some friendly (and perhaps not so friendly) ghosts.
There are plenty of sites which are reputedly haunted, such as the Timeball Tower and not so surprisingly, the old Morgue.
For $36, you can take a ghost tour in Williamstown to explore some of its spookier sights.
It’ll give you the opportunity to hold hands with your date, if things get a little bit spooky.
Visit an Urban Winery
Victoria is known for its wine regions, but you don’t actually have to leave the city to tour a winery. In fact, you only have to travel as far as East Brunswick.
Noisy Ritual is Melbourne’s first urban winery, which started in 2014 in “Cam’s basement”.
They now offer a range of activities, allowing people to get involved in the wine-making process.
You can tour the winery, have a stomp on some grapes (could serve as couple’s therapy, perhaps?), press the wine into oak barrels or learn the theory behind the wine-making process.
Visit the Astor Theatre for a double feature
The Astor Theatre in St Kilda is one of the most beautiful cinemas in Melbourne (trust me, there’s a few).
It shows the odd new release, but mostly screens the films of yesteryear, often in honour of milestones (like a forty year anniversary), or the release of a new print.
The cinema regularly holds double billings (for example, I watched Alien and Aliens there earlier in the year), which could be a perfect date night for film enthusiasts. Check out the Astor’s calendar here.
…Or head to the Drive-In in Coburg
If you have a car and fancy a little bit more privacy, you can take a trip out to Coburg to see a flick at the Drive In.
You can cuddle up together in the car in the winter, or take some folding chairs or a picnic blanket with you in the summer months. Sessions can end quite late, with some movies starting at 11pm.
I thoroughly recommend heading there on Mondays as tickets are $10 a person, or $25 for a carful. If there’s four of you in a car, you won’t find any cheaper in the city.
Go for a night-time kayak along the Yarra
I often think a city is best seen from the water and Melbourne is no exception.
Turns out, you can take a tour along the Yarra River, right at sunset. As the sky darkens, you’ll see the city come to life.
This kayak tour features a meal of fish and chips for dinner (had whilst seated in the kayak!) and ends right near Federation Square, so you can go out for a bit of a drink and maybe boogie straight after.
Take a cruise down the Maribyrnong River
If you’re not a keen kayaker, but still enjoy the odd boat trip, why not take a cruise down Melbourne’s other great waterway, the Maribyrnong River?
It’s a little bit quieter and lesser-known than the Yarra and will make for a more peaceful day out.
Dine on a train… in the sky
Do you liker burgers? Do you like trains? Well, then you’ll probably enjoy Easeys, where you can drink cocktails and chow down on burgers and hotdogs on an old train that’s been popped on the rooftop of a building in Collingwood.
Bookings are essential.
Have a game of golf… in the dark
A fun activity for a single or group date is a round of mini-golf. Melbourne has a couple of options on hand.
Holey Moley not only features a mini golf course, but has a bar to boot. The course is rather whacky in itself, which will keep you entertained.
Glow Golf is mini golf with a twist – with ten holes of the course played under UV lights.
The venue in Docklands features the smallest bar in Australia, which seats around four people at a time.
Have High Tea in a Castle
For a standard High Tea with a twist, look no further than Overnewton Castle in Keilor.
This 170 year old stately home opens once a month to patrons. Not only is there the option of a High or Devonshire tea… for $15 more you can tour the house and grounds, too.
Overnewton Castle is a unique part of Melbourne’s history and would make for an interesting date, for sure.
Dance to crap music for hours on end
Do you love dancing? Do you love crap music? Well, you’re in the right city, that’s for sure!
No Lights, No Lycra is a free-form dance class.
Patrons turn up in comfortable clothing with water bottles in tow. The lights are low and the expectation is for people to dance, without worrying about what they look like or what other people think.
NLNL is held weekly, in venues around the city.
Crap Music Rave Party is, as the name suggests, a dance party where only the crappest music is played (think 80’s dance, 90’s pop music, 00’s house and such).
DJ Tomás Ford is entertaining to say the least, donning costumes and taking requests from those dancing up a storm on the dance floor.
Unlike NLNL, this event is held every couple of months or so, but if you and your date like to shake your tailfeathers on the d-floor, you’re sure to have a ball.
Take an edible weeds tour
If you have an interest in urban gardening, cooking, or sustainability in general, then this could be a great date idea for you.
This two hour activity takes you along the Merri Creek, where tour leaders Adam and Annie demonstrate which weeds we can forage and add to our meals (and the health benefits of doing so), whilst advising what you should avoid at all costs (such as the very toxic Hemlock!).
Tours are held every couple of weeks and priced at $25.
Spend a night under the stars
There is something romantic about an open night’s sky, but the weather in Melbourne can be a bit hit and miss.
Thank goodness for the Planetarium, where you can watch an out of this world presentation under the domed ceiling.
After each show, there’s a live presentation of the current night sky, with astronomical objects that are visible at the time (such as planets) pointed out.
It’s the perfect activity for budding astronomers, whose view of the night sky is usually obliterated by the city’s bright lights.
Visit an Urban farm
Another great outdoor activity is a visit to the Collingwood Children’s Farm.
Despite what the name suggests, it’s a fun day out for kids and adults alike.
You can brush a cow, cuddle a guinea pig, play with ducks, stroke the noses of horses or just wander the grounds.
After you’re done at the farm, you can check out the nearby Abbotsford Convent and grab a bite to eat at one of the cafés onsite, such as Lentil as Anything.
Try your hand at indoor rock climbing
If you want to show off your bravery and physical prowess to your date, then try your hand at indoor rock climbing.
There’s a team-bonding element within this activity… of that I’m sure.
Ice-skate at Docklands
If heights aren’t really your thing, why not go ice-skating?
There’s an ice-skating rink in Docklands, featuring ‘Tight-Tuesday’, where all adult tickets are priced at $11.
You can hold hands and skate around the rink, pretending you’re in a winter wonderland, whilst ignoring the fact that it’s current 33° Celsius outside.
Feast upon cheese at Milk the Cow
Love cheese? Love wine? Then you’ll adore Milk the Cow, a licensed fromagerie with venues in Carlton and St Kilda.
They have over a hundred cheeses and wine on offer and at least you’ll know if the company is dull, the food will be good.
Work through any relationship issues in The Break Room
Here’s a somewhat novel idea and a good way to let off steam, together.
At The Break Room you put on a “break suit”, pick up a bat and are basically allowed to bash the crap out of everything and anything, within your allocated time period.
This might be a novel idea for anyone just coming out of a relationship, as you’re also allowed to bring in your own items to break and they’ll handle the disposal.
A fine opportunity to rid yourself of that ugly vase your boyfriend’s mother bought you last Christmas.
Located at 29 Budd St, Collingwood
Have a sensory meal at Danslenoir?
Speaking of food, here’s a traditional meal with a twist.
Danslenoir? serve their meals entirely in the dark, with vision-impaired people running the show.
You’re not told what you’re eating before you consume it, which can make for a fun guessing game. Also, navigating cutlery in the dark can turn into an impossible mission, just so you know in advance.
I ate at Danslenoir? in London years ago and am looking forward to giving the new Melbourne venue a go.
The Como, South Yarra
If you have any suggestions of quirky date ideas in Melbourne, I’d love to hear about them in the comments. I’m always looking for fun things to do in the city, which I can drag my long-suffering boyfriend along to.
Other posts about Melbourne
Looking for the best neighbourhood to stay in Melbourne? Here are 7 options.
Looking for somewhere quirky to stay? Try the NOTEL – a collection of airstream trailers on a carpark roof in the CBD.
You can easily travel out to one of the state’s most popular sights the Twelve Apostles in a day.
Thinking of moving to Melbourne? Here’s what to expect.
See the rest of my Australian archives here.
Pin me, baby, one more time.
Please note: All prices are in $AUD.