Oh, first dates. Let’s be honest, they’re terrifying and always end up more awkward than not. Lucky for us, Sydney offers a slew of brilliant first date ideas that don’t just involve dinner and a movie. So calm your nerves if you’re planning your first date, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re after a sunset spot or a whole hidden beach to yourself, here are a few brilliant date ideas that won’t disappoint.
1. Hit an amusement park
For an evening packed with fun, games and activities head to an amusement park. The chances of getting bored are incredibly slim and it’s a great way to reveal your true personality. There is also very little pressure to take yourselves too seriously and you don’t have to dress to impress either. It’s a win-win in every way.
Sydney’s iconic Luna Park offers unlimited rides and themed events throughout the year. If you’re feeling extra adventurous try out their main attractions — The Big Dipper and The Sledgehammer. After all, fear does historically bring people closer.
2. Head to a rooftop bar with all the views
Sydney’s rooftop bars are hyped for a reason. They offer excellent ambience along with inventive drinks and views for days. Head to Lady Banks Rooftop Bar for a cosy night by a freestanding fireplace and sprawling views of the Blue Mountains or make your way to this super cool 80’s resort-style rooftop bar by Philter Brewing.
Even the State Library has recently opened a sparkling rooftop bar with a secret entry that allows you to walk through secret corners of the library. It’s the ideal first date idea.
3. Head to Golden Age Cinema & Bar for a touch of old world romance
Hidden away under the heritage-listed Paramount House building in Surry Hills, the Golden Age Cinema & Bar is a staple for film lovers in Sydney. It also makes for an exceptional first date spot owing to it’s charming art deco and cosy underground vibes. The Golden Age also has a number of classics playing like Roman Holiday and Before Sunrise and you can’t really go wrong with those. Grab a cheese board to share and a cocktail or two to complete your evening at the Golden Age bar.
While watching a movie is not the best way to get to know someone, it does offer a fuss free evening and makes for an affordable first date idea.
Check out what’s playing now and book your tickets before they sell out.
4. Get your LOL’s on at a comedy night
Taking your date to a comedy night shows that you have a sense of humour and have made an effort into planning the evening. A laugh out loud comedy night can help you bond over joyous laughter and it won’t burn a hole in your pocket either.
Check out some of Sydney’s finest comedy clubs for all the giggles.
5. Enjoy a picnic with a view
A picnic makes for a cute first date idea, especially when your city offers exceptional views like Sydney does. Pack a little basket and head over to The Observatory Hill for a birds eye view of the city or head down to Wendy’s Secret Garden for a leafy spot all to yourself. If you want to put in a little extra effort, you could head down to Cockatoo Island and make a day of it. The options are endless and the scenery along with good food is bound to stimulate good conversations. P.S, make sure you check the weather app before you head out!
Check out our list of best picnic spots around the city and start planning.
6. Escape the crowds and head to a hidden beach
The beach makes for an excellent first date idea especially when the weather is nice and balmy. It’s also romantic without being too pushy and outdoorsy without being too strenuous. Plus when your city offers some of the best beaches in the world, it only makes sense to take advantage of them. But you can take it up a notch and find yourselves a secluded beach, hidden away from the city. A few to try: Chinamans Beach in Mosman, Milk Beach in Vaucluse, Reef Beach in Balgowlah and Shelly Beach in Manly.
Head to these gorgeous Sydney beaches for your first, second or hundreth date. We guarantee you won’t get bored.
7. Enjoy exclusive after-hours access at an art gallery or museum
First dates in an art gallery or a museum are an absolute revelation. Hear me out. Art galleries encourage both conversation and silence so you can talk as much or as little as you like without any pressure. They’re also brilliant places to explore and learn and if you’re an art enthusiast, they give you a chance to show off. Even better, they’re affordable and low key.
You can switch things up a bit by heading to an art gallery after hours. Escape the crowds and have a cosy time at the Australian Museum with free exhibitions, live music and a pop up bar or head down to the Powerhouse Museum for a mix of art and music related events.
8. Get away from the city and go stargazing in the Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains are always a great idea. Known for it’s soaring sandstone ridges and lush bushland, Sydney’s vicinity to the World Heritage Site makes it an ideal first date adventure.
With it’s expansive and dramatic scenery, gorgeous waterfalls, cosy villages and tons of laidback café’s, the Blue Mountains provide you with ample options for a memorable time. You could also embark on a starry night adventure and learn more about the universe with a guided tour.
9. Hunker down in the Grounds of Alexandria
The Grounds of Alexandria remain one of Sydney’s crowning glories. With it’s carefully curated themes, The Grounds can transport you to another time, be it in the streets of Marrakesh or to a gorgeous hidden garden. It’s a true sanctuary without having to go too far from the city.
Grab a cuppa at The Cafe or enjoy a meal at The Potting Shed. Get your date some fresh blooms from The Grounds Florals By Silva or get up close and personal with the local animals at The Farm. The Grounds offers a creative, fun and slightly OTT first date which you won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
10. Sip cocktails in a hidden bar
Getting a drink is a popular date activity and for good reason. It takes the edge off and allows you to loosen up. It also doesn’t get much cosier than a hidden bar. Finding a snug, warm space, unbeknownst to others is a brilliant start to a first date. Couple that with a buzzing atmosphere and a top notch menu and you’re good to go.
A few to try: The Baxter Inn for all the jazz and vintage vibes, Old Mate’s Place for a candlelit setting and Earl’s Juke Joint for a charming and laidback New Orleans-style atmosphere.