With temperatures rapidly dipping in Sydney, now's the perfect time to dial up the romance and plan some fun dates that will keep your love life afloat this winter. What better way to melt away those cold-weather blues than spending time with your significant other?
If you're stuck for ideas, here are 5 date night suggestions for couples in Sydney.
Vivid is one of Sydney's most anticipated events every year and this year is no different. Make it a night to remember by booking into one of the restaurants within the vicinity to kick start your date night with dazzling views. For a stunning close up look of the Opera House's sails, you can't go wrong with cocktails and oysters at Opera Bar. For dramatic views of the Harbour Bridge and Luna Park, indulge in the ultimate fine dining experience at Altitude Restaurant. Perched on level 36 at The Rocks' Shangri-La Hotel, this is your go-to if you want to seriously impress. After dinner, make a beeline for the I LOVE YOU installation, a giant heart that changes colour when you scream those exact words at it. It doesn't get more romantic than that.
TIP: Vivid runs from 27 May to 18 June 2016 this year, so make sure you lock in a time to marvel at the lights before it's too late. Avoid Fridays and weekends when crowds are chaotic and families with children are out and about.
In New York, no winter visit is complete without lacing up the skates and twirling away at The Rink at Rockefeller Center. Replicate the romance of this iconic experience in Sydney and book an old school ice skating date at Macquarie Ice Rink. Head there on a Friday for Disco Night and skate to the latest pop and dance beats, while enjoying the spectacular laser show and smoke machine. There may be no Christmas tree hanging from above or winter snow, but it'll definitely be a night to remember. Don't worry if you're not good at skating. Simply bundle up in warm winter gear, hold onto each other and bond over the cheesy music. Finish your night together with a cup of hot chocolate for an extra dose of warmth and romance.
TIP: Dates don't have to break the bank. If you're on a budget, Macquarie Ice Rink also offers Cheap Skate Monday deals where you can experience all the fun of a normal skate session at a discounted rate.
Too cold to venture out? No problem. Transform your lounge or bedroom into a romantic home cinema and prepare for a cosy night in. Bring out the cushions and blankets, light some candles, and make sure your Netflix account is good to go. Cook dinner together beforehand or simply order take out. Have some marshmallows and chocolate handy to make s'mores for desserts or even share a tub of your favourite ice cream. Opt to pick a movie each or indulge in some classic bingeing. Who wouldn't connect over Game of Thrones and House of Cards?
TIP: If this is still early in the dating stage, ensure your house/room is nice and clean. Nothing turns off romance more than a messy room with last night's leftovers still lingering and a week's worth of laundry piled up. If you're pressed for time, turn to emergency helpers and hire a cleaner from Airtasker to get things sorted for you.
Never had a chance to explore your own backyard? Sydney is a dynamic city with so much to offer. Make a list of all the places you and your significant other have never had a chance to visit or properly enjoy, and go on a staycation adventure together over one weekend. Take a leisurely stroll at the Royal Botanic Gardens and pack your own picnic for lunch. Hop on a ferry to enjoy sweeping views of the harbour. For art and culture lovers, check out the latest exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, followed by a play at the Sydney Theatre Company. Stay at The Old Clare Hotel, one of Chippendale's latest hot spots. Make a reservation at the acclaimed Kensington Street Social (just below the hotel) for a culinary affair to be remembered.
TIP: Subscribe to what's-on guides and websites to get the latest updates on events in Sydney. For local deals on activities, hotels and restaurants, look to sites like Scoopon to be in the loop on special offers and discounts.
If you and your other half love a little competition, why not plan a day that's full of it? Of course, don't let the competitiveness get in the way of fun. Start your day with a round of Putt Putt at Thornleigh Golf Centre, where you can pick from two 18-hole mini golf courses. Then move on to a classic round of bowling at Kingpin Bowling Darling Harbour, or try a game of pool and billiards. After dinner, head home for Scrabble or any other board games to wrap up the night. Keep score throughout the day and see how you fare against each other. For early daters, this is a great way to get to know each other, and for long-time love birds, nothing gets the sparks flying like fun harmless competition.
TIP: If doing all of the above isn't feasible (it can get exxy), opt for games at home. This is viable if you have a PlayStation or WII console.