The term "date night" can relate to couples in all stages of relationships - from two people who have just met and are going out on that ever-important first date, to couples who have been together for decades and want to go out for a quality evening together to talk and connect. For new parents, the sacred "date night" can also be the only time when couples get to really talk, as life gets busier and finishing a conversation is often difficult. Of course going to a restaurant and enjoying good food and conversation is a popular idea, however there are also some more creative options around the city - if you want to do something a little outside the box. Perhaps you want to break the ice with a new date, or maybe you want to surprise your partner with something new that neither of you have ever done before. The following are 5 ideas which would create a memorable evening for two - for this Saturday night, Valentines Day or whenever you can fit in the next "date night". Keep an open mind - you may discover somewhere you thought you would never want to go to, but end up loving it this much...
Spend a romantic night at the footy - with just you and thousands of other Raiders fans! Source: Canberra Raiders Facebook
At the time of writing, Summer is coming to a close and the Winter sports are on their way. The GIO Stadium in Bruce will be hosting Brumbies games (rugby union) and Canberra Raiders games (rugby league) on Saturday evenings, kicking off around 7:30pm. Although it may not sound very romantic, couples can watch the game huddled under a blanket and cheer on their favourite team together. If AFL is more your interest, watch a high-action game at Manuka Oval and enjoy sharing a common interest together. Another option is to rug up even warmer and go to the Phillip Ice Skating Centre to watch the Canberra Braves ice hockey team take on interstate rivals, starting in April. There are sporting events held all year around in Canberra - check the NSW/ ACT Ticketek Sports website for details of upcoming games and events.
Cuddle up and cheer on the Canberra Braves! Image: Original photos from CBR Braves Facebook. Photo credit: Paul Furness Photography
Hippo Co bar and jazz venue in the city host Thursday and Saturday night Whiskey Tasting Classes, for those who want to learn more about this traditional spirit. Even if you don't like whiskey, or have never tasted it before, Hippo Co's resident whiskey expert will cater the tastings to your prefererred flavours and make a convert out of you in no time! Hippo Co have more than 250 whiskeys on their back bar, from all around the world. The cost is $60 per person and includes a cheese platter to cleanse your pallet between tastings. They also offer Old and Rare Whiskey Tasting and Cocktail Masterclasses at other times of the year. If you would prefer to create your own date night at Hippo Co, there are jazz nights on Wednesday nights to enjoy with a whiskey or cocktail. See here for details.
Learn something new together at Hippo Co. Image: Original photos from Hippo Co Facebook
If you and your partner work well together as a team and enjoy a challenge, why not check out one of Canberra's Escape Rooms for a night to remember in the Capital. If you haven't heard of the idea before, an "Escape Room" is a physical adventure game in which players are locked in a room and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles and escape within a set time limit. All three Escape Rooms in Canberra - Escape Room Canberra, Expedition Escape Rooms and Riddle Room Canberra - all have games for two people for around $40 each. It is cheaper with the more people that you do it with, however many couples prefer to do the experience on their own and challenge themselves to get out. This date is sure to be a talking point for many more dates to come!
Happy duos who have escaped from Escape Room Canberra. Image: Original photos from Escape Room Canberra Facebook
This date night idea may be stretching it for some, especially for those who aren't particularly co ordinated (like myself!), however this idea is a lot of fun for couples to try something new and attempt to master a new skill together. Skate Nation is Canberra's only roller skating rink and they often host Friday Night Roller Discos for all ages, with a DJ on hand to mix retro tunes and get everyone up on their feet - hopefully! If you love the music from the 80's, why not give it a try and hold onto each other, or the wall, for support until you can move in a forward direction. This is a fun night for couples who are young, or young at heart. Who knows - if you get the hang of it, you could be rollerblading together on the next date night! See the Skate Nation Facebook for the next disco event.
Challenge yourselves and have a laugh at Skate Nation. Image: Original photos from Skate Nation Facebook
Around Canberra, there are a host of night tours that involve rugging up in Winter and cosying up together to stay warm, whilst exploring somewhere new. If you like to be spooked, Tim The Yowie Man offers night tours around the city's landmarks and across the border in Queanbeyan, Mysterious Queanbeyan by Moonlight Tours explores the local cemetries and other locations to tell the story of Queanbeyan's ghostly past. Alternatively, if you and your partner love nature and animals, Tidbinbilla Nature Park west of the city offer Saturday night Tidbinbilla After Dark Tours, twice a month as part of their Explore Program. Mulligans Flat, north of the city, also offer Twilight Tours of their nature reserve, to see endangered nocturnal animals by night. After the tours, why not warm up at a local dessert cafe with a hot chocolate or share a decadent dessert together, to finish off the night.
Explore somewhere new on a Night Tour. Mulligans Flat Twilight Tours. Source: Mulligans Flat website