The standard dinner on Valentine's day can seriously drain your wallet without being particularly inspired. Instead treat your Valentine to something truly memorable this year - without having to take out a loan to do so.
Take a 40 minute drive away from the city lights to gaze up at our galaxy through the telescopes at the Perth Observatory. Valentine's Day coincides with the Moonlight viewing sessions, with the lunar surface, star clusters and bright nebulae visible. If you're feeling particularly flush, you can also spoil your sweetheart by adopting a star in their name, with prices starting from $285.
Valentine's Day Champagne Concert When: 3pm, Sunday 17th February 2013 Where: State Library Theatre, State Library of Western Australia Cost: $30 standard, $28 concession, $15 student
Spend a relaxed Sunday afternoon with your Valentine listening to Italian classical music and enjoying a complimentary glass of champagne as part of the third annual Valentine's Day Champagne Concert run by Cappuccino Concerts. This isn't a stuffy performance, but rather invites couples to enjoy some romantic songs in a more comfortable and open environment. If you get in before the 1st February, you can save a few dollars by becoming a Cappuccino Concerts Friend, which entitles you to free entry to this event plus discounts on future Cappuccino Concert performances.
Would your Valentine love to feed breakfast to the monkeys? Paint with the elephants? Get up close to a crocodile? One way of making Valentine's Day truly memorable is with a Close Encounter at Perth Zoo. Make a day of it, marvel over the animals and enjoy your lunch in the beautiful zoo gardens. In doing so, you also support the zoo and its conservation efforts globally. The cost is highly variable depending on the experience of your choice, from $5pp to feed the giraffes from the Savannah Outlook Tower up to $880 to be a Keeper for the day in the African Savannah. Where possible, I'd recommend booking ahead.
Ballet at the Quarry
When: 8pm-10pm, Friday 8th February 2013-Saturday 2nd March 2013
Where: Quarry Amphitheatre, Reabold Hill, Floreat
Cost: A reserve tickets $65, B reserve tickets $49
Bring along some cushions, a picnic and a bottle of wine and cosy up under the night sky for an evening of ballet at the Quarry. See the premiere season of "Jubilate" from Daniel Roberts and "Yes, I'll move for you" by Cass Mortimer Eipper, plus the West Australian premiere of "Voluntaries" by Glen Tetley. With performances on the 14th, 15th and 16th of February, there's something to suit most schedules.
When: 8pm, Thursday 14th February 2013
Where: Connections, 81 James Street, Northbridge
Cost: Free 18 + and over event
Fancy something a little more cheeky? Join some of Perth's favourite drag queens for a naughty night of bingo, with plenty of prizes and even some free pizza up for grabs. It's a little camp with a lot of laughter. Stay on afterwards and join the disco floor at Connections nightclub for some pop music classics. While Bingay is a free event, I'd recommend contacting them ahead of time to reserve your spot by phoning 9328 1870 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Luna Outdoor Cinema
When: 8:15pm (doors open 7pm) Thursday 14th February 2013
Where: Luna Outdoor Cinema, 155 Oxford Street, Leederville
Cost: Standard $17, concession $13
Pull up a beanbag with your special someone and enjoy the romantic comedy "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" at Luna's intimate outdoor theatre. Make sure you get there early in order to enjoy some home-made rocky road, ice cream, Blue Cow Cheese company tastings and wine by Brad & Mantra Wine. To make the night extra special, declare your affections through a short message which may be screened before the movie – just purchase your ticket and email your text to Luna before 8th February.