Whenever I date a guy, I think, is this the man that I want my children to spend their weekends with?

– Rita Rudner

Come on guys, we know staying under the sheets with Shapes, pizza and Maltesers is your favourite activity, but it’s time to embrace the outside- after all it is getting warmer (not that it ever really got cold). Plus, most leading relationship experts agree that ‘open communication’ and ‘keeping things interesting‘ are the two pillars of a successful relationship. So, while we can’t force your significant other to crack open like a nut, we can help you create some memories you won’t forget!

The good news is you don’t need to fork out for five star dining or pull a Ryan Serhant and shut down Times Square for an hour- here are some cheap and breezy ideas for Brisbane lovers.

dog on a swing

Knock off at Brisbane Powerhouse

Grab your favourite person and frolic along to the Brisbane Powerhouse, where you can laugh until your cry – and have someone to wipe away the tears. OK I agree too cringe. But, if you’re looking to get to know that special someone, knowing the way they respond to comedy is a must.

In fact, a shared sense of humour is an indicator of relationship success according to Business Insider who state that the couple that laughs together stays together.

Trying to impress that special someone with a first date? Psychology Today found that women are 3x more likely to give their number to a man that makes them laugh. It really is simple, if you can have fun together, your road ahead looks a hell of a lot more fun and harmonious.

If you’re as convinced as we are arrive at the Powerhouse 4pm on Sunday to pick up your tickets for the 5pm show and feel free to check out the Bar Alto (open till late).

kermit the frog

Picnic in Newfarm

I know, I know. A picnic so cliché- but hear us out. It’s BYO friendly! Next to the sparkling (somewhat discolored) river, rose gardens with an abundance of greenery to gawk at; this is a perfect place for a little romantic night. Just grab a blanket, some candles if the wind isn’t too fierce and a bottle of your favourite wine. You could go class with a delightful cheese board, or go snacky with Honey Soy chips and a bar of dairy milk. Or, if you are a cooking connoisseur why not show off your talent with a spread that would leave Gordon Ramsay speechless. What matters is picking a place with the best view, away from the masses, but near enough to soak in the ambiance of the park.

Feel free to pack some games to play, you can’t go wrong with a good Heads Up or some Harry Potter trivia. Better yet, if one of you has a pooch bring it along, for some cuddles. What could possibly be better?

blueberry cheesecake

The Three Monkeys

Talking of BYO, the Three Monkeys is delightful for pizza or an afternoon cake, with a range that would amaze even the harshest critic. With shareable food, and a rustic feel, no wonder Urban List claims it “embodies [the West Ends] ecclectic, diverse charm”

Bring your own wine to keep the cost down and cuddle on the outdoor or indoor seating. With a feature in Must Do Brisbane and the Urban List claiming you haven’t even lived unless you’ve sampled one of their cakes, it’s a must.

Done eating your cake, it’s a short walk to South Bank, where you can end the date walking next to the river, with a sparkling city backdrop.

man kayaking on a sunset

Kayaking on the Brisbane River

We get it, eating and drinking aren’t the only thing couples want to do. Lucky for you there are ways you can experience life- without pilling on the kilos. Riverlife Adventure Centre offers bikes and rollerblades for rent from $20, kayaks from $49 and stand up paddle boarding from $39! Not only is it sure to be a lot of fun but exercising together is widely seen as a way to strengthen your relationship.

We get it, the price is high, but why not splurge for the special person on that special day, from birthdays to anniversaries, this is sure to impress.

If you don’t want to stretch the bank that far, you can do a quick search and see if your community could help you out with a lower fare bike, rollerblades or kayaks, just check out Shimmy (if the website has launched in which case yippee), after all sharing is

man kayaking on a sunset

OpenAir Cinemas with RSPCA dogs

The OpenAir Cinema is definitely a favourite if you want to impress your date! With the latest releases from Aladdin to Yesterday combined with old classics, like the Wizard of OZ. Check out the programme here.

More, on Fridays the RSPCA host what’s called Doggy Dates at the cinema, giving you the chance to pay a pooch for the entire movie, with all proceedings going to RSPCA this is likely to be the best date you’ve had for a while! If you are also a member of the American Express family you get a chance to sit in the premier lounge, hire a complimentary blanket and unlimited popcorn!

So, grab a blanket, some popcorn and arrive early to get your spot!

man kayaking on a sunset

Get some KOALAty time

OK lame pun we know. But, you know what’s not lame? The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, in fact it’s the first and largest Koala Sanctuary in the world. Not only that, it’s adorable: with a Koala nursery, an opportunity to hold a sleeping Koala and the ability to feed the friendliest kangaroos you’ve ever seen.

Into animal conversation? Perfect with a plethora of opportunities to be educated on conservation tactics, this is the perfect place to learn if you and your partners values align.

While entrance can be pricey, at around $34, if you’re a student it can go down to $21 (so DO NOT forget your student card) and if you bring your own lunch and water- even better! Get tickets here.

man kayaking on a sunset

Cake Making Madness

Want to really test your love or even your cooking skills, try to make a cake- not just any cake, a themed cake! Whether you love Harry Potter, Star Wars or Soccer get your skills cracking! In fact, here is a link to a video that shows you how to make, what Tasty is calling the Ultimate chocolate cake.

Don’t have any cake making supplies? That’s alright! While you might not want to break the bank with cake tins, icing pipes and a mixer that can cream butter and sugar like the pros – you can rent anything you need from your well stocked neighbors. Plus, you don’t have to store the surplus after, like the people who actually use their oven more than their toaster.

Don’t have a kitchen at all? Rent someone’s kitchen for a day, and have a peak at what your future cooking life could be. Just log onto Shimmy and see what cooking tools could turn your amateur hands into a magic wand. Just make sure you can agree on a theme and a flavour and get crackin, eggs that is.

Brisbane Markets

Brisbane is home to a plethora of markets that can make any night feel special, with the ambiance of the glowing city on the skyline. Just to name a couple:

The Urban Wine Walk on the 31st July is a self-guided walking tour where you can weave in, out and around the fruity splendor of rich intoxicating wine.

The West End Twilight Markets, called a must do for Brisbane goers, on the 10th August is a place where artists, designers and performers gather to create an unmatched atmosphere of limitless opportunities. A perfect place to get lost between the excitement with someone you love.

With loads more popping up regularly, keep an eye on facebook to keep up to date with all the events and must do events, so that you become the most cultured pair of the lot.

man kayaking on a sunset

Get Musically Talented

Teaching someone something can be a great way to extend trust, vulnerability and create good memories. If you are a whiz at keyboard or guitar- or if neither of you are- this might be a hobby you can bond over for years to come. Whether it is guitar, keyboard, the harp or even the torturous recorder, pick a song, grab an instrument and get singing like a canary.

If you don’t have an instrument- or you are not sure which one to commit to before leaping into a purchase, why not try renting from one of your neighbors with Shimmy? Who knows you might love it so much you get one for yourself!

man kayaking on a sunset

Stop, go outside and watch the stars

Go into your garden with a blanket, or to a local park. Take something hot to drink if it’s still chilly out and just let yourself watch something amazing, without feeling the need to say or do anything. We get a limited number of starry nights in our lifetime, but how many times do we actually look up, and remember how lucky we are to be alive, and more, to be in love.

Whatever you do, remember you only have a certain amount of time to do it, and maybe even less to do it together. So, take every opportunity, and make memories that you can look on for years to come.

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