Looking to spice up date night (without breaking the bank)?
Let’s face it, dating can cause a serious hit to the bank account. From finding the perfect outfit to impress your crush to sipping your way through rounds of drinks at the hottest new wine bars around the city, throwing down some serious cash is almost expected. But, we’ve got a better idea. If you’re looking to impress that special someone, here’s our guide to the best date ideas that won’t cost you a cent. Seriously.
Get cultured with a dose of contemporary art
Meeting up with a hot new date (or your significant other) doesn’t have to mean just dinner and drinks. Show your cultured side and organise a trip to one of Sydney’s free contemporary art galleries. From the weird and wonderful world of contemporary Asian art at Chippendale’s White Rabbit Gallery to The Rock’s waterfront Museum of Contemporary Art, discover the best emerging artistic talent locally and abroad with a day wandering the corridors of these inspiring (and free) gallery spaces.
Have a picnic in the Royal Botanic Gardens
Sometimes splurging on a fine dining degustation menu is the way to win over someone’s heart. In some cases, grabbing a picnic basket, a bottle of wine and a swag of cheese and bread is all you need to get sparks flying. If you’re looking to take to the outdoors, head for the Royal Botanic Gardens with a picnic basket in hand for a romantic (free) date idea with a side of sparkling water views.
Break a sweat at a boot camp-style fitness class
This next suggestion might sound a little extreme, but hear us out. Because there’s no better way of getting to know someone than by hitting the gym together. But if you want to save the excessive fitness club fees, head along to Live Life Get Active’s free boot camp sessions. Since launching in 2013, these classes have been held in The Domain every weekday from 12:30 pm. Expect one-hour sessions featuring everything from boxing to cross-training, with all classes designed to get your blood pumping.
Listen to live music with a view at Opera Bar
Share a love to live music with your special someone? Don’t let the hefty cost of seeing a gig stop you from having a boogie. Head to Opera Bar every evening to hear local and international acts take the stage, providing the perfect soundtrack to a leisurely afternoon at this iconic waterfront. With new acts playing each day, you’ll want to swing by to take advantage of this free entertainment offering. To see the upcoming line-up of talent, click here.
Dive below the surface and get snorkeling at Shelly Beach
Experience the best of one of Sydney’s best small coves with your date at Manly’s Shelly Beach. Nestled in Cabbage Tree Bay, this beach is the only west-facing beach on the eastern coast of Australia making it the perfect protected environment for snorkeling. Strap on the flippers and goggles and take a peek below the surface to discover what unique sealife is hidden below. Spend the rest of your day relaxing on the sand or hosting a beach BBQ to complete this coastal-free date experience.
Snack on all the free samples at Carriageworks Farmers Market
The best bit about foodie markets? Free samples. And what better way to spend a morning date than with that special someone at Eveleigh’s favourite fresh food market? Carriageworks Farmers Market has become an institution of sorts, showcasing the best growers and producers from around NSW. From gourmet cheeses to new season fruit and freshly baked pastries, sample it all without paying at cent every Saturday morning from 8am to 1pm.
Find your flow at a free yoga class
If you’re looking for a relaxing date idea that’ll get you moving, this could be the perfect pick for you. Skip forking out for a class and get thrifty by exploring Sydney’s selection of one-off free yoga classes. From community sessions at boutique yoga studios to pop-up events by the beach, these bargain-friendly classes are the perfect way for beginners to experienced yogis to find their flow.
Let your inner kid run wild at Luna Park
Thrill-seekers, this next one is for you. Get ready for a day at Sydney’s favourite theme park. Psst… did you know everyone can get free entry to Luna Park? Seriously. Weave your way through amusement games and rides galore with the Harbour Bridge providing the perfect backdrop for an adventurous date. Although ride tickets aren’t free, book ahead online to nab yourself and your date a discount.
Try your hand at a free pub trivia night
Let your competitive streak shine with a night at your local pub’s free trivia night. Test your knowledge and battle it out with your date to see who comes out with bragging rights. Head to Darlinghurst’s Darlo Bar every Tuesday from 7pm or Surry Hill’s Dove & Olive every Tuesday from 7pm.
Experience an astronomy lesson at Sydney Observatory
Spending a night staring up at the stars is about as romantic as dates get. But don’t stop at just admiring these sparkling wonders. Grab your date and head to Sydney Observatory for an evening learning about the constellations and stars that light up our night sky. The best bit? You won’t have to pay a cent to head along for a free self-guided visit.
Explore the Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk
It might be one of Sydney’s most popular (and Instagrammable) walking trails, but don’t let that stop you from tagging along. Wander your way along one of the city’s most spectacular coastlines as you make your way from the sandy shores of Bondi Beach to the finish line at Bronte. Tackle the whole 4km walk (1.5 hours) or stop along at one of the many viewing platforms to capture the moment.
Explore Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden
Tucked away in leafy Lavendar Bay you’ll find a tranquil oasis perfect for your next date night. It’s one of Sydney’s best-kept secrets, situated on the edge of the water to set the scene for a dreamy date experience. Wander through these lush landscaped gardens and soak in the beauty of the outdoors with that special someone.