34 date nights under $50

So, you’ve got a pineapple burning a hole in your wallet and a hot date who’s looking for fun. What’s a guy or gal to do? Don’t work yourself into a frenzy thinking of the perfect date – give these 34 date night ideas a whirl. Keep your phone handy, you’ll be expecting a call-back.  

1. Challenge your golfing skills (or lack thereof) at Victoria Park

Victoria Park Putt Putt

Work your way through the 18-hole putt putt course where you’ll be treated to spectacular views of Brisbane City as the sun goes down – how romantic. The rocky terrain throws you some curve-balls – think water and sand traps, and a swinging pole, just to keep it interesting. Stop by the 19th hole before you leave. Need more golfing options? Try one of these courses. 

Cost: Adults $19pp, students $16pp 

2. Strike!

Bring back childhood memories with a game of bowling at Strike Wintergarden. This classic date always ensures fun will be had. If you’ve been there, done that, give the adrenaline-packed laser tag experience a try. Duck and weave your way around a replica airport, featuring a flight bridge, lounge and control tower. 

Cost: $18pp one game bowling, $18 two games laser tag

3. Scale to new heights

Rocksports

Experience a whole new level of trust with your partner as you clamber your way up a wall at Urban Rock Climbing, Rocksports or Crank Indoor Climbing. And best of all, no experience is necessary.
 
Cost: From $17

4. Adventure sports at Riverlife

Hire a couple of bicycles, rollerblades or scooters from Riverlife to experience the meandering Brisbane River all the way from Kangaroo Point to South Bank by following along the Clem Jones Promenade. 

Cost: Bike 1.5h $20pp, Rollerblades 1.5h $25pp, Scooters & Kick Bikes 1.5h $20pp

5. Explore New Farm

Brisbane Powerhouse Jan Power's Markets

The Jan Power’s Markets are on every Saturday at the Powerhouse from 6am-noon. Why not take your delicious treats to nearby New Farm Park for a riverside picnic, followed by a visit to the Brisbane Powerhouse to soak up the latest art exhibition.
 
Cost: A few bucks for baked goods

6. Laugh your head off

Knockoff

A good giggle need not cost you an arm and a leg, so head to the Brisbane Powerhouse every Friday from 6pm for Knockoff – one hour of free comedy by a variety of local and national comedians. Stop by onsite Bar Alto for drinks with unspoilt river views to wrap up (or kick start!) your Friday night. 

Cost: Depending on your drop of choice, about $10 per glass of wine.

7. Bust out a classic move

Picnics will always be romantic for the guy or girl who appreciates a no-fuss date. Gather some local cheese, salads and a bottle of wine from The Stores and take it down to Orleigh Park in West End. Don’t forget the rug! Want to create the ultimate picnic experience? Find out how here.

Cost: As little or as much as you want! 

8. Explore the Brisbane River on two wheels

Graeme Wilson's CityCycle adventure

Jump on one of the many CityCycle bikes that dot the city for a cruise around the river’s edge. Brisbane’s bike paths offer scenic views with plenty of Instagram-worthy stops along the way. Put your foot to the pedal – check out this list of paths to get you going. 

Cost: $2 per day (just be sure to dock your bike every 30 minutes before taking off again)

9. A date for the foodie

Beccofino Pizza

Arguably the best pizza this side of Italy, Beccofino’s prosciutto pizza with added rocket is perfect to share. Across the road at La Marcellaria, the seemingly never-ending list of gelato flavours may be a difficult choice, but no matter what you choose, expect greatness. Head off for a walk along the Brisbane Riverwalk towards the city where you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the Story Bridge. Get your hands on more Italian here

Cost: Pizza $25 Gelato x2 $9

10. Music by the river

River Quay

Roll out your picnic rug at South Bank’s River Quay for laid-back Sunday Sessions on the Green. This area is licensed, so bring a bottle of your favourite vino with a bite to eat and enjoy the tunes of Brisbane’s best musicians every Sunday from 2-5pm. 

Cost: Free

11. Cheap city eats

Papparich

Brisbane City has some affordable restaurants that don’t skimp on big flavour. Try Miss Kay’s for your burger fix, Kotobuki for top-notch Japanese (order the Lion King roll), or Fat Noodle for a warming bowl of beef Pho. Head off on foot to explore the CBD – a stroll through the City Botanic Gardens is a must. Looking for more ideas? We’ve got 36 up our sleeve

Cost: From $10pp

12. Sink it like it’s hot at Fat Louie’s 

This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it bar in the CBD is suitably dark while allowing you to show your competitive side with a game of pool. If you’ve got a decent set of pipes on you, or are just feeling ultra-brave, give karaoke a blast. 

Cost: $5.50 basics or $3.50 during happy hour from 5-7pm. A game of pool is $14 after 5pm.

13. Serious brunching in Paddington

Shouk

Locals of Paddo know a good brunch spot when they see it. Simply walk up and down Given and La Trobe Terraces for a plethora of options. Our picks? Middle Eastern-inspired Shouk for the baked eggs or roast pumpkin and haloumi with poached eggs, Paddington Deli and Epicerie for the signature gluten-free sweetcorn and coriander fritters, or Chocolate Orange for moreish homemade baked treats. 

Cost: $20-25pp

14. Dating a film buff? 

Ain’t nobody got time for $20 movie tickets. Lucky for us, the awesome folks at Cineplex have kept prices low so you can continue to do the standard dinner and movies date on the cheap #classic. Catch the latest blockbuster flick at Bulimba before heading to Sushi Mura for the Lion King, Yummy or Spider special roll. 

Cost: $8.50pp for a movie ticket, $10 for a roll

15. How much pizza and pasta can you eat?

The Boomtown Rats sang that they don’t like Mondays, but that’s probably because they didn’t have all you can eat pizza and pasta at Gianni’s Kitchen. With any drink purchased, from 5.30-9.30pm you can demonstrate that your eyes are too big for your belly for just $20pp. Mondays are your new favourite date night. 

Cost: $20pp 

16. Ginger’s to the left, Lefty’s to the right

Lefty's Old Time Music Hall

Falling somewhere between San Francisco and Seoul circa 1969, Ginger’s is where you’d expect to see Hawkeye sitting at the bar with a bowl of wasabi peas 'n' nuts. Step out onto Caxton St and wander next door to Lefty’s, where whiskey apples are the signature drink and live music will keep you dancing till the wee hours. Let the good times roll.

Cost: Make the most of the daily specials at Ginger’s – think $1 Korean dumplings with every drink purchased. A whiskey apple will set you back $8.50. 

17. Ain’t no mountain high enough

Mt Barney National Park

A 16km hike over nine hours at 1351m above sea level? Challenge accepted. Lace up your most comfortable runners for a day spent climbing some of the most challenging mountains around Brisbane (don’t worry, there’s easy ones around for us mere mortals). 

Cost: Free

18. Hit the trails

Couple walk through D'Aguilar National Park

If the sound of climbing mountains has you weak at the knees (and not in a good way) then try some of these walks and hikes near Brisbane. You’ll be rewarded with some outstanding views and not just of the scenery. 

Cost: Free

19. All you can eat in one street

Yes, you read that right. All of the food, in one handy location. Eat Street Markets have been going from strength to strength since opening at Northshore Hamilton in November 2013. It’s the perfect place to grab a few bites to share and you’ll no doubt be back to sample all the stalls you missed. Check out our guide so you don’t miss the good stuff. 

Cost: $2.50pp entry + $10-20pp for food

20. Chase waterfalls together

O'Reilly's bush walk Moran Falls

Perfect for when the weather heats up, Brisbane’s nearby waterfalls, lakes and water holes are waiting to be explored. A lakeside picnic is the order of the day, or hike through lush rainforests to discover cascading waterfalls. 

Cost: Free

21. Be spontaneous! 

Not sure where to go next? Why not give these day trip ideas a try. You could be beach bums one day and museum nerds the next – the choice is yours. 

Cost: Varies depending on the activity

22. Get cultured

Couple view Aboriginal art collection at GOMA

Art galleries may not be to all tastes, but if you don’t take it too seriously, they can be a great date idea. Catch world-class art exhibitions at QAGOMA followed by lunch at the Queensland Art Gallery Cafe, GOMA Restaurant or cafe bistro. Find more galleries to get lost in here

Cost: Free entry to the galleries + $20pp for lunch

23. Have car, will travel

Couple view Redlands from a headland

Escape to the country where the air is clearer and the grass is greener. We’ve got 23 scenic drives for you to take. Nothing tests the strength of a relationship more than a road trip. You’ve been warned. 

Cost: Fuel

24. Head back to basics

Camping trips are the ultimate way to get to know your other half. Roll up the swag, pack the billy and pitch a tent at one of these spots for a weekend away to get in touch with nature. 

Cost: Free

25. Extra cute and cuddly

Daisy Hill Koala Centre

Get up close with the adorable koalas at the Daisy Hill Koala Centre, then head around the corner to the Chung Tian Temple for a walk around the gardens, temple, art gallery and tearoom. If you've seen one too many koalas, try these wildlife parks, zoos and farms instead. Read: alpaca picnic. 

Cost: Free

26. The Swedes have it

Ikea

Get lost in IKEA. This will test even the strongest relationships – it’s either make or break. Swing by the restaurant for the iconic Swedish meatballs. Just don’t blow the budget on candles or pick 'n' mix lollies at the exit. 

Cost: Meatballs $8 + whatever must-have items you can find ($2 mugs for sure)

27. Get fishy 

Feel the salty air in your hair as you stroll hand-in-hand along the Manly foreshore. Pick up some fresh wrapped fish and chips (and a few cheeky scallops) from Barramundi Boys in Manly. 

Cost: $35 for the picnic pack (including cod, prawn cutlets, scallops, calamari, chips and salad)

28. Buena vistas

Sunrise at Mt Coot-tha

Walk (or drive) up to Mt Coot-tha or Mt Gravatt to enjoy a magical sunrise or sunset. What’s more cute than that? 

Cost: Free

29. Jump, for my love 

BOUNCEinc

Bounce – it’s your backyard trampoline on steroids with over 100 interconnected tramps with circus-grade padding, giant air bags and springs. Have a laugh while doing a great cardio workout. We know exercise releases endorphins, and endorphins make you happy, so get jumping.

Cost: $16pp for first-time jumpers, $11 per session thereafter

30. Tourist Brisbane

When was the last time you cruised down the river on a CityCat? Alight at South Bank and go for a dip at Streets Beach – it’s quieter in the evenings. Swing by Mister Fitz afterwards for an ice-cream sandwich.

Cost: About $3 with a go card (more on-peak), $5.60 for a two-hour, two-zone paper ticket. Ice-cream sandwich $8.

31. You spin me right round, baby

Wheel of Brisbane, South Bank

Ride the Wheel of Brisbane. Do it. Just once. 

Cost: $19pp

32. Bookworms

Avid Reader

Be the cute couple you know you are and buy each other a book from Avid Reader in West End. Get lost in your own little nook in the onsite cafe. 

Cost: About $25pp for a book and coffee

33. Rock out to live tunes

The Foundry

Brisbane’s live music scene is constantly evolving with bars and dedicated music venues regularly hosting local and international artists. No matter what you and your date’s genre, there’s an intimate bar or pumping venue for you. 

Cost: Cover charges vary depending on the venue and artist playing

34. You heard it on the grapevine

Wine therapy at Grape Therapy is everything you need in life. Offering nothing but the best wine, fine cheeses and artisan cold cut meats, discover your new favourite drop in the city or Fortitude Valley bars on your next date. Bonus – takeaway options are available. 

Cost: $20-25 for a takeaway bottle, or the same for two glasses each at the bar.

More impressive date ideas