So you’ve survived the awkward banter phase of early days dating (be it online or in person), now it’s time to impress that potentially special someone IRL. A scary thought we know, but here are 10 ideas that’ll hopefully set you apart from the hungry pack of right-swiping wolves you’re competing with!
Unleash your competitive side at Palace Arcade
The true test of any burgeoning relationship is to unleash your inner competitive monster… right? With three locations to choose from in Northbridge, Freo and Vic Park, Palace Arcade is the perfect place to facilitate a bit of light-hearted competition. These arcades slash bars slash pizzerias are jam-packed with retro games to test your skills – slice in hand, show your date who the real pinball wizard is.
84 Beaufort Street, Northbridge
774 Albany Highway, Victoria Park
96 High Street, Fremantle
Upskill with a workshop at Stackwood
Stackwood always has a pretty exciting roster of workshops, so why not head to the warehouse on your next date? Upcoming workshops include ceramics with Sally from Deep Earth Ceramics, seasonal bouquets with Dirt House, or embroidery basics with artist Carla Adams. We’re always optimists, but… if it doesn’t work out with your beloved, you’ll at least have learnt a new skill.
10 Stack Street, Fremantle
Turn up the heat with a cooking class at Salt & Company
On a first date, sitting in a fancy restaurant across the table from someone, those silences can feel pretty deafening. But if you’re busy cooking, there’s no time to feel awkward! Salt & Company run frequent courses in almost every type of cuisine imaginable: from a Sri Lankan banquet, to Japanese izakaya, to South American street food, to northern Italian… we’ve barely scratched the surface! Plus, there’s heaps of plant-based courses that don’t compromise on flavour.
If you want to make a deep-dive into an ingredient and you’re in it for the long haul (in miso and in love), keep an eye on the Food Ritual instagram for one of their sought-after miso making masterclasses. Let’s hope the relationship lasts longer than the fermentation…
Warehouse 1, 239 Fitzgerald Street, West Perth
DIY a beer tasting
What’s not to love about a few beers at home? We reckon Mane Liquor is the craft beer mecca of Perth, packed to the brim with everything that’s quirky, unusual and hard to find. Whether you love an IPA, a wintery stout or a refreshing gose, you can find a new favourite here – plus they’ve got heaps of wine and spirits, too. Pick up a selection of cans for you and your date to try, and create your own DIY tasting paddle in your backyard – you can get down to brass tacks about the nuances of a saison versus a sour. If you’re not so into beer, there are heaps of amazing boutique bottle shops across Perth to pick up something to wet your whistle.
237 Great Eastern Highway, Belmont
3/392 Scarborough Beach Road, Osborne Park
Pack a gourmet picnic for the park
Obviously we’re pretty food-motivated, but what’s better to bring people together than breaking bread? Browse the shelves at one of our favourite gourmet delis or cheesemongers and figure out how each of you feel about gorgonzola. Most, including long-time favourites North Street Store or Little Sister Delicatessen (pictured), will even make a little selection for you if you’d prefer to grab and go (just give them a buzz in advance).
Get highbrow with some art
All this talk of food, what about feeding your mind?! Have a wander through one of Perth’s countless amazing art galleries and flex your big brain muscle. “Wow, that motif sure is compelling!”, “Gosh, this piece really has some metaphors!” – we can’t do all the hard work for you, but it’s a start. We love PICA, not just for its program of boundary-pushing contemporary art, but also its proximity to neighbouring Picabar. What can we say, we’re creatures of habit.
PICA: Perth Cultural Centre, 51 James Street, Northbridge
Wander through WA Museum Boola Bardip
Seeing as you’re in the Cultural Centre, you may as well check out Boola Bardip. The museum’s redevelopment has become the jewel of the precinct, with world-class collections in a stunning building that merges old and new. And what’s more romantic than taking a stroll under a ginormous blue whale skeleton?
Perth Cultural Centre, 51 James Street, Northbridge
Fruit salad, yummy yummy!
If you’re craving a bit of the outdoors, a day trip out for some fruit picking is a delightful way to spend an afternoon. There are plenty of orchards and farms just outside of the city, with fruits for every season. Kien’s Strawberry Farm is open from September to December for your strawberry picking needs. S&R Orchard has seasonal festivals throughout the year – including a September Blossom Festival that showcases the orchard in full bloom, while the Fruit Corner in Pickering Brook has a next-level rotation of seasons that includes apples, plums, tomatoes, capsicum, paprika, pumpkins and even jalapeños to really spice things up. We reckon that’s a good opportunity to put those cooking lessons to the test…
Take things to the next level… By climbing there
Get those endorphins pumping with a bit of physical activity on your date… the G rated kind. See how your date problem solves with some rock climbing – Australia’s biggest venue, Rockface has over 26 rope climbs plus a bouldering wall for you to challenge yourself with, no matter your ability level. Canning Vale’s Iris Boulders is open til 10 every weeknight with a barista and bar on-site to make it date-level fun.
Rockface: 7B Ledgar Road, Balcatta
Iris Boulders: 13 Tacoma Circuit, Canning Vale
Gaze into the stars (and each other’s eyes) at Perth Observatory
Whether you’re a science buff or an astrology nerd, there isn’t anything more romantic for two lovebirds than gazing up at the stars. Located in Bickley just a short 25km out of the city, there’s plenty of night tour options, head to their website for more info.
337 Walnut Road, Bickley
Header image: Palace Arcade