The best date ideas in Auckland that aren’t dinner and a movie
Let us hear you say love. Whether it’s your first date or your 100th date, a little thought is all it takes, especially in the midst of the pandemonium we find ourselves in today.
After months of being locked out of dinner in front of Netflix, dinner and a movie are more likely to trigger PTSD than romance. Luckily, there are plenty of awesome alternative date ideas in Auckland to entice your SOs.
Here are 16 date ideas in Auckland that aren’t dinner and a movie.
Putt for love
Nothing is as sexy as a loved one trying to hit a little neon ball with a club. Holey Moley is a multi-sensory mini-golf maze where you can putt your way, serenade your sweetheart with karaoke, and whisper sweet nothings to each other while sipping Smirnoff Sugar Caddies. Who knows, if your swing is catchy enough, you might end up scoring more than a hole-in-one…
Dazzle your loved one with a night of drag realness at Caluzzi, Auckland’s legendary drag queen cabaret show. Belonging to drag royalty Anita Wiglet and Kita Mean (winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under), you’ll be served hilarity, fabulous costumes and a delicious dinner, and after that? Sashay down the road to the Family Bar and keep the party going.
Take your love to new heights
The sky tower
If seeing your SO(s) makes your heart soar, Yoga in the Sky might be the perfect date (or rather, date day) to celebrate your love. 186 meters in the air, you can emerge from savasana feeling virtuous, then refuel with one of Tāmaki Makaurau’s best brunches. Bottle of BYO drink and lots of “I’m 186 meters in the air with an amazing 360 view of the sunrise but it’s you that takes my breath away.” (You’re welcome.)
Brain teaser on some… uh… brain teasers
Love conquers all, but can your love survive losing a game of Monopoly? Check out (or don’t) in Cakes n Ladders’ enviable game library. With games for single player and beyond, this place is the perfect night out for solos (because if you can’t love yourself, how on earth are you going to love someone else?), couples, double dating and polyamorous relationships.
Sniff until you cry
Avenue of the Lower Grays
It’s not what you think. Snort is Basement Theater’s signature late-night improv show and it’s pretty damn good, not to mention impressive. The rotating cast, including Chris Parker, Alice Sneddon, Tom Sainsbury, Guy Montgomery, Laura Daniel, Rose Matafeo, Tom Clarke, Hamish Parkinson, Nic Sampson and many more, are sure to have you screaming. After all, if you didn’t laugh together until one of you got wet, is that really love? (Available only in orange and green light settings.)
Every Sunday evening, Viva Dance Studio organizes a Sunday Social from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Try your hand at (or should we say feet?) salsa, bachata, zouk and kizomba and get your hips moving. If you’re not sure about getting down to earth, why not sign up for a beginner’s class together? Cute.
Enter a world without limits
Pause so you don’t get lost in Bae’s eyes and instead get lost in a world of bright lights and a maze of mirrors. Odyssey Sensory Maze is the perfect getaway getaway, and the lights lend themselves to intriguing photo art so you can proclaim your love all over the ‘Gram (if you’re into that).
All that work from home with awkward setups could make you look like human pretzels (and not in a fun way), so an ultimate care package isn’t just a smash-worthy thought, it’s practically a health and safety requirement. Luckily, Auckland is blessed with options when it comes to places that offer an incredibly good massage.
Run away to the circus
If there was a magic potion for the perfect date night, it would probably be bumper cars, a dancing machine, fortune telling and a circus-themed bar. Fortunately, Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq has all of the above and more. This has got to be one of the most fun nights out in Auckland.
Of course, we’re talking about doing some carpentry together… what were you thinking? You’ll experience relationship #goals when you proudly show off the loveseat (or table or birdhouse) you’ve handcrafted. Hackland is a makerspace with everything from 3D printers and robot arms to laser cutters and sewing machines. They’re open to the public every Thursday, so you can go there and figure out what you’ll need to do what your heart desires.
Save the cheerleader, save the world
Do you think you are the ultimate in duo, thrupple or polyamory? You may have found your way into each other’s hearts, but can you get out of the room? Put your communication and code-breaking skills to the test in an escape room. Here’s our pick of the best escape rooms in Auckland, and many of them offer online rooms if you’re not quite ready to reintegrate into the world just yet.
Bring out your inner beast
If this is your first date, consider signing up for a BodyFX workshop ahead of time and let the pros transform you with elaborate makeup and prosthetics so you can experience your own episode of Sexy Beasts from Netflix. Alternatively, you might like to book a workshop together to learn face painting, special effects, body art, airbrushing, sculpting or makeup – not only will it be a fun and super unique date, but you’ll be a couple of total power at your next fancy dress party.
Live out that lumberjack (or lumberjack) fantasy
Take your lover to Sweet Ax for a really good time. Whether you’re a seasoned ax thrower or new to the ax, you’ll be fully supported by the skillful axes. Before you know it, you’ll be signing up for the league, coming up with a double punny name, and planning cute outfits to match.
Treat yourself to oral pleasures
And by that, we most certainly mean tequila. Mexico’s Tequila Tasting Boards feature a shot of Blanco, Reposado, and Anejo tequila so you and your beau(s) can experience a range of subtle flavors, which you know will be fantastic with tacos. They also do a Mezcal tasting board for the adventurers.
For a creative date, Auckland’s favorite wine and paint festival, Paintvine, is sure to please. These fun events take place in some of Tamaki Makaurau’s best parks and bars – we especially love the “paint after dark” paint party – and are completely non-judgmental and no artistic experience necessary. The best piece? At the end of the night, you’ll walk away with a beautiful or hilarious painting to keep forever (or burn up spectacularly if your relationship goes down the drain).
Have a good time
Speaking of jaw-dropping love, so is a haunted house full of terror, so it makes sense to combine the two with a date night at Spookers. Let’s be honest: a surprise date with an adrenaline-pumping “hell on earth” is 100% the most romantic thing you can do for someone you love. Show you care by creating a bespoke evening choosing from Haunted House, Woods, Disturbance and Fog, or sign up for all four.
When the stars align
There’s nothing more romantic than a star-studded night sky, so if you really want to woo, gather your love’s favorite snacks (or a Meez Shake Meal Pack), take them to the one of those great places to stargaze and treat them. to a moonlit picnic. Want to impress with your knowledge of the night sky? Head to “Our Night Sky” at the Stardome first, to catch up on it.
Want to up the ante with a multi-night dating experience? Take your loved ones on one of these romantic getaways around Auckland.
Image credit: Kirsten Winegeart, Basement Theatre, Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq, Sweet Ax Throwing.