Six months ago we said goodbye to the LA traffic and all our beloved family and friends. On April 24th we arrived in a new city, started new jobs (and a new job search for me), met new friends, and opened our lives to new experiences down under. Despite the exciting thrills of this new adventure, we’ve had our share of home sick moments. While longing for our friends, family, dogs, pink berry, Trader Joe’s, and sunshine we have also found new favorites in Melbourne.
Back in LA, Joe and I noticed that work-life, friends, and family commitments were taking over our once prioritized “alone time”, so we introduced a monthly date night, alternating months on who takes charge of the planning. Date night is usually a surprise, and can’t be overruled by that Brady Bunch favorite “something suddenly came up” excuse.
Our date night routine took a slight detour in our transition to Melbourne. But now that our only excuse not to go out and explore the city is that, “sorry, I’m lame today” our date nighting tooshies are on the prowl again. The only limitation… our budget challenge. Everything has to be under $100 unless otherwise previously approved (by the other half).
With a city with so much to offer, the possibilities are endless. Six months in to our stay here, we’ve been able to discover a few fun (and on a budget) date nights Melbourne has to offer:
Location: Number 8, South Bank – Crown Casino
Activity: Dinner and walk along the boardwalk
GTK: The South Bank fire balls go off every hour on the hour plus a great view of the city from the other side of the Yarra River.
Location: The Night Cat , Fitzroy
Activity: Live music and dancing
Cost: Free entry! $100 to spend on cocktails and appetizers
GTK: Limited seating available. Arrive early to score a spot on the comfy (yet grody) couch.
Month: June (date day)
Location: The Hardware Societe and Royal Botanical Gardens, CBD
Activity: Delicious brunch and Botanical Gardens walk
Cost: $50 for coffee, killer atmosphere, and tastebud tantalizing brunch, Free garden discover walk!
GTK: The garden walks operates on a different timetable each month, check out their calendar for up to date events.
Location: Red Bennies, South Yarra
Activity: Burlesque Night
Cost: $19 (living social deal for burlesque night + two drinks), $75 (pizza and champagne)
GTK: The night ends with lots of dancing, bring your dancing shoes.
Location: The Comedy Club at the Athenaeum Theatre
Activity: Comedy Show
Cost: $90 for dinner and show for 2 – we paid $45
GTK: The entertainment book has a 50% off deal. Book in advance if you want dinner too.
Planner: Joe and Ivette (we share our anniversary month)
Location: Ezard, CBD
Activity: 8 course tasting menu
Cost: $300 (waaaay over our date night budget, but worth the splurge for a special occasion)
GTK: Don’t eat for about a week in preparation for this feast.
Location: Romantic and secluded lake at the Royal Botanical Gardens
Activity: Picnic in the rain
Cost: $20 for some vino and nibbles from our pantry
GTK: Don’t trust the Melbourne weather forecast. Always bring an umbrella!
Bonus Aussie 6 month Anniversary Date Night: October 24
Location: Our balcony
Activity: Grilling on the barbie
Cost: $25 for salmon and veggies, $35 for some Moet Chandon bubbles
GTK: 6 months in… so far so good.
6 months down… 18 more to go!