Fall in love with budget-friendly Brisbane date ideas

From first dates to soulmates, solo dates to budding bromances - the pressure to celebrate Valentine's Day in just the right way can leave the best of us stumped and wondering how much money our proclamations of love will cost. But celebrating love on Friday 14 February (or any day) doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg with these cringe-free ideas for things to see and do as you fall in love around Brisbane.

Love on the big screen

If it's a Hollywood romance you seek, enjoy a movie under the stars at our Outdoor Cinema in the Suburbs. Bring your own picnic basket, or treat yourself to dinner from the food stalls onsite. Nothing says 'sweetheart' quite like seeing a film in the park at night. Alternatively, take it off-screen and on-stage at a performance of The Love Inn - a never-before-seen music and dance fusion spectacular set to storm the stage at QUTs The Block, as part of BrisAsia Festival 2020.

A picture paints a thousand words

If your partner or love interest is an art lover, surprise them with a night stroll along our public art trails. Set out in the early evening for a 2.4-kilometre walk (or cycle using a CityCycle or your own bikes) along the Art and the River Public Art Trail - head along Kangaroo Point boardwalk from the Maritime Museum to Thornton Street ferry terminal. Pack a picnic so you can detour to the top of the Kangaroo Point Cliffs and take in one of Brisbane's most romantic views of the city skyline as you refuel. Bonus points if you time your walk to coincide with the sunset!

Alternatively, take a leisurely jaunt through Brisbane's laneways, making time to spot the curious and imaginative street art in our Outdoor Gallery. Let lightboxes and original banner artworks in laneways and city streets spark colourful conversations as you meander through laneways and their bars and restaurants from Fish Lane in South Brisbane to Howard Smith Wharves.

Bloomin' marvellous

If your mate loves all things floral, skip the bouquet and take them right to the source with a guided walk through either the City Botanic Gardens or Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha.

A trip to Mt Coot-tha will keep you busy all day long with the new free shuttle service making it easy to hop from the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha to Mt Coot-tha Lookout, and back to the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium for a  stargazing show.

Switch the speed and slow it down with a romantic walk after work through the City Botanic Gardens where you can be enchanted by soft bud-lighting in the trees. Earn extra brownie points for bringing a picnic with a gourmet basket of delights!

Turn back time

History lovers will appreciate your forethought with a tour up Brisbane City Hall's Clock Tower. Enjoy a sweet treat at one of Brisbane City's bustling cafes to make it a date. Hungry for more history? Plan a date around one of our 18 heritage trails. Roam the romantic riverside as you explore the new Breakfast Creek to Bretts Wharf Heritage Trail finishing up with a tipple or taste of local eats along the way.

Take your love to the water

Treat the king or queen of your heart to a river cruise on the new double-decker CityCat as you enjoy a date travelling up or down the river.

Let the glittering city lights play a supporting role in your romantic night out. Start at South Bank Parklands for drinks and entrees, jump back on board and lean in for a cosy cuddle as you cruise beneath the Story Bridge, bound for New Farm Park for mains, and leave dessert for a trip to Bulimba or Eat Street Northshore. Bellisimo!

From sunrise to sunset

The simplest gestures make the longest lasting memories. What better way to share this special day than with your loved one watching the sunrise over Brisbane? Make your way with a fresh coffee and croissant (or acai bowl) to the Mt Coot-tha Lookout, or to lesser-known lookouts at Wilson Outlook Reserve, New Farm or Mount Gravatt Outlook, Mt Gravatt to soak up the colours as the city awakes. For a front-row view, try Moora Park and Shorncliffe Pier, before strolling hand-in-hand along Lovers Walk towards Sandgate.

Or if you're a pair of night owls, start your romantic evening with dusk-coloured views and a sunset picnic at Highgate Hill Park, get lost in love in the vine maze at Everton Park's Teralba Park or take your love to new heights on a tree-top skywalk in Calamvale District Park.

Find your sweat-heart

If you and your date are fitness fanatics, start your Valentine's Day with an exercise-induced endorphin rush at one of Council's 150 parks with outdoor exercise equipment. Cheer each other through a circuit of static equipment for chin-ups, sit-ups and step-ups and interactive cardio and resistance machines.

Take your love to the next level with a hike through Mt Coot-tha Forest - our city's largest natural area. View the track map to choose from short and sweet tracks like the 1.9 kilometre Summit Track, or longer hikes perfect for a deep and meaningful discussion like the 2.8 kilometre Eugenia Track.

Of course, keeping it simple with a bike around town on a CityCycle (or on your own bikes), will let you explore at a casual pace and find new places together.

Love to learn

Are you a budding romance writer? It's Library Lovers' Day on Valentine's Day. Learn how to write a romance at a Brisbane Square Library workshop from 6-7.30pm. There are hundreds of free and low-cost workshops held across Brisbane, including drawing classes, sustainability workshops, author talks and more.

Related links

Date posted:
Last updated:10 February 2020
Topics: things to do