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Alphabet Dating in Canberra: A, B, C

Beatrice Smith

Date nights getting a little boring with the same old movie and dinner routine? In a city bustling with events, festivals and institutional attractions you would think there’d be plenty to keep you occupied without doing the same thing over and over again.

There’s a new trend emerging – Alphabet Dating – encouraging you and your partner to take turns tailoring a ‘date day’ (or night) for the two of you that is themed with a letter, working your way through the alphabet. Your partner will know the date and time of the date as well as the letter, however the challenge is to take turns to surprise each other with activities.

For example, Krissy will plan dates A, C, E while Peter will plan dates B, D, F and so on. Krissy will know that Peter is planning their ‘B date’ for Saturday at 10am but won’t know what they’re doing until the day.

So we thought why not use this as a way to showcase the best of Canberra’s activities and attractions for couples. The catch?  We wanted everyone to feel inspired so we’ve included our suggestions for Alphabet Mate Dates too. The Mate Dates are low budget and most have kid-friendly options too!

Here are our suggestions for Alphabet Dates A through C…



Surprise Date

What to tell them to bring: Covered walking shoes, warm layers + a change of nice clothes

11-12.30pm Spend a morning at the Canberra Archery Club and see who can hit the bullseye first. You can book a beginner’s class here. Cost is $15 per person.

1pm Drive into Braddon to Autolyse on Lonsdale Street and purchase two of their classic deli sandwiches made with their amazing fresh sourdough. Grab a couple of macarons or an almond croissant for good measure. Around $25 for two people.

2pm Drive up to the Arboretum (Weston Creek), eat your picnic under the trees and spend the afternoon walking the trails. Free.

6pm Finish off the day with a dinner at A Baker (New Acton) and a cocktail in their basement speakeasy. See if the bartender can mix you an Appletini or order aperitifs for you and your partner. Around $80.

Mate Date (kid-friendly)

What to bring: walking shoes, warm jacket. Insulated bag or picnic basked with ice brick. Sunscreen.

10am If you’re based on the northside or willing to travel over there, buy picnic supplies at the Ainslie IGA. They have an amazing deli selection of cheeses and meats as well as fresh sourdough from Bread Nerds or Autolyse. Alternatively you can pick up these items from any other deli store. Pop the items in the insulated bag. Around $20 for two people or $30 with kids.

11am Spend your morning looking at some of the best Australian Art at the National Portrait Gallery and/or the National Gallery of Australia. Free.

1pm Drive to the Arboretum and have a picnic in the sun. Spend the afternoon walking the trails. Eat your deli picnic lunch somewhere quiet. If you have kids in tow you can visit the Pod Playground and then pop in for some Afternoon Tea at the Spout Café. Arboretum entry is free, afternoon tea will cost from $4-$10 per person.

Alternatively you can meet your friend at the Arboretum in the afternoon and then go for dinner…

Asian cuisine is the obvious choice, especially if you’ve got kids in tow or are sticking to a budget. Civic and Dickson have the most diverse ranges so you can park then decide. The Dickson Asian Noodle House, i-Pho, Tu Do and Griffith Vietnamese all great choices and will suit residents of any suburb. $12-$20 per person.


Surprise Date

What to tell them to bring: Warm athletic clothes

3pm Hire bikes from Mr. Spokes (New Acton) or bring your own bikes. Spend the afternoon cycling around the lake, stopping in for afternoon tea at the Portrait Gallery (Barton). Free with your own bikes or $25 per adult for bike rental.

6pm Drive to Brodburger on the Kingston Foreshore and choose from their famous range of burgers. It’s a popular place so bring some cards to pass the time when waiting for your food or choose from their selection of boardgames. Around $50.

8pm Drive over to the Westside Container Village in New Acton to visit Canberra’s newest bar, Aviary, open Thursday-Sunday from 12pm-10pm. Order a beer or a Bellini. Around $30.

Mate Date (kid friendly)

What to bring: Warm athletic clothes

10am Start with Brunch at Bicicletta in New Acton. Around $20 per person.

12pm After fuelling up on eggs with bacon and baby spinach, head down to the lake where you can rent bicycles from Mr. Spokes or even grab a Pedal Car, which is great fun with kids. Free with your own bikes or $25-$75 for bike rental.


6pm If dinner is more your style you can head over to Bistro Nguyen in Civic for some steaming Pho or Herbal Duck Noodle Soup. Around $20 per person.

8pm From there you can head to get a beer at Bentspoke in Braddon. Around $10 per person.


Surprise Date

6pm Start with some excellent Chinese food at CBD Dumpling House. Our favourites are the pork friend dumplings and the duck san choy bow. Around $40.

7.30pm Nip across the city to see a film at Palace Cinema in New Acton. After you buy your tickets you can walk through to their Proscecco Bar where you can purchase a glass of champagne or a coffee for the movie. Around $50 for tickets and drinks.

8pm After the movie you can wander out to Max Brenner (also in the Nishi building) for a hot chocolate or even a chocolate fondue with sliced strawberries. Somewhere between $4 to $20.

Mate Date

Ideal night: Tuesday night

6pm Head to Soju Girl for $10 curry on Tuesday or Wednesday night served beautifully with rice and salad. Alternatively you could go to Chong Co in for some delicious Thai who very conveniently have locations in Belconnen, Gungahlin, Civic, Kingston and Woden. $10-$25 per person. 

7.30pm If you’re southside head to Limelight Cinemas at the Tuggeranong Hyperdome for $11.50 adult tickets everyday or $7.50 adult tickets on a Tuesday night. If you’re northside, Dendy Cinemas have $11 adult tickets every Tuesday night and $14 adult tickets normally. $7.50-$14 per person.  

The next instalment of HerCanberra’s Alphabet Dating series (E through G) will be coming soon! 


Beatrice Smith

Bea loves that her job as HerCanberra’s Online Editor involves eating, drinking and interviewing people - sometimes simultaneously. The master of HerCanberra’s publishing schedule, she’s usually found hunched over a huge calendar muttering to herself about content balance. Otherwise, you’ll find her at the movies or ordering a cheese board. More about the Author

  • Hayley O’Neill

    Absolutely love this idea for dating with the bf or friend! I can’t wait to see the rest of the letters/ideas. Thanks HC

  • Ashleigh

    This is fantastic, thanks so much for including some single lady options too!

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