Looking for a great date idea? We’ve unearthed 10 fun and unusual date ideas in and around Johannesburg.
1. CityROCK, Randburg
R230 (for gear and entry), cityrock.co.za
Climbing together is a great active date. Start off by booking an Intro Course (R240) and learn the ropes of how to climb. If, like me, you loved it, you’ll find yourself craving more and pushing harder to try new climbs and different level routes (each colour ‘rock’ represents a different level of difficulty). You have to trust your partner totally to keep you safe and have the freedom to climb, which is great for bonding. Plus, it’s sure to stir up some healthy competition between the two of you.
2. Pretville, Hartbeespoort
R60 per person, pretville.co.za
This small 60s-Americana-themed town is perfect for snapping selfies with your other half. Originally a movie set, there are rooms and scenes set up all over with old cars and plenty of antiques thrown in too. Wander around, grab a milkshake from the very pink diner and be sure to watch a movie in the old theatre while you’re there. It’s normally an Afrikaans movie, but there are subtitles. Open on weekends and public holidays only.
3. Free Joburg Walking Tour, Braamfontein
Starting at Park Station, this free walking tour is a great way to get to know the CBD. Choose to roam Braamfontein (15:30 every day) or the City Centre Tour (at 10:30 and 13:00 every day). You’ll take in the large open-air museum in the corporate mining district, see historical landmarks, such as the Chancellor House where Mandela worked as a lawyer in his younger days, the Beautiful Victorian Style Post Office or the buzzing Diagonal Street where you can buy your partner a corn on the cob or grab a beer in the old bar after the tour. (Just know, that even though it is free, a tip is normally granted at the end of the tour).
4. Copperlake Pub Crawl, Fourways
R180 per person, webtickets.co.za
If you’d rather get to know each other over a drink or five, why not get social on this party bus pub crawl. Every Friday the party bus departs from Copperlake Brewery in Broadacres at 18:30 and it stops at three of Fourways’ favourite craft pubs until 01:00, so you can hop on and off at any time. The price includes a complimentary Copperlake Beer and Cooler onboard and stops at Beerhouse and Hogshead in Douglasdale.
5. Gin Tasting, Maboneng
R150 per person, timeanchor.co.za
While we’re on the subject of drinks, why not learn a little something while you do it? Only open on Saturdays and Sundays, tour The Tasting Room at Time Anchor Distillery and see how the grain-based spirits are made. People attending the tasting will arrive and be seated, get an introduction to Time Anchor Distillery followed by tasting of up to three of their Craft Gins. This is followed by a craft cocktail or G&T and a further discussion around the fascinating world of craft distilleries.
6. Go for a ride in a sidecar
R1650 per couple, uralsidecartours.co.za
This is a great way of seeing the countryside. Head out to the Cradle of Humankind and soak up some sunshine from the saddle of a vintage motorbike. There’s a rug to pop over your knees and the ‘chauffeur’ wears a pair of old-school goggles to protect his eyes from the wind and dust. The Cradle day tour takes about five hours and includes a buffet breakfast. You can tweak this countryside ride to add stops such as Maropeng or the Sterkfontein Caves to your tour too.
7. Or take a tuk-tuk
From R20 per km for local trips, e-tuktuk.co.za
Going on a dinner date? How about skipping the average Uber ride and opt for something a little more exotic instead? The brightly coloured vessels of e-tuktuk is now on hand to whisk you about town and they go as far as Parkhurst, Greenside and to Park Station in the inner city. They are also more eco-friendly and fuel efficient.
Also read: The ultimate guide to Melville
8. Hartbeespoort Cable Car, Hartbeespoort
R195 per person, hartiescableway.co.za
I must admit, I never made a big effort to go up this cable car, but when I finally found myself doing it, the views really did impress and lunch from this vantage point is pretty perfect. The cable car provides panoramic views of the Magaliesberg and the dam and, if it’s your birthday, entry is free.
9. Freakshakes, Parkhurst
From R89, craft.co.za
Want an excuse to get closer? Treat yo’selves to a decadent milkshake that’s best shared. Choose from three creations: a pink candy-filled strawberry shake topped with candy floss, a Belgian chocolate overdose topped with roasted marshmallows and the salted caramel delight filled with creme brûlée.
Also read: We test 10 of the best bakeries in JHB
10. Rooftop Salsa, Maboneng
R50 per person, find them on Facebook
Every Sunday from 3-7pm at 28 Auret Street near Maboneng you can salsa with pros. There’s a great mix of regulars – young and old folks, locals and foreigners. The atmosphere is great and the Afro-Cuban tunes will have you both swinging. Expect impromptu dance lessons, line dances and the perfect way to kiss the weekend goodbye.
BONUS: Fondue Nights at Flames
R395 per person,fourseasonsevents.co.za
The Westcliff has three kinds of fondue to dip into this winter. The classic cheese is delectable (the sauce is thick with good wine and herby flavours) and best for vegetarians, then there are two more unusual options available; the seafood-based Chinese fondue with prawns and Norwegian salmon and the Canivore fondue with sides that are cooked in a clear kind of soup. It’s decadent dining experience and one best ended with thick Belgian hot chocolate with toasted marshmellows afterwards (R90). Be sure to soak up the sunset before dining with a romantic walk up the Westcliff Steps.
The Westcliff Winter fondues will run until 31 July, Thursday to Sunday from 4-7pm. Reservations are essential.