Dublin: 11 °C Thursday 1 December, 2022

14 dates you can go on in Ireland that are absolutely free

All of these date ideas are so much fun and won’t cost you a cent.

IT’S NOT HARD to come up with ideas for dates when you’re swimming in cash. But when you’re absolutely skint, what can you do?

Well, step this way for some date ideas that are absolutely free:

1. Follow the trail of one of your favourite films

Commitments-Film-Stills-2 Source: Alanparker

Many a great movie was shot in every corner of Ireland, and you can find out its location and visit the places where it was made. The Irish Film Board has an interactive map of the more famous ones, but there is a whole trail dedicated to film locations on the west coast.

Find your local one and make it a great afternoon date (just don’t try to sing The Commitments too much during it).

2. Get adventurous with the wonderful Geocaching app

map1 Source: https://www.geocaching.com

The Geocaching app is a game that pinpoints positions around the country of little boxes with things in there to find and record. It’s basically a modern-day treasure hunt using an app and GPS to make your way around. It’s such a fun, and free, way to spend the day together. Check where a cache is near you and go out there and find it.

3. Cynically review buskers together

Untitled Source: DubRoss

Go to whatever street buskers are usually on and listen away. If they are really, really good then you’ve got an enjoyable experience for a date afternoon. If they’re not so good, cynically review their performance like you both know what you’re talking about. “Oh, his guitar is just a little off there.”

4. Go for a refreshing swim… in the sea

People in sea Source: cpettit2007

As we know, Ireland is not blessed with hot weather all year round (actually, even in summer it will not be hot) so now is as good a time as any to take a trip to the sea for a swim. People do it all year round, even at Christmas, so you can do it now and bond over how insanely cold/refreshing it is.

Who is brave enough to go in first?

5. Organise a GAMES NIGHT

Jenga! Source: Ashley MacKinnon

This is probably best organised with a group of friends, but a one-on-one game of Jenga wouldn’t be the worst idea.

Warning, it might get slightly competitive.

6. Start planning your next holiday*

Swings above the boardwalk Source: joiseyshowaa

Holidays cost a lot of money, obviously. But planning them just requires an internet connection and some imagination. Even just thinking about your next holiday can be exciting, so why not use a midweek date night to plan one together.

*this is one for the couples out there. Perhaps not the best idea to throw this out on a first date ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

7. Check out the local farmer’s market

Farmers' Market Meeting House Square Source: infomatique

These are all over the country, and are a great way to cruise around and check out some of the finest local food on offer in your area. Here’s a comprehensive list where and when they are around Ireland. Bond romantically over your shared love of… artisan cheese.

8. Go and play frisbee somewhere

Frisbee dog Source: Paul L Dineen

It’s the universal sport – the king of afternoon activities. Even if you’re not great, it’s still an absolute laugh. Most other sports probably wouldn’t be all that fun to play on a date any way, and frisbee can give an oddly satisfying experience when the thing finally flies straight. 

9. Build an epic blanket fort

088 Source: Dear, max

This will require all your architectural skill and structural planning. You put the blanket between two seats and there you have it. Blanket fort heaven.

Everything is better in a FORT.

10. Have a karaoke night at home

Karaoke Source: edenpictures

Get a karaoke app and pick out the songs for the other person. If you don’t want to die of mortification singing in front of one person, invite friends over. Who doesn’t like embarrassing themselves in front of their closest friends?

11. Go to the beach all year round

Annestown Beach - HDR Source: freestock.ca ♡ dare to share beauty

Some people have a misconception that beaches are just for the summer time – that one day of the year where you can get a tan. This is so wrong, as beaches in the spring and even winter have a windswept beauty that is perfect for a date. Wrap up warm and have a stroll along the sea.

12. Get a little cultural at the museum

National Museum of Ireland (Archaeology) Source: Jude Doyland

All the National Museums of Ireland are free and show you the history, nature and culture of Ireland through the ages. They’re a really great date destination – and it’ll make you feel like you’re learning something as well.

13. Do somebody close to you a massive favour by offering to babysit

Babysitting the girls (21 of 22) Source: rabbipedro

Yes, babysitting can be a chore, we all know it.

But if you make it into a movie date night then suddenly it becomes less of a chore and makes you look like the most generous person ever by taking the babysitting burden off a good friend or relative. Also, unlimited fridge privileges will usually be conferred upon you, so go mad.

14. Cycle somewhere, anywhere, together

day 322 Source: Aurelian Săndulescu (:

Pick a place, make sure it’s not lashing out and have a leisurely cycle somewhere for the afternoon. Reward yourself with a pint* when you reach your destination.

*pints will certainly not be free :( – but everything else is.

Enjoy the weekend! Have we missed any excellent free dates out of the list? Let us know in the comments.

More 9 dating tips all Irish people will understand>

More 11 of the best pubs in Dublin for a first date>

About the author:

David Elkin

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