Mini golf is a low-pressure, fun first date, and at 16,000 square feet (1,486.4 square metres), Rainforest Adventure Golf in Dundrum is a perfect venue. It’s indoors, so the ever-changeable Irish weather won’t be an issue. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week, so it’s suitable for both day dates and evening meetups. And it’s reasonably priced – one round of either the ‘Mayan’ or ‘Aztec’ trail costs €9 per adult, while both courses can be taken on for €14.50.
Happenings organises spontaneous outdoor cultural events in Dublin, like outdoor film screenings and yoga in the park. Although their events are typically only publicised 48 hours ahead of time, some seasonal gatherings are scheduled with more notice, such as open-air screenings of In America and Sing Street taking place for St. Patrick’s Day 2017. If there’s no Happenings event coming up, try the Light House cinema’s Event Cinema programme. They regularly broadcast live international screenings of dance, theatre and art events. Even better, you can your bring drinks from their bar into the theatre.
If you want to try something a little different, food lovers will appreciate a date that takes in a Delicious Dublin Tour. Taking place every Saturday from 10:45 a.m., these 3.5-hour tours lead you through the best of Dublin’s foodie locales, with eight tastings and short talks by industry experts at several stopping points. Led by Ketty Elizabeth, aka the blogger behind French Foodie in Dublin, they provide an insider’s guide to dining in the city.
The Science Gallery, aka the public science centre at Trinity College, is sure to spark curiosity and conversation on any date. Their current exhibition, Humans Need Not Apply, explores notions of human obsolesce in the face of enhanced automation through exhibits like a Tickle Salon – a ‘robotic installation based on the concept of an automated caress’ – and a project that considers how humans project emotions onto automatons.
One of the largest parks in a European capital city, Phoenix Park has plenty to offer those seeking a laid-back date location. On a warm day, feeding the ducks and sunbathing by one of the ornamental lakes in the People’s Gardens is a relaxed option, as is taking a walk through the grasslands in search of some of the roughly 400 fallow deer that live in the park. Alternatively, there’s Dublin Zoo, or you can take a guided segway tour for a lesson in the history of the area. On Saturdays, free guided tours of the President’s residence, Áras an Uachtaráin, are also available.
Dublin Bay is an ideal setting for kitesurfing, and a beginner’s lesson makes for an unforgettable date. Pure Magic in Clontarf offers a beginner’s course of four three-hour sessions – creating the impetus for a second, third and fourth rendezvous – the first of which covers launching and landing a trainer kite, accompanied by an assistant. A bonding experience, this is a perfect date for adrenaline junkies.
Pure Magic, 370 Clontarf Rd, Clontarf, Dublin 3, Ireland, +353 1 805 4912
If kitesurfing is a little too adventurous, Dublin’s fabulous coastline can still be taken advantage of with a boat trip from Howth to Ireland’s Eye island. Boats run from the East Pier to the island at regular intervals from 10:30 a.m., and you can spend as long as you want exploring the ruined church, a wealth of birdlife and peaceful beaches. Back on dry land, have dinner in Aqua restaurant, overlooking the water at the end of the pier.
For even more seafaring, tailor a date that takes in both of Dublin’s most popular seaside suburbs. After spending the early afternoon walking around the picturesque harbour in Howth or its stunning cliff path loop, jump on a 3:30 p.m. cruise to Dún Laoghaire, drinking a glass of wine as you pass by the scenic islands in the bay. On arrival, visit Dún Laoghaire pier and its Victorian bandstand, before enjoying dinner in one of its seafront restaurants. If that’s not enough, see what’s on that evening in the cultural hub that is the Pavilion Theatre.
The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre has been open since 2010, bringing a diverse programme of entertainment to the city. There’s always something worth seeing here – upcoming events include The National Theatre’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and a screening of Independence Day with the famous score being performed by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. After the show, go next door to the rooftop bar at The Marker Hotel for a drink and a romantic close to the evening, looking over the Docklands.