11 Fun Things to Do in Dublin on a Date

© David Soanes Photography / Getty Images
Photo of Kate Phelan
27 August 2020

Modern-era dating has long outgrown the traditional one-size-fits-all approach of dinner and drinks. If you’re looking for something a little more inventive to do on a date in Dublin city, read on.

Rainforest Adventure Golf

Amusement Park
Map View
Mini golf is a low-pressure, fun first date, and at 16,000sq ft (1,486sq m), 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 10am to 11pm, 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 (£8.10) per adult, while both courses can be taken on for €14.50 (£13.10).

Happenings Outdoor Cinema

Cinema, Park
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Happenings organises spontaneous outdoor cultural events in Dublin, like outdoor film screenings and yoga in the park. Although its 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(2002) and Sing Street (2016) taking place for St Patrick’s Day in 2017. If there’s no Happenings event coming up, try the Light House cinema’s Event Cinema programme. It regularly broadcasts live international screenings of dance, theatre and art events. Even better, you can bring drinks from the bar into the theatre.

The Comedy Cellar at the International Bar

Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
Map View
© Dave Walsh / VWPics / Alamy Stock Photo
The International Bar on Dublin’s Wicklow Street is the site of the country’s first and longest-running comedy club, where events take place every night of the week. On Wednesdays, it hosts the almost 30-year-old Comedy Cellar, where renowned Irish comedians have been known to perfect jokes before embarking on a tour. From Thursday through Sunday the International Comedy Club hosts new faces and established acts.

The Science Gallery

Museum
Map View
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The Science Gallery, also known as the public science centre at Trinity College, is sure to spark curiosity and conversation on any date. The current exhibition, Invisible, explores how artists and scientists have a part in understanding the unknown through exhibits like the Maps of Phantom Islands. The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday noon to 4pm.

Phoenix Park

Park, Zoo
Map View
The Wellington Memorial obelisk in Phoenix Park in Dublin city, Ireland.
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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 Flower 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 history lesson of the area. On Saturdays, free guided tours of the President’s residence, Áras an Uachtaráin, are also available.

Kitesurfing Lessons

Sports Center
Map View
© David Soanes Photography / Getty Images
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.

A Trip to Ireland’s Eye

Natural Feature
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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, 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.

Cruise to Dún Laoghaire

Natural Feature
Map View
© Bernard Golden / Alamy Stock Photo
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 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

Theatre
Map View
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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 My Best Friend’s Wedding and Friends the Musical Parody. 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.

The Vintage Cocktail Club

Cocktail Bar, Cocktails, $$$
Map View
Interior of The Vintage Cocktail Club
© Vintage Cocktail Club
The secret has long been out when it comes to the Vintage Cocktail Club, a stylish, cosy, speakeasy-style club in Temple Bar. But somehow it hasn’t made knocking on the innocuous-looking door marked VCC and being ushered into the lavish decor of the hidden bar upstairs any less fun. The drinks here are pricy but delicious, and the ambience is even better.
These recommendations were updated on August 27, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.