It’s never too early to start planning for Valentine’s Day and with February 14th quickly approaching, here’s how to wow your better half on a budget, without surrendering quality.
I’m a firm believer that romance isn’t reserved for the economically endowed. We all deserve a romantic Valentine’s despite the size of our pay-package, so, my frugal friends, this is a round-up of the best Valentine’s date ideas that won’t break the bank.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be the economic black hole that skeptics or corporations want you to think it is. While the gorgeous views and fresh air offered by walks like Bray to Greystones or the Great South Wall are cheap and cheerful date ideas, this Friday’s weather forecast is typically Irish. Whether you’ll be the one making the reservations, or you’re hoping to give that special someone a nudge in the right direction, here are top date ideas which will keep you dry.
The pricing system goes from €, meaning €10 or less, to €€€€, meaning up to €40 or more per person (Yikes!).
Enjoy a stroll together through the diverse and ambitious range of Irish and international exhibitions at IMMA. Situated on one of Ireland’s most historic sites, the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, and with over 3,500 artworks to relish in and discuss, this is a great spot for a romantic, cheap date. On top of that, for Valentine’s Weekend the museum curators have put together the Desire: A Revision exhibition to help get those romantic juices flowing.
Price: € (admission is free, but you might want to buy your better half a tea and scone for the day that’s in it).
Would you rather lose yourself in your partner’s eyes than in a movie screen this Valentine’s? How old school of you. Accents is the perfect spot if you’re looking to have a good intimate chat with your partner. The café’s cosy layout with large leather couches, chill tinkling jazz soundtrack and superb teas, coffees and hot chocolates from around the world is ideal for a date. Try this one as a meeting spot to start your night, a post dinner spot to wash your dinner down, or spend a few relaxed hours here!
The Sugar Club has a Valentine’s Special screening of True Romance this Friday night. This film is a lesser-known hidden gem of Quentin Tarantino’s career. He sold this script in order to finance his magnum opus, Pulp Fiction. The project was left in the safe hands of Tony Scott though, who keeps the tone and dark wit synonymous with Tarantino. With a soundtrack from Hans Zimmer and stellar performances from Patricia Arquette, Christian Slater, Christopher Walken, Gay Oldman and many more, you’d be crazy to miss this one. It’s a unique and nostalgic take on an unlikely bonnie and clyde-style love story.
Price: €€, Tickets
“Oh, hi Mark”. The crew at the Lighthouse Cinema are providing the perfect valentine’s date for those who don’t take themselves too seriously. The Room became a cult classic thanks to its jaunty dialogue, inconsistencies and confusing film making. Heralded as the best worst film ever made, The Room has been delighting and befuddling audiences since 2003, check this one out for some big laughs.
Price: €€, Tickets
There are few things as romantic as breathtaking views. Add the pinkish light of twilight and you have yourself an unforgettable moment. If you want to provide your bae with one of the best views of Dublin, save from the tip of the Spire, head over to the team at Croke Park and let them wow you with a guided Skyline Dusk Tour. The tour lasts about 90 minutes, and remember to bring a few extra layers as you’ll have to give one to your SO. How cute.
Price: €€, Tickets
Do a Marty McFly and take a step back in time this Friday to Token Dublin’s retro arcade. With a multi-award-winning restaurant, three bars and over 40 arcade machines this is a great spot for a hands-on Valentine’s day. Experience what dating was like in the 80’s and wow your better half with your inner nerd.
Couples are seated on a walk-in basis, and if you’re double dating you can book a spot here.
One way you’ll surely impress your significant other is flexing your super cool Paul Newman pool skills (see The Hustler). They’ve also recently added some ping-pong tables. So, even if you barely know which way to hold the cue, this moodily lit, stylish BYOB Pool Hall is a great spot to have some fun with your partner. Plus, you can always just pretend you’re chivalrously letting them win. Bring a bottle of wine or two and leave your competitiveness at the door.
This one is an elegant addition to your evening’s itinerary but it won’t put your account into overdraft. With multiple ticket options, take a fully guided tour of the distillery, have a taste-test and learn how the team at Teeling put together their award-winning whiskey. Pro tip; have a look in the thesaurus before heading out so when you stick your nose in the whiskey glass you have some good adjectives to describe the delicate blends of aromas.
Price: €€, Tickets
Escape rooms have blown up as the go-to group event for team bonding, hen and stag parties, and birthdays. What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than some teamwork, critical thinking, and problem solving. The innovative Escape Boats provides an incredibly immersive escape room. Test your couple’s computing power while working together to solve riddles, crack codes, and uncover secrets to escape the Zorg Ella Boat. Located in Grand Canal Dock, this is one fun date idea.
Price: €€€, Tickets
Roll your sleeves up and learn how to make sushi from internationally renowned chefs at Banyi Japanese Dining. This is perfect for anyone who gets ‘stick’ from their better half for their culinary skills. The masterclass is followed by a full 3-course Japanese dinner.
Price: €€€€, Tickets.
Have you tried out any of these date spots? Do you have any better recommendations? Let us know in the comments!