Heading out to a restaurant, sitting at a bar, ordering takeaway, seeing a movie – these are the unimaginative Valentine’s Day date ideas we’ve already tried and tested.

We’re all getting a little sick of ‘Netflix and chill’, or regular dinner dates, so here’s a bunch of alternative Valentine’s Day date ideas for you to surprise your significant other with.

Wake Up At 4am And Watch The Sunrise Together

This may not be an ideal date for a typical student, but for you rare morning people out there I had to throw this idea into the mix

It may sound dreadful at first because of the whole 4am thing but what could be better than sitting close on a rooftop somewhere, talking, laughing and watching the sun rise together?

Take a flask of hot coffee and some muffins or croissants to really make it special.

Have An Extravagant Brunch At 8am

While we’re on the topic of mornings, I think some people are beginning to see the whole ‘Valentine’s day dinner’ as a bit of a cliché, so why not mix it up a bit?

Get all dressed up and do breakfast properly. Do some googling and find the perfect hotel, café or restaurant that include pancakes, waffles, poached eggs, French toast or even a full fry-up if that’s what you fancy.

Thick white linen napkins, a delicious breakfast, fresh coffee and a perfect date first thing in the morning are a magnificent way to start the day.

See A Surprise Band Together

This is perfect when the two of you are awful at making plans or decisions!

Grab a copy of your local newspaper, blindfold your date and get them to run their finger over the “live music” section and choose a band neither of you have ever heard of.

It could be amazing; it could be completely hellish — you won’t know until you go!

This band could become your new favourite band and might even play at your wedding, but even if it’s shocking, it’s definitely a bonding experience!

Laser Tag

Two simple words, but think of the possibilities!

Is there anything more romantic than screaming and running away from each other? I don’t think so.

A little competition is the perfect alternative to sitting down in a restaurant or bar for the evening. Why not finish off this date with a quick shop for some pizza ingredients and create your own pizza version of MasterChef at home?

Your signature recipe versus theirs, let the competition begin!

Act Like A Tourist

Yes, it sounds strange but hear me out.

Have you done all the touristy things in your area? Chances are you probably haven’t.

Why not go and pick up a disposable camera and spend the day visiting some of the best-known tourist attractions in your town with your beloved to see what all the fuss is about?

You never know, you might actually learn something.


I admit this one is a little cliché but it is incredibly romantic and best of all, completely free!

This will bring you and your date closer together and allow you to sit in silence and enjoy each other’s company. Just grab a blanket and head out to a grassy spot on campus, lay down and enjoy the phenomenon that is the starry sky.

You can impress your date by preparing ahead of time and learning to identify the big dipper and other constellations.

Don’t forget though, this is Ireland, so bring a jacket, scarf and a hat just to be safe.

Monopoly and Chill

Board games aren’t just for Christmas with the family; you can have a great night with your date with an old school board game.

Just try not to kill each other over who’s winning or cheating etc. Plan a night in with junk food and beer or head to a bar that has a great board game selection.

Visit The Blackbird in Rathmines for pizza and beer at €12! Couldn’t ask for a better date if you ask me.


Tarryn McGuire