We’re almost halfway through the second semester or perhaps you’ve even already hit reading week! Point is, by now you’re most likely living on a diet of dry pasta or toast. With Valentine’s day just having past, I have dating on the brain. This article is definitely needed  because 1) I think my cat is fed up having cosy nights in and 2) because my not single-af pals have been remarking a whole bunch about how expensive dating can be.

The big shmoke is pricey as hell. All those tenners here and there on lunch or coffees or rounds of pints  can all start to add up pretty quickly. -If anyone knows where to get a round of pints in Dublin for a tenner let me know!) This is why I’m taking a look at some free or at least cheap dates.

The following dates are a Luas or Dublin bus ride away.

1. A Day For The Ducks

There is nothing nicer than an afternoon in Stephen’s Green in the heart of the city. Between people and bird watching there’s plenty to see! I love a good picnic and I think it makes for a great date. Grab a blanket that’s been balled up in the corner of your student gaff, grab the makings of a sandwich and a cheeky snack or two from Lidl. I’d be surprised if you manage to push that to cost you more than a tenner to feed two! Far better than paying for all of the indoor cafés dotted around Stephen’s Green without the view.

Feeding the duckies also serves as a great activity. If any of you have been spending too much time on the internet lately you’ll know that bread isn’t good for the ducks tummies. Happily I grabbed a quick list of some of the things you can feed them from Ecologist Emma Tiernan, South Dublin Birds: Bird seed, muesli, lettuce, tomatoes, raisins, cut grapes and cooked rice.

2. Cultured Af

Kind of an obvious one, but still a solid choice. A traipse around the museums of Dublin can make for a great date. Plenty of conversation pieces! For arty folk there’s the RHA or the National Art Gallery only around the corner from each other.

Impress your date with mind boggling nonsense about the ‘deeper meaning’ behind what is clearly just a red square painted on a white canvas. Those of us that love history can find hours to spend at The National History Museum for obvious reasons. If you fancy looking a bit edgy, lead your date on a tour of the Dead Zoo whilst you’re there!

3. We’re So Alt

Anyone that’s a bit alternative will love an evening at the theatre dah-ling! Smock Alley which was the first Theatre Royal built in Dublin do lots of eclectic plays from as little as €5 for a student ticket. Cheap as. Comedy also works as a fantastic option too.

The Stags Head on Dame Street run a free comedy show The Comedy Crunch on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. Five free acts and free ice cream at the interval. What more could you want?

4. Sporty Bunnies

I’ll hold my hands up here and confess that if anyone even attempts to bring me on a sports date they’re more likely to end up in an early grave, that being said, some people are into it.

So, if you’re the kind of strange human who enjoys sweating and wheezing on dates, Jumpzone in Sandyford offer trampolining, dodgeball with trampolines and knocking your date into a foam pit from as little as €11 each what could be better!

5. Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside!

Summer is fast approaching or at least some of us managed to get sunburnt in February, global warming might be about to kill us all, but sure it makes for great swimming weather.

Lunatics and adrenaline rush seekers; a paddle in the Irish sea is definitely a fantastic date, Howth summit offers a bit of a hike, but quieter, more private beaches, on the other hand Dún Laoghaire has great places to jump from and the classic cheap and tasty Teddy’s ice cream. You choose your side of the river!

There’s a few choices to suit all budgets and tastes! The important thing to remember is it’s all about the time you spend with the person, not what you spend blah, blah blah. Give one, give a few of them a go! I look forward to hearing about your successes or horror dating stories – I just recommended the places to go not that you were about to become the next Spongebob and Patrick!

I am currently attempting to be an adult and just about managing to be a student, you can follow my mishaps and adventures over on my Instagram!