Fun date ideas for an Irish winter: banish those cold weather blues!

Attractive Irish couple in winter clothes

There’s no getting around it: the Irish winter can be dire, full of media predictions of intense cold snaps. That’s the bad news. Want the good? A little cold never got in the way of hot romance. When the weather outside is frightful, dating can still be delightful (especially when you have love to keep you warm!).

Indeed with a little forward planning, there’s no need for hibernation, even during the chilliest Irish winter. Armed with these fun date ideas (and with a little help from EliteSingles), you will soon find that this can be the perfect time of year to find love.

Reading this in the summer? You might prefer our 5 tips for the hottest summer dates

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1. ‘Tis the season for coffee:

When asked about their ideal first date, our members were overwhelmingly in favour of grabbing a coffee together. In a 2013 members’ survey, 55% of respondents picked coffee as their number one date choice2 –and, truly, it is easy to see why. When it’s raining stair-rods outside and the chill feels like it might soak down to your bones, what could be more appealing than a warm cafe, full of convivial conversation? Meeting your date for coffee guarantees a certain level of cosiness; a state that has been shown to create feelings of happiness (and even mild arousal).3 Trust us, you’ll be planning your second date in no time!

2. Make the most of the weather:

While grand soft days are set to be few and far between this winter, when the rain does let up it can be a great idea to leave the cafe and head outside for a walk – you’ll soon find that fun date ideas in the great outdoors are not just a summer experience! In fact, many of Ireland’s most breathtaking sights are at their dramatic best when framed by stark winter skies and tendrils of shifting fog. From Galway’s beaches, to the Cliffs of Moher, to King John’s Castle, there are plenty of options for mixing fresh air and happiness-boosting endorphins4 with spectacular, scenic winter romance.

3. Celebrate love with St Valentine:

Sometimes, fun date ideas turn out to be equally romantic and unusual. One such date involves heading to Dublin to see the patron saint of love himself! The relics of St Valentine currently reside at the Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in the capital, where you can visit his shrine while in the company of lovers from around the world. Visiting a church on a date might seem a little left-field, but it can be a striking option – indeed, both secular and religious couples alike will find that churches are among Ireland’s richest sources of both beauty and history.

4. Go back in time at Newgrange:

Another date rich in history can be had in County Meath, where a mound of ancient stones has kept watch over the Irish country side for close to 5000 years. This Neolithic monument is known Newgrange (Sí an Bhrú), and was built around 3200 BC, making it older than Stonehenge and even the pyramids in Egypt! Newgrange is world-famous for its inner chamber, which is flooded with dawn sunlight every winter solstice, an event which is among Ireland’s most sought-after wintry occasions. But don’t worry; even if you don’t manage to get tickets for the solstice itself, a visit to Newgrange can be very special – a guided tour here will have you and your date talking for hours.

5. The most wonderful time of the year?

This might be bah humbug time in some circles but, at EliteSingles, we just can’t help it; we truly believe that Christmas can be the most romantic time of the year. We’ve even made a seasonal Spotify® playlist to celebrate!

It shouldn’t be surprising then, that we think no list of fun date ideas is complete without a mention of Christmas markets and other winter festivals. It can be very atmospheric to treat your local festive market as your very own winter wonderland and wander through it arm in arm (making essential stops for roasted chestnuts and mulled wine of course!). It might be a touch cliché – but falling in love under the mistletoe? That’s always going to feel a little bit magic! Now all you need is someone to experience it with. If you’re ready to warm up your winter with someone special, then join EliteSingles today.

EliteSingles editorial November 2014.

If you have know any fun date ideas we’ve missed, then share them below or write to us at [email protected]


1 (As mentioned in the introduction): Nick Bramhill, writing for the Irish Examiner, Forecasters predicting big freeze this winter, 2014.

2 EliteSingles ‘First date’ survey; question sample size of 607 members.

3 Different Positive Feelings Leading to Different Ad Evaluations: The Case of Coziness, Excitement and Romance. T. Faseur, M. Geuens, 2004. Found at

4 Alpine Skiing. Ronald Kipp, 2012. Published by Human Kinetics.

About the author: Sophie Watson

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