The 10 best alternatives to clubbing in Nottingham

How to go out and have a great time, without feeling the need for alcohol

When it comes to enjoying uni to the max, many people think of going out partying until the early hours of the morning, drink in hand. However it isn’t the only thing to do on a Friday or Saturday night with your friends from uni, drinking isn’t everyone’s style but – don’t worry, we have your back.

Nottingham is such a broad and diverse city with so many amazing things to do, most of which you can enjoy completely sober or with just a couple cocktails. From fun activities to chill walks in the cold winter weather – here are 10 Notts-based alternatives to clubbing that you don’t want to miss out on.


There are two bowling alleys in Nottingham – Nottingham Bowl in the city centre and Tenpin in Dunkirk. Both have great student deals, meaning you can go out and enjoy a game of bowling for next to nothing. At Nottingham Bowl, on Thursdays from 6pm onwards, it’s student night meaning that every game is only £3 per person, you just need to make sure that you bring your student ID with you.

At Tenpin, they offer 50 per cent off almost all week excluding between 5pm on Friday to 6pm on Sunday. This means that you can enjoy three games of bowling for £10.63, which works out to £3.54 per game. While this is slightly more than at Nottingham Bowl, this offer is available every weekday and is slightly more local for those who live nearer University Park Campus.

Mini golf

There are plenty of mini golf options around the city, with indoor courses including Lost City Adventure and Gloryholes, and outdoor courses including the Highfields course just off University Park. At Lost City Adventure between Monday and Thursday you can snag the great student price of £8 for 18 holes or £12 for 36 holes, giving you 20 per cent off normal price.

Gloryholes is an adult-only themed 18 hole mini golf course. While no student prices are offered, you can grab tickets for £10 during in the week and £12 at the weekend, which is definitely worth it. The Highfields golf course is only a short walk away from Portland Building on University Park Campus. Priced at £5 for 9 holes and £8 for 18 holes of mini golf, this course is unique in offering the alternative option of foot-golf for the price of only £4.50.


There are plenty of arcade options across the city, with options such as those within the bowling alleys previously mentioned, as well as other options such as Penny Lane and Roxy Ball Rooms, which are over 18’s venues, but you can still partake and have fun whilst sober. With all venues offering things such as basketball, air hockey and pool, as well as various other fun games, this is definitely worth checking out with your mates.

Laser Tag

While this is often viewed as a game for younger kids, going for a game or two of laser tag with your uni mates is actually super fun. At venues such as Laser Tag Nottingham and Tenpin,  you can bag yourself a game for only £5 with a valid student ID. Both venues also offer other various deals throughout the week, so why don’t you take a break from studying and have some fun.


While this isn’t a great idea if you want to go out and have a chat with your pals, nothing beats an impromptu trip to Savoy cinema with your housemates. Offering student tickets for only £5, this cinema is not only cheap, but it is in a prime location for any students living in Lenton. Other cinema locations include Cineworld in the Cornerhouse, and Showcase in Dunkirk – although nothing is as iconic as Savoy.

Try some local restaurants

Aside from nationwide chains such as Nando’s, Wagamama and Turtle Bay, Nottingham has several less well-known restaurants which are definitely worth a try! Zaap Thai, found on Maid Marian Way, is a Thai restaurant which is lively and has super nice vibes inside. Maysum is an all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant on Upper Parliament St, where you spend £11 and do what it says on the tin – eat as much as you want. There is also Tamatanga, which is a restaurant located in the Cornerhouse offering a variety of Indian-style dishes.


On a similar vain as the previous point, nothing beats going out and grabbing a DoughNott. Based in both Nottingham and Beeston these doughnuts, which originate from Nottingham, can’t be beaten. So why don’t you grab a friend and head to your local DoughNotts store to treat yourself – it’s a stressful time after all x.

Go to a gig

With venues such as Rock City, Bodega and the Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham is blessed with many a concert venue – perfect for if you’re an avid concert goer. Gigs are perfect if you fancy getting out having a couple drinks and listening to music without having to go out clubbing.There are always plenty of gigs lined up at the various venues throughout the city so there’s definitely something for everyone.

Go on a walk

Another, more calming, option is to head out on a nice country walk at one of the several country parks located in and around Nottingham. Attenborough Nature Reserve is only a short tram ride away and boasts 540 acres of stunning scenery. Similarly, Wollaton Park pretty much backs on to University Park and has many gorgeous scenic walks. More local to residents of the city centre, the Arboretum is a gorgeous place to go on a walk and get a breather with your mates. With plenty of places to choose from, it might be nice to get out and about whilst taking a break from your studies.

Take away and movie night

While this isn’t specific to Nottingham only, the city boasts many good take aways which you would be silly not to try. With places such as Su’ San and Mega Munch offering savoury options, there is also an abundance of sweeter options, from places such as Desert Junky, Choco Bae and Oh So Creamy. With many of these places offering too-good-to-miss deals on Just Eat and Deliveroo, why not order a take away with your friends and pop on a chick flick? We know you want to x.

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