Whether it’s dry January, sober October, or you are simply sick of ruining yet another Sunday – you have probably considered ditching the booze at one point. Initially, and somewhat depressingly, it can leave many of us wondering what to do with our weekends. But you will be delighted to learn that there are many fun things to do in London that don’t involve a drop of alcohol. Here are ten incredible, sober date night ideas – allowing you to make the most of your weekends in the capital.
Try a Comedy Gig
For me, the best thing about London is its variety. You can find something to suit your taste every night of the week. A comedy gig is an outstanding booze-free date night (and also eliminates any small talk if you are early into your relationship!)
If you’re feeling edgy and are looking for a laugh on a budget, head to the trendy Comedy Cabin in Hoxton. For a meagre £2.50 per ticket, your host will lead you to a basement venue where up-and-coming comedians try out their new material. The forum holds no more than twenty and allows you to witness some true, raw comedy.
For something a little more polished, try the famous comedy store. Right in the heart of Leicester Square, this place is about as far from a hidden gem as you can imagine. However, it is undoubtedly one of the best nights out in the city. They host regular ‘the best in stand up’ nights where you can expect to see plenty of your mock the week favourites. Alternatively, try one of their regular Monday night open-mic events, with tickets starting from just £10.
Crazy golf is the perfect booze-free date night, and London has a vast selection of offerings across the city. Junk Yard golf is one of the most popular choices and is well known for having venues across the country. Try their venue in bustling Shoreditch, ideal for grabbing something to eat afterwards.
However, Swingers and Puttshack are the better options for a sober date night in London, in my humble opinion. The venues feel a little more upmarket, and the courses are much more fun and interesting. Puttshack is slightly more expensive but effortlessly blends tech and golf to create a great night out, requiring no manual scoring.
Watch a Show Be Filmed
Living in London can often feel overwhelming. The rent is expensive, and the lifestyle is often too fast-paced to keep up with. However, there is so much glitz and glamour to be enjoyed! Watching a TV show being filmed had been at the top of my bucket list for years. It is undoubtedly one of London’s best alcohol-free date nights. If you enjoy comedy, SRO Audiences is a great place to start. Here, you will find tickets for the likes of The Last Leg, Taskmaster and Live at the Apollo.
Note: Applying for the TV shows does not guarantee a ticket. Therefore, you must remain flexible with your dates. You will generally find out a couple of days in advance that you have secured tickets.
Enjoy One of London’s Incredible Restaurants
There are over eighteen thousand restaurants in London, catering to every taste and budget. Drinking alcohol at these upmarket establishments can be extremely expensive, so enjoying a booze-free meal is an excellent alternative.
Mayfair 34 and the Book Club have tasty and extensive non-alcoholic cocktail menus. If you would prefer to be in a venue that doesn’t serve alcohol at all, there are plenty of options. These include Redemption Cafe, Saffron Kitchen and an excellent dessert venue, the Urban Chocolatier.
Hit Up and Arcade Bar or Board Game Café
Arcade bars are popping up all over the city, ideal for those looking for something fun and interesting to fill their evenings.
Flight club is a trendy date night venue, giving a modern and social twist on darts. This place does get jam-packed with groups, though, so perhaps not the best option if you’re searching for something a little more intimate. The Library Pot is a quirky board game café based in Richmond, and Draughts is another excellent option, with venues at both Waterloo and Haggerston.
Four Quarters is a firm favourite for those looking for something more than a fancy dinner in the capital. It claims to be London’s first arcade bar and is situated on Peckham’s Rye Lane.
Sober Date Night in London – Take a Tour of the City
Whether you’ve recently moved to the capital, or it’s always been your home, there is constantly a new area to explore. A tour of the city is the perfect option to combine exploration and an excellent sober date night in London. See London’s best sights via a boat tour, or explore new corners of the city on two wheels with a Fat Tire cycling trip. Or, if you fancy scaring yourself silly, take one of the famous Jack the Ripper tours of east London.
Catch a film at an Alternative Cinema
The cinema is a firm choice for anyone looking for a wonderful sober date night in London. But if you feel like elevating your movie and popcorn, head to one of London’s many independent cinemas. East London is packed with quirky places to enjoy the latest releases (I’m sure you would expect nothing less from the hipster area). Close Up Film Center, and Rich Mix offer an alternative movie experience focusing on promoting smaller creators. However, if you find yourself in west London’s affluent South Kensington and want to brush up on your French, you could treat your date to a visit to Ciné Lumière.
Luna Open Air Cinema is a perfect option for an alcohol free summer date night, with events across central London throughout the warmer months. Mean Girls on Clapham Common and Ghostbusters at Kensington Palace are just a couple of the events Luna has planned for Summer 2023.
If you really want to impress your date, you could indulge in a membership to South East London’s Whirled Cinema. Membership grants entry to any movie and allows you to bring a plus-one. Outrageously over the top? Absolutely. But that’s what London is all about.
Enjoy a Late Night at a Museum
London is packed with fantastic museums, more than most of us could visit in a lifetime. Many of these world-renowned institutions offer regular late-night openings, providing an excellent solution for a sober date night in London.
The Tate Modern holds monthly lates (usually on a Friday) which offer an eclectic mix of art, conversation and food. The British Museum also does ‘late’ nights on Fridays, where the museum stays open until 8.15 pm, which offers a great way to visit the exhibitions in a relaxed manner. Also, Chinatown is just over ten minutes from here, so perfect for a bite to eat afterwards. Both the Tate Modern and the British Museum are entirely free to enter.
Embrace Live Music
Music venues of all shapes and sizes span the breadth of London. So, whether you’re searching for a techno event in east London or an exclusive jazz club in Chelsea, you’ll be sure to find the perfect spot for your date night.
The most popular music venues across the capital include the 100 club, Koko, o2 Academy Brixton and the George Tavern – but there is so much variety across thirty-two London boroughs. Design my night is a great place to check out what’s happening across the capital.
Sober Date Night Idea – Take a Stroll Around the City
OK! Hear me out. Not the thing to do on a first date in an area you are not familiar with. But London is charming at night, especially in the warmer summer evenings.
The South Bank is a superb place for a booze-free and inexpensive date night in London. You will be treated to fantastic views of St Paul’s Cathedral and the Shard whilst marvelling at the sights and sounds of an evening in the big smoke. Grab something to eat from one of the many food trucks dotted along the South Bank to round off the evening.