Staying off the booze? We got you. No alcohol doesn’t mean no fun, trust us there’s plenty of things to do without alcohol in Manchester that will make you wonder why grabbing a drink was your go-to activity choice. Manchester truly is a fantastic city for the boozers among us. From bars and clubs to proper traditional pubs – we’ve got it all. But what if you actually don’t fancy a pint for a change? From immersive experiences to fun, family-friendly activities, we’ve rounded up the best alcohol-free things to do in Manchester.
1. Indulge yourself in the luxury of cinema
Starting off with what will always be a great choice, we have a trip to the cinema. Whether you prefer to dive into the plot of the latest blockbuster or are always looking for the next indie hit, watching a great film is never a bad decision. Whilst it seems to be the trend that more and more cinemas are offering alcoholic options, classic is often best. Popcorn and an Ice Blast is all you really need at the cinema, but that doesn’t mean it can’t get even better. There are a variety of luxury cinema options for you to choose from which come with comfier seats, more space, and often a whole lot more than popcorn when it comes to food options.
Everyman is a fan favourite because they have so many locations and have seemingly perfected the premium cinema experience, but there’s plenty of other amazing cinemas to choose from in Greater Manchester. Or you could opt for a classic trip to Vue or Odeon and get yourself a cheeky discount on us.
Vue Cinema Tickets – valid for any 2D movie, on any day, at any time at participating Vue cinemas in Manchester.
Odeon Cinema Tickets – valid for standard 2D films at ODEON cinemas in Manchester (ODEON LUXE excluded)
2. Try your hand at batting for glory at Sixes Cricket Club
Cricket gets a bad rep a lot of the time as being boring, but Sixes is sure to change your opinion on that. A popular experience in the city that’s perfect for drinkers and non-drinkers alike, Sixes Cricket Club is a fantastic place to meet with mates – and is home to a fun, interactive game where players must bat against the system in order to take home the glory. The fun doesn’t stop at the game, either, with a tasty BBQ-inspired menu up for grabs to enjoy afterwards. Find out more here. Sixes Cricket Club, Cathedral St, M4 3TR.
If you camembert the thought of trying to stay teetotal while your friends journey around the pubs then this might be your answer. Manchester Cheese Crawl gives cheese lovers the opportunity to discover some of the delicious dairy delights that can be found around the city. This 2-hour walking tour will take you around Manchester’s cheesiest spots: meeting cheese mongers, tucking into cheese and crackers (and just maybe a bit of vino) and, of course, being treated to a fantastic selection of cheese-based puns. Get tickets here.
4. Treat yourself to a banging brunch
If you’re choosing not to drink, all that really means is you have a little extra cash to put towards your dining budget. Thankfully Manchester is absolutely packed full of restaurants that do fantastic food. Whether you opt for some of the more well-known spots or want to discover a hidden gem, you’re only a stone’s throw away from great food at any time. But we all know out of all the different food options, the most superior of them all is brunch. Now we understand that yes, a drink with brunch can be good – but it’s not actually needed. Savoury, sweet or in between there’s something for you on a brunch menu whether you’re an omnivore, veggie, or a vegan. Round up the troops, and get yourself to a brunch sharpish.
If you needed any inspiration for where to head off to, here are 10 that will fill your belly and make you want to snap a picture or two as well.
We’re not here to bash 5-a-side by any means, but Bubble Football definitely adds a little something to it. Suit up in your giant inflatable bubble and bounce your way to some goals. This is the one time getting a bit physical and bumping into your opponents is encouraged. Don’t worry though, things won’t get too out of hand as there is a ref presiding over games. Trust us, you’ll have a blast – just be prepared to be rolling around laughing just as much as you’ll actually be playing football. Group tickets available here.
6. Throw a few axes at Whistlepunks
Got a bit of steam to blow off, without the booze? Whistle Punks is a pretty unique venue in Manchester, offering guests the chance to throw actual axes at the wall. Sounds fun, huh? Practise your technique and aim for the target, while keeping score if you’re the competitive type! Located within the Great Northern Warehouse, it’s ideally located for grabbing a bite to eat afterwards, with Almost Famous, Albert’s Schloss, Rudy’s and more right on its doorstep. Whistle Punks, Great Northern Warehouse, Unit 20, Atrium level, 235 Deansgate, M3 4EN.
A boozy bevvie will be the last thing on your mind as you explore the most hair-raising places in Manchester on this engaging walking tour. It’s a walking tour meets solving a murder mystery in some of Manchester’s most historic locations. Uncover the story of Loky, the student who drowned in the canal under mysterious circumstances and now seeks vengeance on the serial killer who is responsible for his death, aptly nicknamed The Pusher. You can help Loky and the other victims find peace on this exploration game, uncovering clues while learning about the supernatural side of historic buildings around the city. Get tickets here.
8. Lose yourself in the music at a Candlelight concert
If you’re after a unique form of relaxation that doesn’t require a glass of wine and a hot bath, then a Candlelight concert is your answer. Throughout the year you can feast your eyes and ears on a beautiful candlelit performance by classical musicians, with tributes to ABBA, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Hans Zimmer, and more including a special ballet performance of Tchaikovsky‘s Nutcracker.
They take place at architectural gems such as Manchester Cathedral, where the intricate Gothic architecture is illuminated by the dancing flames of candles and the buzz of the outside world fades into a distant hum. All you need to do is sit back, close your eyes and let the music wash over you.
9. Try out a new fitness class
It is still January, so there’s some time left to pull through on any of those New Year’s resolutions that might not have been started yet. If going to the gym by yourself seems a little intimidating but you still want to go on a personal fitness journey a class is definitely the place for you. You’ll be guided by friendly and encouraging trainers as well as a community of people just like you, who just want to make fitness fun. Dust off the old gym set, brush off any insecurities and throw yourself into a blast of a workout. From fun ballet-style classes to boxing, here’s our guide to some of the best fitness classes in town.
10. Visit the theatre to enjoy a magical performance of The Lion King
Why not skip a boozy night on the town and settle into a cosy seat to enjoy the mesmerising sensation that is The Lion King. The award-winning musical production ensures a memorable evening as you follow Simba on his epic adventure, brought to life by spectacular costumes, powerful voices and visionary sets. It will take place at the centuries-old Palace Theatre, follow in the footsteps of over 110 million people worldwide who have already seen it and book your ticket today.