7 Ingenious Alternative Nights Out

If there’s one thing we know how to do well in Great Britain, it’s enjoying ourselves. Despite our stereotype as a nation of tea drinking, tightly buttoned-up, ridiculously well-mannered westerners, we’re fabulous at letting go and having fun, and we’re always inventing new and exciting ways to occupy our free time.

That’s probably why alternative night outs - and in, for that matter - are such a big deal right now. We’re always hearing about new ideas of how to keep ourselves entertained, whether it's staying at home with our besties or swinging through the trees with our workmates in tow.

So, want to liven up your social life and have a seriously good time with your pals? Here are seven alternative nights out that are taking the country by storm. You’re about to be spoilt for choice!    

1. Hip-hop karaoke

When you think of karaoke, the image that initially pops into your mind is probably of a middle-aged woman belting out I Will Survive - or your tone-deaf dad trying his hand at an Elvis classic. But isn’t it time we made karaoke a little cooler? Hip-hop karaoke nights are intended to do exactly that.

Giving people like you (...and me! Definitely me!) the chance to live out your rap fantasies with a rapt audience and lots of like-minded music enthusiasts, they’re fun, edgy, and guaranteed to be an amazingly good time. Just make sure you and your friends decide who’ll get to cover Candy Shop beforehand, so that you don’t end up all competing for it on the night.    

2. Bingo club nights

If there’s one thing that complements bingo surprisingly well, it’s a heaving nightclub and a load of young and decidedly drunken individuals - cue bingo club nights! A chaotic and perhaps ironic take on a classic game of house, these alternative nights out tend to feature plenty of hyped-up box-ticking alongside rave intervals, dance-offs and off-the-wall prizes, often washed down with round after round of booze.

Beloved of students, young professionals, and even those who believe themselves to be well past staying out after their bedtime, these events can be found in most cities across the UK.

3. Escape rooms

Escape rooms are another evening-out fad that’s really taken off of late. The entertainment of choice for staff Christmas parties, stag dos, birthdays, and more, they force people to work together to find their way out of locked rooms.

It might sound like something out a horror movie, with the clock ticking and the doors bolted shut, but it’s actually a great test of teamwork and a really good laugh too. Afterwards, celebrate with plenty of drinks and some late-night dancing.  

4. "Down with dating" events

Never heard of this delightfully depressing concept before? Then trust us – you’re in for a treat! The idea behind down with dating nights is to forget all about finding that special someone and enjoy being a miserable singleton instead.

It starts off simple: You arrive and find yourself instantly provided with a fake name. Imbued with this alias to hide behind, you get to know other embittered singles through "speed hating" aka bemoaning all of the things you dislike.

After bonding over your shared complaints, play a game of "blind hate", which involves asking each other questions such as "which household item would you use to kill me off if I was a zombie?" or "on first impressions, what do you hate about me the most?").

Round the night out with various other games that make a mockery of relationships before going home to your lonely bed, stretching out in all of your extra space, and embracing the fact that you’ll probably die alone. It’s popular for a reason. 

5. Roller discos

If you want to take your alternative night out inspiration from a slightly more antiquated source, throw it back to the 70's and track down your nearest roller disco. The perfect place to get high on endorphins and laugh until your belly hurts, you can speed around the rink hand-in-hand with your besties, or even liven things up with some healthy competition.

See who can race around the rink the fastest and make sure the loser knows that the drinks are on them. If you want to embrace the vintage ambiance of your night, enforce a strict decade-appropriate dress code, with tracksuits and blue eyeshadow incontrovertible essentials.

6. Drag queen bingo

Drag queen bingo is proving one of the biggest night out trends in recent years. Originating with the LGBTQ community organising events for charity in the US, drag queen bingo is now hosted everywhere from gay cl   ubs to your local bingo hall, and offers an unequivocally good time. Marrying the best of its caller’s big personalities and brilliant quips with the natural excitement and suspense of seeing who fortune will favour, it’s great fun for people of all ages, and has taken the UK bingo scene by storm. Try it for yourself to see just how cool and quirky a modern-day game of house can be.

7. Ice rinks

Following in the vein of attaching things to your feet, find your nearest ice rink and prepare to skate your socks off. You’ll quickly discover that plenty of venues now host special nights out for their adult clientele, with themed playlists and disco balls galore. It’s always more fun when you dress up, so whether you want to go for an '80s puffy hair look or '90s glitter, make sure everyone gets the memo. Thick socks are a must irrespective of your outfit choices as blisters are a sure-fire way to put a dampener on the evening. A word of warning though: save swigging your hipflask for after you’ve stepped off the ice.   

Got a big night out? We’re dying to know which of these seven super exciting options you’re going to go for! Would rather stay at home? Head to our lobby to pick out a themed slot or bingo room for tonight! Can't make up your mind? Play on-the-go on your smartphone instead.

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