9 Totally Legit Ways To Have Fun With Friends If You've Had Enough Of The Pub

by Aoife Hanna
Guille Faingold/Stocksy

Who doesn't think of "right, fancy a pint?" as a way to get to know someone or unwind with pals? Well, I know I do anyway. In adulthood (whatever that is), the pub's often the easy option when it comes to socialising. However, what are fun things to do with your friends that don't involve a trip to your local boozer?

After a short-lived period of giving up alcohol earlier this year, during the much lauded Dry January, it became painfully clear to me that a large part of my social life is reliant on going out on the razz. For example, if I were to pluck up the courage to ask someone out, I would ask them to join me for a drink. And more often than not, meeting up with my pals on a day off would of course lead to a few bevs out in a lovely little watering hole.

While many people are able to go and hang out in the pub sober, I personally have found that when you are not drinking, you realise that pubs are not maybe as fun as you thought. So here, I've put together a list of fun things to do with your mates that don't require a trip to your local.


Get Outside

This one seems obvious but seriously, get the heck outside. With so much of our lives spent in front of screens, the positive effects of getting outside are innumerable. In fact, a study done in 2016 by UK and Australian scientists found that "people who made long visits to green spaces had lower rates of depression and high blood pressure, and those who visited more frequently had greater social cohesion."

With the UK falling down with natural beauty, there is no excuse really. And what is better than a lovely long walk and catch up with your pals? Absolutely nothing.


Try New Hobbies, Like Skateboarding

Taking up new hobbies feels less and less doable these days. What with work and life and responsibilities that seem to be ever increasing, "I just don't have the time" is often uttered dismissively re any new developments. Choosing new hobbies is difficult for sure, and depends on the sort of thing you are into or maybe even your star sign.

I took up skateboarding last year, for the very first time. I will admit it was, like a great deal of my decisions, something I got into to impress a girl. Don't judge me, I am only human. However, the instant benefits of a social activity that wasn't hooning pints down the local watering hole was immediately clear. So it turns out skateboarding is really hard. But a wise woman said to me that "learning to skate as an adult is important because you need to be comfortable with embarrassing yourself as an adult".

I remain very bad at it, but it is definitely fun and something I would thoroughly recommend instead of hangover-inducing benders.


Catch A Movie

The cinema is such an overlooked enjoyment. With summer offering countless blockbuster releases and ever increasing numbers of outdoor viewing experiences becoming available, catching a movie with the gang is a definite option.

That fiver you were going to drop on a large red wine can be dropped on some deliciously overpriced popcorn and other snacks.

Just try not to natter during the film or you might get told off.


Try Your Hand In The Charity Shops

High street shopping is too flipping busy, too flipping expensive and too flipping wasteful when we think about all those amazing second hand garmz waiting for you. Not to mention the chotchkies

Charity shops are more popular than ever and let me tell you, great for so so so many reasons. Apart from it being for a good cause, they are also cheap, and super hit and miss. It's the miss end of things that is fun in terms of socialising. Many a dud wedding dress or weird and inappropriate items on sale will have you and your crew laughing while bonding over new looks.


Join A Book Club

Reading is one of those things that is so lovely to enjoy alone. To get completely lost in the world between those pages (or your kindle) and be whisked away to another world. It is super good for you and a very inexpensive enjoyment. However, you know as well as I do that sometimes reading can get left by the wayside.

What better way to satiate both your literary needs and your social needs than starting up a little book club with your pals? Or maybe even joining an already established one? Book club, not night club. Y'all heard me.


Do A Clothes Swap

You have too many clothes, I know you do. You know you do. Just be honest with yourself.

Clothes swaps are a perfect chance to have a fun night with your pals while also spending no money and getting some hot new looks.


Get Some Culture In

Oh gwan you know you want to, babes. The UK is filled with National Trust properties, museums, galleries, historical monuments, deliciously creepy graveyards, and then some.

Not only will you have a nice day ambling about, these places often have lit gift shops to pick up some tatt, and cafes for a cuppa afterwards.


Start New Creative Projects

All that time wasted getting wasted might very well be wasting some latent creative talent. Finding time for personal projects is often hard, but just think of all the amazing things you and your mates could be creating instead of getting smashed.

You might find yourself to be a very talented knitter, adept at needle point or even a poet and you didn't know it (I know, kill me now).


Do A Life Drawing Class

This one is a little off-piste but why the heck not? Or should I say, butt why the heck not?

Life drawing classes not only give money to struggling artists and models, but they are a great chance to flex your artistic muscles, and are a wonderful way to meet new and exciting people.


With countless, more imaginative ways to spend time with your pals, romantic dalliances, or even new acquaintances, getting turned down the local booze hole will be the last thing on your mind.