Just 10 fun and booze-free activities that students can do in Birmingham

Save your bank account and prevent the post-sports night hangxiety

Being a student in Brum more than likely means you’ve experienced your fair share of heavy Circo Mondays and post-sports night hangxieties, but there are so many things to do in Birmingham that don’t involve drinking. Whether you’re just not in the mood to drink, or choose to stay sober, all of our bank accounts and livers could definitely benefit from some more wholesome activities.

Here are 10 alternatives activities in Birmingham if you need a break from the booze.

Pottery Painting

Creative Coffee on Raddlebarn Road offers the perfect space to catch up with your friends whilst testing out your artistic capabilities. Located in Selly Oak this cafe provides a prime location for a drink-free social.

Most of the pieces they offer are under £10, and you get to take home a new piece of decor for your room, making it the ideal student activity for when a more relaxed day is needed!

Try out some of Birmimghams independent cinemas

The Mockingbird in Digbeth or The Electric Cinema in city centre are a little more understated, but are the perfect spot for a solo cinema trip or an outing with friends. The Electric is the UK’s oldest working cinema, and they offer a student discount all day, every day, reducing a standard £10 ticket to £5.50 making it a worthwhile visit. Both cinemas offer a unique experience compared to your typical cinema, making them a must try in Brum.

Sports classes

Sport is a great way to meet people and proven to reduce stress, so a good option when assignment season hits! UoB offers a range of options, with 55 sports clubs and over 150 classes a week at Sport and Fitness – the uni gym, there is something for everyone.

Go to Cannon Hill Park

Cannon Hill offers the perfect space to take a break from the bustle of city life. It offers pedal boating on the lake, mini golf, a conservation park, and much more. MAC Birmingham is also located at Cannon Hill, and with galleries, exhibitions, theatre, dance, and craft workshops throughout the year it’s a perfect place to enjoy a sober weekend.


Bowling is the perfect way to spend a sober evening with friends. If you get the train to Five Ways you will find Hollywood bowl, or if you fancy trying something different, Birmingham is home to two Lane 7 locations. Located in The Cube and The Bullring, Lane 7 offers a range of activities beyond your standard bowling. Open until 2am at the weekends Lane 7 is an ideal spot for when you fancy a night out, but aren’t in the mood to drink.

Go for brunch

Selly Oak and its surrounding areas offer a wide variety of independent brunch spots. Cafe Face, Kafenion, and Hey Brew all in the proximity of Selly Oak offer a range of delicious brunch dishes and drinks, with options that fit into the student budget, Cafe Face even offers a student discount! All offer a relaxing environment for catching up with friends and enjoying delicious food and coffee, the perfect way to spend your hangover-free Sunday morning!

Join a society

UoB’s Sober Socials Society have created a welcoming and friendly space centred around sober-socials.

They offer activities including bowling, games nights, mini golf, quizzes, and escape rooms, providing the perfect opportunity to connect with likeminded individuals and enjoy a social.

Pub quizzes

Joes, The Goose, The Bristol Pear, The Bear and Staff, and even Circo offer weekly quizzes with a range of prizes up for grabs. This is a great option for a sober midweek social, offering an opportunity to show off your competitiveness and general knowledge skills, whilst enjoying an evening out with friends.

Explore Birmingham’s gardens

Winterbourne Gardens in Edgbaston offers a leafy haven in the middle of Birmingham. With an Edwardian historic house and acres of beautiful botanical gardens this is the perfect way to spend a cosy autumnal day. They also offer free entry for UoB students!

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens is one of the UK’s most significant historical botanical gardens, and with over 7000 plants to explore it’s a lovely way to spend the weekend. They also offer reduced tickets for students making it the ideal spot for a relaxing day.

Go out anyway!

Alcohol isn’t a prerequisite for having fun! With the right groups of friends you can still enjoy a dance and sing along completely sober. Remember that your job isn’t to look after everyone, and make the most of being able to remember the entire night and enjoy your hangover free Sunday! If you’re looking for some alcohol free alternatives to get you in the mood, big Sainsbury’s has £5 bottles of zero per cent Freixenet at the minute and its even been rated “the best alcohol free thing I’ve ever tasted” by a friend, so might be worth a try next weekend!

Students can access support through the confidential listening and support service UBHeard here, or can call the service on 0800 368 5819 (Freephone UK) or 00353 1 518 0277 (International).

If you’re worried about your own or someone else’s drinking, you can call Drinkline, the national alcohol helpline, on 0300 123 1110 or visit the Alcohol Change website

Related articles recommended by this author:

• These are out top 10 visitor-approved food spots in Birmingham

• 10 things you’ll only relate to if you lived in Mason Halls 

• A hearty list of 20 things Birmingham students think are equivalent to the Roman Empire