When you are looking to spend quality time with your friends, it often involves a few sociables down at the pub, a gathering at someones house (with alcohol usually involved) or going abroad, for a city break with alcohol again no doubt involved.
We’re not saying that these aren’t great ways to spend time with friends and they will no doubt create lasting memories and some great stories, but there are other ways to spend some quality time with friends and family in a group environment. Below we look at just some ideas.
1. Head To A Late Night Coffee Shop
What was once a very European pastime has now made its way over to the UK, and indeed Northern Ireland (although the pub is still the preferred destination of choice for a late night drink). Many coffee shops are open late in the evening and in cities like Belfast and Dublin you can certainly find some coffee shops to enjoy a late night espresso or latte, or whatever it is that you wish to keep you awake for the night 🙂
The big difference that you notice when it comes to sitting down with an espresso is that the speed of life is somewhat slower. Rather than people racing to get to the next pub or club, you can casually watch everyone go by. And it comes with the added benefit of no hangover!
2. Hit The Cinema
Instead of going to watch the latest blockbuster with a room full of people noisily munching on their popcorn and slurping from their oversized fizzy drink, go to the more alternative or independent venues. Instead of watching a popular movie, take in a documentary, go to one of the many fun-filled movie nights in places like the Prince Charles Cinema in London, the Queen’s Film Theatre in Belfast or even Newcastle Community Cinema in our home town of Newcastle. A more intimate movie experience awaits.
3. Challenge Your Mind
This might not sound like a very exciting night out, but there are no mathematical equations to be had here. Rather, going with a group of your closest friends and challenging yourself to the latest escape game means that there’s fun to be had, but you’ll also see how well you work as a team. They’re always good for a laugh, and you may learn a little something while you’re there!
4. Go Dancing
Instead of going to the nightclubs and attempting to show off your “moves”, go for something a little more sophisticated. Lindy hop, salsa, or even just an old-fashioned tea dance are a few ideas out of the norm. You never know, you may find that you have a whole new selection of moves to choose from. And there’s not a sticky carpet in sight!
5. Get Exercising
It doesn’t particularly sound like a group friendly activity, but if you need to satisfy your craving for some dance music at the end of the night, there are fitness raves popping up all over the place, which gives you express permission to get kitted out in all of the bright sparkly colours, and get your sweat on!
Got Something to Add?
And if these don’t appeal, or you haven’t got the money, get everybody around, buy a few pizzas, and just have a good laugh! You don’t need to go to the pub all of the time. And while the pub is great on occasion, maybe look for a monthly or bi-monthly alternative to spending time with your friends.
Other ideas to consider include a play, quiz night at one of your friends homes, poker / games night or start up a book club.
Do you have regular outings with your friends that don’t involve going to the pub? Let us know what they are by commenting below.
Until next time, thanks for reading.
Helen, Nial and Lewis.