5 Places to Enjoy a Night Out in London During Dry January

Dry January in London

Disclosure: I may earn a small commission from the companies or products mentioned in this post.

So just like me you’re taking part in dry January this year, however, you still want to go on a night out with friends in London?

Being the only sober one in a nightclub whilst all your friends are knocking back Jägerbombs at the bar and rocking out their best dad moves in the middle of the dance floor can be a bit of a drag. You get branded as ‘the boring one’ and your responsibilities are to guard the table with all the coats left on it and making sure everyone gets home safely at the end of the night (this may involve physically carrying someone and placing them into a taxi).

This is why I’ve created a list of all the places in London where the sober and drunk alike can enjoy a great night out together during dry January…


Indulge Your Inner-Child at Ballie Ballerson

Dry January in London

Yes, this one may technically be a nightclub, however, it’s so much fun you definitely don’t need alcohol to enjoy it. Ballie Ballerson, which recently upgraded to a bigger permanent space in Shoreditch, has a chest-high ball pit filled with 1 million balls!

You can spend your night playing hide and seek under the balls or having a giant ball fight with strangers.

There is also a bar serving retro sweet-inspired cocktails for your friends who do want a drink.

Read about my full experience at BallieBallerson here.



Enjoy Some Competitive Socialising at Swingers Crazy Golf

Dry January in London

Located in the City, just a few steps from the Gherkin, you will find Swingers Crazy Golf, an indoor crazy golf club based on a 1920’s English countryside golf club.

The venue has two 9 hole courses, a two-story clubhouse, live DJs, 5 bars and 3 street food vendors (including my favourite burger joint Patty & Bun), and is open until 1am from Wednesday to Saturday.

Eat, drink (soft drinks) and have plenty of fun competing against your friends in this classic British pastime.



Embrace the Winter Chills at Ice Bar London


Embrace the January chills and head to Ice Bar London, just off of Regent Street, where the walls, bar, tables and even cups are all made of crystal clear ice from Northern Sweden.

Each year there is a different theme, with this year’s being Wild in the City, with animal sculptures and carvings of London landmarks such as the London Eye, St Pauls and even a classic red telephone box.

From the bar, you can enjoy non-alcoholic cocktails in their famous ice cups.

Strapped on cash after Christmas? Check out this Groupon Deal for up to 6 at Ice Bar London.



Stay Sophisticated and Sip on Non-Alcoholic Cocktails

Dry January in London

Photo from Redemption Bar London

Looking for something a little classier? The suitably named Redemption is London’s first non-alcoholic bar, with establishments now in both Notting Hill and Shoreditch.

As well as serving up healthy, non-alcoholic versions of many classic cocktails, as well as seedlip cocktails (the worlds first distilled non-alcoholic spirit), the bar also offers non-alcoholic beer and even non-alcoholic sparkling wine.

You could even combine drinks with dinner, with Redemption’s restaurant serving a selection of vegan, sugar-free and wheat free food. So if you’re also taking part in Veganuary (poor you!), or simply just trying to lose those extra Christmas pounds, this is a great choice for enjoying an evening out with friends.

However, if you fail at convincing others who are not doing dry January to give up booze for the night, there are still plenty of London cocktail bars serving up both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Just order a ‘mocktail’, or the lesser-used ‘softtail’, and your friends will completely forget that you’re not drinking.



Use the Money You Save For a Night Out in the West End

I know it’s a little different to the previous 4, but the West End is always a great option for a dry night out in London.

There are so many amazing shows on at the moment. Either head to the TKTS booth in Leicester Square for cheap last-minute tickets to whatever shows are still available on the night, or check out websites such as LOVEtheatre to book great online deals in advance.

My logic is that if you were going on a night out to a club you’d probably spend at least £50+ on entry, drinks and the taxi home, so why not put the money you save not drinking to good use and enjoy one of London’s iconic shows.

I recently got £20 tickets for Agatha Christies ‘Mouse Trap’ and for anyone who likes murder mysteries, this is a must see! Or if you’re not a fan of the theatre, look out for a bit of stand up comedy at places such as The Comedy Store.

Plus if you’re going with friends that fancy a drink, all venues have a bar with a wide selection of tipples to enjoy during the show.


Looking for more ideas? Check out this great list of things you can do in London which do not involve alcohol!


What tips do you have for someone wanting to spend a night out in London during dry January?

London City Calling

Emily is a born and raised London girl, starting life in the north of the capital then moving down to Fulham in the southwest. She has a master’s degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology from University College London and now works full-time running this blog and as a freelance travel writer, splitting her life between London and travelling the world as a digital nomad.

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