14 Things to Do in Leeds Instead of Drinking

· Imagine Selby · Culture

From climbing to dancing, give these booze-free activities a try.

Escape Hunt

Whether you’re giving it up or you just don’t touch it, you’ll need to replace your nights out with something very different indeed – and we’ve got just the thing.

If you’re looking for fun things to do that don’t involve drinking the bar dry, Leeds is awash with activities that more than fit the bill. You could find yourself zooming around an ice rink, enjoying an evening of internationally-acclaimed theatre or even trying your hand at retro arcade games. The choices are well and truly endless, proving that there’s no need to drink to have a great night out, especially not in Leeds.

Whiz around a roller rink with Roller Girl Gang

Roller Girl Gang

Credit: John Steel Photography

Looking for things to do in Leeds that will really get your heart pumping? Roller Girl Gang hold weekly roller skating workshops for beginners and mixed abilities, as well as family-friendly sessions that will keep the kids happy too. Whether you’ve got skills already or are eager to learn, there’s something for everybody to get involved. Need plans for the weekend? Skip the pub and join in one of their Friday night socials, open to those aged 17 and over.

Roller Girl Gang, Ramgarhia Sikh Sports Centre, 8-10 Chapeltown Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 3AP.

Take to the ice at Planet Ice

Planet Ice

Whatever the season, it’s always cool to get your skates on at Planet Ice. Whether you’re a pro on two blades or a complete novice, their daily public skate sessions promise plenty of fun on the ice, all minus the liquor. So grab your mates or a date and go on a gliding night out. Rather watch than take part? It’s also the home of the Leeds Knights, the city’s ice hockey team, and you can see them in action every single week as they take on rival cities.

Planet Ice, Planet Ice Leeds, Elland Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS11 0EY.

Scale the walls at The Climbing Lab

The Climbing Lab, Leeds

© Copyright Leeds-List 2023 by Sarae Akhamal

Why not seize the sober day and take up a new hobby? Make a beeline for The Climbing Lab and live out all of your Spiderman dreams. With ascents for everyone, from beginners to pros, it’s one of the best places in Leeds to dabble in this extreme sport. You can join in classes that will not only teach you the basics of bouldering, but also improve your flexibility and core. Once you’re all worn out, it’s straight to the social space for a cuppa and a chat.

The Climbing Lab, Units 14 & 15, Kirkstall Industrial Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2AZ.

Get crafty with Leeds Crochet Club

Crochet

Leeds Crochet Club offers one of the best fibre craft workshops in Leeds and it will get you crocheting like a pro in no time. Their beginners classes will introduce you to basic stitches, from the slip stitch to the magic circle, single crochet to the treble stitch. This is a laid-back and sociable class where you can finesse your hook technique, with plenty of peer and expert support. Best of all, you’ll come out with your own handmade creation at the end of it!

Leeds Crochet Club classes are usually held in the John Lewis Community Hub, Floor 4, John Lewis, Victoria Gate, Harewood Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7AR.

Cook up a storm at Leeds Cookery School

Leeds Cookery School

It’s never too late to learn something new. And you won’t find a more welcoming or delicious place to do just that than Leeds Cookery School. Based at the Old Fire Station in Gipton, Head Chef Simon Chappelow and his team will get you slicing and dicing with locally-sourced produce to create everything from Thai fare to fresh bread and pasta from scratch. What’s more, since it’s a charity, you’ll be doing a bit of good by giving back while you’re at it.

Leeds Cookery School, The Old Fire Station, Gipton Approach, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 6NL.

Escape the room before the clock hits zero

Escape Hunt

Ready to test your wits and attempt to escape from a locked room before the time runs out? That’s exactly what you’ll get at Leeds’ finest escape rooms. You’ll be escorted into a room of your choosing, filled with tricky challenges and riddles. Your mission? To solve them all to find the hidden clues that will get you out – fingers crossed. You’ll find Tick Tock Unlock, Escape Hunt and The Great Escape Game, all in the city centre.

Check out the best escape rooms in Leeds.

Move your feet at The Dance Studio

Ballet Fitness at Dance Studio

Credit: Brian Slater

Learn to shimmy and shake just like Shakira at The Dance Studio Leeds. They run beginners belly dancing classes every Monday evening, so you can master this beautiful art in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. Kitted out with an authentic coined scarf, you’ll go through the basic steps like belly rolls and hip lifts first before you pick up more complex moves. If belly dancing isn’t for you, there’s an array of dance classes on offer here too, from salsa to pole fitness.

The Dance Studio Leeds, Mabgate mills, Mill 6, Macaulay Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 7SW.

Treat your sweet tooth with dessert

Amorino

There’s no need to go to the pub to meet your friends, not when there’s tempting treats elsewhere. Leeds is home to some cracking dessert places that will end all your sugary cravings. You can tuck into all manner of sweet-toothed wonders, from wacky ice cream flavours to syrupy pancakes, waffles smothered with toppings to crepes filled with chocolatey goodness. Don’t forget the oozy cookie dough or over-the-top milkshakes either.

Check out the best ice cream and dessert parlours in Leeds.

Bounce the night away at Jump Inc.

Jump Arena

You can flip, bounce and tumble your way across a series of huge, interconnected trampolines at Jump Inc. Essentially, this is a super-springy adventure playground for adults and kids alike – the biggest in Leeds to be exact. You can have a ball as you bounce around the place, dive into gigantic foam pits and play epic games of dodgeball. You’re free to bounce around to your heart’s content between 12pm and 3pm on weekdays.

Jump Inc., 1 Benyon Park Way, Holbeck, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 6DP.

Explore your culinary horizons at Trinity Kitchen

Trinity Kitchen

Street food is just as good without the hard stuff at Trinity Kitchen. Tucked away at the top of the city’s treasured shopping centre, this haven of delicious grub offers fare from permanent vendors, serving everything from pho to burritos, rice bowls and chicken & waffles. But the real magic comes from their pop-up vendors, who are lifted into the venue every eight weeks, giving you even more foodie choice in a no-frills, laid-back setting.

Trinity Kitchen, Trinity Leeds, 27 Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5ER.

Get your game on at Geek Retreat

Geek Retreat

Credit: Tom Box

Who needs to drink the night away when you’ve got Leeds’ finest social gaming space to revel in? Geek Retreat is a home away from home for anyone who loves to get their game on. Whether it’s board games, collectable card competitions or even old-school arcade cabinets – it’s all here. You can even settle down with a manga and one of their mammoth ice cream milkshakes for a comfier-than-usual evening on the town.

Geek Retreat, Central Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DX.

Take yourself to a rip-roaring show

Dreamgirls

Credit: Matt Crockett

Want to soak up a dose of culture? Get yourself down to the theatre, or rather, theatres – Leeds has plenty of ‘em for you. You can enjoy a calendar of amazing shows, from tear-jerking dramas to side-splitting comedies and toe-tapping musicals. Catch the latest Broadway blockbusters at the Grand, family-friendly shows at the Carriageworks, grassroots gems at Leeds Playhouse, while Opera North and Northern Ballet show off the city’s creative side on a regular basis.

Find out what’s on in Leeds theatres this month.

Play away to your heart’s content at Arcade Club

Arcade Club

You can get stuck into an evening – or afternoon, if you so prefer – of retro gaming at Arcade Club. It’s an ultra-cool venue, complete with neon lighting and consoles new and old covering every corner. Cough up the £17 entry fee and you can go wild on any of their vintage machines for as long as you so desire. You’ll find 250 games spread across 3 floors, so whether you’re a Pac Man master or a Street Fighter fiend, PS4 nut or XBOX stan, you’re covered.

Arcade Club, Unit 3, Abbey Retail Park, Savins Mill Way, Kirkstall, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS5 3RP.

Make some feline friends at the Kitty Cafe

Kitty Cafe

Who cares about the pub when there are cats to be stroked and coffee to be drunk? Kitty Cafe is the place to go to meet some four-legged, pointy-eared cuties while you grab lunch or a hot drink in Leeds. You can grab a toy and play with the curious ones, or just enjoy the sight of them in their slumber. Better yet, the money you spend helps the cafe care for these rescue cats and kittens as they search for their forever homes.

Kitty Cafe, 8-9 Kirkgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6BZ.