Once the sun goes down, Leeds comes alive, so get ready for some truly sensational nights out in the city.
Leeds has a real buzz about it at night. Bars and clubs come to life and countless unmissable experiences beckon. We’re talking pub crawls, beer pong and wild dancing until the sun comes up. And with a £1 single into Leeds after 7pm with First Bus, it’s never been easier or cheaper to get out there. So what are you waiting for? Seize the night!
Have a hole lotta fun with crazy golf
This is not your dad’s golf club. It’s not just the absence of Pringle knitwear, the three courses at this neon-lit den in are truly eccentric and absolutely unmissable. Grab a bunch of mates, order a round of cocktails (the Junkyard Love Club combines pink gin with Ribena and Love Hearts) and start swinging. Bozo, Pablo and Gary – that’s the courses, not your friends – all have their own theme, while a soundtrack of banging tunes gives your game strong ‘Ryder Cup on acid’ vibes.
Junkyard Golf Club, The Light, The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 8TL.
Dive underground at a secret jazz bar
Okay, maybe ‘secret’ is pushing it for The Domino Club these days, but this is definitely one of the coolest places to hang out in Leeds – and you’ll still need to search for it if you haven’t been before. Head through the door at the back of Lord’s Barbering, descend the stairs and you’ll be in one of the best places to catch a jazz or funk show in the city. The dance floor beckons, as do the snug leather booths and a cocktail list with serious chops. It’s like the very best of New York, but with an ‘LS’ postcode.
The Domino Club, Grand Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PG.
Slide into some shuffleboard action
Shuffleboard has definitely been having a moment and The Head of Steam on Park Row has a pair of lovely lacquered tables that let you play for free. You’ll find them in the dedicated games area – tucked away behind the bar and accompanied by pinball and arcade machines. Once you’ve got yourself a beer from the absolutely massive craft selection, you can bagsy yourself a free table. The rules are simple, but mastering the art of a perfect shot is much trickier. Warning – shuffleboard can be addictive.
Head of Steam, 6 Park Row, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5HN.
Catch the city’s wildest drag show
Want one of the wildest, funnest, most uninhibited nights out in Leeds? Head to Viaduct Showbar. There’s drag delight every night of the week, starting with the Mondays Vibe with Mamma Bear – you can win a £50 bar tab if you triumph in the lip sync battle. Thursdays to Sundays are the main events, with cabarets, showgirls, fabulous hosts, drinks specials and music that ranges from camp classics to vintage pop. If you’re a ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ fan, get yourself down there on Thursdays for the weekly viewing party.
Viaduct Showbar, 11 Lower Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6ER.
Go bonkers at the bingo
It turns out bingo can be both brilliant and barmy. Bongo’s Bingo has breathed new life into this old classic by turning it into a bonkers night out that’s a million miles from the number-dobbing and meat raffles of classic bingo. You’ll find a raucous atmosphere from the beginning, with dancing interludes, ridiculous prizes, confetti cannons blasting into the air and fancy dress galore. And, yes, you will actually be playing bingo. Will you take home a cardboard cut-out of a cheesy star, a stuffed toy or a Henry Hoover?
Bongo’s Bingo, O2 Academy Leeds, 55 Cookridge Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 3AW.
Shake it at a soul club night
In the mood for dancing? The HiFi Club is a Leeds staple that hosts some of the best regular nights in the city, as well as playing host to big names from across the globe. There’s never a dull moment, but Move On Up is a legendary club night. It’s now the longest-running weekly soul music night in the country, and DJ Matt Bolton has been filling the dance floor for over 20 years. Get ready for the cream of Motown, Stax, Northern Soul and perfectly-chosen 70’s disco.
The HiFi Club, 2 Central Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DE.
Scoff in your seat at the movies
Netflix is all well and good, but nothing beats seeing a film on the big screen. Actually, something does – seeing a film on the big screen while someone brings you pizza and drinks. Everyman was the first Leeds cinema to deliver truly cosy sofa seating, and that, combined with fab food, has been putting bums on seats ever since. Whether it’s a first run of the latest blockbuster or the revival of an arthouse classic, you can order up burgers, pizzas or ice cream sundaes straight to your seat.
Everyman Leeds, Trinity Leeds, Albion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5AY.
Beat the clock at an escape room
Want a great night out with your mates? Escape Hunt has a night of puzzling fun for you. It has four different themes for you to choose from, ranging from the pirate peril of Blackbeard’s Treasure through to World’s Collide, a unique Doctor Who live escape game. You can do it in teams of two to six – the more the merrier as it’s cheaper once you get to four players – and you’ll work together to beat the all the codes and puzzles to escape the room in 60 minutes. Teamwork is dreamwork.
Escape Hunt, The Light, The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 8TL.
Quaff crazy cocktails at Cuckoo
Cuckoo is a Call Lane classic, known for its absolutely bonkers decor – think a secret garden, a Narnia wardrobe and a perfectly over-the-top fairground bar – and lush cocktails. Sip on a Terry’s Orange or order up a round of shooters while soaking up the unhinged vibe. There are lots of bar games to indulge in, from giant Jenga to beer pong, and a brilliant bonus if you’re on a budget is that you’ll get a hand-crafted 6-inch pizza for free if you order a drink before 9pm.
Cuckoo, 37 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BT.
Battle your buddies at classic pub games
Graffiti’d walls, neon lighting and booze galore – what better setting could there be for an epic pub game battle royale? Roxy Ball Room gives you the best of all worlds, with beer pong, table tennis, shuffleboard, duck pin bowling, pool, private karaoke rooms and arcade machines. The universal rule of ‘loser buys the drinks’ applies, although losing at beer pong is actually winning, as you get to drink. Go until 4am on Friday and Saturday nights, by which time you’ll have stopped keeping score.
Roxy Ball Room, 9a Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PQ
Binge on burgers & craft beer
This glorious old 1930s building now houses one of the most vibrant nights out in all of Leeds. There’s something on every night, whether it’s a gig upstairs, drinks on the rooftop or just pulling up for a pint in the ground floor’s main bar. Expect the cream of the world’s craft beers on tap, along with a well-stocked spirits range and cocktails. The food is more than a match for it – grab pizza by the slice from Dough Boys or a juicy burger and the sensational Session Fries from Patty Smith’s.
Belgrave Music Hall, 1-1A Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JP.
Let the gaming commence
Whether you’ve got a passion for eSports or just want to rock up with a gang and play some retro consoles, Pixel Bar puts the joy in joysticks. Modern consoles and PCs have an hourly charge, but the vintage machines are free to use. Book a booth with mates and, if you’re a student, head down on Wednesdays for cheaper rates and drinks deals. Take on your buddies while chowing down on Almost Famous burgers and sipping gaming-themed cocktails such as the candy floss-topped Jigglypuff.
Pixel Bar, 25 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AL.
Get a fix of free music at a Leeds classic
Oporto has been a Calls Lane go-to for more than 20 years. A place where you’re guaranteed a good drink, a good time and a good feeling. There’s craft ale both in the fridge and on tap, refreshing lagers and the kind of comprehensive liquor shelf that tells you you’re in good hands. But the soundtrack matters here too – you might be entertained by a DJ set or join them for frequent free live music nights. Combine with vegan junk food from their own Knaves Kitchen and let the good times roll.
Oporto, 33 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BT.
Rack your brains at the perfect pub quiz
Whether your crack squad is called Quizteama Aguilera or Menace to Sobriety, there’s little to beat a decent pub quiz. Actually, there is – a truly tremendous pub quiz. The Hop is already a great place to be, with top beers and pies, plus outdoor tables with canal views, but its quiz is a thing of beauty. Winning teams will have a gallon of beer from Ossett Brewery to drink their way through, while every team gets free entry and a free supper. One more question – what are you waiting for?
The Hop, Granary Wharf, Dark Neville Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 4BR.
Get down to clubbing classics
Pryzm is a proper old-school nightclub and hosts some of the best nights to end your evening in. Weekends are truly buzzing – expect packed dance floors, great local DJ talent and a state-of-the-art sound system. If you’re trying to stretch your student loan as far as it will go, Quids In Mondays are the night for you. As the name suggests, it’s only £1 to get in, with drinks specials starting at £1.50. There are three rooms to lose yourself in and you’ve got until 4am to dance like nobody’s watching.
Pryzm, 16-18 Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8LX
Put away a pint in a Leeds landmark
Leeds has loads of lovely old pubs, but are any lovelier than Whitelock’s? What makes this the jewel in the city’s pub crown is its unspoiled nature. If you want to grab a pint or five, you’ll head down the same alleyways people were filing through back in 1715. Once inside, you’re surrounded by etched glass and brass fittings from the 19th century, a pressed-tin bar, seemingly miles of dark wood and the scent of a great boozer. A great beer range runs from budget to blowout and pub food is taken very seriously.
Whitelock’s, Turk’s Head Yard, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6HB.
Bag a bullseye at Flight Club
You can try your hand at another classic pub game dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century at Flight Club. This is made for group giggles, with the emphasis very much on ‘social darts’. That means electronic scoring, so you don’t have to worry about it, loads of mini-games and three ‘oches’ to stand at when you throw, which levels up the playing field. Chance your arm while supping on classic cocktails and diving into brilliant sharing platters and pizzas.
Flight Club, Sovereign House, 1-2 South Parade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5QL.
Feast on street food every Friday
What better way to ease yourself into another great Leeds weekend than by popping down to The Tetley for their Friday Social? The old Tetley Brewery has been transformed into a vibrant arts and events space and it’s now a reliable go-to close to the River Aire. They have local DJs and a different street food vendor every week, plus a well-stocked bar to explore. The beers aren’t just from Tetley either – there’s a great and ever-changing range on offer.
The Tetley, Hunslet Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS10 1JQ.
Drink on the rooftop at Headrow House
Just when you think you’ve reached the top of Headrow House, after you’ve stepped out of the Redondo Beach bar on to the terrace, you realise you’re not there yet. If you really want to reach the top, there’s another set of steps to ascend to ‘Kennedy Meadows’. Up there, you’ll find covered huts, exposed benches and padded seats, while tunes waft up from local DJs. Work your way through the cocktail list, sample a pint of unpasteurised Pilsner Urquell and line your stomach with cracking kebabs.
Headrow House, Bramleys Yard, 19 The Headrow, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PU.
Laugh it up at a Leeds comedy night
Carriageworks Theatre is the perfect spot for an intimate comedy experience for a fraction of the usual price. They have comedy nights on pretty much every week, ranging from people you’ll have seen on TV to real up-and-comers about to break through. You can catch improv, drunken pub quizzes and reliable circuit comics like Mitch Benn and Tony Law, as well as seeing Edinburgh Fringe shows being polished to perfection. So if you need a laugh, you know where to go.
Carriageworks Theatre, The Electric Press, 3 Millennium Square, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 3AD.
Get the party started at Popworld
The name and the vibrant colours in the window don’t lie – this is the premier pop picker’s party in Leeds. Inside you’ll be greeted by seats under giant day-glo lips and a nonstop soundtrack of cheesy classic pop. You come here to drink and dance, you come here for a good time. Saturday’s Pop Party has half-price drinks before 8pm, while colourful cocktails and the legendary Gumball Sharers are a mess as you lose it to Peter Andre, Steps and countless sing-along, arms-in-the-air gems.
Popworld, 43 Cookridge Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 3AW.*Travel for one single journey on any First Bus West Yorkshire after 7pm except Park & Ride and school services. Tickets can be bought in multiple amounts. Available every day.