Fun sober things to do during Freshers Week

University of Leeds
3 min readSep 27, 2022


Freshers Week is about making new friends, for many also about celebrating their first days of ‘freedom.’ It may feel like you’re the only non-drinker (you’re not!) but you can still have a fun week without alcohol. Here’s a list of activities that will help you meet new people and settle into your environment.

Join a club or society.

Leeds University Union has a plethora of societies , so whether you’re interested in baking, weightlifting, volunteering or almost anything else, you’ll find a group to join. Most societies hold events during Freshers’ Week or Give it a Go (GIAG) sessions soon after, so make sure to take a look at social media channels of societies you’re interested in or on the LUU What’s On website.

Find a favourite new restaurant or café

You’ve just move to a new city so there’s a lot to explore. Leeds definitely has a lot to offer when it comes to good food. A few of our favourites are Eat Your Green, Sarto, Budobust and House of Fu. If you’re looking for an amazing place to have breakfast or lunch and a cup of coffee, we recommend Laynes Espresso, Coffee on the Crescent and North Star Coffee Shop.

Organise a movie night

On the day you have nothing planned you can organise a movie night with your flatmates and new friends. Vote for what you want to watch and chip in for pizza or other snacks, extra points for mood lighting (a.k.a. fairy lights). Whether you laugh together or choose a movie that sparks conversation, it’ll make bring you closer with your flatmates for sure.

Go to a pub quiz.

You can order a mocktail or a soft drink. There’s enough going on that drinking isn’t important. Even more, staying sober might give you a few extra points! If you’re not sure where to go, why not try The Old Bar in the Union Building. They run a quiz night every Thursday.

Visit local museums

It’s time to get to know the history of your new city! Visit Leeds City Museum, Armley Mills, maybe go for a day out at Harewood House. If you’re into arts go to Leeds Art Gallery, Henry Moor Institute and The Tetley. Make sure you’ll also check out the University’s Galleries: Audrey & Stanley Burton Gallery and Treasures of the Brotherton. The Tetley and University’s Galleries often hold workshop and events ranging from life drawing to yoga, so you can sign up with your new friends or make some new ones!

Try new hobbies

Whether through societies or other organisations, you can try so many new things here in Leeds. You might meet some other people who are new to this activity too so you’re on the journey together.

Host or take part in a game night

You can host a game night even with a single deck of cards (ok, maybe with too) if you don’t have any board games. Or you can find a gaming café/bar (eg. Brewdog, Fenton). It’s a perfect activity that allows everyone to let to know each other whether you’re drinking or not. Just don’t get too competitive!

Most importantly: enjoy yourself and remember that drinking is optional. You can still have a great freshers’ week experience without alcohol.