Alternative Nights Out in London
Here’s one for those who like to think outside the box. If you’re not satisfied until you’ve slayed your mates at London’s first interactive darts bar, tucked into a banquet of the most creative cuisine or danced at a breathless house party atop Old Street roundabout, our list of the best alternative nights out in London is for you. Read on for the latest list of unusual things to do in London and get planning your next unique night out today.
Last updated on 29th November 2016
Whether you'd consider arts and crafts to be your thing, or you're just looking for something a little different to do on a night out in London, Nicole Line has just the thing. Join her creative workshops for a roster of artsy activities in the city including tie-dye classes and screen printing.
Infernos in Clapham hosts their monthly comedy spectacular, inviting some of Britain's biggest comedians to take part in their Comedy Carnival. Whether you're a fan of Reginald D Hunter's sarcastic chat, or perhaps prefer the quirky, wonderfully awkward humour of Sara Pascoe, you'll leave this South London spot in stitches of laughter and simply counting down the days until their next show.
Dancing gets tough on the feet so having an alternative grand time is always a good idea. Look no further than The Bat and Ball in Stratford. This venue has two bars, a pizzeria, a deli, and did we mention more ping pong tables than you thought a venue could fit? The 'Games Hall' may just take center stage in your heart for a night out in London. Redefine rally at this East London nightlife alternative. Dancing will commence after victory though.
With a name that suits, Oddbins offer an unusual night out in London for those who fancy themselves as lovers of le vino, or those who just love to learn a bit more about their drinks. Expect bespoke party packages with wine, beer or spirit tastings and even an opportunity to pitch your own tutored tasting experience. Oddbins will cater to you.
Two of the biggest names in London's illusionist circles, Tony Middleton and Dominick Zwolinski, take over the Simspons in the Strand this December, promising a night of unbelievable sights and disconcerting sorcery. The renowned duo will take guests through a magical tour of the 1900s, performing some of the centuries most iconic illusions and exploring how the world of magic has changed over the years. With a few of their own signature stunts thrown in for good measure, you certainly won't forget this dazzling evening anytime soon.
Why be bogged down by the boring on a night out in London when you could scare yourself senseless instead. Join this tour as not only will you uncover the truth behind the deadly Jack The Ripper name, there's location visits, blood curdling history and more.
Roof East is a bar in Stratford where you can enjoy cocktails, creative events and open air movie nights all while you gaze out at views of the Olympic Park and the rest of the city. It’s a must-visit come the summertime, when their signature cars are crammed with plant pots filled with fresh lavender and everything from fitness classes to workshops are held from the play zone. There’s lots of quirky things to try as well as great-tasting cocktails and a street food menu from a Hawksmoor chef.
For innovative and award-winning theatre in South London, head to The bread and Roses theatre in Clapham. Showing a whole variety of shows, from Hamlet to musicals about millennial life and Tinder, the theatre produces shows that challenge and intrigue, guaranteed for a night out with a difference.
The Loves Company, just off Old Street roundabout, hosts Pitch Black this November and December, a drinks tasting session that takes place in almost complete darkness. Unlike any other tasting session, this alternative night out in London uses the dim lighting to enhance their guests' senses, thus making the tasting of the drinks a more immersive and all-consuming experience. During the evening, each guests will taste 2 crafted cocktails, a palate cleansing amuse bouche and 2 aromatic wines, all the while having their senses enhances by the room's near pitch-black lighting.
Bursting with vintage lamps, cosy armchairs and a handful of quaint antiques, the Little Year Door in Notting Hill is a venue full of character, and offers Londoners a huge, retro themed night out in town. With a record collection reaching as far back as the swinging days of Cole Porter, retro-lovers can request songs by simply messaging the DJs. Easy-going by nature but full of fun-loving laughter, Thursday nights in West London have just been turned on their heads thanks to this alternative night out.
Mixology Studios' cocktail-making class gives small groups of mixers their very own custom-built bars to work with (alongside providing each individual with their own equipment) - so there's no taking turns here; this is two hours of continuous mixing and tasting! Master the basics before learning more complex techniques. By the end of the class, have a crack at making 'the best cocktail of the day!'
Test your cunning and survival skills at the Hunted's latest immersive theatre event, Hunted Lates. Armed with rubber band guns and set the task of protecting the humanity-saving cure, guests will battle it out with their friends and complete a number of daring physical challenges at this December pop-up event. Making this the complete weekend experience, there'll be a bar serving all your favourite drinks and DJ spinning a selection of party tracks between games. Immersive theatre simply doesn't get quirkier than this.
When was the last time you watched one of the best Elvis impersonators in the world? If the answer to that question is almost never, it's your time to catch 'Suspiciously Elvis' for a 90 minute show of some of the best hip-shaking hits in the business.
Rumour has it that the game of Shuffleboard is something of a big deal in the States, so how about trying it in London? Bringing the city's first ever Shuffleboard pop-up to Brick Lane, head on down for this beloved game in a cool setting served alongside cocktails and more.
When it comes to trying something different on a night out in London, how does getting scared senseless sound? Join the Ghastly Ghost Tour as they take you around the city, regaling creepy and ethereal tales of a city gone by in this unique walking tour.
See Trainspotting in a whole new way as In Your Face Theatre production create an immersive theatre experience that packs a punch. Involving the audience, hear Mark Renton's story as the group navigate you through the '80s Edinburgh streets.
Of all unusual things to do in London, checking out the notorious Little Nan's drinking den has to be top. If you haven't heard of her then listen up, cs ain't no party like a Little Nan party. The Little Nan team will be popping up at Rio Cinema in Dalston for a heavy dose of 90s inspired mayhem complete with 90s pick 'n' mix and more.
With various stag heads mounted on the walls and even a Scandinavian Santa Claus walking around, the Nordic Yulefest returns this December for a third year in a row, offering revellers a small taste of what Christmas is like in Scandinavia. With Tomte (Santa Clause to you and me) walking around all night, various hearty meals and a whole host of fun-loving Nordic games, you definitely won't forget a night here.
Combing the best of soulful jazz with high energy swing dancing, the team at the Arcola Theatre seem to understand what a fun Friday night is all about. With dance classes for both beginners and experienced dancers, and a wide choice of dances - from the lindy hop to the Charleston - things are nicely rounded off by a sparkling live Jazz show.
Guaranteed to get you all hot under the collar and on the edge of your seat, Forbidden Nights is London’s hottest male variety show held at the majestic Clapham Grand. Boasting an all-star line-up of talented performers who have been picked from across the UK, take in a live show with a Channing Tatum lookalike and an X-Factor finalist in its ranks at this classy but fun girls night on the town.
The London Cabaret Club puts on one of the most unique nightlife experiences in Central London. Combining a traditionally British fine-dining experience with an innovative live show, this is a night that you won't forget anytime soon. A cast of the West End's biggest cabaret performers deliver an excellently choreographed show whilst the kitchen here rustles up a menu of truly delectable dishes.
Who knew one of the most quirky nights out in London could be enjoyed atop a busy Shoreditch roundabout? Brought to Old Street by the mighty Burger Bear, discover this unique party space which gathers leading street-food vendors, artisan coffee shops and White Lyan cocktail serves together to host an almighty party.
If you're looking for something different to do in London, solving the mystery of Lady Chastity and her iconic fabled reserve wine is definitely up there. This is the latest in the immersive theatre movement where you're working against a clock to crack the Lady's case and escape form her boudoir at People's Park Tavern or The Four Thieves in Battersea.
Aeronaut brings all of the fun of the circus to Acton each and every Saturday. Promising a spectacular affair that needs to be seen to be believed, get set for an evening of oh’s and ah’s inspired by these circus tricksters, acrobats and fire-breathers. A glitzy and entertaining spectacle rightly considered one of the top alternative things to try in London.
Your mates + a darts board + plenty of drinks = a great night out; it’s not rocket science. Well actually, it is. Flight Club’s pioneering approach fuses real-time scoring, animated features and a slick interface to bring something completely different to London’s social scene. A night of fun and games at Flight Club is a ground-breaking, interactive night out rivalling the wave of ping-pong bars you can find about town. There’s classic cocktails and sharing dishes to help keep the party flowing ‘til late.