City guide: Birmingham

Erynn Blansjaar | January 2019 | 5 minutes

Dry January doesn't mean a boring month of sitting home, staring at the wall and feeling sorry for yourself! There are tonnes of alcohol-free activities (for adults!) right outside your door. Here are just a few of the amazing things you can get up to in Birmingham that might just make this your best January ever.

1) Visit the botanical gardens

It might be a bit nippy outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t explore. Wrap up warm and explore the botanical gardens – and treat yourself to a hot drink at the café when you’ve seen enough nature.

2) Watch a film

If going outside isn’t what you’re after, there’s plenty of stuff to do indoors. There are a whole load of new and exciting films out this month, so why not go and see one in the cinema? You could turn it into a sober date, a trip with friends or a treat just for you. Check out Mockingbird and Everyman cinema.

3) Go shopping

All that money you’ve saved has to be spent on something, right? Peruse the shops at Bullring & Grand Central, have some lunch… you could spend days in here and not run out of things to do!

4) Go to a bar

Just because you’re not drinking alcohol, that doesn’t mean you can’t go out to bars and pubs! Most will have at least a small collection of alcohol-free drinks, so you can enjoy your evening without feeling left out. The Victoria has added some fab mocktails to their menu and Bodega has some great options too! And for you indie kids, check out the Sunflower Lounge – who needs a drink when you’re listening to great music in a great place with great people?

5) Brunch in the Jewellery Quarter

The Jewellery Quarter has a lot of lovely cafes, perfect for weekend brunching! Now that you’re fresh-faced and sober, getting up and out for some avocado on toast should be just that bit easier – and, with your money saved, it won’t break the bank!

6) Visit a museum

Birmingham has some incredibly quirky museums you can visit, like Coffinworks and the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. There’s also the Pen Museum, which offers calligraphy classes! New hobby, anyone?


Whatever you decide to do this Dry January, make sure you have a great time doing it! Sobriety does not equal boring and you can be the living proof. What have you been up to this month? Let us know in the comments or @dryjanuary on Twitter – we’d love to know! Plus share any tips you have for alcohol-free activities near you.

Check out some of our other city guides!