City guide: Manchester

Erynn Blansjaar | January 2019 | 7 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 Manchester that might just make this your best January ever.

1) Cafés, with a twist

Since tea is the drink of choice for many people taking part in Dry January, why not go to a café and treat yourself? Manchester has so many quirky places to spend your afternoon – so bring a friend or your favourite book and enjoy! Have a look at these if you're low on inspiration! Sugar Junction, a 'tea and cocktail emporium'; Nexus Art Café, an inclusive community space; Fab Café for a movie and TV-themed visit and Cat Café, for cat lovers.

2) Indulge your competitive side

Who says bowling is just for kids? Check out these bowling alleys - All Star Lanes and Black Dog Ballroom – they also have some fab mocktails on the menu to try while you’re there!

If you’re feeling extra adventurous, have a go at an escape room! You don’t need to be a braniac to do well – just use your street smarts and that sober mind.

3) Galleries

There are plenty of museums you can have a look around in Manchester. It’s an excellent way to get out of the house and learn something new, or just look at some art. You could even treat yourself to an afternoon tea at one of the cafes mentioned earlier when you’ve had enough. The Whitworth and HOME are just two of many places to start.

4) Trampolining

Now you’re not suffering from hangovers and feeling a bit more energetic, why not go trampolining? It’s a great way to keep fit, and it’s also super fun. Check out Jump Ninja and Flip Out here.

5) Go on a mocktail hunt

Manchester has a plethora of fabulous bars to explore – even when you’re not drinking! Most bars now have at least one mocktail on the menu, but why not ask at the bar if they can make you something special? The Alchemist and Harvey Nichols have some tasty-looking drinks on their menus.

The Northern Quarter is great for an explore. Start at Turtle Bay (they have a great selection of mocktails) and then have a wander around!

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 will you be 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.

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