Alternative ways to spend a Saturday night that don’t involve drinking

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For most university students, a typical Saturday night involves pre-drinks with our friends, followed by a hazy night out on the town. We’ll wake up late on Sunday with the headache from hell and vow to never drink again… only to do it all over again next weekend. And so, the cycle repeats. Drinking alcohol is a huge part of British culture and university life; so much so that it can be difficult at times to find uni events taking place that don’t involve the aspect of drinking. Contrary to popular belief, though, there are a whole host of ways you can spend a Saturday evening without a drink in sight and still have just as much fun.

Night food better than half-done cheesy chips

Sheffield is home to an array of markets, each with something a bit different to offer. On the first Friday and Saturday of every month, the Peddler Night Market sets up shop in Kelham Island. It opens on Friday evenings until late and all day on Saturdays. With free entry, there’s no excuse not to! There’s a multitude of live music acts, delicious street food from across the globe and independent market stalls offering unique wares.  It’s a great way to spend a night alcohol-free, and what’s more, it won’t break the bank.

Saturday night fever, at the cinema

Heading to the cinema is a great way to unwind and become so immersed in something that you forget the stresses of daily life. Take a seat and take some time for just yourself. Make the most of that student discount and buy the popcorn, this is your night. What better time to do so than on a Saturday evening, when only the blissful Sunday lie-in awaits the morning after? Whether it’s the one everyone’s raving about or a contemporary film, nothing beats a trip to the cinema.

Spa nights > bar fights

Nights in are just as important as nights out. During stressful weeks at uni, it can be difficult to find time to take care of yourself. The last thing you need is a night out that ends up in disaster, so stay in for once. It’s amazing just how many of us don’t do this. So, it’s essential to pencil a pamper night in at least once every couple of weeks. Make a point of switching off electronics to eliminate distractions, light a few candles, and take a long hot bath (or shower, since a surprising amount of accommodation providers don’t share our view on the importance of a bubble bath). Paint your nails, pop on a face mask, do whatever it is that makes you feel relaxed and pampered – you deserve it.

There’s more to Leadmill than Club Tropicana

Whether it’s a band you’ve wanted to see for as long as you can remember, or if you just want to broaden your music taste and try something a bit different, going to a gig is a great way to spend a Saturday night. The best thing about them is that it doesn’t matter if you go with friends, as a couple or alone, and the experience is just as enjoyable alcohol-free. Sheffield has a ton of local talent and so many different venues (not just Leadmill, but we love it) for you to discover. By supporting your local music community, you can meet new people and realise you might like that music genre after all.

All the world’s a stage, so get to the theatre

Props if you got my Shakespeare reference there. Let me ask you when was the last time you went to the theatre? Probably to go see that panto with your grandparents when you were 9. Am I right? The theatre has so much more to offer than that; plays, musicals and ballets for you to watch. Visiting the theatre has a certain charm. The set design will have you in awe, as will the props, lighting, sound and the performance. You can still get all dolled up and go and escape reality for a while. Either going on your own or with friends, you get to experience the performance together with the performers and fellow audience members.


Hopefully you’re feeling inspired to spend your precious Saturday nights a little differently. Chances are with all this to do you won’t be hitting Pop Tarts every weekend, potentially. However you spend your free-time make sure to make time to be spontaneous and venture out from your drinking routine.

Words by Lauren Davidson

Edited by Rosie Mary Kathleen Boon

Hope and Vicky are your lifestyle editors.

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