Alcohol-free things to do in Manchester

Johnny James, Managing Editor

So you’re giving booze a rest and you’re wondering what on earth there is to do for fun that doesn’t involve your old friend (nemesis?) alcohol.

Well as it turns out, there are many good times to be had in Manchester without loosening the old faculties. From craft workshops to live music, ‘competitive socialising’ to foodie adventures, we round up the best alcohol-free things to in and around Manchester in January and beyond.

No crippling hangovers, no drained bank accounts, and — bonus — Sunday mornings will actually be a thing again.

Dry January? Completed it mate.

Our top picks

The Laughienda Comedy Club

The Laughienda Comedy Club at The Lion's Den Manchester, Manchester, Until 15 August 2024 - Book now

If ever a month was in need of light relief, it’s January. Although relatively fresh out the box, Laughienda gets our vote as one of the best comedy nights in Manchester.

Imager courtesy of The Laughienda.
Image courtesy of The Laughienda.

Whistle Punks Axe Throwing

Whistle Punks Axe Throwing, Unit 20, Atrium level, Great Northern Warehouse, 235 Deansgate, , Manchester , Lancashire, M3 4EN - Visit now

Something that definitely doesn’t go hand in hand with alcohol —  throwing axes at large planks of wood with wild abandon. The new year’s as good a time as any for trying something very, very different.


NQ64, 12 Tib Street, Manchester, M4 1SH - Visit now

Think all the fun of childhood, but for adults. Yes, this is a bar, but it’s much more about the many, many arcade games than the booze, and they also do some great alcohol-free cocktails.


Material Power: Palestinian Embroidery at The Whitworth

Material Power: Palestinian Embroidery at The Whitworth, Manchester, Until 7 April 2024, free entry - Visit now

Discover stories gathered in thread at the Whitworth, showcasing beautiful Palestinian textiles and celebrating exquisite local craft.

© The Whitworth, The University of Manchester. Photo: Ruth Wedgbury.

Manchester Restaurant Deals

New year, new you, new set of jaw-droppingly good deals from Manchester restaurants. Read our guide to the best offers available in January.

Treetop Trek Heaton Park

Treetop Trek Heaton Park, Heaton Park St Margaret's Road, Manchester, M25 2GT - Visit now

If you’re looking for a physical challenge this January, Treetop Trek is a very fun one, and comes with an aerial view of Manchester’s Heaton Park and its beautiful woodland.

Treetop Adventure Manchester
Treetop Trek

Chill Factore

Chill Factore, 7 Trafford Way, Manchester, M41 7JA - Visit now

Balance out the uphill struggle that is January by whizzing down the UK’s largest indoor ski slope, at Manchester’s Trafford Park.

Three children with an instructor on the slope at Chill Factore

Madre Manchester

Madre Manchester, The Churchill, 41 Chorlton Street, Kampus, Manchester , M1 3HN - Visit now

Want to pop out for a bite of Mexican food without missing out on the accompanying margarita? Madre have a version of their famous marg with zero booze. Using non-alcoholic tequila, this one tastes just as good as the real thing. Their non-alcoholic El Profe, Picadura, Peach Margarita and Death Proof are also well worth a try.

Ian Jones

Beat The Frog at The Frog and Bucket

Beat The Frog at Frog & Bucket at The Frog and Bucket, Manchester, Until 11 August 2025, free entry - Visit now

“One Mic, One Stage, One Frog”. Beat the Frog is a legendary amateur comedy night, taking place each and every Monday in the Northern Quarter’s Frog & Bucket.

Image courtesy of The Frog and Bucket.

Jo Lathwood: Making Up at The Lowry

Jo Lathwood: Making Up at The Lowry, Manchester, Until 3 March 2024, free entry - Visit now

See Jo Lathwood hard at work at the Lowry’s new residency and exhibition which focuses on the artist’s process, materials and the importance of sustainability.

Image © Jo Lathwood. Photographer: Paul Blakemore

Six By Nico Deansgate

Six By Nico Deansgate, 2 John Dalton St, Manchester, M3 2BY - Visit now

Six By Nico has done it again. The new Deansgate venue is bigger and grander than the (very good) Spring Gardens location, while the staff and food are as high quality as ever.

Six By Nico Deansgate

Castlefield Viaduct

Castlefield Viaduct, Castlefield Viaduct, Manchester, M3 4PU - Visit now

Castlefield Viaduct is an urban park in the sky that honours the city’s industrial past. It’s a great place to learn urban gardening tips, if developing greener fingers is on your ever-growing resolution list.

Castlefield Viaduct by JJ.

Golden Voices at Band on the Wall

Golden Voices at Band on the Wall at Band on the Wall, Manchester and online, Until 27 March 2024, from £5.00 - Book now

Dust off the vocal cords in one of Band on the Wall’s excellent singing groups, Golden Voices — a friendly performing choir for the over 50’s.

Image courtesy of Band on the Wall.

Pasta Classes at Salvis Manchester

Pasta Classes at Salvis Manchester at Salvi's Deansgate Square, Manchester, Until 17 March 2024, from £55.00 - Book now

Getting better at cooking feels like a not-too-daunting New Years Resolution, doesn’t it. You’ll learn plenty at these classes at Salvi’s, one of Manchester’s best-loved Italian food establishments.

Photo by Jorge Zapata

Hamilton at the Palace Theatre

Hamilton at Palace Theatre, Manchester, Until 25 February 2024, from £13.00 - Book now

Politically charged, with outstanding performances and a hip hop soundtrack, there is no doubt Hamilton is one of the hottest theatre tickets in Manchester right now.

Hamilton at the Palace Theatre
Image courtesy of Danny Kaan.

RHS Garden Bridgewater

RHS Garden Bridgewater, Occupation Road (Off Leigh Road), Worsley, Salford, Greater Manchester, M28 2GU - Visit now

Embrace the cool January air at RHS Bridgewater, an 154-acre garden in Salford, packed with outdoor activities for the whole family and colourful, all-year-round flora.

Image: Harris Bugg Studio
actor with pig puppets The Three Little Pigs at Waterside Arts
Spotlight on

Things to do at February half term

Looking for things to do with the kids in the February half term holidays? Check out our guide.

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Culture Guides

Music in Manchester and the North

Fresh concert seasons, forward-thinking festivals and a revolving door of amazing gigs. Things are looking bright as spring comes into view.

Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

February is a month of love so art lovers in the North - rejoice! There is lots to choose from: two photography festivals, gorgeous crafts and shows celebrating local talent.