Being a university student comes with its great perks but also often means living on a budget. Going clubbing is super fun, only until you’ve realised you have spent all your allowance at the club in one night. Tired of doing the same things and spending too much money? Here’s a list of 50 fun activities for a cheap day out with your friends.
1. Pub Quiz
One of the easiest things for your friend group to do is join a pub quiz. These are usually organised weekly by local pubs in nearly every city and town. Enjoy a splendid evening in a great atmosphere, good music and the company of your friends while having the most fun. The perks? You only need to spend a minimum fee to enter the quiz – the perfect option to cross off the university budget list! And then afterwards, you can just chill in the pub. If you really don’t know where your local is, try this overwhelming map!
Every city all across the UK has bowling alleys. Usually easy to access by bus connections or even walking, having a bowling night is the perfect answer to a boring night. Booking a lane may seem expensive to start with lanes costing around 10-15 pounds for an hour. However, splitting this between your friends will end up costing you 2 pounds each!
3. Roller disco
Pretty famous back in the 80s, roller discos are still happening today. Although still surrounded by hyped music and lots of people, a roller disco is a great alternative to your usual Friday night-outs. Pricing for roller discos usually ranges between 5 to 15 pounds depending on the event and organiser.
4. Hiking and Walking
Costing absolutely nothing, there are millions of hiking tracks and walking trails all around the UK. Hiking can also be much more fun when you are with your friends, and the sun’s out. A short bus ride to the outskirts of the city or a quick train ride can always make you closer to your trails. However, make sure you research your routes in advance so that you do not get lost!
5. Bike riding
Fun and exercise mixed? Bike riding is your perfect answer. Now emerging in every city, community bikes are available nearly everywhere, so even if you do not have a bike, this is still an option!
6. Afternoon Tea
Afternoon tea is a British tradition, offered in many traditional coffee shops and newer modern ones with improved recipes and artisanal teas. Splitting the costs of the tea between many of you usually means that you’ll each pay around £5 for an afternoon treat of cake and tea or coffee.
7. Karaoke Nights
Perhaps you cannot hit a single note and deem yourself tone-deaf, but a few drinks beforehand may help with encouragement to sing. Karaoke nights are great fun and create lots of memories. Lucky Voice has karaoke events all around the country, so a booth is out there waiting for you to showcase your talent! Booths often cost around 10 pounds per person, making it a great “on budget” activity.
Museums are the perfect way to kill some time when you are bored. It is perfect to learn something new and spend some time with your friends. Here is a list of all the museums across the UK to see what is available for you in your city. It is also the perfect way to have fun when the weather is being gloomy. On top of that, students can usually access most museums for free.
Similarly to museums, another option is going to an art gallery, another perfect way to enjoy yourself when you are fed up with drinking. Galleries often have a free or discounted entry for students making it a great option. The List has great descriptions of the potential venues you can visit.
Need to use up some energy and burn up calories? Why not try trampolining? An hour of trampolining will cost you about £12.50, making it a great fun on the budget activity.
11. Board Game Cafés
Board games are fun for many, and the option of spending your time in a remote environment outside of your house is perfect. Board game cafés offer you exactly what you need: an afternoon well spend and for a good price. Spend money only on one drink or two, and you are still within your budget!
12. Paddle Boarding
Since most cities in the UK have some sort of a water body in their surroundings, Paddle Boarding is a great sport to take up. Possibilities, therefore, range from paddle boarding on the sea or a river close by. Usually, this activity run from £20 per person, but this can vary from place to place depending on the provider.
13. Ice Skating
Usually only around wintertime for obvious reasons, ice skating rings are usually located in every city. Are you up for twinkly lights, cold breaths and warm hugs? This is your chance. Students’ discounts are available at most venues, making it one of our favourite option for a great night out.
14. Sky Bars
These are very occasional and for sure not available everywhere and all the time. However, temporary sky bars happen all the time. Most of them are located in big metropolitan cities across the UK. Soak up panoramic views, and have a few fancy drinks or a delicious dinner at great heights.
There are castles located all across cities in Britain, so the chances are that your city has one too. Some have admission fees, but usually there is a reduced student ticket. Plus, there are a lot of ruins around too, which are free to visit. Have a look at this interactive map to find the closest one to you.
Take a £10 note and get it exchanged for chips, and off you go! Arcades are a great deal of fun, and they can keep you busy for hours. You could even take a tour across the venue and try out all the different games and see at which you are the champion!
17. Life Drawing classes
Feeling artistic or just wanting to take up a new hobby? There are life drawing classes happening all the time, usually during weeknights, and are open to all levels. The fees range from 5 to 10 pounds, with all student classes running for cheaper rates.
Since there is a gym nearly in every city, there is a potential that a swimming pool is available to you too. Refresh your mind and get some exercise in too. An hour of swimming will cost you around 5 pounds, depending on the location of your gym. If you take your student card, you are bound to get a student discount!
19. Murder Mystery Evenings
Do you like dressing up and have a minor liking towards acting? How about you have a Murder Mystery Night? Look at Night of Mystery and get inspired. The website has a range of ideas for you to use for your evening mystery night.
20. Mini Golf
Sometimes also called Crazy Golf, Mini golfing is a favourite activity of many. There are many alternatives to choose from, with traditional courses usually being cheaper and putting less emphasis on alcohol. Recently, the chain Junkyard Golf emerged in different places across Britain (with more venues to come) with crazy mini-golf courses as their speciality. Enjoy neon lights and themed courses all under for under £20.
If you do not feel too impressed by mini-golf, you can always try the real deal. Driving courses allow you to try out a full swing at golf and a good price. Plus, if you enjoy golf, then this could potentially become a new hobby.
Just like paddle boarding, canoeing is a great sport and a great activity to push yourself into. Buying a canoe may be a task, but it can be a good investment. However, renting out shouldn’t cost you more than 20 pounds. Check out British Canoeing for more details on where you can do the sport near you.
Seeing sea life can be fascinating at every age. Britevents has a list of the best aquariums in the country. When the weather has turned bad, visiting one of Britain’s best sea life aquariums are the perfect choice. They also offer student discounts similar to those at museums and galleries, so entry should not cost you more than £15.
If you feel absolutely stuck for ideas, stargazing is your choice. Being completely free, look up some constellation’s guides, wait for a clear sky on a good sunny day, and off you go. Lay in the grass with your friends, play some music and feel infinite just for the night.
25. Sunset Watching
Similarly, why not go out on a hill on a sunny summer evening and just watch the sky turn colours. Grab a bottle of cheap wine or a few cans of beer to make the evening nicer, and there you are. An evening well spent without any financial hardship.
26. Laser Tag
Similar to paintballing but significantly less painful, laser tag can be a lot of fun. It’s a great source of adrenaline, and there is a guarantee for tons of moments of unstoppable laughter. Normally, two games are offered for around £10 per person. Look at Laser Quest GB to find a venue closest to you!
27. Cocktail Making Classes
Are you feeling bored by drinking expensive cocktails all the time with no sparks of fun? Revolution or All Bar One offer masterclasses for cocktail making where you get to be your own mixologist. The catch? This one isn’t too budget-friendly, but if you can spare an extra fiver, you should not cross more than £25 per person on your budget.
28. Wine Tasting
Feeling a little bit more bougie? Why not try attending a wine tasting class? These happen at local bars and pubs and often are budget-friendly at entry.
29. Cheese Tasting
Similarly, accompanying your wine, you could also try some cheese tasting! Cheese tasters happen at local restaurants and artisan bars. Attendance to such tastings can cost you £5 to £10, depending on the venue.
Since so many UK cities are based around rivers, why not try going on a cruise. An opportunity to go on a good old fashioned river cruise shouldn’t go to waste, and it is guaranteed to give you and your friends many long-lasting memories. These cruises shouldn’t cost more than £15 per person.
31. Brewery Tours
If you appreciate a good beer, then why not go and tour a brewery. Many experience organisers offer a tour if your not sure where to look, and there’s sure to be a sample or two. Tickets usually cost around £20 per person, but this depends on where and when you go.
Have you done your driving license but cannot afford a car while being at uni? We got you. Brush up on your driving skills and challenge your friends to a race. Go-Karting is great fun and often budget-friendly. Depending on the venue, you could ride for as little as 15 pounds! There are tracks all over the UK – find yours at Team Sport.
33. Escape Rooms
Escape rooms are the perfect activity for a weekend or afternoon, and have become exceedingly popular in recent years. Exit games have a map of escape rooms near you, so you find your local venue easily. Ranging from £10 to £15 per person, it is one of your go-to choices.
Costing absolutely nothing, other than perhaps your bus journey to get there, volunteering is your go-to activity. It is the perfect way to make yourself busy, have fun and help somebody along the way. Check out your student union webpages to look for volunteering opportunities.
35. Farmers Market
If you feel like exploring your city’s community activities, going to a farmers’ market is a perfect idea. Support your local businesses and have a good time. Plus, you only get to spend what you want to pay!
36. Thrift shopping
The fact that we all sometimes get bored with our closet is pretty normal. However, being eco-conscious and understanding the negatives of fast fashion are also on the rise, so second-hand shopping is the way to go. Why not visit your local thrift shop or charity shop and find yourself something ultimately funky?
When you feel absolutely desperate and frustrated and bored, just go and do some exercise. You can do this alone or with some friends. Just go into your local park and go for a run or buy a frisbee and throw a game for your friends.
Are you feeling creative? Visit your nearby craft store and get creative. Create collages or abstract paintings and channel your inner artist. Tiger has a lot of art supplies for cheap prices, most less than £10!
Love the British Bake-off? Why not invite your friends over on a Friday night but only under one condition: everybody has to bake something. You can of course, all bake something together. Baking Mad has a wide range of wonderful and easy recipes that could inspire your baking.
40. Fantasy Sports Tournaments
Challenge your friends to an online game! Create your own competition! There are many games outlets with fantasy sports like Rocket League out there. Start by downloading discord and Twitch, and you’re there! Registering for these accounts is usually free of charge; however, some games may be off charge.
Get your creativity floating and start your own fashion staple piece. Visit your closest shop with yarn, and off you go. There are many online resources for you to use, like Love Crafts where you can get knitting patterns, as well as tutorial videos on YouTube to guide you.
You do not need a professional camera to do photography. Take a friend out for a walk and grab your phone. Take pictures of whatever you find pretty – including your friend.
43. Make a time Capsule
Are you looking to store memories? Create a time capsule! Buy a small paper box (shouldn’t cost more than a fiver) and gather small significant items of sentimental value. Place it in the box, store or hide the box somewhere. Make sure to remember it a few year’s time and remind yourself how far you have come!
Grab your phone and join the world’s treasure hunt! Geocaching is becoming more and more popular in recent years. At Geocaching.com, you can find instructions for downloading the app that allows you to play. Get your 10 thousand steps a day in while having fun!
45. Start Meditating
In times of stress or boredom, it is good to ground oneself. There are tons of guided meditations on YouTube to get you started. Free apps like Headspace or Calm can also be really helpful. Find a sense of grounding and show up for yourself today!
Journaling can be freeing and is often deemed as self-therapy. Buy a pretty notebook (usually between 8 and 1ľ pounds) and get writing. Here’s a list of journal prompts to get you started.
47. Start a book club
Fan of reading? Start a group for keen readers and discuss all your favourite books. This is completely budget-friendly as you can all exchange books and recycle!
48. Learn a dance routine
With the rapid popularity of Tiktok, why not have fun and learn a super fun dance routine? Tiktok is free to download, and registering is also free of charge. Join the latest dancing trends right now!
49. Have a picnic
The weather is starting to improve day by day, and the days are getting longer. Grab a few snacks at your local Sainsbury’s or Tesco (budget allowed) and have a picnic with your friends on a sunny afternoon.
50. Create a bucket list
When feeling absolutely in doubt, create a bucket list! Write down all your dreams and hopes one by one. Remind yourself of what you are capable of, and manifest all you want into your life! You only need a pen and paper.