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10th Jul 2019

Non-Drinkers Guide To Dublin: Things To Do For A Sober Night Out This Summer

Brian Dillon

For the past couple of months, I have been trying to do more fun things that don’t involve alcohol in Dublin.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a drink, but in order to broaden my horizons,  I’ve been having a lot more sober nights out, and also suggesting alternatives to my mates.

While I still love going to bars and clubs and just not drinking at them, sometimes I want an alternative that doesn’t have to involve alcohol at all. I don’t necessarily always go to spots that strictly don’t serve alcohol, but I tend to pick places that don’t place as much of an emphasis on alcohol as a bar or nightclub would.

So, here are some of the things I love to do when I’m not in the humour for a night out on the pints.

Spend the night in the arcade

The arcade is where we can all release our inner child. My favourite spots are probably Token and Jam Park. They have the option to order a drink as well as unreal food, so if one of my friends wants to have a pint, the option is there. But there isn’t as much emphasis on sitting and having a pint, because I could literally spend all night on the ping pong table or whipping my mates asses at Street Fighter.

Go on a food crawl

Like a pub crawl, but with grub. Stunning!

You have all the excitement of moving from place to place and trying different bits. A pub crawl isn’t all that enjoyable when you’re ordering diet coke at every bar. But give me a food crawl where I can have different cuisines all in the space of a few hours and I am there.

Do an escape room

Such. A. Laugh.

If you haven’t done an escape room before, basically, you and your mates have to work together to solve puzzles and get out of a room in a certain amount of time. It can be challenging and utterly hilarious. Be warned, you and your pals might fall out over it if you’re the competitive type, but sure look, you can kiss and make up and laugh about it after.

Escape Dublin on Aungier Street is a great spot to do it. The Escape Boats at Grand Canal are also a good laugh.

Visit the Virgin Mary

Last month saw the opening of Ireland’s first ever non-alcoholic bar. While I’m not sure if I would spend a whole night here, it is definitely a nice place to stop off during your night of sober activities.

It’s a super stylish bar and the cocktails are delish!

Hang out at Accents Tea and Coffee Lounge

Accents is a late-night coffee and tea lounge on Dublin’s Stephen Street and regularly hosts a load of cool events.

They often have comedy gigs and music sessions on, but honestly, it’s just a really cool place to hang out in general. And it’s open til 11pm every night (except for Sundays when they are open until 10pm) so it’s a great place to escape the bars and have a chill night.

Spend the night at the International Comedy Club

I always find that I tend to not want to drink when I’m at some sort of event or show. If I’m already being entertained, I don’t need anything else for a good time.

The International Comedy Club on Wicklow Street sees unreal comedians from Ireland and abroad take to the stage to make you belly-laugh.

Go to an outdoor movie

There are loads of these on in Dublin this summer. There are the drive-in retro movies in Leopardstown, with fab movies on this summer, while Happenings puts on showings of favourites like The Greatest Showman in different parks around Dublin.