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43 fun activities to do for under £20

Need a break from those long shifts in the library? Organising a fun activity for you and your friends doesn’t have to break the bank. Here’s some inspiration… 

Uni can get a bit repetitive at times. You go to lectures, you study in the library and you go on nights out every weekend – or something along those lines anyway.

It involves a bit of effort and organisation, but why not use your weekends to rally your friends and do something a bit different?

Everything in the list below will only set you back £20 or less, and will leave you with some amazing memories to take away from uni. I mean, when else are you going to go to a roller disco or try a life drawing class?

43 cheap activities for students

man at beach

  1. Escape rooms – Solve puzzles, riddles and try not to fall out with your mates as you attempt to unlock the door and escape the room within (usually) an hour. Escape rooms are so much fun, and the more people you get involved, the cheaper they usually are – expect to pay between £10 – £20 per person. This map shows all the different escape rooms across the UK. 
  2. Go-karting – We all know that affording your own car at uni can be seriously expensive, so go-karting can be a great way to brush up your driving skills (or take your Mario Kart prowess on to the track). Team Sport have tracks all over the UK, and offer two 15 minute races for as little as £15 (prices vary across locations). 
  3. Wall climbing – Test your core strength by trying out some indoor wall climbing. If you’re a newbie you’ll have to pay for a taster session with an instructor (usually £15 – £20) and you might have to pay a little extra to hire shoes and harnesses. Use the UK Climbing Directory to find your nearest wall. 
  4. Hit the beach – This one is location-dependent but if you’re able to, heading to the beach can be a great way to brush off those cobwebs after a long semester. Waste pennies on Brighton’s arcades, eat fish and chips on Whitby’s seafront or climb to the top of the Blackpool Tower for stunning views.
    stand up comedy
  5. Stand-up comedy – When you think of stand-up comedy, you might think of those expensive sell-out arena tours. But there’s a whole world of brilliant comedy out there, most of it super cheap (and sometimes free!). Google stand up comedy in your area to find those smaller comedy clubs – you never know, you might get to see the next big comedian before they get famous!
  6. Brewery/winery tour – That stuff that you chug by the pint every weekend? Yeah, there’s some pretty complicated stuff that goes into making it. Brewery tours are super interesting and often involve the chance to taste some beers too. Shop around for cheaper deals, as they can get pretty pricey – but tours at the National Brewery Centre just north of Birmingham start around £10 per person. Oh, and of course winery tours exist too, if you’re not a fan of beer. 
  7. Bowling – Relive your 10th birthday party and head to a bowling alley for a bit of competitive fun. Games with Hollywood Bowl start at around £10 per person, although more upmarket bowling alleys are on the rise if you want something a bit fancier. Slots in the morning are the cheapest and then go up the later you book.

paintballing

  1. Paintballing – This is a popular student favourite, and companies are always looking to flog discounts to students (keep an eye out on campus and at Freshers’ fairs for stands offering discounts). Virgin Experience Days offer full-day entry, equipment hire and 100 paintballs for between £10 – £15 per person (it can work out a bit cheaper if you decide to book as a group). Don’t forget that prices can rack up if you go wild with the paintballs, or decide to splash out on things like smoke grenades. 
  2. River cruise – If you live anywhere near a large river, there’s guaranteed to be the opportunity to go on a good old fashioned river cruise. In Newcastle, for example, you can get from quay to sea for £13, and you can hop on a Thames River Cruise for £10 – £15. If you’re more of a night owl, look out for party cruises too. 
  3. Golf driving range – If you’re a fan of golf, but not the walking, then a golf driving range is the perfect way to practise your shot. Prices start from as cheap as £1 for 30 balls in some places, but bear in mind that some venues might charge extra to hire a bay and club too. Overall though, you shouldn’t expect to pay much more than £10 – £15. Golf Range Finder is a good resource for finding a range close to you. 

mojito

  1. Cocktail class – Ok, so this one isn’t under £20 strictly speaking. But if you’re willing to splash out an extra fiver, you can bag yourself a cocktail making masterclass at Revolution or All Bar One. You’ll be given your own mixologist who’ll help you to rustle up your favourite drinks (although I’m sure you won’t need any help drinking them). Alternatively, organise your own cocktail making session at home using our 11 easy recipes. 
  2. Roller disco – They were acceptable in the 80s and they’re still acceptable now (believe us). A roller disco is a great alternative to your normal night out, although expect a lot of bruises along with the hangover. Bump Roller Disco (currently in Bristol) is only £10 per person if you book in advance (including skate hire!). 
  3. Hiking – Hiking is a lot more fun when you’re not getting dragged around by your parents on a drizzly day. Wait until the sun is shining, grab your boots and get out into the countryside. Even if you’re a city dweller, a quick train or bus ride should be enough to get out into the sticks. Make sure to research local hiking trails before you set off, take a map and stock up on some provisions. 
  4. Pub quiz – Is there anything more British than heading to the pub for a few pints while attempting to answer tricky general knowledge questions in a bid to win yet more pints? Pub quizzes are literally everywhere (have a quick Google or keep your eyes peeled for posters), and they’re a super easy way to get a few mates together for a bit of fun after uni. 
  5. Cheese tasting – Probably the first lesson you learnt when you came to uni is that cheese is expensive. And fancy cheese even more so. But if you want to treat yourself, then a cheese tasting experience is a good way of getting your fill. The Smart School of Cookery experience is only £19 per person on Groupon! 

bike ride

  1. Bike ride – If you want to get out into the countryside, but walking isn’t really your thing, grab a bike instead. If you don’t have your own, research bike hire in your local area. 
  2. Afternoon tea – You might think afternoon tea is more up your grandma’s street, but who would turn down cucumber sandwiches, scones and unlimited cups of tea? They can get pretty expensive, but shop around and you can get some pretty good deals. Search here for afternoon teas up and down the country, some for as little as £11 per person. 
  3. Karaoke – If you get drunk enough beforehand, this is not as painful as it sounds and can actually be a right laugh. Places like Lucky Voice have karaoke booths all over the country, and prices are normally around £7 – £8 per person per hour. Time to release your shower singing voice to the world… 
  4. Museums – This is a bit of a broad one, because museums can vary hugely (some are amazing, some are pretty dull). But have a look at what museums are near you or in surrounding cities, and if any take your fancy they make for a great (often free!) day out. Museums.co.uk has the largest catalogue of museums in the country – have a browse!
  5. Laser Quest – If you like the idea of paintballing but not the bruises that come with it, then laser quest could be right up your street. Split into teams and run around shooting your mates with your laser gun – it’s a great adrenaline rush. Laser Quest GB are based all over the country, and you can normally get two games for about £10 – £15 per person. 

art gallery

  1. Art galleries – Even if you don’t consider yourself an art connoisseur, art galleries can be pretty fun. Look out for special exhibitions or art galleries in impressive buildings. The top of the Baltic art gallery in Newcastle, for example, offers stunning views over the river as well as world-class art. Plus, many of them are free!
  2. Trampoline park – There is really no better feeling than releasing stress with an hour of uninterrupted jumping at a trampoline park. Flip Out have parks all over the UK and a one-hour jump session is normally around a tenner. A two-hour session won’t cost much more, but beware – jumping makes you more out of breath than you’d think! 
  3. Board game night – If you’ve got the board games, this one’s totally free! If not, see if any local pubs or cafes have games available for customers to play. Avoid Monopoly (or else you’ll be there all night) and try something a bit different like Exploding Kittens or Cluedo.