Why do people do Dry January? The campaign was originally created by Alcohol Change UK to encourage people to give up alcohol for the 31 days of January, and people choose the challenge for lots of reasons: to detox after Christmas, for health reasons, to challenge themselves, and for ‘new year, new me’ – and what better time to start sobriety than the new year?

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Taking part in Dry January doesn’t mean you have to miss out on activities with your family and friends, and in many ways, this doesn’t involve boozing anyway. However, with date nights typically consisting of food and drinks, planning a fun date without alcohol can be a little tricky.

We’re here to make sure you don’t fall at the first hurdle. London has a ton of exciting things to do, whether you’re on a first date or planning something special for your significant other, and we’ve narrowed down the best ones.

The RadioTimes.com team have an eye for the best experiences in London. We can tell you the best West End shows, the top walking tours in London, the best escape rooms, and even the top London ice rinks. Some experiences we’ve been to ourselves too, such as The Cauldron cocktail bar in East London.

So for all you Dry January-ers, here are the best sober date activities in London.

Best Dry January date ideas and activities in London at a glance:

Best Dry January date ideas and activities in London for 2023

Vegan Afternoon Tea with a Kombucha-Based Cocktail for Two at The Dixon

vegan afternoon tea virgin experience days january sale uk 2023
Red Letter Days

Are you or your partner doing Veganuary as well as Dry January? This date day experience kills two birds with one stone (not literally, it’s vegan) as it’s alcohol-free and animal products-free.

Located at The Dixon at Tower Bridge, you’ll enjoy a delicious vegan afternoon tea, with sweet and savoury treats, and sip on a kombucha-based mocktail which is excellent for detoxing.

Plus, this January, the experience is £59 instead of £70 – what a steal!

Buy Vegan Afternoon Tea with a Kombucha-Based Cocktail for Two at The Dixon for £70 £59 at Red Letter Days

Check out other deals in the January sales for more great bargains.

Candlelight: A Tribute to Beyoncé

A Tribute to Beyonce
GettyImages/Handout

Nothing says romance like a candlelight concert, and for one date only in January, you can hear a dazzling tribute to the one and only Beyoncé.

The City String Ensemble will be performing Queen B’s most popular songs in London’s Glaziers Hall, which will be illuminated with candlelight. Expect to hear classics like Crazy in Love, Single Ladies, and Destiny’s Child’s Say My Name.

More like this

Buy Candlelight: A Tribute to Beyoncé tickets for £35 at Fever

Take a look at the best candlelight concerts across the UK.

Pasta Masterclass for Two at The Jamie Oliver Cookery School

pasta masterclass jamie oliver best dry january date ideas activities
Virgin Experience Days

Led by a professional chef, picked by the man Jamie Oliver himself, you’ll use fresh ingredients to learn how to create pasta dough. With your new skillset, you’ll make various pasta shapes, like fettuccine and lasagne sheets, as well as a sauce, then tuck into your brilliant dishes at the end of the masterclass.

There’s an optional welcome drink at the start of this workshop, so if your date is opting out of Dry January, they can have a little tipple.

Buy Pasta Masterclass for Two at The Jamie Oliver Cookery School for £128 at Virgin Experience Days

The Art of Candle Making Workshop for Two at Dai-KOR

candle making best dry january date ideas activities
Virgin Experience Days

Channel your inner Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, and treat your date to a craft day in Islington. The Art Of Candle Making workshop is an hour-long hands-on experience which sees you create your very own 6oz scented soy wax candles. All of the materials are cruelty-free and locally-sourced, and after pouring the candle, you can create your own custom label.

Buy The Art of Candle Making Workshop for Two at Dai-KOR for £90 at Virgin Experience Days

If you're an art lover, check out our guide to the best art exhibitions in London.

Comedy Night with Dinner for Two at Inamo in Covent Garden

inamo comedy date ideas activities dry january
Buyagift

This next Dry January-friendly activity is perfect first date material. You’ll enjoy three authentic pan-Asian dishes each selected from over 25 options, including Asian tapas, traditional sashimi and fresh sushi, then sit back and be entertained by a line-up of comedians. What better way to ease into a date than laughing your socks off?

The comedy and dinner experience is hosted at Inamo in Covent Garden, and currently has an almost half-price saving.

Buy Comedy Night with Dinner for Two at Inamo in Covent Garden for £110.70 £59.95 at Buyagift

Dalí: Cybernetics - The Immersive Experience

Dali: Cybernetics Immersive experience
Fever

Visiting a gallery is an excellent first date idea as you’ll never run out of things to talk about; a pause in conversation? Point to something on the wall and ask your date for their thoughts.

Take the gallery experience one step further and visit an immersive one. The Dalí: Cybernetics exhibition showcases Salvador Dalí’s surrealist masterpieces through huge digital displays on the walls, and includes sound effects, too.

Buy Dalí: Cybernetics - The Immersive Experience tickets from £21.90 at Fever

Take a look at the best immersive experiences across London.

Taste and Make Your Own Amazing Chocolate for Two with Melt Notting Hill

chocolate making best date idea activity dry january
Virgin Experience Days

Located at Melt in the heart of Notting Hill, this making and tasting workshop will see you and your date create a chocolate bar from absolute scratch.

In the experience, you’ll sort and roast the cocoa beans, then crack and winnow them. There’s the opportunity to taste along the way, too. Once the beans are tempered, you’ll mould the chocolate into a bar, and you can add a bit of flair into how you personalise the bar. You can take the chocolate bar home with you, if it survives being eaten during the commute…

Buy Taste and Make Your Own Amazing Chocolate for Two with Melt Notting Hill for £80 at Virgin Experience Days

West End show like Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons

london west end theatre ticket discounts black friday
Getty / Gonzalo Azumendi

Cinema dates are out, West End show dates are in! Seeing a West End show is a great alternative to going to a bar as you can experience a bit of culture, and there’s room to go for food before or after the show, too.

There are plenty of exciting shows on the West End at the moment, including We Will Rock You, A Little Life and The Pillowman, and one in particular that would make provocative viewing is Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons. Jenna Coleman and Aidan Turner star in the romantic comedy.

Buy Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons tickets from £25 at ATG Tickets

After a saving on theatre or cinema tickets? Here's how to get cheap theatre tickets and how to get cheap cinema tickets.

Five Course Tasting Menu for Two at Kanishka

tasting menu date night dry january
Buyagift

In this romantic date experience, you’ll head to Mayfair where the holder of two MICHELIN stars chef, Atul Kochhar, has founded Kanishka: a restaurant specialising in northeast Indian cuisine. You’ll enjoy a variety of courses from chicken tikka pie to a dark chocolate dessert with orange chocolate cream and spiced caramel sauce. You’ll also sip on a soft drink of your choice throughout the meal.

Buy Five Course Tasting Menu for Two at Kanishka for £157 at Buyagift

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If you and your partner are avid gig-goers, be sure to stay up to date with our Going Out section, where we have the latest music and comedy ticket releases.

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