If you’re a student in or around London, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount there is to see, do and experience. Even if you do manage to find the perfect activity for the weekend, it often turns out to be sold out, too far away, or too expensive… and then you’re back to the drawing board (aka the local pub). So how can you go about creating a cool, Instagram-worthy itinerary for urban fun?
One of the best tactics is to look for places where you’ll have something to do besides drink! For bonus points, you could seek out activity venues which are not only entertaining, but also highly photogenic. The great news for students? We’ve already found them. Without further ado, here are 7 fun, aesthetically pleasing and student-friendly activities in London to check out ASAP!
Swingers Crazy Golf
Nothing says “student-friendly” like channelling your early-term frustrations into a lively game of crazy golf. At Swingers, you can do so in style! Their 1920s-themed, botanically decorated venues not only host a vast array of crazy golf courses, but also fantastic scenery for all your Instagram needs. You and your friends will have a blast trying to navigate the lit-up Ferris wheels and lighthouses on the green – and if the competition gets a little heated, smooth things over with a round of Birdie shots (made of Cazcabel Honey Tequila, raspberry liqueur and pineapple), delivered to you right there on the course. You can then decamp to the dining area for delicious street food and one final round of IG Stories. For the best deals at Swingers, make sure to book a group package in advance!
Skylight Bars Croquet
Or if you’d prefer to whack something a bit more solid, Skylight Bars might tempt you with their rooftop croquet games. You can book games from Thursday-Sunday each week, for groups of up to 6 people; luckily, low brick walls surrounding the courts keep your balls from becoming deadly cannons to those below! These walls (and the surrounding cityscape) are also ideal backdrops for posing with your mallets – or you can wander over to the bar itself for fairy-lit photos under wooden pergolas. Skylight also offers pétanque, table tennis and shuffleboard if croquet doesn’t strike your fancy, plus burgers, tacos and shish kebabs for when you’re ready to refuel.
SENSAS will challenge everything you once believed to be true – and isn’t that the point of university? On a serious note, this multi-sensory experience is like nothing you’ve ever seen (or heard, or touched, or… well, you get the picture). As you move through the SENSAS journey, you’ll encounter space after space that will accost your physical senses: some rooms tilted sideways, others filled with unusual materials, even rooms in complete darkness where you’ll have to find your way out. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it will help you “rediscover the unexpected power of your senses” – and take some exceptional photos to challenge your followers’ perceptions as well.
For students who might be feeling homesick and nostalgic for simpler times, we’ve got two words for you: ball pit. At Ballie Ballerson in Shoreditch, you’ll dive headfirst (perhaps not literally) into fun with two massive, mirrored ball pits, complete with music and mood lighting. Of course, you don’t have to “ball out” exclusively all night; Ballie Ballerson also offers patrons a tropically themed bar, dance floor and photo booth. Look out for their Full Moon Parties every two weeks, a chromatic occasion when the ball pits light up and look just like rainbow sherbert! Needless to say, you’ll have a ball at this venue and get some incomparable pictures to boot.
Roller Nation in Tottenham is another great place for students to go out, get moving and hear some killer tunes, especially on their soul, funk and disco nights every Thursday-Saturday. Just strap on your skates and don your seventies wear (if you’re feeling flashy!), then groove the night away to Marvin Gaye, Donna Summer and the Bee Gees – and feel free to try some trick jumps under the disco lights! Even if your balance is a little shaky, you can feel secure in the knowledge that this “nightclub on wheels” is a guaranteed hit for any student night out… not to mention a good icebreaker for getting to know your new uni friends.
This one’s pretty out of the box – the board game box, that is. Monopoly Lifesized is a totally unique attraction that’s nonetheless a fairly intuitive concept: you and your fellow players engage in a super-sized game of Monopoly! You can play in teams of 2-6 people, which will be useful when you land on property squares – each one is linked to a “challenge room” that you and your teammates must complete in order to acquire the property. Many of these rooms involve pub-quiz-style questions and logic puzzles, though prepare for some exciting physical challenges too. Monopoly Lifesized has everything you could want from the original Monopoly and more – including, of course, brightly coloured sets which will really pop on your IG grid.
Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals
Okay, we’re hedging a bit on this last one: Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals may not be an activity per se, but this floral Fitzrovia bar is nothing if not a lively conversation piece. Lilac bougainvillaea drapes from the ceiling, verdant plants sit in every corner, and vintage overstuffed armchairs beckon even the busiest customers to sit down and stay a while. The overall effect is that of a Victorian tea room dropped in the middle of a lush forest, topped off with elaborately infused cocktails you won’t find elsewhere. For students looking to treat themselves to a quality drink and a stunning photo op, Mr Fogg’s is a great choice.