12+ (Actually Fun) Things to Do in Nottingham For Young Adults

CityDays’ guide to finding fun things to do in Nottingham for young adults that you actually want to do…

There comes a day in many people’s lives when they realise they’ve left their student days behind them, or they just aren’t on the same *vibe* as they once were. 

When you eliminate endless rounds at pubs or drinking games with your mates, you can find yourself scratching your head and looking for fun things to do in Nottingham for young adults - with or without a pint (or your preferred tipple) in hand. 

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That’s where we come in! Thankfully, a few members of our team have been there and done that - so we’ve compiled our list of fun things to do in Nottingham for young adults that you can do to mix up your social life - and even gain a few skills along the way.

Ready to find out what your next outing looks like? Read on!

And just so you know, nobody pays us to be featured on this list. They’re just our recommendations to you, so you can find the best things to do in Nottingham.

Go on a Treasure Hunt to Find Nottingham’s Tunnel to The Unknown

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Looking for things to do in Nottingham for young adults that you can get your whole group of friends in on? This is for you. 

Treasure hunts like these take you around Nottingham’s hidden gems and secret sights while you unravel riddles, solve puzzles and sniff out clues. Perfect for anybody interested in history, weird local trivia, adventurers or intrepid explorers, Tunnel to The Unknown is a fantastic route around Nottingham that will uncover all the things you never noticed before - even if you’re a local. 

With clues sent straight to your phones and the ability to stop and start the game whenever you like, this is by far the easiest and most fun way to spend a morning, afternoon or evening out with your friends in an environmentally-friendly, healthy and enjoyable way.

PSST: Recommended stops at pubs, bars and cafés are included along the way, so you can either use this as a kind of pub crawl if you fancy, or turn your adventure into an outdoor escape room challenge by trying to complete the challenge in as little time as possible. The choice is yours!

Give Wild Swimming a Go at Colwick Country Park with WholeHealth

Don’t worry, I wouldn’t advise you to go full Wim Hof without seeking medical advice first - this activity is best done during the warmer months and most importantly, under supervision. 

The solution to these two reasons of caution is that there’s a club dedicated to the latest meditative health craze, wild swimming - and you’ll find it at Colwick Country Park. 

This local gem provides a serene escape from the urban rush (but still fairly easy to get to), where you can swim to your heart's content surrounded by picturesque nature. A splendid spot for those looking to dip their toes into something different - literally - WholeHealth operates most days a week and there’s even a sauna to warm up in after. 

Touch Grass at Attenborough Nature Reserve

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We could probably all touch a bit more grass, if only to alleviate daily stress and to get out of our own heads and tech-bubbles - and if that sounds like something you’re in need of, head to Attenborough Nature Reserve. 

There’s heaps to do here beyond reconnecting with nature - go for a walk, meditate, have a picnic amidst the thriving wildlife and rich ecosystems, practice photography or just spend time with mates somewhere outside the urban sprawl, away from the digital overload of modern life…or make a TikTok of all the birds you see here (this is notably one of the best places in the UK to spot a kingfisher!).

Have an Old School Cinema Trip at Savoy Cinemas

In an age of streaming services, it almost feels a little weird to suggest a cinema trip - but there are good reasons to avoid your sofa and give the screen your full attention for once.

There’s an old-school charm to Savoy Cinemas - not so much in how it looks and, of course, it shows all the latest films - but it’s just got an air about it that reminds me irresistibly of cinema trips from my childhood. 

The seats are comfy, the tickets are reasonably priced (a tall order, as many cinema outings seem to be akin to a small mortgage these days) and the snack selection doesn’t set you back too far either. 

If you’re interested, it’s Nottingham’s only surviving pre-WWII cinema, and in my opinion, it’s stood the test of time admirably! 

Book a Table at One of Nottingham’s Board Games Cafés

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Looking for fun things to do in Nottingham for young adults that suit your competitive crowd? This is for you. 

Board games might bring you back to a simpler time before the internet or watching CBBC, but they’ve recently undergone a kind of transformation. They’re cool again, didn’t you know?

Whether you’re into classic games like Monopoly or Cluedo, or you’ve dabbled in some modern board games (Bohnanza and Just One are my favourites), board game cafés are one of the best places to hang out with friends and just have a laugh together. 

In Nottingham, I’d recommend you shuffle the deck and roll the dice at either of the city’s coolest board game cafés, where you can clash intellects over vegan snacks or coffee. Stategise at The Dice Cup (has a great vegan menu) or plot your next move at Ludo Raticafe (reasonably priced with a great array of board games), and combine fun and food in a laid-back atmosphere. 

Just don’t put a hotel on Mayfair unless you want your friendships to end. 

Try Out Indoor Rock Climbing or Bouldering at The Depot

Looking for things to do in Nottingham for young adults with too much energy and not enough space to burn it off? Give rock climbing or bouldering a go. 

Scale new heights at The Depot, and turn a fun trip out with your mates into what might become a lifelong hobby. This venue caters to both beginners and seasoned climbers, so it doesn’t matter if you’ve never chalked your hands up before. 

Build strength, flexibility, and expand your problem-solving skills - even if you come alone, this is a great way to meet new people and make friends. 

Learn to Shoot an Arrow in Robin Hood’s Fabled Stomping Grounds

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You can’t say “Nottingham” without thinking of Sherwood Forest - I don’t make the rules - and if you’re on the hunt for a new, outdoorsy hobby, try out archery.  

Archery seems like a kind of old-fashioned hobby these days, but honestly, I’ve never felt cooler than when wielding a bow and arrow. 

Embrace your inner outlaw and master the ancient art of archery in the legendary Sherwood Forest with AdrenalinJungle. A great chance to try something new that might turn into something bigger (there are plenty of archery clubs dotted around Nottingham), and at 20 quid per person (with a minimum of six people) , it’ll cost you about the same as a round at the pub. 

See What’s On at Theatre Royal

In need of a dose of culture? Check out what’s playing at Theatre Royal. 

You don’t have to be a theatre kid or an opera expert to appreciate a good bit of dramatics when it’s in front of you, and Nottingham is incredibly lucky to have this place. 

The Theatre Royal hosts a variety of performances ranging from gripping dramas to uproarious comedies and enchanting musicals - and even if you’re a total novice, you’re bound to recognise titles that appeal in popular fiction such as Life of Pi. 

Support The Nottingham Panthers at a Home Ice Hockey Match

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Get your game face on and join the roaring crowds at a Nottingham Panthers ice hockey match. 

Finding things to do in Nottingham for young adults doesn’t have to be difficult, it just needs to be something new and exciting. And trust me, there’s no thrill quite like an ice hockey match.

Even if you’ve never even been on an ice rink before or smacked a puck, there’s something really contagious about the atmosphere of an arena. The game is fast-paced, occasionally a little violent and super exciting. 

If you’re a sports fan, get along and book tickets to a game and see it for yourself - people in the UK really are sleeping on ice hockey and I haven’t figured out why yet. Don’t be one of them! 

Sample Some Sake at Yokocho, an Incredible Japanese-Style Bar

Feel like you’ve been stuck in Nottingham as long as you can remember? We’ve all been there - no matter where you live. 

Sometimes, we just need to get away from it all, and if your brain is telling you holiday but your bank statement is telling you “fat chance”, it’s worth scoping out local hidden gems that can do the job almost as well as a break away.

My favourite place in Notts to do this is at Yokocho, where you can sip on sake and savour the ambiance of a Japanese-style bar. If you’ve never tried sake before, it’s a Japanese rice wine that I find absolutely irresistible - but if you’re not into wine, this place also has an incredible array of Japanese whiskeys, beers and cocktails. 

Play The Day Away at Penny Lane

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Feeling too old for games? Not on my watch! 

No matter how early into your “young adult” lifespan you are, you just can’t go wrong with playing some classic arcade games. Get stuck into pinball machines, immerse yourself in nostalgic fairground aesthetics and give your friends’ high scores a run for their money! 

Penny Lane is ideal for anyone looking to rewind to their childhood, albeit with a cocktail in hand (and anyone under the age of 18 is only allowed in with an adult until 6pm. After that, it’s an adult playground!). 

Get Your Group Out on a Canal Bike Ride

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Last but not least, if you’re really stumped for things to do in Nottingham for young adults and the weather happens to be nice, give my go-to activity a go. 

Pedal your way along Nottingham's picturesque canals with a bike ride that combines scenic views with a touch of cardio. 

If you don’t own a bike, rent one in town (Lime bikes are available all over the place), gather your friends, and explore the waterways at your own pace. It’s a fantastic way to see the city from a new perspective while keeping fit - and you actually feel good about yourself when it’s over (unlike a hangover!). 

Find More Things to Do in Nottingham with CityDays

Want to find even more things to do in Nottingham? Try one of our Treasure Trails in Nottingham - untangle cryptic clues as a team, as you are taken on a journey to the most unique, unusual and bizarre corners of Nottingham.