At the risk of sounding like your Mum, you don’t have to get pissed to have a good time.
That’s easy for her to say, of course. This is a woman who plays Beehive Bedlam on the Sky box for a laugh, and has been for afternoon tea on more than one occasion. Sometimes though, when your complexion is a charming shade of Steve Bannon, and your deteriorating liver and the knowledge of your dwindling bank balance are raging inside you, you kind of hope she’s right; maybe it would be nice to do something that doesn’t revolve around drinking. At least for one month of the year.
Here’s a few ideas:
Recreate the best part of being hungover.
Apart from eating exactly three McDonalds hash browns, stroking a cat is scientifically proven as the most effective form of hangover relief. It’s much better for you to just cut out the middle-man, though, and just skip the bar in favour of visiting the little floofs at Kitty Cafe.
You can sit and be surrounded by cats while you eat your lunch or slice of cake and cup of tea, and there’s no need to worry about your total lack of willpower as it doesn’t have an alcohol license, so you can chug mocktails like Cat-astrophy and Feline Good without any danger of a real hangover.
Kitty Cafe, 8-9 Kirkgate, LS1 6BZ
Get high instead.
By going climbing, duh! It’s all the rage these days, encouraging strategic thinking, forward planning, and problem solving all while hanging upside down by one hand a toenail. After just a few sessions you can expect to notice a difference in your strength and balance, not to mention rediscover a few muscles you forgot you had, and blisters where you never thought they could develop. All of this is fun, apparently.
The Climbing Lab, 14 Kirkstall Industrial Park, Milford Place, LS4 2AZ
Also known as “falling”. If climbing anything other than an escalator seems like a bit much effort at this time of year, let gravity do the work for you on a trampoline. It’s a good way of sneaking some cardio in without realising it, and you might even pull off a few sick flips. Some of them might even be intentional.
JumpArena Trampoline Park, Redcote Lane, LS4 2AL
Learn to cook.
Just because you’re not going to wash it down with a couple of bottles of wine, doesn’t mean you can’t eat good. Resist the temptation to signup for expensive recipe subscription boxes and invest that money in learning some new skills from pro cooks. Leeds Cookery School offers classes which last a few hours and range from Parisian Macarons to myth-busting steaks to the perfect roast dinner, and the £45 fee per class includes all of the ingredients to take home and put your new knowledge to the test.
If you want to specialise in spicing up your skills though, nutritional consultant and bhaji-enthusiast Melanie Hadida runs evening workshops including Indian Tapas, next-level chaat, and ingredient-specific classes for things like tofu, and coconut. Priced at £25 per class.
Melanie Hadida Workshops, Chapel Allerton
Leeds Cookery School, The Old Fire Station, Gipton Approach, LS9 6NL
Get behind the scenes of Leeds Museums.
The art gallery, Royal Armories, and Thackray Medical Museum are all great, but one of the absolute coolest places in Leeds is also one of the least-known.
The Discovery Centre houses over 1 million artefacts belonging to Leeds Museums when they're not on display to the public. This includes hundreds of items of taxidermy, costumes, billions of years-old meteor shards, fossils, and a terrifying lifesize model of a giant squid. To make it even more surreal, everything's laid out as it would be in a jumble sale, just hanging out together. If you want to see it all for yourself just get in touch and ask, or head to one of their tours every Thursday at 11am and 2pm.
Leeds Discovery Centre, Carlisle Road, Leeds LS10 1LB