Organising a group is always tricky, especially when you have to host them in the city! Work leaving dos, birthday celebrations or even just visiting relatives, I find myself always looking for something new and exciting to entertain, especially with the Christmas season approaching. Gone are the days where we used to just go for a beer at the local pub… bring on the crazy golf, the fancy dress and the action packed afternoons!
There’s so much to do in London for groups of any size for any budget, but here are some of the things I’ve tried and found that I think will give your friends, family and colleagues a celebration to remember!
Drinks with a Twist
If you want to go down the cocktail route but not stick to sipping a martini in a dimly lit bar, there are a huge number of more engaging options in the city.
If you want to learn whilst you get merry, one of many tours could be for you. I’ve heard great things about Gin Journey and the City of London Distillery which both offer a fascinating insight into the history of tonic’s best friend, complete with an obligatory tasting.
Another way to take your cocktails to the next level is at ABQ London. If you haven’t heard of this place, then you need to… I’m not even a Breaking Bad fan and its on my bucket list. For £30 pp, you’ll be dressed to cook up some creative potions with Skinny Pete and Badger in their crystal ship. Bookings fill up fast for this themed bar but there are still some left for the end of the year!
A Night at the Magic Circle
Recently I took my magic-loving man to London’s famous magic headquarters and it was honestly one of the best evenings I’ve had in the city! The ‘At Home With The Magic Circle’ show included an hour of close up magic, a chance to sneak around the fascinating museum and an incredible show of three of the circle’s finest acts, including the President of the club.
Even if magic isn’t truly ‘your thing’, I guarantee a night within the building behind the secretive blue door will leave your guests more than impressed. Plus the view of the staircase is worth a trip in itself!
Immersive Games and Treasure Hunts
Almost everybody has either completed or heard of an Escape the Room but, have you been chased around London by zombies? Or joined the French Resistance before suddenly finding yourself at the Moulin Rouge?
God London is awesome.
If the latter takes your fancy than quickly head over to Maman le Mot before the 26th November 2016 to be transported back to 1943 France as a top secret agent. After completing your mission, you’ll be whisked away to a French Bistro for a 3 course meal before a night of swing dancing and celebration begins. Tickets are very reasonable at £17.50 or £42.50 to include dinner.
Another immersive experience at the top of my list is A Door in a Wall’s, ‘A Veiled Threat‘. Taking place on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at Islington’s Dead Doll House (sounds epic already am I right!), this indoor mystery invites groups to stop an unfortunate marriage. Over 3 floors you’ll find characters, clues and even wedding food for £22 a ticket. Their last event of the year was a sell out but tickets for January and February will go on sale soon. Oh and the dress code? Black and white of course.
The original Escape the Rooms are still amazing and there are literally dozens of them across the city. But its worth picking carefully so that you don’t end up stressed out in a white box for the life of you not being able to work out what the periodic table is for – trust me, I’ve been there. Intended for groups of 3-6 people, these challenging tasks are fantastic for intimate groups of any age with a huge variety of themes and difficulty levels. Timeout has a great list of their top recommendations including Enigma’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry which I’ll be doing in the next month! *Putting on my time-turner necklace and dusting off my Elder Wand*
When it comes to group activities, there are few things that rival an adrenaline-fuelled day of paintball. Not only is it a great way to embrace your inner soldier, but I imagine that there’s something very satisfying about pummelling your friends (ahem, attempting to) with a barrage of paintballs!
As an added bonus, a day of paintball is also brilliant exercise, which isn’t surprising when you consider how much time you spend on the move and ducking between cover. You should be, at least, if you intend on avoiding the colourful fury of your enemies.
London has some of the most exciting paintballing experiences in the UK, with a range of games to play, maps to explore and paintball equipment to get your hands on. Whether it’s your first time or you’re a fully-fledged paintball veteran, there’s no doubt that paintballing is a group activity you need to experience at least once! I’ll be the one humming the James Bond theme tune as I do a half hearted rolly-polly towards my cover.
Get Crazy at Swingers
And no, its not as dirty as it sounds. For some light-hearted competition, I highly recommend a round of crazy golf at London’s top 1920’s themed venue. The adult-only Swingers is packed with cocktail drenched bars, well known street food and even a gin terrace. And that’s forgetting the two 9 hole crazy golf courses available to play for £10-13 pp. With a beer in hand, its a great activity for any dynamic and will definitely leave you laughing.
What do you like to do in the city in a group? I’d love to hear your ideas!
This post was written in collaboration with Go Paintball London. As always all views are my own.