The entertainment and nightlife industries are incredibly competitive. It's why so many companies are trying to offer their visitors something 'odd' that they can't get anywhere else to allow them to stand out. If people can't get that same experience at any other hotspot, then they'll want to come back.
Likewise, millennials are apparently looking for experiences instead of material possessions, says CNBC. In order to appeal to this lucrative demographic, they need to offer something really worth spending money on.
If you're also looking for something a bit different, an alternative to your usual nights out in Swindon, then we've got you covered! The businesses of Swindon are managing to appeal on that front, setting themselves apart from everyone else.
How to Have a Fun Night Out Without Getting "Niche"
When you're looking for something different, you don't want to go incredibly niche and accidentally alienate one of your friends by doing something totally off the wall or extremely specific. That means ditching your plans for a fancy-dress disco where the theme is 'characters from 1950s sitcoms'.
A good idea instead is to think of traditional nights out and look for fun takes on that. Wink Bingo has the right idea here, pointing to bingo club nights. In a bingo club night, you'll enjoy hyped-up box-ticking alongside rave intervals, while getting sweaty in dance-offs and taking part in a somewhat unorthodox bingo experience. This isn't your grandma's bingo. In Swindon, you won't have to look very far for a bingo club night like this. There are several Rock and Roll Bingo events within the city, where the numbers on your bingo card are replaced with famous bands and singers from popular music. It combines what you love about music with what you love about playing games with your friends.
Another good suggestion is to head to the local ice rink. The Link Centre in Swindon is a 10-minute drive (approximately) outside of the city centre or between 10 and 20 minutes on public transport. Throughout the day, the Link Centre hosts public skating sessions where people of any ice-skating ability can come and do circles (or just try not to slip) on the ice. For a fun but alternative night out, you could even go in fancy dress! Public skating sessions at the Link Centre end at 22:30 on a Friday night, so if you want to stay out late skating with your friends then the option is there.
The Best Quirky Venues in Swindon
If you want to do something even more unusual, there are several quirky venues in Swindon that your friends may not expect to visit.
One of these includes the Extreme Trampoline Park. When you think of trampolines, you may think of the bounce pad in your back garden, but the Extreme Trampoline Park kicks thing up a notch, literally taking people to new heights. The bounce area boasts nine different features such as a trampoline dodgeball game, which would suit massive groups of (highly competitive) friends. You could even take your own trophy or champion's belt with you and give your friends something to compete for. It also has a battle beam, which is a beam with a foam pit beneath where two competitors try to knock each other off. As fun as it looks to take part, it also makes for a great spectator sport, and your friends will love watching you take down your rival.
Another venue worth visiting on a night out is the ATBShop Skate Warehouse. Open until 9 pm, it features ramps and rails for you to practice (or find) your skate skills, grinding, pulling off ollies, and flipping all over the place (or there'll be a few painful falls and some embarrassing bails as you fall off and lose your balance). The bottom line is that it will be a massive amount of fun that will make for some very replayable boomerang Instagram videos!
How to Have a Night In (With a "Twist")
Sometimes, you and your friends just don't feel like going out. It can feel like hard work trying to get everyone to dress up and meet at a specific place or time. Sometimes you just want to enjoy yourself at home without trying to organise taxis and transport. You can still enjoy yourself at home by having a night in with a twist!
Instead of heading out to rock and roll bingo or going to a bingo hall, you could play online bingo games, choosing from themed titles based on your favourite TV shows and movies. This is far easier to organise and, since most online bingo games are compatible with mobile devices, your friends can play the games on their smartphones and tablets instead of bringing their laptops round to your house.
Or, rather than going to the cinema with your friends, you could stay at home and have a pyjama and movie night. Tell your friends to bring round extra pillows and blankets and order in the snacks. You can share a massive pizza and a big bag of popcorn between you. Then, go through your collection of DVDs or find something on your streaming platform of choice to find something you can all agree on. That's a lot easier than coordinating meet-ups to get to the cinema on time.
If you and your friends have known each other for quite some time, then you likely have a list of favourite places that you visit together a lot. That's alright, but if you want to surprise them or find some new interests or entertaining things to do together, it's worth considering something outside of your usual. Swindon is full of odd, but entertaining places to visit, and you'll be able to find something that suits all of you.