Just because the Gold Coast has a legendary nightlife scene, it doesn’t mean you always need to drink in order to have a good time. In fact, the city is full of fun activities that are completely alcohol-free.

If you’re keen to enjoy a dry night or prefer to stay away from drinking, here’s our guide to fun things to do on the Gold Coast without alcohol.

Catch Some Live Music

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You’ll always find live music on the Gold Coast. From festivals and concerts to pubs, clubs, and even markets, you can catch a gig (or several) any night of the week. See local and international acts perform, as well as talented up-and-coming artists across all kinds of genres. The best part is, you’ll often find tickets that are budget-friendly or entirely free.

Some of the best places to enjoy live music on the Gold Coast include Miami Marketta, Soundlounge, Shark Bar, Eddie’s Grub House and the iconic Coolangatta Hotel.

Go to a Night Market

Night markets are popular on the Gold Coast. The Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets on the Esplanade are among the largest in the city. Here, you can wander through over 100 stalls selling food, souvenirs and unique gifts at bargain prices. The markets are on every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from 4pm to 9pm with free entry.

You can also head to the Miami Marketta every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 5pm to 10pm. This bustling night market is a family-friendly street food market featuring laneways of international food, communal dining and live music beneath the stars.

Take a Night Tour Through the Rainforest

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For a fun and unusual way to spend your night, book a glow worm tour in the stunning Gondwana Rainforest. This ancient region is located in Springbrook National Park about 45 minutes from the Gold Coast.

Experience Oz offers glow worm tours guided by experts, available in both English and Japanese. Explore the breathtaking natural beauty of the rainforest at night as you trek to the cave and learn about the cultural and historical significance of the area.

Pick-up and drop-off are available from various Gold Coast locations.

Watch a Movie

Grab some popcorn and settle in to watch the latest blockbusters at one of the many cinemas around the Gold Coast. There are plenty to choose from, including Reading Cinemas at Harbour Town and Nerang Cineplex. The latter offers the cheapest tickets on the Gold Coast, with prices starting from as low as $6.50 for students and $5.50 on Budget Tuesdays.

You can also catch foreign and indie movies throughout the year at Home of the Arts (HOTA). Check their schedule for upcoming films.

Go Late-Night Shopping

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In most parts of Australia, you’ll find ‘late-night shopping’, where major shopping centres tend to stay open until 9pm one day each week. In Queensland, that day is Thursday.

Shop into the night at one of the Gold Coast’s main shopping hubs, such as Robina Town Centre, Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, or Westfield Coomera.

Play Games

Timezone is a gamer’s heaven situated on Cavill Avenue in the heart of Surfers Paradise. The venue offers hundreds of the latest games, as well as the classics. Unleash your inner child and enjoy pinball machines, pool, ten-pin bowling, basketball, putt-putt golf, dodgem cars, and much more.

Many of the games cost less than $2 to play, so your money is sure to go a long way. Collect as many ticket points as you can from each game and exchange them at the counter for a prize.

Timezone is open seven days a week until 12am.

Eat Out

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The Gold Coast has a vibrant international food scene, so you’ll be spoiled for choice when eating out. Indulge in cuisines from Europe to Asia and everywhere in between, with meals to suit all budgets. With so much delicious food on your plate, you won’t even miss not having a drink in your hand. Top picks include Ipoh Town for Malaysian, Easy House Vegetarian Restaurant for meat-free dim sum, Manihani Indian Restaurant, Balboa Italian, and Bonita Bonita for Mexican.

Climb The Q1 Tower

For adrenaline junkies, it doesn’t get more exciting than climbing the famous Q1 Tower at night. Q1 Tower is one of the tallest residential buildings in the world, with the popular SkyPoint Climb tour being the highest outdoor building climb in Australia. Make it to the top for unrivalled views of the Gold Coast, which become even more magical when the sun goes down.