Sober Dating: 14 Alcohol-Free Ideas to Make Up For the Lack of Liquor in Your Bloodstream
Alcohol can’t be the focus of every date. (OK, it can, but that might be problematic.) Whether you’re doing a DIY detox from the hard stuff, can’t afford pricey cocktails for two, or are in recovery (or dating someone who is), there’s plenty of fun to be had even when drinking isn’t on the menu. A sober date allows you to get to know someone without the boozy bravado and false confidence that often accompany a buzz. Alcohol-free outings also encourage you to date at different times of the day and try new activities. And, hey, if it doesn’t work out the way you hoped, you can always hit the bar or the bottle on your way home. (Unless you’re in recovery, in which case, get thee to a meeting.)
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There's no room for ego at the bowling alley. Put on those ugly rental shoes and whip out your rusty moves. Strike, split, or gutter ball, it doesn't matter; get goofy to dominate this playful date.
Hit the dog park.
Three's company, not a crowd, so grab your four-legged friend (or a pal's mutt that they desperately need a break from) and head to the dog park. Set the pooch free and watch all the trouble it gets into as you and your date marvel at the ridiculous ways dogs socialize.
Scream your head off at an amusement park.
You'll be so busy between the adrenaline-pumping rides, carnival games, and fried foods that you won't even miss the alcohol on an amusement park date. This is an all-day event (and can get kind of pricey), so save it for someone special.
Get lost in the whimsical world of mini-golf with your date. Though the game moves slowly, you'll have plenty of time to get to know one another and commiserate about how hard mini-golf actually is.
Take a hike.
Let nature be the backdrop for your date by planning a hike. Stuff a backpack with essentials, lace up your boots, and head out into the wilderness. Just make sure you take a paper map; being stranded in the middle of nowhere as night approaches is not how you want to get to know someone.
Hop on a pair of two-wheelers and take a spin around town together. Hopefully you can ride side by side and keep the conversation flowing. If not, plan a destination and crash in the grass together when you get there.
Go out for breakfast.
No matter what time of day your date takes place, everyone loves breakfast. This not-only-for-mornings meal is also the least likely to be associated with drinking alcohol. Order a mug of coffee or a tall glass of OJ instead and enjoy the carb-fest together.
Visit a museum.
Museums are the ideal date spot for intellectuals and creatives. Scope out the offerings ahead of time so you know which exhibits are the must-sees. Don't forget to stop in the gift shop, too, for some silly window shopping.
See an improv comedy show.
Improv can be hit or miss, but either way, it's a great (and often inexpensive) date idea. If the show is a hit, you'll spend the entire time laughing. If it blows, you can bond by trashing it together afterwards.
Treat yourselves at an ice cream parlor.
Some ice cream orders are as elaborate and delicious as a cocktail, so take your date to an ice cream parlor, order something outrageous, and get your sugar rush on together.
Play a board game.
Stoke your competitive natures by playing a board game (or several) with your date. Loser buys the next round of sodas.
Have a video game battle.
Whether you challenge your date at home or in an arcade, playing a video game will keep the dynamic electric between you two.
This free, late-night date is perfect for the sexually adventurous. Just keep an eye out for the cops.
If there's anything that will keep your mind off booze, it's sex. This is what you're hoping will happen at the end of the date anyway, so if they're down, skip all of the aforementioned social niceties and head straight for the bedroom. Just make sure to offer them a glass of water afterwards.