The challenges of dating without a glass of wine need not defy what our idea of a good time is. Here we look at great ways of sober dating. Whether it is a first date, a second date, or a date night for a long-married couple here is a great list of date ideas that are also alcohol-free dates.
1. Coffee Date
First dates cannot get easier than a cup of coffee. Unlike say a restaurant there is no need to drink and no pressure to drink. The mood is casual, and the encounter may be brief (very convenient) or continue for hours (very cool).
2. Comedy Show
Nothing binds people like laughter. A great comic stand-up show is fun and creates the perfect way to head into a conversation over hot cocoa afterward.
3. Ice Cream
Who does not like ice cream? Vanilla, mint chocolate chip, cookie dough, buttered pecan or Neapolitan and so many more. A few scoops of ice cream can lubricate conversation very well. What about Grana Padano Cheese Ice Cream?
4. Escape Rooms
These are always a lot of fun and a way of finding out what your date is made of and all the discussion is all focused on completing the escape task. No pressure.
5. Cooking Class
Share a date over a new recipe or two or learn a cooking technique. Perhaps not a first date, but a great one for later dates. Increasingly, preparing food is more and more of a bonding experience.
6. Spa Day
A couple’s massage is perfect once a relationship is established. Taking in a hot spring, a cup of tea and a hot stone massage is a perfect way to share downtime together.
7. Game Night
So many possibilities exist for game nights alone at home a board game. The other alternative is to make it more social and head to a local game store to play Warhammer 40, 000 or Magic: The Gathering.
8. Local Museum
Museums cover a variety of areas and if you can find common interests there is little better way to bond. Natural history, music, art, or aviation – the range can be really wide.
9. Theme Park
Theme parks are great places to have fun and can have an almost endless variety of activities. If you can let your hair down, you can become a child again and nothing can be compared with that.
10. Dance Lessons
Dance class again is not a first date choice but can create a chance to share in something challenging and pleasurable. Pick ballroom, Latin, or stepping and enjoy a shared test of rhythm.
11. Bowling Alley
This is an ideal activity if for no other reason than three strikes and you are so not out.
12. Ice Skating
Hot chocolate is always a great follow-up to time on a rink. It is a great excuse to hold hands on a first date.
13. Local Park
Anything local is always good and supports the community. Take along a picnic basket and a blanket and enjoy the fresh air
14. Road Trip.
This is more for those in an established relationship but not always. A newly dating couple can always take a road trip to a concert in another state.
A great option for animal lovers. Zoos are far more suited to the inhabitants than they were decades ago and can be a pleasure to visit
16. Local Amusement Park
Ferris wheels, roller coasters, and bumper cars – the amusement park always provides pleasure and brings a sense of childlike adventure and fun to the date that cannot be beaten.
17. City Tour
Become a tourist in your city. There are probably many places that you and your date have not seen in your hometown, so this is a novel experience for many.
18. Horseback Riding
One of the great pleasures, but if you aren’t used to it be prepared to be sore the next day. Many riding places have horses suitable for varying levels of experience.
19. Rock Climbing
Push each other hard as you try to reach the top of a rock face. If you are too far from the mountains, wall climbing is an alternative.
20. A Meal
This date idea offers the couple so many possibilities. Think Canadian breakfast, Italian lunch, or an American dinner. Think restaurant. Think home-cooked. Think picnic or food truck.
21. A Movie
This has to be a great option. From the latest blockbusters to arthouse and silent classics, this would be my option for dates. It can be at home or at a boutique cinema.
22. Market Day
We can lose ourselves on a market day. They contain a variety of stalls, and these can provide for a range of interests.
23. Mini golf
This could be the most frustrating of all of these ideas. Some of the putts can be so hard to pull off. How does your date handle stress? This will show you.
Shared creativity is always a way to connect. Sketching in the park or taking macramé lessons together. Compare and appreciate your date’s effort. Being supportive is always guaranteed to impress.
Cruising around shopping at some stores where you share interests or can learn each other’s likes is a great way to discover each other.
If you like the same music this is a failsafe. You can even do a road trip to a gig. Adele or Bruno Mars at the end of 300 miles sounds like a great reason to travel.
We have covered dance lessons and concerts. This is the marriage. Hit a nightclub and dance until you drop.
28. Go to a Bar
How did this get included? There are an increasing number of alcohol-free bars. Initially, they catered for sober alcoholics., but the market has broadened to include people who just want a drink-free environment. Some of them make fantastic mocktails.
29. Take in A Lecture
If you have a shared interest why not go to a talk on the topic. This can be anything from the history of board games to exoplanets. Coffee conversation starters.
30. A Gym Session
Bond over muscle toning and sweat. It sounds anything but perfect but any date that has you encouraging each other is good.
31. A Walk
Just that. Nothing else. “Would you like to go for a walk with me sometime? Perhaps see Haight-Ashbury?” Something that simple can start something special.
This will be terrifying to some, but if you both have a sense of balance and energy then it is an ideal way to date. An ideal excuse to hold hands.
33. TV Show Taping
Depending on where you are, take in a taping of a sitcom you both enjoy. Perhaps be in the audience of a talk show.
34. Give Back
Why not spend time together doing something good like joining a litter clean-up effort on the beach?
35. Bungee Jumping
Pure adrenaline. Shared terror is as good a way of bonding as shared laughter. Take the plunge together.
Seeing the world underwater is utterly magical – far more than The Little Mermaid.
37. The Old Campfire
For me, this is the perfect double date. Head out somewhere with another couple. Build a campfire, eat toasted marshmallows, and watch the heavens while you chat.
38. River Rafting
There is seriously more adrenaline-inducing than class 5 or 6 rapids. Settle for class 1 or 2 and enjoy.
39. Garage Sales
Spend a few hours rummaging at garage sales. There are bargains to be had.
40. Whale Watching
If you are animal lovers, this can bring tears to your eyes.
Many of these can be combined. Go shopping for food, prepare a meal together and have a movie night.
So that is our list of sober date ideas. Remember dates are about quality time and there are plenty of non-alcoholic dates that can.
It has to be acknowledged that the most important thing about sober date night ideas is that they are sober by choice. Many of the ideas here can feature alcohol; a dinner date is a typical example. The choice of chardonnay, bourbon, or a club soda and lime is ours to make.
The other question that may arise is should the person you are dating avoid alcohol. If they are in recovery the answer is an obvious yes. If they have a drinking problem, then they should avoid it. If they are normal drinkers, then it should be discussed. My invariable response when someone asks if I mind them drinking is just to say that drinking is My problem, not theirs, and to feel free. That may not be everyone’s preference and for that reason, it needs to be spoken about.