Who said teetotaling and romance don’t go hand in hand? Whether you’re avoiding booze at the moment (dry January, anyone?) or just looking for an activity that’s a little more creative than “grabbing drinks,” we’ve got you covered with our roundup of fun and creative things to do that don’t involve alcohol. So what are you waiting for? Grab a partner and check out one of these sober date ideas for an amazing night that you’ll actually remember.
30 Sober Date Ideas That Are Way Better Than Going to a Bar
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1. Play Chess
If you’re looking for a fun, alcohol-free way to spend date night, take a hard pass on Monopoly (snoozefest) and opt for chess instead. This two-player game can span an entire evening if you take your time on every move, so there will be ample opportunity for conversation. Plus, using your brain on a date is just downright sexy, and this classic game of strategy is arguably the most stimulating one around.
2. Go to a Trivia Night
Hit up a trivia night and show off all that knowledge you once thought was useless. Your brain will work much better without booze, and your success could score you points in more ways than one.
3. Hit Up a Karaoke Night
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need liquid courage to enjoy karaoke night. After all, who wouldn’t love seeing their partner act a fool on stage to the tune of Journey’s “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’” or Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”? (Psst: Here are the best karaoke songs to get the party started.)
4. Take a Spin on the Ferris Wheel
For couples who want to take PDA to new heights.
5. Go on a Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride
Bundle up and enjoy an evening tour of your town or city from the comfort of a horse-drawn carriage ride—just be sure to bring a couple hot, non-alcoholic beverages and perhaps a decadent dessert along for the ride. If all goes well, you won’t be home by midnight.
6. Try a DIY or Craft Project
Don’t consider taking your relationship to the next level until you know the two of you can make a birdhouse together.
7. Go for a Ferry Ride
Sure you’d love to head to Venice and enjoy a gondola ride for two while your Italian tour guide sings Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore,” but save that fantasy for your honeymoon; a moonlit ferry ride is an oh-so romantic way to spend quality time on the water with your sweetie, too.
8. Make it a Movie Night
Ready the popcorn and cue up a rom-com (or something more creative, if you prefer) for an intimate night of canoodling on the couch. Or, if the weather’s nice, set up a projector screen and head to the backyard for dinner and a movie outdoors. Either way, you’re in for an evening of punch-drunk love.
9. Have a 70s Dance Party
In the mood to cut a rug? Take your dance party for two up a notch with a throwback theme—you know, so you can both dress up and show off those Soul Train dance moves.
10. Try Indoor Rock Climbing
Whether or not you hit it off is irrelevant because indoor rock climbing is guaranteed, adrenaline-fueled fun.
11. Take a Cooking Class
Check out a local culinary school or take a virtual class together—either way, you can’t go wrong with two good people attempting to make good food.
12. Go For a Long Drive and Listen to Music
Music is the language of love, friends—and when you combine it with an activity you can definitely only do sober, you have a recipe for dry date night magic. Hop in the car, crank the volume on your collaborative playlist and drive off into the sunset together.
13. Volunteer Together
Bonding over the happiness of others is as rewarding as it is wholesome. Pick a cause you both care about and spend some time giving back to the community—and, by all means, grab a bite to eat together afterwards.
14. Visit a Bookstore
Is there anything sweeter than picking a book of mutual interest and starting a two person book club with your bae? We think not.
15. Go On a Nature Walk
Whether you opt for a more strenuous hike or a leisurely stroll through the park, the serene natural setting will be conducive to talking as much or as little as you want. In other words, you can enjoy the fresh air and explore each other’s feelings…or just the woods if you get lost.
16. Play Video Games
We’ve got your number, nerds.
17. Check Out a Tourist Destination
You don’t have to travel far to feel like an out-of-towner. In fact, if you’ve been living in the same place for a while, there’s a good chance you haven’t thought to explore (or revisit) many of the popular tourist destinations on offer. Plan a field trip with your significant other and maybe you’ll both discover something new.
18. Try an Escape Room
In case you missed it, an escape room is an immersive, virtual adventure game in which players have to solve puzzles in order to exit a locked room. As for the experience—it’s a fresh, fun and stimulating way to find out how well you and your love interest work together under stress.
19. Go Bowling
Conversation is stilted and you can’t think of anything clever to say. No problem…‘cause it’s your turn! That’s right—you can easily avoid social awkwardness, without any help from a pint of beer, when you book a date at the bowling alley.
20. Visit a Museum
A shared learning experience is an excellent way to strengthen the romantic bond between two people. Head to a museum with your boo for a culturally enriching date that ensures you both have something new to talk about later.
21. Watch a Sports Game
If your date is a fellow sports fan, tune into an event from the comfort of your home and cheer on your favorite team together whilst gorging on game day snacks. Bonus points if you fire up the backyard grill and “tailgate” before the game begins.
22. Take a Dance Class
Book a private in-person lesson or sign up for a virtual class—either way you’ll learn some spicy new moves that are sure to turn up the heat.
23. Look at Old Family Photos
Crack open the old family photo albums and take a trip down memory lane together for an intimate date full of entertaining anecdotes. Dollars to doughnuts, you’ll both walk away feeling all warm and fuzzy.
24. Have a Scrapbooking Date
In the same vein, spend some time reminiscing over photos you’ve taken together as a couple. Then, when you’re done reliving the highlights of your relationship, get creative with a craft project that yields a cherished keepsake in the form of a scrapbook.
25. Go to a Cafe
The neighborhood cafe is a classic, budget-friendly first date destination—namely because it’s a perfectly cozy place to get to know one another, while indulging in some tasty pastries, too.
26. Go Ice Skating
Follow up the hand-holding—you know it’s going to happen—with a cup of hot chocolate and you’ve got a recipe for romance at the rink.
Movies are great, but the thrill of binge-watching a gripping TV series with your SO is hard to beat. Not sure what to watch? We’ve got a few suggestions.
Swap the wine for a non-alcoholic beverage and enjoy a sip-and-paint sesh with your sweetie. We promise it will be every bit as relaxing and romantic when sober, and your art will probably turn out better, too.
29. Go to an Arcade
If playing video games in your living room is too ordinary an event to qualify as a date, just bring the friendly competition to a fresh venue and sparks will surely fly.
Head to a psychic to see if the stars will align for you and your love interest…but definitely take the reading with a grain of salt, ‘cause this one’s all about the novelty factor.