Sober people have fun too! Despite popular belief, I still like to leave my house (once in a while) and do fun things. Most importantly, I love going on dates with my significant other. Sober date nights don’t have to boring. They don’t need to consist of Netflix and falling asleep on the couch all the time (even though that does sound fun). Whether you’re newly sober, have been sober for years, or you’re just looking for dates that don’t include mind erasing moments with booze and drugs, this list is for you.
I always forget how fun it is to bowl. This is something I did frequently as a teenager and I love bringing it back now that I’m sober. There’s nothing more fun than having a little healthy competition with your date. See who is the bowling master, who can throw more strikes, or who has to use the bumpers. This will keep you busy for hours. It’s public enough to be perfect for a first date, yet intimate enough that you’ll be able to talk with your date. Just be sure to find a bowling alley that isn’t filled with beer and smoke.
2. Movie theater
This also takes me back to my teen days. Picking out what candy you want and how much butter you put on your popcorn! Seeing a movie on a date is quiet, fun, and relaxing. It’s a good place to hold hands or have your first kiss. Most movie theaters do not sell alcohol so the temptation is left out. Since movies don’t allow much time for chatting, I would recommend a coffee date to follow.
3. Ice skating
If you live in Florida like me, you might have to search high and low for this option, but it is possible! There is an ice skating rink where I live that has public skating nights, believe it or not. Up north it’s probably a much more common occurrence. Ice skating is exercise, fun, and silliness all rolled into one. Don’t be embarrassed if you fall! An ice skating rink is a place that is normally alcohol. Staying warm and staying on your feet can be your focus while you enjoy a night with your date.
4. Holiday Christmas village walk-through
There are always fun, holiday-themed pop-up villages around the holidays. These generally include decorations, light shows, cookies, and hot chocolate. They are cute, get you in the holiday spirit, and are a perfect opportunity for a sober date night. Taking a stroll, talking, and spending time in a winter wonderland is not only soothing for the soul but can help bring a couple closer together.
5. Comedy show
Is there anything better in life than a good belly laugh? This is one of my favorite things to do with my significant other, or with a group of friends. Comedy shows are sometimes held at bars, so just beware there might be alcohol. But that doesn’t mean you have to drink! Look up your local comics and see when their shows are, get tickets, and get ready to laugh your a*s off.
6. Sporting event
I already suggested bowling and ice skating, but if participating in sports isn’t really your thing, you could always go watch a sporting event. Whether it’s your local baseball or basketball team, or an NFL or NHL game, sporting events give you the exciting experience of being a spectator. This sober date idea isn’t limited to just professional sports. You could go to a surfing competition, a golf tournament, or a skating boarding competition. Last year my fiancé and I traveled to Canada to see the Women’s World Cup and it was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on.
7. Amusement park
Busch Gardens, Six Flags, Dutch Wonderland, Dorney Park – whatever is near you, go! This could even be a local carnival that’s temporarily in your area. Riding roller coasters, laughing in the tilt-a-whirl, and playing games like skee ball and win a goldfish will keep you busy for an entire day. What I love about amusement parks is their innocence. They aren’t complicated by alcohol or drugs. It’s a place you can go to have fun, get a natural adrenaline rush, and connect with your lover.
Hiking is a great option for couples who enjoy fitness and getting outside. Depending on the difficulty of the hike, it might not be as strenuous as a normal sport or fitness class. Out in nature, you’ll be able to talk as you hike, enjoy the scenery and the views. Breaking a sweat on a date is a way to get out in the world outside the normal restaurant-movie-bar dating scene.
9. Picnic in the park
Another way to get outside with your significant other is by having a picnic in the park. Any grassy area near where you live will suffice. Get a picnic basket and put in your favorite snacks and sandwiches, add your favorite sparkling water flavor, and a blanket and you’re ready for a laid back day in the park. This is also a great option for when you’re looking for quiet time to get to connect with your partner.
10. Coffee or tea shop
Dates don’t always have to be about attending parties or nightclubs. Ah yes, coffee. It comes in a wide variety of delicious forms and coffee shops are hotspots for relaxation, work, and gossip. I recommend going to a local coffee or tea shop on a sober date because Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts can get repetitive. Have a muffin, your favorite drink, and enjoy this sober date night with your love.
Whichever date night you choose, remember, alcohol isn’t necessary to make it fun. There is still a ton of romantic fun to be had without the pressure of drinking. Remembering everything is only part of it!