6 alcohol-free date ideas (that are actually fun) for dry January

Sober dates so fun you may never drink again

We’ve all either heard or asked the question, “How about we grab a drink?” when setting up a date. Many people use drinking as a way to calm their nerves and loosen them up, so it’s no surprise that getting a drink is a standard date suggestion. But let’s face it: drinking on a date, or in general, is not necessarily a recipe for success. First of all, not everyone drinks! And even if you do, sitting at a bar trying to think of things to talk about can get awkward and isn’t necessarily the best way to get to know someone. Not to mention that we’ve probably all had experiences with a date drinking too much–not a fun night out at all.

So if you’re doing dry January this year, or if you’ve recently stopped drinking and you’re worried sobriety is going to make dating harder, never fear. There are lots of exciting date options out there for those willing to shake things up (besides cocktails).

With that in mind, consider these sober date ideas for a unique outing whether you’re going on your 500th date with your long-term partner or meeting up with your latest Tinder match.

Team up at an escape room

Going to an escape room is a perfect date–you have plenty to talk about, you get to see their real personality come out, and there’s less pressure on both of you than when you’re staring at each other across a table. Plus, working together on a challenge is exciting, and you’ll leave with a shared sense of accomplishment (assuming all goes well and you actually escape the room).

Get sweaty

If you enjoy working out, then why not suggest some flirtatious fitness-centered activity for your next date? Sign up for a class at the gym, go dancing, go for a walk around the park or a bike ride together, head to the beach for a swim–anything to get those endorphins flowing. Plus, doing something challenging together is an incredible way to get to know someone. Are they game for pushing their limits? Are they able to laugh at themselves? Getting to check them out in spandex is an added benefit.

Go to a comedy show

Unlike a movie date, where you have to sit in silence for two hours, a comedy show allows you to interact with your date, get to know their personality, and enjoy something a little different. Laughter is also a fantastic way to break the ice, especially if you’re going on a first date. And if you’re partnered, keep in mind that laughing together helps enhance the quality of your relationship.

Go stay-at-home camping

Hey, who says you can’t roast marshmallows over a candle? Lay out a blanket in your backyard or on your rooftop, bring out some snacks and hot cocoa, and spend a romantic evening under the night sky. If you’re in the mood to be silly, take turns telling your favorite ghost stories or stories from camp. Or show off your skills at your favorite card game. Bonus points for stay-at-home camping being a low-cost date option!

Make dinner

Plan a date night around cooking a new dish together and whipping up some mocktails to go with it. Or, if you prefer, make it a double date or a group date. It doesn’t matter if you know what you’re doing in the kitchen–half the fun is making mistakes and making a mess. And hey, you can always give up and order a pizza if you need to.

Learn something new together

Learning something new together can be a fun way to learn about each other too! Sign up for a one-night class, like a beginning pottery or painting class, or take a class that meets every week if you’re in a relationship already. Or for a lower-cost option, teach each other about one of your hobbies and try it out together. Even if things don’t end up working out with your date, you’ll come away with a new skill instead of just a hangover.

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