Adding a drink or two to any date can relieve both people’s initial nerves, but it doesn’t necessarily help either person get to know one another or show their true selves. Alcohol lessens inhibitions and can change a person’s behavior as well as alter the dynamic of the interaction. Besides, who wants to have to go to work with a massive hangover the next morning?
To avoid all of this, consider a sober date night to allow for more genuine interactions and possible connection. Stumped for what to do and where to go? Here are 15 sober date ideas:
1. Cuddle some cuties. Find a local animal shelter and spend some time with the adoptable critters. Dogs, cats, rabbits and other animals are in need of attention and affection. The experience will demonstrate the more tender side of both of you.
2. Get thrifty. Head to a local secondhand shop and see what kind of treasures you can dig up. It’s kind of like a treasure hunt for adults, and it will allow you and your date to get to know each other’s taste and sense of humor.
3. Expand your vinyl collection. Spend some time sorting through the vinyl at a local record shop. There are all kinds of music gems to be found. You and your date will also get a sense of each other’s musical interests and style.
4. Meet for breakfast. Who says a date has to happen after the sun goes down? Try meeting up for breakfast instead. If it’s planned for a workday, it allows you both to get to know one another, and there won’t be any awkward lingering. A breakfast date takes the pressure off of having to navigate a “goodnight kiss” or more.
5. Get your game on. Take the pressure off and put the focus on a game. It can be Scrabble, Connect Four or even a video game. This will get you both having fun and getting a little flirtatious competiveness into the mix.
6. Swing a bat, string a bow or throw an ax. Grab a bat and a helmet and head to the batting cage. You could also try to find an archery or axe-throwing range. The point isn’t to excel at it — neither person needs to be any good. It’s more about having a bit of fun.
7. Go out for coffee. There’s no denying that chatting over a beverage is a great way to get to know someone. Try opting to go out for coffee on a date instead of cocktails, though — the atmosphere at a coffee shop is less formal and intense than at a restaurant or a bar. Plus, judgment as to each of your characters won’t be clouded by alcohol.
8. Scream at an amusement park. Nothing like a little fear and adrenaline to make for an exciting date! Check out a local amusement park and enjoy a ride on a rollercoaster.
9. Give blood. Once the paperwork is filled out at the American Red Cross, a couple can sit together as they give blood. The entire process doesn’t take too long, and the generous act helps others. Plus, cookies!
10. Take a hike. Head out for a walk around the neighborhood, through a park or along a beach. It’s a great way to relax and be at ease in the company of your date. The fresh air will be good for you both, too!
11. Get cooking. Spend an afternoon preparing a meal. This can include getting the ingredients together at the grocery store or market as well as cooking the meal — and, of course, sitting down to enjoy it. It doesn’t need to be some elaborate meal, either. Burgers on the barbecue are good enough to get cooking.
12. Head to the airport. Head out to a local airport, but be sure to be in a good place where visitors are allowed. You’ll want to ensure you also have a good vantage point to see the planes arriving and departing. It’s romantic to imagine where all the people are off to and what adventures they’re up for.
13. Get active. Take an exercise class. Neither person needs to know anything about it, whether it’s rock climbing, spinning or Zumba. Just go, try something new, laugh at one another’s awkwardness and create a great memory.
14. Volunteer! It doesn’t need to be all about the two of you. Instead, offer your time to help out a charity together. Maybe it’s at a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter. The good news is, if there is no love connection made, the time wasn’t wasted — you made the local community a better place.
15. Rev your engines. Buckle up and go head-to-head on the mini cart race way. It’s a great way to have a laugh and get competitive.