11 Sober Date Ideas For Winter

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

Going on a date sober seems like it should be so simple — but, if you've gotten used to pairing every date with a cocktail or a large glass of wine, it can be really intimidating. Many people start to think of dating and drinking as basically synonymous, but dating sober is actually a great opportunity to really get to know someone. “People get used to meeting one another romantically while under the influence," Grant Hilary Brenner, M.D. tells Bustle. "This often dates back to adolescence. Sober dating may mean the person feels insecure about dating... It's a great learning opportunity, however, if approached properly.”

With so many people taking up sober challenges over the winter and going a few weeks or a month without drinking, it's the perfect time to try out your sober dating skills. Though it may feel a little awkward at first, once you get used to making small talk without a drink in hand, you'll probably start to wonder what all the fuss was about. So here are 11 sober date ideas for getting through the winter months, because there are so many other ways to stay warm.

1Go Ice Skating

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Ice skating is the quintessential winter date and, let's be honest — if you're not a natural skater, it may be best to keep your wits about you. It's a great opportunity to laugh at yourself, bond, and get to know each other.

2Try A Museum

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Museums are a great place for sober dates — because you've got something to look at and talk about if you find the conversation becomes stilted. Plus, you'll get to show off to your date just how cultural you are (or can pretend to be). When in doubt, just nod and hum a lot.

3Head Glamping

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With the right equipment, winter can be a good opportunity to spend some time in the great outdoors. Roughing it not your thing? Glamping, especially around New Year's Eve, makes the outdoors all the more bearable (and romantic). With a campfire and some s'mores, you won't even notice the lack of booze.

4Go To A Winter Movie Pop-Up

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Holiday movies are a great date choice, because there's something really fun about getting a little nostalgic and snuggling up with a classic. Lots of places have special winter-themed movie pop-ups, so keep your eyes peeled for what's going on in your area.

5Find A Fancy Hotel Bar

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Just because you're not drinking, doesn't mean you can't go to a bar. Cocktail bars often have extensive mocktail lists or — for a real winter treat — hit up a fancy hotel bar that's bound to have a decadent hot chocolate option.

6Go To A Comedy Night

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Comedy nights are a solid date choice, because you learn a lot about someone through their sense of humor — plus, if the comedy is good then you'll laugh a lot, sober or not.

7Get Your Holiday Shopping Done

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You know how everything feels more intersting and fun during those early moments of a blossoming romance? Well, that's a great way to make your holiday shopping a little less boring. If you've been on a few dates, you can drag them along with you and make picking up those last-minute gifts all the more exciting.

8Go For A Walk

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As long as it's not a blizzard, getting a warm drink and going for a walk in the winter can be really romantic. If you want to throw in a snowball fight or a snow angel along the way, even better.

9Go For A Cooking Class

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Cooking classes are a great date option — it's an activity, there's an opportunity for bonding, and, of course, the food. Plus, you'll be so busy making a mess that you won't even notice the lack of alcohol.

10Work Out Together

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If you're struggling to date without drinking, you might want to consider an environment where drinking wouldn't even be an option. Working out isn't everyone's idea of a great date, but breaking a sweat together can be a lot of fun. Pair it with dinner or a coffee afterward for a chance to talk and you'll be able to get to know each other a little better.

11Go To A Concert

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Going to a concert is another date idea that will keep you so entertained that you won't even miss the alcohol — probably. Plus, you can find out if you have a similar taste in music, which is a definite win.

Dating sober can feel like a whole new world if you're not used to it, but it should get easier after a date or two. Pick dates that are going to keep your mind occupied and help the conversation flow and you should be just fine.