11 Fun Things To Do With Friends That Don't Involve Alcohol

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Going into Sober January or a dry month can be daunting. If you're used to having a few drinks to loosen you up on dates or at social occasions, giving up that crutch can definitely be intimidating. But spending some time sober can actually be incredibly beneficial — it can help your mood, self-esteem, health, and even your love life. You may just need to get used to doing sober activities with friends first.

"Inevitably, Dry January will make you work on feeling comfortable with yourself and your own self-esteem," Shlomo Zalman Bregman, Rabbi, matchmaker, and relationship expert, tells Bustle. "Look, nobody is for everybody. This is part of life! There is no person on the planet — past or present — who is or was universally liked. So you might as well be yourself, sober and all — because the ideal partner for you will LOVE the person that you actually are!"

But still, it can be a tricky learning curve. If you're feeling a little nervous about dating sober, you can try just spending more time socializing without alcohol. There are plenty of sober date ideas that you can do with friends this January to help ease you into being social without drinking. Here are some fun ideas to get you started.


Hit Up A Juice Bar

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Just because you're not drinking alcohol doesn't mean you can't drink. Going to a juice bar feeling incredibly wholesome, but it still allows you to try some interesting flavors — without the hangover.


Work Out

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A group workout can be a really fun way to spend an afternoon or evening, especially if there's a cooperative or team-working element. Pickup soccer games in the park, boxing classes, or even a yoga workshop can all offer plenty of interaction opportunities.


Go Hiking

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A great day date activity, heading out for a hike is a good, low-pressure social activity. If you're located in a city, you can find a park and start exploring.


Plan A Board Game Night


Board games are always a fun group activity and, frankly, they can go a lot better without the alcohol. You can host the night and order take-out or have everyone bring some food and mocktails along.


Go To The Spa


Spas as a group are a blast, because not only are they relaxing and indulgent, but something about the vulnerability of sitting around sweating in a towel can really help people open up. Get ready for some deep talks.


Snuggle Into A Coffee Shop

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A coffee shop is an easy afternoon activity — and if you find one with a great food or cake selection, you may find that you wile away an entire day there.


Try A New Class

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Always wanted to try a live drawing class? Pottery? Get a big group to book into a class together and you'll be too busy to notice the lack of alcohol.


Try A Winter Sport

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January has the opportunity for all sorts of sports, from skating and skiing to just getting on a sled. It's good, wholesome, fun for all — and it's a lot safer when you do it sober.


Go To An Escape Room

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If you want your wits about you, going to an escape room sober is probably your best bet. It's a really fun group activity and you'll be amazing how the time will fly by.


Brunch It Up

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Brunch is the ultimate friend date — but this time, just skip the unlimited mimosas. They'll still be there in February, don't worry.


Go To The Movies

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Unless you're used to stashing some vodka in your bag, movies are often an alcohol-free experience anyway. Plus, they're a great way to pass a chilly January evening.

If you're looking to pull back on your drinking this month, these friend dates are an easy way to get used to socializing sober — and you might just feel more empowered and assured at the end of it.