For a lot of people, alcohol is the go-to solution to calm their nerves on date. After all, a first date can be really intimidating, especially if you really like the person or if you have any kind of social anxiety, which is probably why so many first dates revolve around grabbing a drink. But what if you or your date don't drink? Well, in that case, it's time to think outside the box (or the bar?) because there is no shortage of things to do on a first date that don't require drinking at all.
For me, planning a sober date is all about finding an activity that will keep me distracted enough that I won't get nervous and that will fill any natural lulls in the conversation. But the date also has to be balanced by giving you an opportunity to actually talk and get to know one another. I mean, what is the point of the date if, at the end of it, you basically know exactly as much about them as you did a the start? I also like to pick an activity I actually, you know, enjoy, because at best, you'll get to share that experience with someone you like, and at worst, well, at least you got do something fun, right?
Here are 30 sober first date ideas that I think tick all those boxes and then some.
Dates To Eat, (Not) Drink, And Be Merry
Just because you're not drinking alcohol, doesn't meant you can't indulge your oral fixation on your date.
1. It may be old-fashioned, but instead of splitting a pitcher of beer, split a sundae.
2. Find a local food truck festival and try all the signature dishes.
3. Plan a romantic picnic in the park, a rooftop, or, depending on the weather, in your living room.
4. Take your date to your favorite locally-owned coffee shop for a cup of the good stuff.
5. Sign up for a cooking class and see how you work together. Then, enjoy the fruits (possibly literally) of your labor.
6. Chill out together at a artsy-looking coffee shop.
7. Grab some blankets and head somewhere nearby with a great view for a romantic, sunset, BYOHC (bring your own hot chocolate) date.
8. Hit up your favorite diner for a late-night slice of pie.
Get Your Hearts Racing On A Sober Adventure Together
For anyone who thinks a date can't be incredibly fun without cocktails, they just need to try some new activities.
9. Get your heart racing on some roller coasters at a nearby theme park.
10. Feel like the only people in the universe at a local planetarium show.
11. Play with all the puppies and kittens together by volunteering at a pet shelter.
12. Instead of catching the game at a sports bar, hit the stadium instead — and eat all the hotdogs.
13. Enjoy the romantic atmosphere of an aquarium.
14. If you're the outdoorsy type, head out for a hike at a state park and take in the scene.
15. Explore a strange, unusual, or quirky museum together.
16. Play tourist for the day together, either in your hometown or one nearby.
17. Check out some stand up comedy. After all, laugher is a turn-on. Just be sure there are non-alcoholic options if the club has a two-drink minimum.
18. Take a romantic walk through the local zoo.
19. If it's still winter time, take advantage of that with an old-school, romantic couples skate at an ice skating rink.
20. Head to a local venue to catch a live band.
A Little Competition Is A Great Booze-Free Aphrodisiac
Maybe it's just my competitive nature, but nothing turns me on more than winning.
21. Find out what kind of team you'll make by hitting up a local trivia night.
22. Never say no to a putt-putt date. Mini golf is a totally under-appreciated first date activity.
23. Challenge your date to a dance off on "Dance Dance Revolution" at the arcade.
24. Bowling is an awesome first date. It’s relaxed enough so you get a chance to talk and get to know each other, there's some fun competition, and you get a great view of their butt every few minutes.
25. Challenge your date to a pool tournament.
26. Wanna make 'em sweat? Take a fun fitness class together, like aerial yoga or aqua Zumba.
27. Roll the dice on romance with a board game night. Find a local game shop or cafe that rents out the games.
28. Hit a few balls at the driving range. Farthest drive wins a kiss!
29. Find out who the true indoor sports champion is with a one-on-one ping pong tournament.
30. Embrace the stereotype and try and win each other stuffed animals in the games ally of a local carnival or fair.
It may take a little more imagination, but there are tons of date options that, frankly, are more fun when you're totally sober.
Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!