Being social doesn’t have to mean getting tipsy. Now, we’re not judging anyone for enjoying a few adult beverages with their friends (cheers to you), but we wanted to offer up some alternative fun for those who want to remove the booze from the occasion. You have your reasons for not drinking — to help with weight loss, for your health, because you just don’t feel like it thank you very much — so here are a bunch of activities you can do without a glass in your hand.
If the weather is nice, why not enjoy the great outdoors? Plus, being outside is scientifically good for you. No, really. Science says that being outdoors can help you de-stress, it reduces inflammation, eliminates fatigue, can help fight off depression and anxiety, and so much more! So grab your friends and take a hike, sit by the water, enjoy a picnic, play some mini golf or just walk around your neighborhood. You can catch up on life and drink some nature.
Yup, exercise can be social even if it is a little sweaty. Why not branch out of your normal exercise routine and try something new with a group of friends? Sure, some classes don’t invite much talking (ahem, looking at you, yoga). But other types of exercise encourage group camaraderie. Try a boot camp or aerial class (you know, The Cirque du Soleil-style workout performed on “hammocks” hanging from the ceiling) — something that gets you out of your comfort zone. Or get creative — try group runs, ice skating, paddle boarding, rock climbing. As long as you’re moving, those happy endorphins can come out and have some fun, too!
Take a Class
Being sweaty and social not your thing? How about learning something new? Universities, community centers and local art galleries often offer art classes that are open to the public. You and your friends can hang out AND get a piece of art out of the deal. Or local restaurants sometimes host cooking and baking classes that always come with a delicious grand finale. Sure, sometimes these activities also come with a side of wine but the fun is really focused on the activity so if you don’t feel like sipping, no one will even notice.
Host a Get-Together
Your house your rules, right? Invite some friends over for games, a Netflix binge-fest or a sports game. Snacks or dinner can still be on the table, but good, old-fashion bonding doesn’t require a beer. You can even theme it as a “no booze party” and ask guests to bring a fun non-alcoholic drink. After the conversations starts no one will even notice the difference.
Why not take that good energy and put it to good use by volunteering with your friends? Serve dinner at a soup kitchen. Walk dogs at your local humane society. There are lots of way to help. Find a nonprofit that could use your help here.
Explore Your City
Ever checked out a local art museum? Strolled the aquarium or zoo in a nearby town? Well, what are you waiting for? Experience some culture without the cocktails. Visit your local chamber of commerce site for exploration ideas.
Did someone say, “SPA DAY!”? Sip on cucumber water while treating yourself to mani/pedis, massages, facials and a day of relaxation. Can’t make it to the actual spa? Try bringing the spa to your house with DIY masks, your nail polish collection and your closest group of friends.
If you haven’t caught on, the key to socializing without alcohol is focusing on the activity at hand, and not the lack of liquor. And if you decide a wine night is still what you want to do — go for it, just enjoy responsibly.