By Dina Cheney
With the rise of the “sober-curious” movement in recent years, alcohol-free meetups are more popular than ever. But it can still feel like a daunting idea to go on a date without the calming prospect of a cocktail or two. Fear not: sober dating doesn’t have to be dry! If you or your Bumble match are sober—or just trying to drink less—read on for alcohol-free date ideas that are sure to help you get to know each other without the pressure of last call.
Go on a cookie crawl
For an indulgent date, spend an afternoon hopping between bakeries and coffee shops, sampling their sweets. You and your date can rate the different treats and ultimately pick your favorites. You’ll bond over a new experience—and who knows, you may share the same taste in desserts!
Plan a picnic at a park
Stop at a local grocery store or deli and pick up the provisions for a romantic date outdoors. Surrounded by birdsong, fragrant flowers, or a shimmering lake, you and your Bumble date can sip sparkling water or juice and focus on each other. With the sun shining, you won’t even notice the absence of alcohol.
Play a game
Without cocktails to put you and your date at ease, rely on play. Returning to a childhood pastime can help bring out your silly side and make you feel comfortable more quickly. Plus, by focusing on playing the game, there will be less pressure to keep the conversation flowing. If you’re not yet ready for an at-home date, meet at a board game cafe and try a new game together.
When you and your date experience an adrenaline rush together, it can help you connect—especially if you cheer each other on! If climbing actual rocks or visiting a climbing gym isn’t your cup of tea, try other active adventures, like go-karting, zip-lining, mountain biking, bungee-jumping, or hiking.
Molding wet clay with your bare hands might not sound like the most appealing date, but you can really get to know each other while getting messy and having fun. Along with enjoying a tactile experience, you’ll both be expressing your creativity. Even if the date doesn’t turn into a love match, you’ll have a work of art to show for it!
Take a yoga class
A relaxing get-together could be just the ticket for your next Bumble date, especially if one or both of you tends to feel anxious. Whatever type of yoga you try, the class should end with savasana, a resting pose that calms the mind. In a state of post-endorphin bliss, you can reward yourselves with fresh juice or a smoothie and get to know each other.
Head to the museum
What’s more romantic than strolling hand in hand as you marvel at artistic masterpieces? Experiencing awe and learning together can help you bond—and discover how your date thinks about the world. To add a shot of novelty, head to a museum or gallery neither of you has visited.
Learn to make mocktails
Alcohol-free drinks can be just as delicious as their boozy counterparts, whether you prefer virgin margaritas or pina coladas. To learn how to make them, sign up for an in-person or online mocktail making class. Since you and your date will be working together, you’ll discover how you collaborate—crucial when you’re considering what you want in a partner.
Take in a talk
Together, research upcoming talks on a topic that interests you both. Whether it’s an author discussing their new book or a meditation teacher offering a workshop at your local wellness center, the two of you will learn together—typically at no (or low) cost. Then, discuss your thoughts on the talk over coffee.
Prep a meal
Want to wow your date with your pasta-making prowess? Take a cooking class, whether private or in a group. To find one, look up local cooking schools or investigate courses taught at cookware stores. With this activity, you’ll learn a new skill together while sharing delicious food.