7 Holiday Date Ideas That Don’t Involve Drinking

The holiday season often revolves around socializing: work parties, friend gatherings, family events, and romance, whether you’re dating around or just looking for some special time with your partner. But all of this socializing — and all of this dating — can sometimes feel intimidating if you’re sober during the holidays.

Whether you’re just trying to cut back, you suffer from alcoholism, or you’re just not a drinker, there can be a lot of pressure to drink during the holidays. If you combine that with a tendency to drink when we’re out on dates, things can definitely get tricky.

“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.” And even during the holiday season there’s a lot to be said for getting to know someone without the influence of alcohol.

One thing that can really help is choosing date activities where drinking isn’t inevitable — or when it’s better to be sober. Here are some holiday date ideas that don’t involve alcohol.

1. Sledding

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Nostalgia, some old-school romance, and a chance to get cozy? Sledding is a perfect holiday date idea — and one that you definitely don’t want to drink during, because, you know… basic safety.

2. Ice Skating

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Skating is another winter sport that’s romantic but also potentially disastrous when combined with alcohol. Skating is a great date idea where you won’t even notice the lack of booze. You have knives strapped to your feet, after all, so it’s way better when you’re alcohol-free.

3. Holiday Shopping

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Sure, holiday shopping might drive you to drink, but it’s an activity where you can just as easily go for a hot cocoa without feeling self-conscious.

4. Watching Holiday Movies

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This classic date night is a great option if you’re looking to avoid alcohol this holiday season. Popcorn and soda are the natural go-to snacks, so you can easily skip the booze, while still getting all snuggled up for a film.

5. Going For A Walk

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If the weather holds up, an outdoor winter walk can be incredibly romantic. Pick up a hot drink and take a stroll around to make snowman in the park, or check out the holiday lights if you live in a city.

6. Camping

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If you’re ready for a getaway, then heading camping can be a good winter date option — one where you’d probably want to focus on hot drinks than alcohol anyway. Just make sure you bring plenty of blankets — or a sleeping bag built for two.

7. Volunteering

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‘Tis the season to give back, and it’s a great way for you and your partner to do some good while getting some time together. Volunteering at a shelter or charity can make a huge difference this holiday season.

Choosing some activities that don’t revolve around booze can make your holiday season so much easier — because dating without alcohol can be every bit as fun.

Originally posted on Bustle