If drinking is a big part of how you socialize, it can feel impossible trying to think of fun ways to spend your time. Forget going to your local dive bar if they’re not already churning out your favorite mocktails.
We promise there are better ways to fill your free time that don’t involve drinking, even if all of your pals were only in it for Dry January.
Here’s a solid list of sober activities that are actually fun, whether you’re trying to cut back on drinking or just want to add a little variety to your life.
Table of Contents
Solo Sober Activities
You don’t need sober friends or even sober curious friends to have fun without drinking. Sometimes spending time with yourself is just as good.
What are some sober hobbies? Some sober hobbies include learning a new language, starting a regular yoga practice, or volunteering at a local charity.
Solo sober activities are about getting to know what you like outside of your drink of choice.
1. Treat yourself to a spa day. Self-care is great for your mental health. This could be as simple as running a warm bubble bath or giving yourself a pedicure.
2. Work on your mocktail game. Going alcohol-free doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a fun, fizzy beverage. Start simple so you have non-alcoholic options to order at the bar.
3. Catch up on your stories. Whether your favorite shows come via podcast or Netflix, now is the time for you find out what your faves have been up to.
4. Embrace a regular yoga practice. Even if meditation isn’t your thing, yoga is a great way to get centered. It’s also a great low-impact way to boost your flexibility.
5. Learn a new language. Language learning boosts cognitive function and generally makes you a more interesting human. Try a free app like Duolingo if you’re not sure where to start.
6. Read something that isn’t your social media. Curl up with one of the dusty books you’ve been meaning to read.
7. Get fit. You don’t need to join your local CrossFit gym. Let’s say you’ve always wanted to try rock climbing. Waking up without a hangover makes that a lot easier.
8. Volunteer. Do some good for your local community. Choose a cause you know you’ll stick with because it matters to you. Volunteermatch.org can help you find the volunteer opportunities near you.
9. Learn to cook one perfect dish. When it’s time to host that dinner party, you’ll be ready to impress.
10. Try your hand at dessert, too. If your cravings tend to run sweet, learn to make a batch of your favorite cookies.
11. Pamper your pooch. Treat your dog (or your cat, gerbil, snake, etc.) to a spa day of their own. If they don’t love baths, follow it up with all the treats. Need inspiration? Check out these tips from WagWalking.com.
12. Go to a movie. You don’t need to wait for your friends to go see that movie you’ve been excited to see.
13. Work on your green thumb. If you’re working with limited space, start a windowsill herb garden. Imagine that new dish you’ve been working on with fresh basil.
14. Learn a new card trick. A little magic is one of those things that sounds cheesy, but is actually always welcome at a sober party.
15. Organize your digital life. Go through your online photo albums. Address your out-of-control email inbox. It’ll stress you out less the next time you open it.
Sober Fun With Friends
Having a support network is great when you’re trying to see how you feel without drinking. It’s also great when you’re just trying to find fun things to do that don’t result in a foggy morning-after.
What do sober people do to socialize? Sober people do things to socialize that don’t involve alcohol. Dinner parties, live shows, and organized sports are all great ways to have sober fun with friends.
16. Host a game night. Board games are having a bit of a renaissance right now. That means there are tons of great options — and we don’t mean new versions of Monopoly. Invite a few family members or new friends and break out the board games.
17. See some live music. Start watching the calendars for local venues so you know when your favorite artists are in town or book tickets to see a new band.
18. Try that new restaurant. You know that place you pass by every other day? It’s time to check it out.
19. Host a potluck. Invite your pals over for an evening of casseroles and side salads. Make it a themed night for a little more intrigue.
20. Test your wits in an escape room. These places usually have their rooms ranked by difficulty, so be kind to yourself and your nerves if this is your first time.
21. Have a sober happy hour. Host one at home with your favorite mocktails or non-alcoholic wines if you don’t want to tempt yourself at the bar.
22. Take a dance class. You can do better than the Cha-Cha Slide. Add a solid foxtrot or some swing to your repertoire.
23. Go bowling. Bowling is one of those group activities that is almost more fun if you’re really bad at it. Put up those bumpers as needed!
Sober Outdoor Activities
Getting outside is good for your well-being no matter what the weather throws your way. If you moderate your drinking, getting outside will feel even better. You know what we mean if you’ve ever been on a hike hungover.
Getting more active can be as simple as taking your dog on those walks you’ve been promising them. Find outdoor activities that you actually enjoy to build sober habits that stick.
24. Go to a sporting event. Choose the loveable losers for cheap tickets. Who knows? You could become that fan who was there from the beginning if things turn around.
25. Joim a team. If you’d rather get out there and show off your softball (or dodgeball, pickleball, etc.) skills, sign up to join a local league.
26. Go for a hike. If you live in a big city, take a day trip to the closest forest preserve or explore urban hikes in your area. They’re a thing.
27. Try paddleboarding. If you’re near any body of water, it’s likely that you can rent a paddleboard and test your balance.
28. Act like a kid again. Fish out that dusty frisbee and host a meetup at your local park for your own adult recess. If you’d rather fingerpaint, we’re not against it.
29. Go to an amusement park. Bring the kids if you have them, or borrow some from your friends. They’ll owe you one. Bonus points if they’re teens and you embarrass them at any time.
30. Brust out the camping supplies. Sleeping under the stars is as good as it sounds. Bring supplies for s’mores.
What To Do With Your Weekend
Getting through a full weekend sober is easier said than done if you’re used to Friday happy hours and day drinking on Sundays. Plan sober activities that give you reasons not to drink, even if that means saying “no” to social engagements where alcohol is the focus.
31. DIY a home project. YouTube is a special place that will teach you everything you need to know about caulking your bathroom, installing baseboards, and more.
32. Tidy up. You don’t need to purge everything that doesn't bring you joy, but a sober weekend is the perfect time to get your house in order.
33. Travel locally. Be a tourist in your hometown (or adopted home at the moment) and find something new.
34. Plan a trip. So you’ve already seen what there is to see in your neighborhood. Fine. Start planning that bucket list trip, including a savings plan to make it happen.
35. Embrace your inner gamer. The story-driven games and RPGs of today are pretty impressive. Try multi-player versions if you like competition.
36. Visit a museum. Sure, you could google it, but seeing some great art or a local dinosaur fossil collection is so much better in-person.
37. Host Sunday brunch. You can have a Sunday Funday without the mimosas. If you can’t, there are yummy non-alcoholic sparkling wines out there for you to try.
38. Have an afternoon tea. We’re talking tiny sandwiches, scones, a variety of teas, and a very classy good time. Here’s some classy background music to get you in the mood.
39. Explore your roots. Work on your family tree. Get started with a phone call home or join Ancestry.com to dig deeper.
40. Go to an open house. You don’t need to be in the market for a new home to pop into that house down the street for a quick look and some cookies.
41. Meal prep. There’s something super satisfying about seeing all those healthy lunches waiting for you in the fridge.
42. Call a loved one you haven’t heard from in a while. We promise your mother, aunt, brother, etc. will appreciate it.
For Your Creative Side
You may not think you have much of a creative side, but maybe you just haven’t found the right outlet. Sober activities should be accessible activities you enjoy and want to return to, even if you don’t think you’re that good at them. Explore ways to light that creative spark.
43. Try journaling. Go for a classic “Dear Diary” approach or start a bullet journal to get yourself organized. Journaling prompts can help you get started if you’re stuck.
44. Take a creative writing class. You don’t need to go into a writing class with the expectation of getting published. You can take a class just for fun and to meet other people trying their hand at something new.
45. Learn to sew. It’s time you learned how to fix loose buttons. If you’re feeling inspired, join a quilting group.
46. Get poetic. If you’re already embarrassed by the thought of pouring your heart out in rhyme, start with reading a few books of poetry.
47. Make a vision board. This is the year you make your goals happen. For inspiration on how to get started, check out these tips from Mind Body Green.
48. Start that scrapbook. Take a walk down memory lane with vacation albums or cringe over middle school band photos.
49. Write a letter. People love getting letters. Choose a friend you’d love to reconnect with or someone who made an impact in your life.
50. Learn to play a new instrument. That guitar you got at your neighbor’s garage sale won’t play itself.
51. Take a class. Support a local studio or sign up for photography lessons at the community college. If learning from home is more your speed, check out Audible’s Masterclass series or see if anything on Skill Share sparks your interest.
52. Make your own candles. Candlemaking is so hot right now, and we’re not just being punny. Join a class or DIY your own to set the mood for your next spa night.
53. Create a modern mix tape. Make playlists for workouts, cleaning days, and relaxation time with your favorite music streaming service.
54. Paint a picture. Take a class or set up an easel in your sunniest space. Watercolors are great for beginners.
55. Paint a room. Canvas too small? Give your living room that accent wall it’s been waiting for or try out a new color palette in your bedroom.
You can have fun and stay sober.
Now that you’re armed with so many ways to spend your time alcohol-free, you can build habits that feel easy. If your goal is more about alternatives to drinking because you like options, we can help you there, too. Surely non-alcoholic wine is the perfect alcohol alternative for wine-lovers who want a healthier glass. Start with our crisp dealcoholized sauvignon blanc for your next sober get-together.
If you need more help with sober living because you’re in recovery or struggling with substance use, there are addiction treatment programs out there.
Start with these support groups: