Alcohol-Free Date Ideas for Dry January and Beyond
I don’t know about you, but I feel like 2022! If your holiday season is like mine, stopping drinking for a few weeks might seem like a good idea. Enter: dry January – a whole month of sobriety to start the new year.
Dry January has been all the rage in recent years for many reasons. Quitting alcohol can improve your health and save you more money than you think. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds, especially if you’re trying to maintain a social life or are dating.
If you’re attending Dry January, already practicing sobriety, or just want ideas for dates that are more unique than the standard dinner and drinks, I’ve got you covered with this list of date night ideas that don’t involve drink. Just because you don’t drink doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! Promise.
Alcohol-Free Arts and Culture Date Ideas
Visit a museum
If you live in Tampa Bay and haven’t visited one of the area’s many art museums lately, you’ve missed it! Make your appointment and visit the Tampa Museum of Art, St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts, or the Dali Museum. The Ringling Museum in Sarasota is another one-of-a-kind Instagram-worthy option.
Do it yourself
For those of you who prefer to be more practical, these suggestions are for you. One of my all-time favorite hangouts is The poured candle in Hyde Park Village. Choose your own scent combination and create a personalized candle that will always remind you of your date.
A few steps away you will find the The drip cake. Live out your wildest Willy Wonka dreams and create your perfect candy bar or test your cake decorating skills. Either way, it’s sure to be sweet! There is also another location in the St. Pete’s Edge area. FYI: A typical Cake Drip experience includes free champagne for guests 21 and older, so be sure to let the staff know you want to skip the champions. If you’re trying to avoid places that serve alcohol altogether, this might not be the best place for you.
If you’re a bit more serious about your art, the Dunedin Fine Art Center offers adult lessons in virtually every type of artistic focus you could imagine. Learn how to make jewelry, brush up on your graphic design skills, or even try metalworking! Most classes are multiple weekly sessions, so it’s the perfect option for a stand-up night.
Other solid DIY options include Paint with a Twist, Color Me Mine, and AR Workshop.
A perfect date: a show at the Straz Center, dinner at Ulele or Steelbach and a stroll on the Riverwalk. This combination never disappoints and is perfect for any stage of a relationship. Check Center Straz website for upcoming shows.
Places to swap cocktails for specialty mocktails
Having a drink with dinner can be tempting, but artisanal mocktails (cocktails minus the booze) are popping up on more and more menus. Long gone are the days of being limited to sodas or juices if you weren’t drinking! While you can certainly ask for mocktails at most restaurants or bars, these are some of the best restaurants in Tampa that offer specialty mocktails on their menu.
With society placing an increased emphasis on health in 2022, mocktails will almost certainly be added to many other menus throughout this year!
You already know that Datz offers some of the most delicious dishes in the Bay Area, but did you know that they offer mocktails on their brunch menu? Labeled as “Instagram-worthy,” the Cinny Bunny is basically a cinnamon roll in a drink *insert heart eyes here*. Even if you don’t hold back on drinking, Datz’s mocktails are quite tempting.
One of Tampa’s newest restaurants, Willa’s, has a zero-proof section on its drink menu, making it easy to choose a non-alcoholic drink. It includes delicious options like Soft Sangria and Willa’s Tonic.
If you’re planning a romantic night out, Meat Market has two “non-alcoholic gems” on its menu: Magic Lemonade and One in a Melon. One in a Melon is a blend of watermelon, lime, lavender, mint and seltzer. I can’t wait to try this one!
If you’ve never been to Counter Culture before, you’re missing out. In addition to their incredible brunch and dinner menus, they offer a non-alcoholic cocktail menu and a non-alcoholic beer.
Sports and adventure dates
Go to a game
In case you haven’t heard, it’s Champa Bay, not Tampa Bay, now. Cheering on your favorite team from the stands is a perfect date. I know it may be hard to believe, but you don’t have to be drunk to have fun at a Bucs game. Plus, it’s considerably cheaper when you factor in all the White Claws at the stadium price. Use that extra money to get yourself better seats!
Live an adventure together
There are so many ways to be adventurous in Tampa Bay. Rent a coastal bike and explore the Riverwalk or Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa. Or try St. Pete’s Pier or biking on St. Pete’s Beach. Check out our article on the best bike rides in Tampa Bay for more inspiration.
If you’re looking for a little more adrenaline and your date isn’t afraid of heights, check out the zipline and high ropes course at Empower Adventures. We have more zipline date ideas in this article.
Visiting a U-pick farm is another fun and unique way to spend a day. Depending on the season, you can pick local strawberries, blueberries, sunflowers and more! Some of my favorites within hours of Tampa are Hunsader Farms, Keel Farms, and Red, White & Blues Farm.
Be part of the action
This one’s for all the sporty couples! Tampa Bay Club Sports offers many adult intramural sports teams, from softball to pickleball to flag football. Choose your sport, join a team and consider it a weekly fixture! It’s a great way to meet new people, stay active, and bond with your partner.
Spend a day on the water
Fact: The best views of downtown Tampa are from the water. Rent a paddle board from Urban Kai, a water bike or an electric boat and see for yourself! If you’re on the gulf, rent a jet ski to add a little thrill to a day at the beach.
Within hours of Tampa you will find many natural springs including Weeki Wachee and Devil’s Den. At Weeki Wachee you can rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore miles of crystal clear water. You might even see a manatee or two! Devil’s Den offers scuba diving and snorkeling in an area that will make you feel like you are on a tropical vacation.
Relaxing and romantic dates for a dry month of January
Take care of you
Is there anything better than a day at the spa? I really don’t think so. Treat yourself and your date to a relaxing day at one of the best spas in the area. I particularly like Spa Sudeva in South Tampa, Spa Oceana at Don Cesar in St. Pete, and Botanica Day Spa in Clearwater for couples.
Be their guest
The days of sneaking into hotel pools are long gone! With Resort Pass, you can purchase a day pass to many of Tampa Bay’s top hotels, which grants you access to the pool and other amenities. Prices are really reasonable, and some even have cabanas you can book.
have a picnic
Luxury picnics are all the rage right now and such a romantic gesture for a date. Tampa Bay has a plethora of perfect picnic spots, as well as companies that will arrange everything for you. If you’re celebrating something special, this is one of my top recommendations!
Visit a market
Shop local and spend the day with your partner at one of Tampa’s many markets. Stock up on produce, discover new local businesses, and even bring your four-legged friends. Check out this article for everything you need to know about craft markets near you. Or refer to this one if it’s farmers markets you like.
Have a coffee (or tea)
Instead of hanging out at a bar, try a coffee! There are so many unique local cafes to explore that you could honestly go somewhere new every day for a month and not repeat an option. I’m currently obsessed with The Blend’s seasonal coffee flights and Buddy Brew’s cold brew floats. Another cool option is the Mad Hatters Ethnobotanical Tea Bar. This 24-hour kava bar serves loose leaf tea, kava, kombucha and more in St. Pete. Think hip bar, minus the booze.
Feature image credit: The Candle Pour