two women hiking, showing an idea for a friend date without drinksI’ve grown tired of the expectation that any time people make plans to catch up after a long while or relax and spend some time together, all we seem to be able to come up with is “meeting up for drinks.” Call me boring, a party pooper, or a Debbie Downer, if you like. I do enjoy a glass of wine or a can of craft hard cider from time to time. But I see so much overconsumption of — and overreliance on — alcohol everywhere I look. And I think there has to be another way.

It’s time to think outside the box on getting together with friends — without alcohol.

So, in the “spirit” of keeping things light for those who, like me, are interested in alternatives for connecting with a friend or two outside of happy hour, I’ve come up with a list of easy peasy ideas for a friend date without drinks! These are not just things to do with that one sober friend or a backup plan if you are contemplating sobriety or trying to take a break from drinking. These ideas are for everyone — I hope you’ll give some of them a try!

  • Grab breakfast at a nearby café during the week. Tip: Don’t make it brunch, or you’ll end up with a mimosa or bloody mary!
  • Meet at a local park and bring your coffee and a picnic blanket.
  • Plan an easy hike at a nearby park or reservation — don’t forget to bring water and snacks!
  • Go for a bike ride on a local rail trail (there are so many great trails!).
  • Spend the day in Boston following one of the various Boston Moms itineraries, which focus on things like Boston sports, history, and food!
  • Visit a pick-your-own flower farm or berry farm if the season is right, or try your local farmers market other times of year.
  • Go see a movie! Tip: Drive together so you can have some good convos on the ride.
  • Go window shopping in a cute local downtown area.
  • Maybe a little cliché, but make an appointment for both of you to get a manicure and pedicure together!
  • Sign up for a class! It could be a one-time paint or pottery class or maybe even something that meets once a week for a few weeks. Think about all the great bonding!

This list may give you some good ideas, or it may spark your imagination to come up with your own. All I know is this stuff matters, and we all need to make time for our friendships AND ourselves — without always needing to include drinks.

Angie was born and raised in Panama and attended college in Massachusetts, after which she took a couple of years to work in Boston and enjoy the nightlife before attending law school. Soon after becoming an attorney, Angie got married to the love of her life. They set down roots in Jamaica Plain, where they welcomed their firstborn, Henry, in 2012. Angie now lives in Nahant with her husband and two children (little Eloisa was born in 2015) as well as their rescue Boxer dog, Hobie. Angie is passionate about public interest law and serves as the pro bono director at Veterans Legal Services, a nonprofit legal services firm serving Massachusetts military veterans. Angie is also a certified life and leadership coach and loves supporting women and mothers on their journeys in their personal and professional lives. In addition to feeling honored to be a contributing writer for Boston Moms, Angie also enjoys writing in, and translating Boston Moms articles into, Spanish — she is a firm believer in ensuring every Boston mom feels like she/they belong here!