If your holiday season was anything like mine, taking a few weeks off from drinking might sound like a great idea. Enter: Dry January – a whole month of sobriety to start off the new year. These alcohol-free date ideas for Dry January can inspire better date ideas, well beyond the beginning of the year.
Dry January has been all the rage these past few years for many reasons. Cutting out alcohol can improve your health and save you more money than you might even realize. 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 partaking in Dry January, practicing sobriety already, or just want ideas for more unique dates than the standard dinner and drinks, keep reading. This list of date night ideas that don’t involve drinking will come in handy.
Updated December 2023 by Meghan Roth
Alcohol-Free Arts & 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’re missing out! Grab your date and check out the Tampa Museum of Art, The St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Art, or the Dali Museum. The Ringling Museum in Sarasota is another one-of-a-kind, Insta-worthy option.
Do It Yourself
For those of you who prefer to be more hands-on, these suggestions are for you.
One of my all-time favorite date night spots is The Candle Pour in Hyde Park Village. Choose your own combination of scents and create a customized candle that will always remind you of your date night.
Just a few steps away, you’ll find The Cake Drip. Live out your wildest Willy Wonka dreams and create your perfect chocolate bar or test out your cake decorating skills. Either way, it’s sure to be sweet!
There’s also another location in St. Pete’s Edge District. FYI: A typical experience at the Cake Drip does include complimentary champagne for guests who are 21+, so make sure to let the staff know you would like to skip the champs. If you’re trying to avoid places that serve alcohol completely, this may not be the best spot for you.
If you’re a little more serious about your art, the Dunedin Fine Art Center offers adult classes in virtually every type of art concentration you could imagine. Learn how to make jewelry, brush up on your graphic design skills, or even try out metalworking! Many of the classes are multiple weekly sessions, so it’s the perfect option for a standing date night.
Other solid DIY options include Painting with a Twist, Color Me Mine, and the AR Workshop.
Take a Seat
A perfect date night: a show at the Straz Center, dinner at Ulele or Steelbach, and a stroll on the Riverwalk. That combination never disappoints and is perfect for any stage of a relationship. Check out the Straz Center’s website for upcoming shows.
Places to Swap Cocktails for Specialty Mocktails
Getting a drink with dinner can be tempting, but craft mocktails (cocktails minus the alcohol) are emerging on more and more menus. Long gone are the days when you’re limited to soda or juice if you don’t drink!
While you can certainly ask for drinks without the alcohol at most restaurants or bars, these are some of Tampa’s best restaurants that highlight specialty mocktails on their menu.
You already know Datz has some of the most delicious food in the Bay area, but did you know they have mocktails on their brunch menu? Labeled as being “Insta-worthy”, the Cinny Bunny is basically a cinnamon bun in a drink *insert heart eyes here*.
Even if you’re not refraining from drinking, the mocktails at Datz are quite tempting.
One of Tampa’s newer restaurants, Willa’s, has a zero-proof section on their 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 date night, Meat Market has two “Non-Alcoholic Gems” on their menu: Magic Lemonade and One in a Melon. One in a Melon is a blend of watermelon, lime, lavender, mint, and seltzer.
If you haven’t been to Counter Culture before, you are missing out. In addition to their incredible brunch and dinner menus, they offer a zero-proof cocktail menu and a non-alcoholic beer.
Sports & 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 this might be hard to believe, but you can have fun at a Bucs game without alcohol. Plus, it’s considerably less expensive when you factor out all of the stadium-priced White Claws.
Use that extra money to treat yourself to better seats!
Have an Adventure Together
There are so many ways to be adventurous in Tampa Bay. Rent a Coast Bike and explore the Riverwalk or Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa. Or try the St. Pete Pier or the biking by the beach in St. Pete.
Check out our post about the best bike rides in Tampa Bay for more inspiration.
If you’re looking for a little more adrenaline and your date isn’t scared of heights, check out the zip line and high ropes course at Empower Adventures. We’ve got more fun zip lining date ideas.
Some of my favorites within a few hours from Tampa are Hunsader Farms, Keel Farms, and Red, White & Blues Farm.
Be a Part of the Action
This one is for all the sporty couples out there! Tampa Bay Club Sports offers plenty of adult intramural sports teams, from softball to pickleball to flag football. Pick your sport, join a team, and consider it a weekly date night! 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 in Downtown Tampa are from the water. Rent a paddle board from Urban Kai, a water bike, or an e-boat and see for yourself! If you’re on the Gulf, rent a jet ski to add a little thrill to a beach day.
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’re on a tropical vacation.
Chill & Romantic Dates for Dry January
Is there anything better than a spa day? I really don’t think so. Treat yourself and your date to a relaxing day at one of the area’s top spas. I especially love Spa Sudeva in South Tampa, Spa Oceana at the Don Cesar in St. Pete, and Botanica Day Spa in Clearwater for couples.
Be Their Guest
Long gone are the days of sneaking into hotel pools! With Resort Pass, you can purchase a day pass for many of Tampa Bay’s top hotels, allowing you to access the pool and other amenities.
The prices are really reasonable, and some even have cabanas you can reserve.
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 set everything up 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 your produce, discover new local companies and even bring your four-legged friends.
Grab A Coffee (or Tea)
Instead of hanging out at a bar, try a coffee shop! There are so many unique local coffee shops to explore that you honestly could go somewhere new every day for a month and not repeat an option.
I’m currently obsessed with the seasonal coffee flights from The Blend and the cold brew floats at Buddy Brew. Another cool option is Mad Hatters Ethnobotanical Tea Bar. This 24-hour kava bar serves up loose leaf tea, kava, kombucha, and more in St. Pete. Think trendy bar, minus the alcohol.
Feature image credit: The Candle Pour