If you and your social circle have historically spent time together in the presence of alcohol, you might find it difficult to organize a meet-up where this doesn’t continue to be the case. As everyone gets older, you might find that this takes more of a toll on you than it used to, so either for your health or just for variety and to preserve the novelty that drinking once had, you might choose to do something different.
At first, this question of ‘what do we do instead?’ can feel completely devoid of answers. However, before long, you might have enough options for every gathering to focus on something different.
Games, Games, and More Games
Games are an easy answer because so many different activities can come under that same bracket. Board games are an easy example if you’re all having a night in, and while you might think that this limits you to Monopoly, there is an absolute plethora of tabletop games out there waiting for you to discover. Depending on how inclined certain group members are to this kind of activity, you might even want to delve into something like Dungeons & Dragons, which can be an incredibly absorbing group activity but not one without its hurdles. You don’t have to launch yourself at the deep end, though. You can work up to that with some familiar favorites first.
You also have more active examples like sports. Not everyone will want to pick up a football and get going to that kind of intense level, but other examples, like a cornhole board, can help you bridge the gap between casual and more competitive sports fans. You might even want to align this with a particular holiday, with the beauty of cornhole boards being how easily customizable they are – American Flag Cornhole Boards would suit a 4th July gathering seamlessly, for example.
Finally, you have video games. Many of these can be a great way to spend time together, with casual party games like Jackbox that can get everyone involved to multiplayer games that can take the focus of the evening, such as Mario Party or Smash Bros. It’s all about preference, though, and with gaming being such a vast medium, there’s bound to be something your group would enjoy.
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You might be surprised at how little of a structural change you must make to your alcohol-based social plans to adapt them to your sober mindset. Dinner parties are a prime candidate for spending time with your friends, and they might well have been something you were banking on before in quite the same way. Swapping out the beers and wines for soft drinks might seem to impact at first, but that might mean that the meal, various starters, and desserts alongside it become more focused.
Revolving the event so that different group members can host it at other times will give everyone a chance to shine and take on different roles, meaning that it’s never expected that one person does everything. Alternatively, suppose people don’t want to host. In that case, you can instead revolve these occasions around different restaurants – having these outings replace the nights out you might have had at pubs, bars, or clubs while still allowing you to hit the town.
Take Up Adventuring
After you try out a couple of sober activities, you will realize that basically nothing is off the table, and you’re far less restricted than you initially thought you were. Taking it further and ramping up the scale can help illuminate this further – going on holiday is a prime example. Taking a group trip with your friends seems like the ideal opportunity to relax and unwind as you always have; it’s still the perfect way to relax, but drinking isn’t your only choice for unwinding.Making your trip one filled with adventure can be just as engrossing and memorable – trying new activities or structuring it like a road trip that lends itself to fresh experiences. The more you spend time together without drinking, the more natural it will seem, and the more varied your options for pastimes will become.