Truth is, most social activities these days involve alcohol in some capacity. Catching up with mates after work, watching footy, barefoot bowling, you name it – even kids’ parties and movies are served with alcohol now!
Spending quality time with our loved ones doesn’t have to be this way, as most social activities can still be enjoyed without alcohol. For some of us, the temptations of having alcohol nearby can be hard to resist when we’re still trying to take control of our relationship with alcohol. To help you, we’ve come up with a list of 10 social activities that do not involve alcohol. Most of these activities can be adapted to a lockdown environment, or can still be enjoyed while observing the rules of physical distancing.
We hope you find this helpful – if you’ve got any other ideas or thoughts, please share your favourite AF activities in the comments below.
1. AF Beer tasting (or making smoothies)
There are a lot of great Aussie and international zero alcohol* beers. Invite a mate over to try them out, and write your own scores for each of them! Don’t forget to bring pretzels and salty peanuts.
If drinking faux beer is triggering for you, you can make and rate DIY smoothies or try other alcohol-free alternatives such as cold brew teas, Kombucha. You could even try making your own AF drinks – here’s a list brought to you by people in our community.
2. Host a game night
For this activity, age does not matter! Bring your inner child (and your children too of course!) and have hand sanitiser ready. It’s okay if things get competitive – we know there won’t be a hangover tomorrow. You can bring in board games, or you can adapt these online!
Here is a list of social games you can play with others on your phone. Don’t forget to order in pizzas (the pineapple-on-pizza debate will make the hours race by!)
3. Nerf war (pick a team and fire!)
What we love about this is that you can have this both indoors and outdoors, and it keeps you active at the same time. You can have a Nerf war with people of all sizes – younger kids and older ‘kids’, or even with your adult friends. Stock up on those fluoro bullets, pick a team, and fire!
Too violent for your taste? Have a water balloon fight instead.
On water restrictions? How about using sponges or some more environmentally friendly options here.
4. DIY Project or Crafternoon
It’s time to fix old furniture or your broken appliance. Pick a project and while you’re at it, invite your mate to help out. Don’t forget to prepare a jug of lemonade or ice tea to quench your thirst after a long day of hard work.
Not so handy? Host a crafternoon instead. Our community has frequently mentioned that a benefit of reducing alcohol is the return of their creativity. What’s more rewarding than a repaired appliance or a new pair of knitted socks after a catch up?
5. High Tea
Replace Ladies Night out with High Tea or Sunday brunch instead. You don’t need a set of fine bone china teacups and saucers to host a tea party – there are heaps of cheap ideas to help you on Pinterest. Just BYO baked goods and favourite teas!
6. Offline day – spend time in nature
Take some relaxing time away from your phone, TV and internet. If the situation and weather permits, visit your local national park – we are blessed with beautiful bits of nature around us in Australia. Just plant your finger on a map and start your adventure!
Tips: go all the way and give your ears a break from music, news and podcasts, turn off Spotify and enjoy the sounds of nature.
7. Star gazing
Visit the observatory or go camping. Find a spot with the least light pollution, a night without a moon, and distract yourself with awe and wonder. There are heaps of free apps out there that can point out stars and constellations. You might need to look for an offline version as most secluded areas do not have phone reception.
Not a Night Owl? Try bird watching instead!
8. Do some active activities – go cycling
Planning on exercise gives you extra motivation to lay off alcohol the day before. Choose an activity that you and your friends will enjoy or pick something you have always wanted to try. From cycling, zoom yoga to kayaking, the options are endless!
9. Fun at home
Most people associate domestic work with chores, as something not fun to do. But let’s reframe this thinking! How about planting a tree or veggies for your veggie garden; pickling or fermenting food; or running a workshop with friends to create a seasonal home decor. We’re getting closer to the season for wreath-making or decorating a Christmas gingerbread house.
10. Catch the sunrise (or a sunset)
Just like our name, Hello Sunday Morning, getting up early without a hangover is a lifestyle we encourage. Catching a sunrise is a beautiful way of doing so. Have a suitable non-alcoholic beverage in hand, set out a picnic mat and get ready to enjoy the view.
Not a morning person? Catch the sunset instead.
11. Binge watch a tv series (A bonus item! Yet also a controversial one …)
Everyone talks about keeping fit, but in reality we sometimes struggle to get through the day – coping with all the stress that life brings us. It’s okay to binge watch a TV show sometimes. Have Zoom or Hangouts ready and you can make it a physically distanced activity to enjoy with friends! Just remember to set a timer to get up and have a stretch, or organise something to break up the binge session.
Not so flash on cash to pay for a Netflix subscription? There are some quality free tv streaming apps out there in Australia such as SBS On Demand and ABC iView. Hit us up with suggestions for a great TV show that does not involve alcohol!
* In some countries, alcohol-free or Zero alcohol applies to all beverages containing less than 0.5% ABV.