Many people struggle to come up with their own special plan for Valentine’s Day, but it can be even trickier if you’re looking to cut out the alcohol. Whether you just think you’d benefit from a sober night out, or if you or your partner have recently entered addiction recovery, there are plenty of excellent options for your celebration. You just have to change the way you think about the holiday! Here are a few unique ideas for having a fun-packed, substance-free Valentine’s Day.
Pick a nearby outing that doesn’t center around alcohol
A fancy dinner can really feel like it’s missing a glass of wine, and most places you can dance will be focused on liquor sales. Opt for activities that won’t feel incomplete without a drink: play a round of mini golf, go see a play at a local theater, or spend the afternoon horseback riding in the park. Check out a local museum or art gallery, and even better if it’s something neither of you is familiar with so you can discover together. Choose an activity you’ll both love, something low-pressure and entertaining, and neither of you will have the opportunity to even think of what you’re “missing.”
Give back to the community
Volunteering probably doesn’t jump to mind when it comes to Valentine’s Day, but it can be a wonderful way to spend time together. The rewarding experience of helping others creates a meaningful bonding experience, and you’ll often meet amazing people in the process. You can make a lunch date of it at the local soup kitchen or spend the evening working the seniors’ Valentine’s Day dance at the community center, just check out what’s going on in your area. Make your holiday about a love for sobriety, a love for each other, and a love for others.
Take a class
There might be an activity you’ve both been wanting to do, or you could surprise them with a class you know they’ll love. Try a beginner’s class of a dance style neither of you has heard of. Take a pottery class if your partner loves art. If you’re both regulars at the gym, try a beginner’s kickboxing or martial arts class. You can check neighborhood and community centers, YMCAs, libraries, art galleries, and dance studios for local opportunities — just make sure the classes are alcohol-free! Many places offer special deals on Groupon, though you should check the fine print for each about holiday booking.
Go for a picnic under the stars
Take an evening drive somewhere away from city lights and go stargazing with some cocoa and snacks. Bring plenty of extra blankets, and bundle up together while you listen to music and talk about the things you love in life. If the weather is simply too cold where you are, consider finding a planetarium nearby for all the views without the chilly temperature.
There are all kinds of amazing sober options for your Valentine’s Day, so get creative with ideas. Personalize them to your partner and your relationship, and really make the holiday your own. And don’t forget the flowers!
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