Millennials are continuing to turn their backs on booze, so if heading to a bar is your go-to for a first date, it may be time to switch things up.
According to resent research, the typical millennial now consumes just five units of alcohol a week and 42% of us are drinking less than we were three years ago.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to get to know a potential love interest that don’t involve waking up with a hangover - you just have to get creative.
With that in mind, here are nine alternative activity ideas for those who are cutting back, have quit booze altogether, or have pledged to Go Sober For October.
1. Try crazy golf.
Crazy golf is no longer reserved for tacky seaside holidays, with a number of new indoor venues popping up over the country, perfect for a post-work putt.
Many venues, such as London’s Swingers (pictured above), do serve alcohol, but if you appoint yourself as score-keeper you have the perfect excuse not to drink.
Better yet, you’ll have plenty to talk about as you navigate the course.
2. Visit a museum.
Museums and galleries are perfect for dates on a budget thanks to the free entry at most. Many venues also run “after hours” nights that are catered towards adults, meaning you won’t have to dodge school children while chatting with your date.
For example, the Natural History Museum runs “late” nights every last Friday of the month with different themes, while more than 150 galleries in east London stay open late the first Thursday of every month. While alcohol is available, getting plastered and knocking over some artwork is not advised.
Check the opening hours at your favourite museum or gallery for details.
3. Get your bowling shoes on.
There’s nothing like clown shoes and the smell of feet to get you in the romantic spirit.
Jokes aside, once you get over the footwear a night at a bowling alley makes a pretty good date, and there are venues open nationwide.
You’ll learn a lot about your date from how competitive they are and if you’re both terrible, at least you’ll have a laugh.
4. Potter around a market.
Grab your coat and head to your nearest market with your date for a day out that’ll provide you with plenty of talking points.
As the cold weather draws, in why not visit one of the UK’s popular winter markets? For example, Bath Christmas Market (pictured above) opens from 23 November - 10 December and is guaranteed to leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
If it’s far too early for you to even think about Christmas, try a food market or flower market such as London’s Columbia Road Flower Market instead.
5. Grab a spot of brunch.
Brunch does not have to come in the bottomless variety and is just as good with a refreshing smoothie as it is with a glass of Prosecco.
Thanks to the nation’s ever-growing love of avocados there is no shortage of stylish brunch venues around the UK.
And if sparks don’t fly between you and your date, at least you’ll have the rest of the day free to enjoy yourself.
6. Attempt ice skating.
Ice skating is a no-drink kind of activity. After all, most of us spend the first half hour clinging onto the side for safety.
Slipping and sliding across the floor is also a great way to break the ice (pun intended) with your date.
If all goes to plan, you can heat things up by grabbing a hot chocolate afterwards. Steamy.
8. Hit up an alcohol-free bar.
These bars still have a grown-up vibe but are strictly tee-total.
Most also sell healthy food options for daters who are truly embracing the wellness revolution.
7. Embark on a country walk.
Head for the hills and channel your inner country bumpkin for a date that’ll help you save some pennies.
If it’s not too cold out, we’d recommend packing a blanket and some picnic nibbles for the afternoon.
It may be better to save a country walk for a second or third date rather than a first. After all, no one wants to get lost in the middle of nowhere with someone they’re not into.
9. Chill out in a coffee shop.
Perhaps the most obvious alternative to a bar is going to a coffee shop for a first date.
This is a great option if you know absolutely nothing about the person you’re meeting and want a safe, unintimidating activity.
Do a little research in advance to find a shop with cute interiors in your area. If you’re out to impress, a greasy spoon (probably) won’t cut it.