Maybe you made the choice to quit drinking as growing movements like Dry January–a post-holiday month of sobriety to begin the new year–gain momentum. And now as summer is here many people are looking for ways to be more healthful, including alcohol-free date ideas.
No matter the reason, we're here to provide you with fresh date ideas that don't involve alcohol. Instead of depending on alcohol to break the ice, fuel your connection with this guide to fun alcohol-free date ideas.
Updated June 2022, by Dani Meyering
Explore Non Alcoholic Cocktails and Sober Bars
The Bandbox Orlando
When going alcohol-free, it turns out there's no need to avoid the bar altogether. Orlando just welcomed its first completely spirit-free bar. The BANDBOX is a 1920s-inspired speakeasy exclusively serving non-alcoholic craft cocktails, as well as non-alcoholic tonics, spirits, CBD drinks, shrubs, beer, wine, and so much more.
One of our contributing writers, Alayna Curry, attended a media preview of The BANDBOX. This sober bar is anything but dull. An intimate space that serves 10 people at a time, makes for a cozy date night spot with incredible decor. In fact, most of the gorgeous decor is available for purchase if you're so inclined.
The atmosphere at The BANDBOX is unique and inviting. Without the need for spirits and alcohol, this speakeasy elevates the experience with decor and details. Be sure to pop into the free photo booth for a fun memento of your evening. And check out the small cinema playing 1920s films and footage.
During the media preview we enjoyed these spirit free cocktails:
- Fire in the Engine – non alcoholic Tequila Smoked Mango Margarita with Jalapeño, crafted with Ritual Tequila, smoked margarita mix, fresh lime juice, Portland Syrups mango, habanero syrup and NOPE Mango Margarita with Jalapeño
- Trouble in Paradise – alcohol free Passion Fruit Margarita with tart and sour notes from passion fruit syrup combined with orgeat and citrus notes from triple sec orange liqueur. Blended with Ritual Tequila and fresh lime juice
- That’s Berries – refreshing strawberry Rum and shrub non alcoholic cocktail made with RumISH and Ritual Rum, Nope Strawberry and Basil, orgeat and mixed with strawberry syrup, Three Spirit Livener, Ghia, Smiling Goat Shrubs Flamingo Pride, and topped with ginger beer.
Space is limited in this 1920s Art Deco-inspired speakeasy so be sure to make reservations.
Salt and The Cellar Orlando
NEW Restaurant Alert – For the ultimate alcohol-free date idea, head towards Walt Disney World. The ette hotel Orlando just opened and it is right down the road from Disney's Animal Kingdom. Ette stands for earthy. true. timeless. elegant. This exquisite hotel brings a level of sophistication to this part of town that is needed. Couples will love the sumptuous setting, and its restaurant, Salt and the Cellar by Akira Back is incredible.
Executive Chef Akira Back is Michelin-Starred, and his talent shines through at the brand-new restaurant, Salt and the Cellar. There is an outdoor herb garden on the patio where garnishes are grown, like lavender, sage, etc. and plants are switched out on the patio regularly. The entire hotel is alcohol-free, and the mixology menu consists of the most creative mocktails in all of Orlando.
You can bring your own beer, wine, or liquor and have it served at the restaurants for no additional cost. The Salt and the Cellar mixologists can add any liquor you bring with you to your drinks, which makes the steep price tag for a mocktail a little easier to swallow. However, the mocktails are so creative and impressive it's easy to go without the spirits for a true alcohol-free date idea.
As you might expect, the food at Salt and The Cellar by Akira Back is stunning. It all adds up to an unforgettable date night.
Mocktails in Orlando
Zero-proof menu options are also becoming more commonplace at bars and restaurants in Orlando. Tori Tori, a Japanese pub in the Mills 50 District, has a non-alcoholic drink menu including the option to have your bartender create a special bespoke mocktail. The Neighbors, a new spot located upstairs at East End Market, also features four creative non-alcoholic cocktails on its bar menu. Treat yourself to the Cider Donut, made with apple, ginger and cinnamon demerara. Or, head to ICEBAR Orlando on I-Drive to sip on the Penguin Punch, a mocktail served in a signature cup made out of ice.
Heading out for a romantic dinner? Choose a spot where zero-proof cocktails are proudly listed on the menu. Unique specialty mocktails, including mango lychee lemonade; virgin daiquiri; and the Lemony Snicket, made with lemon juice, orgeat, and soda water, can be found on the menu at Domu. You can also find spirit-free concoctions to pair with your dinner at The Monroe. The tea- and coffee-focused creations contain additional mix-ins like bitters, ginger beer, Earl Grey creme and more.
Heading to Walt Disney World? Check out our extensive guide to mocktails at Disney World for tons of non-alcoholic drinks to enjoy inside and outside of the parks.
Plan an Adventurous Alcohol-Free Date
Shake up your normal routine with some heart-pumping fun like axe throwing. The technique is pretty easy to pick up even if you've never held an axe, and sharing a new experience together is a fun way to deepen your connection. The Axe Trap in Winter Park provides an opportunity to extend your date with coffee and tapas after axe throwing. Other venues include Epic Axe Throwing and BATL Axe Throwing, both located downtown.
Zip lining is another adrenaline-fueled date idea, offered at Central Florida locations like the Central Florida Zoo, Gatorland, and Canyons Zip Line & Canopy Tours.
Up for a drive? Make plans to finally watch a rocket launch on the Space Coast with our tips for experiencing a launch like a true local.
Immerse Yourself in Arts & Culture
Take that extra money you're saving by not buying drinks and use it to explore Orlando's vibrant arts and culture scene instead.
Noteworthy museums include the Morse Museum on Park Ave, and Orlando Museum of Art. At OMA, current exhibitions highlight the works of famous artists including Botticelli, Rembrandt, and Jackson Pollock. You can also view stunning black and white photographs by Florida photographer Clyde Butcher on display through August 2022.
Love DIY projects? Head to Thornton Park to try your hand at candle making at Artifact Candle Foundry. Or, book Pinspiration's Splatter Room (locations in Oviedo and Winter Garden) to get messy while creating your own custom splatter painting together. The latter is a favorite among Orlando Date Night Guide readers.
Spend Time in the Great Outdoors
Unwind on an alcohol-free date spent in Orlando's abundant outdoor spaces. One of our favorite cheap date ideas is to fill up a picnic basket with snacks, juices, sandwiches and whatever else is in the pantry for a picnic in the park. A few of our favorite spots include Mead Botanical Garden, Bok Tower Gardens (entry fee applies), and Kraft Azalea Garden.
For more free fun, head out for a hike on a local trail. Some new-to-us discoveries include Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve and Flat Island Preserve. Lake Lotus Park is perfect if you love a good boardwalk, and Lake Louisa State Park features miles of serene hiking trails not far from Historic Downtown Clermont.
Spending the day on a farm is a more out-of-the-ordinary idea sure to impress your date. Try goat yoga at Alaska Farms, or book lunch reservations under the ancient oak tree at Bountiful Farms Bistro. We also love heading to a local u-pick farm for seasonal strawberries, blueberries, peaches, citrus and sunflowers in the spring.
Lastly, one major perk of living in Florida is the abundance of natural springs and waterways to explore. What better way to experience that than on a unique kayaking tour? Get up close and personal with manatees in a clear kayak with Get Up and Go Kayaking, or see the bioluminescence phenomenon during a guided kayaking tour on Florida's Space Coast in the summer months.
Use the summer as an Opportunity to Chill
Instead of pulling up a seat at the bar, cozy up at a unique coffee shop. Sip seasonal coffee flights at New City Coffee, take your beverage from Citrus Coffee to the top level of the Florida Citrus Tower for sweeping views of Central Florida, or sip your latte from Minch Coffee while playing with the adoptable kitties at the Orlando Cat Cafe.
If you'd rather laze by the pool, spend a little extra dough on day passes to local hotel pools from ResortPass. Think of it as your all-access pass to resort amenities without booking a full getaway or overnight stay. A few of our top picks include Omni Orlando Resort, Hilton Orlando, and Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress.
Alternatively, go all out and treat yourself to a luxurious spa day. We've rounded up our favorite spas for couples.