No Alcohol, No Problem: Five Ways to Spend Quality Time with Your Friends

By Shannon Hui I know going out and drinking with your buddies is fun but one can really start to crave more meaningful activities.  Being out late, drinking alcohol, and eating drunk food can take a toll on our minds and bodies. As we get older, hangovers and sleep deprivation are no joke. Thankfully, there are other options for a good time that actually nurture our relationships.

That being said, I’ve compiled a list of five fun activities to do with your friends that are healthier than alcohol. Plus, they won’t leave you feeling guilty the next day for your hangover.

Host a game-night

Game night brings us back to our childhood days when we would have fun by playing amongst some healthy competition. It’s a great way to unwind, banter and laugh with your friends. Taboo, Pictionary and UNO are enjoyable choices, but don’t be shy to bring on the more serious games like Monopoly and Bananagram. If you don’t have a place to play, feel free to check out The Uncommons or Clinton Hall which have board games to enjoy.

Get lost in nature

When you live in New York City, it’s easy to feel cooped up. We all need fresh air sometimes. Take some time to explore what NYC parks have to offer with your pals. There are an unlimited amount of gorgeous views to catch. You’d be surprised at how many cool activities you can find on — like watching movies under the stars. Take character building to a whole new level and use the option to hike or bike with your friends. Make it a mission to find the best vantage points in every borough. A few classics are The Botanical Garden, The Cloisters, Governors Island, and Central Park.

Check out a museum

NYC is one of the best places to get immersed in art, culture, and history. A great perk of most of these places is that they typically have discounts for NYC locals. Make your experience even more fun by creating a scavenger hunt list before you go. Game Rules: whoever is last to find everything has to buy ice cream. There’s even an opportunity to turn yourself into art now that everyone has an iPhone. Get creative and put on a mini-shoot looking fancy sipping champagne at The Whitney, getting interactive with the exhibits at the New York Hall of Science, or while training your inner spy at SpyScape.

Get interactive indoors

For those of you who like a challenge, the city has some pretty cool options to choose from. Whether it’s taking a cooking class, navigating an escape room, or going to the next instagrammable pop up, indoor activities are the best for having fun even if the weather sucks. If your friend group is quite large, most of these places have group deals so your whole crew can come along. Get your adrenaline racing at Beat The Bomb, I Survived The Room, and Archery Tag.  

Fuel your food expedition

The way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach. Connecting over food is one of the best ways to get to know the people around you better. Make it a point to put your phones away (after taking photos for #foodporn) and just enjoy your company. Compile a list of all the food you guys have wanted to try and try to knock them out borough by borough. This will have you all looking forward to exploring other cultural areas your next food adventure will take you. A few must haves are the Chicken Parm at Quality Italian in Midtown, Drunken Noodles at Samui in Brooklyn, and Bucatini Amatriciana at Spaghetti Incident in The East Village.

These five fun options will make it too easy to explore, connect and make memories with your friends. You’ll finally be able to hear them over the music, get to know each other better and create lifelong memories. Cheers to being best friends forever- no alcohol necessary.

Let us know what your favorite things to do with your friends !

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