These 14 Toronto Date Ideas Are Perfect for Sticking to Your Dry January Goals

dry january date ideas

After the holidays, everyone seems to be pretty over alcohol, drinkers and non-drinkers alike. We’ve even seen a spike in the need for non-alcoholic or dry options at restaurants, events, and nightlife venues. January is a time for setting goals, wellness, focusing on you, and taking your time starting anew.

Dry-tripping, or finding non-alcoholic activities and options while travelling was also part of Expedia’s Unpack 2024 Travel Trends, predicting the shift to ‘dry’ travel ideas near and far!

This trend if even prevalent in dating. In new exclusive research, Tinder found that even though young Canadians are leaning towards a more moderate approach to alcohol, social expectations are preventing sober-curious singles from fully committing.

In collaboration with survey firm Ipsos, Tinder discovered a staggering one in three (33%) Canadian young adults of legal drinking age (ages 18/19 to 34), are gearing up for a Dry or Damp January – by either steering clear of alcohol this month or just being more mindful about how they sip. 

Yet, for the dating scene in Canada, making up 34% of the under-35 young adult population, taking on a Dry or Damp January might throw a curveball into their love lives. A whopping 7 in 10 young adults say that they usually enjoy a drink on dates, and 37% admitted feeling social expectations to drink alcohol on a date. 

Finding date ideas that don’t focus on eating and drinking can be a hard feat in the city, and we’re here to share some awesome events that you can do without being offered a drink. 

Check out these events all around Toronto happening this January and February!

Sauna Sesh and Ice Bath

Open seven days/week at Alter Wellness (860 College St.)

Alter’s mission is to make hot and cold exposure a more approachable and consistent practice by creating an atmosphere that is warm, welcoming, and community-oriented and an experience that pays homage to this centuries-old modality.

Alter is offering flexible Drop-In sessions that allow you to experience their spacious sauna, four-person ice baths with two temperature options, lounge spaces, and other amenities on your own time.

For its soft opening, Alter will also introduce two of its signature 60-minute classes:

  • Foundational: A class for both beginners and seasoned practitioners who want to perfect their practice and get back to basics. This class will include simple breathwork, movement patterns, and essential oils with downtempo music.
  • Unwind: A class for those who want to slow down and release physical, mental, and emotional tension. This class will focus on the power of heat and will incorporate long, deep stretches, downregulating breathwork, and calming essential oils.

Book your sessions here.

Sober Speakeasy

Every Saturday 7pm-late, at the lower level of Collective Arts Toronto Taproom (777 Dundas St W)

There’s something happening downstairs at Collective Arts! Step behind the curtain to sip on exclusive alcohol-free cocktails in the city’s first-ever Sober Speakeasy. Sip on drinks curated by Beatrice Society (like the Mellow Mojito and Midday Mule), and enjoy a full lineup of Collective Arts’ non-alcoholic beer like the NA Guava Gose and NA Hazy Pale Ale.

This is the perfect place to meet other sober or sober-curious people and even enjoy a pop-up shop from The Sobr Market.

Plus, there’s a different live music performance every week!

Free admission, no password required.

Men’s Skincare 101 with MARGIN x Barbet

January 10,  6:30 – 8:30pm at Formula Fig (50 Ossington Ave)

Dive into the world of uncomplicated yet effective grooming routines tailored specifically for men, plus a chance to nourish your beauty from within with reimagined collagen from Aphina and complementary light therapy from Formula Fig that penetrates the skin targeting different concerns.

​Discover the secrets to effortlessly maintaining a polished appearance, while sipping on a few Barbets along the way to keep your night ‘dry’!

Reserve your spot here – it’s free!

Headshots & Handshakes Networking Mixer

January 11, 8:00pm – 11:00pm at Throne Barbershop (612 Richmond St W)

Young Women in Business and Zero Percent Proof invites you to embrace the power of connections, make your mark in 2024, and mingle with entrepreneurs, creatives and professionals eager to expand their networks. 

Your ticket includes either one or two (dry) drinks as well! Barbet and Partake Brewing are adding an extra layer of vibrancy to the evening. Expect an array of enticing non-alcoholic beverages and an atmosphere that sparkles with authenticity.

Reserve your free spot here.

Sobar Social Club’s first-ever Mocktail Competition

January 13, 2024 6pm at El Mocambo (464 Spadina Ave)

Taking place during Dry January, this event will showcase the artistry of spirit-free cocktails as Toronto’s top mixologists compete to create the city’s best Mocktail. The winner, determined by the votes of the attendees, will take home a $500 prize pack from Cocktail Emporium and the title of “Creator of Toronto’s Best Mocktail!”

The event is a first for the city of Toronto and signals the continued growth of the non-alcoholic beverage category. The event comes at the perfect time of year when folks are setting their new year’s resolutions and looking to make up for their indulgences over the holidays. 

Participating Mixologists invluce Max Vyshnivetsky- Sauka Events, Gail Lynch- Zero Proof Bar , Brian Liew- Mix6ix, Adam Sammut- Delixir, Jess-Anne Grey Top Shelf Spirit, and Sam Babzani- Drinks on Sam

Each ticket includes six expertly crafted zero proof cocktails, a specialty food item from O’Frenchy, the live cocktail competition, DJ set, interactive photo booth as well as access to the onsite wellness market!

Heineken’s ‘Route 0.0’ ‘Streetbar’

Starting January 13, running every Saturday until January 27 begins at Union Station

 Heineken 0.0 is encouraging consumers to shake off the winter blues and enjoy good times with friends – without alcohol. With the new Heineken “Route 0.0” experience, you can enjoy a memorable night out on s specially branded TTC streetcar! It will be cruising into Toronto neighbourhoods to transport riders to the city’s hottest nightlife areas beginning Saturday, January 13th and running every Saturday until January 27th.

Riders of legal drinking age will be able to hop aboard Heineken Route 0.0 free of charge at dedicated stops in the city.

Starting at Union Station, the ‘streetbar’ will take riders on a unique route through some of the city’s liveliest spots, including King West, Queen West and Parkdale. Inside the streetcar, you’ll be greeted with live music from some of Toronto’s hottest DJs, including BAMBII, CYRUS and Karim Olen Ash. You will also receive complimentary Heineken 0.0.

Heineken Route 0.0 will be taking place in Toronto during the following dates and times:

  • Saturday, January 13 – 9:30-11:30 p.m., featuring DJ CYRUS
  • Saturday, January 20 – 7:30-11:30 p.m., featuring DJ Karim Olen Ash
  • Saturday, January 27 – 7:30-11:30 p.m., featuring DJ BAMBII

Knightcap Chess Club & Barbet Presents: Vol. 4

January 15, 6:30pm meeting at The Annex Hotel (296 Brunswick Ave)

Engage in friendly banter, learn the strategic nuances of chess, and relish the lively ambiance of The annex hotel Wine Bar. Toronto’s coolest non-alcoholic sparkling water proves that extraordinary moments can be created without alcohol and is bringing back the Dry January fun!

Go and enjoy elevated sparkling water that you can drink straight out of the can or mixed with your favourite spirit, so you don’t have to water down life’s moments.

Reserve your free spot here.

Barbet Happy Hour

January 18, 5-7PM at Trinity Market (768A Queen St W)

There’s a number of days and places in Dry January where you can get your first Barbet during Happy Hour on the house! First up, Trinity Market just tucked off of Queen Street West beside Trinity Bellwoods Park.

Chef Matt Dean Petit serves a curated menu of pizza, sandwiches, empanadas and more that you can enjoy along with your Barbet!

Mocktail Mixology Classes

January 19th, 6:30pm & 20th, 2pm at Zero Bar (235 Broadview Ave.)

Created by Gail Lynch, Zero Bar is Toronto’s first and only no-cocktail bar so you can get together without being offered a drink! If you love a good, creative date idea but don’t want the drinks you’re mixing to have alcohol in them you need to check out the Zero Bar Mocktail classes.

Indulge in a whole new world of non-alcoholic cocktail crafting! Join the mixologist-led sessions where you’ll sip on a delicious bubbly drink while learning to craft your very own. It’s hands-on, fun, and a flavourful journey you won’t want to miss!

Get tickets here.

Gyoza Making with Crafty Ramen

January 23 & February 20, 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM at Crafty Ramen (217 Ossington Ave)

Last year they attempted pasta, this year Barbet wants you to try your hand at making some gyoza’s!

Crafty Ramen is hosting two gyoza-making classes this winter with Miki followed by indulging in a delicious bowl of Japanese-inspired ramen.

This event is part of Barbet’s Drink Freely series. Check out the hub for more dry events, Happy Hours, recipes and to shop the Briony x Love Bite collab can.

Reserve your spot here for Jan. 23

Reserve your spot here for Feb. 20 – COMING SOON

Barbet Happy Hour

January 25, 5-7PM at The Daughter (1560A Bayview Ave)

There’s a number of days and places in January where you can get your first Barbet during Happy Hour on the house! Second up, The Daughter.

This is a female-owned and operated boutique natural wine bottle shop & bar where you can purchase wine to go and have a drink and food at the bar. For your Dry January visits, opt for a Barbet and get your first one free this day!

Book a table here.

Sxy N Sober Drinks & Mingle

January 25, 8:00pm – 10:00pm at Beatrice Society (511 Richmond St W)

Sxy N Sober is the perfect opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals who appreciate a vibrant nightlife without the need for alcohol. The event offers a safe and inclusive environment where you can let loose, dance, and have fun.

Located on Richmond Street West in the heart of Toronto, Canada, Beatrice Society provides a trendy and intimate setting with Sobr Market available inside.

Get tickets here.

Slow Night × Barbet Sketch Night

January 26, 6:45pm at Sixteen Eleven Studios (1611 Dundas St W)

Slow Night and Barbet invite non-artists, ‘bad’ artists, and burnt out creatives for a chill night of sketching. They’ll be exploring playful, open-ended drawing prompts and encouraging your imagination to run wild.

“This isn’t a formal sit-down class; we’ll lead you through warm up exercises and cover some basics, and then you’ll be free to sketch as you please. Come explore your creative side in a relaxed, low-pressure environment with like-minded adults.”

Complimentary cans of Barbet flavoured sparkling water will be available as well as an in-house café with light snacks and drinks for purchase.

Get your tickets here.

Dry Supper Club with Acquired Taste – Non Alcoholic Wine & Food Pairings

January 30, 7pm at Bar St. Lo (inside St. Lawrence Market)

Indulge in a night full of food, wine, and live music — without the hangover. Taking a break from drinking doesn’t need to be boring. Whether you’re participating in Dry January, are sober-curious, or just curious about non-alcoholic beverages — this unique dining experience hosted by Acquired Taste is for you!

Enjoy a delicious 4-course menu prepared by Bar St. Lo’s Executive Chef Rory McGouran paired with some of the world’s best non-alcoholic wines as you listen to live jazz piano.

See the menu and get tickets here.

Start your year with wellness and make a plan for your goals ahead! Learn how here.

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