Things To Do

Give Hangxiety The Flick With These 6 Booze-Free Mate Date Ideas

By Caitlin Booth

Love your mates but hate the hangover that comes with catching up over a drink or two too many? We hear you. 

We know how easy it is to default to dinner and drinks when you want to see your mates, or how tempting it can be to seek out your nearest beer garden on a perfectly sunny weekend arvo to have a laugh and forget your troubles. The trouble is, the inevitable feeling of regret when you wake up with a throbbing headache and a mouth that feels like you’ve just snacked on a dry Weet-Bix.   

To round out our Reason Season journey to help you craft healthy daily habits and routines in partnership with Swisse Multivitamins, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite, booze-free mate date ideas to keep you connected to your friends, without being connected to the couch for most of the next day. 

Read on for our top reccos you can replicate on your next weekend catch-up. 

Tour de Gelato 

Take some inspiration from the recent feat of willpower and endurance, the Tour de France, and put your own creamy and delicious spin on it with a Tour de Gelato around your favourite local ice cream spots. Open to extensive interpretation, you and your mates can each allocate a venue and show off your favourite flavour from each, or theme your tour with a journey of flavours. 

Maybe your tour is titled ‘The Longer We Roam, The Braver We Grow’ and you push yourself out of your sweet treat comfort zone and try progressively more and more flavours you wouldn’t typically pick. Or maybe you go for the element of surprise and choose each other a flavour that you think matches your mates’ personality. Whatever your vibe, this mate date makes the expansive world of gelato your oyster (that would definitely be a brave flavour to try). 

If you don’t have a bike, no sweat, you can still give it a crack—plan your route ahead of time to make the most of your time if you’re travelling sans bike or plot your course to make the most of your local public transport between venues.

Get Cooked

No, not like that. Grab your mate and head to a cooking class to polish up on your existing skills or learn a whole set of new ones. With an enormous range of cuisines to tackle, you’ll be sure to find a class that everyone’s eager to get their tastebuds along to. Learn how to make the perfect dumplings to replicate at home for a super easy and impressive meal when you have your friends or family over next (or for your next date-date). Or, learn how to cook the perfect seafood feast. Maybe your mate is a pasta fanatic and learning to whip up the perfect ravioli would bring them a heap more joy than a Saturday morning hangover. The best bit is that you get to indulge in a delicious meal on top of adding an invaluable new skill to your repertoire and spending quality time with friends.

Give Back And Get Some Good Feels

If you really want to swing the dial the other way on waking up with the post-pub blues, lean right into the good feels by getting your mates together and giving back to the community. Maybe you love your four-legged friends just as much as your human mates, and spending some time volunteering for the RSPCA or a Greyhound rescue will swing your good feels well into the positive side of the spectrum. Or if you and your mate have four green thumbs between you, find your local organisations working to support and restore Australia’s diverse landscapes. It will get your body moving and get the good hormones flowing. Whatever your individual interests and hobbies are, we guarantee there’s a way to volunteer your time that will make you and your mates feel great, and the recipients of your time even better. 

Get Real Slow

When really reflecting on how we spend our time at the pub, or out to dinner with our mates, there’s a whole lot of sitting around, simply enjoying each other's company. This is great news for understanding how to replicate our time together, without the threat of a hangover the next day. If the thing that’s missing for your quality time together, is having something to do with your hands, then getting together to work on your favourite hobbies is a great substitute. Plus, you can still indulge in as many snacks as you like, and you get something tangible out of your time too. So whether it’s writing, crochet, painting or baking, get your mates together for a slow hobby sesh, and leave the post-sesh anxiety at the pub. 

Swap The Pints For Paintings

This one is an oldie but a goodie—head to your local gallery for a dose of creative inspiration. We love taking our time exploring the halls, finding the humour and arresting elements in the endless artwork that Australia’s galleries have to offer. If you’ve done the main galleries recently, borrow some inspo from Tour de Gelato, and create your own Tour de Gallery, hitting up a heap of local, independent galleries that you might not have experienced before. 

Replace Worrier With Warrior

If you’re sick of the hangxiety that comes with a few too many cocktails on a Friday night, give the drinks a miss and book you and your mate in for a weekend yoga class. Most studios offer classes for all experience levels, so whether you’ve perfected your Warrior pose, or you still feel most comfortable in Happy Baby, there’s a class for everyone. We can’t recommend enough how good it feels to swap your Saturday morning corpse vibe, for a Corpse pose in a Savasana class. If yoga’s not your thing, there are plenty of active options, from boxing classes and pilates to simply taking a walk through your nearest green space. 

Already found yourself locked into weekend plans that will deplete more from your tank than replenish it but don’t know how to get out of them? Head over here for our top tips on how to get out of weekend activities that don’t feed your soul. 


Image credit: Urban List

Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by Swisse and proudly endorsed by Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

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