Your Ultimate Guide to a Fun Sober Summer

Last Updated on October 12, 2021

friends having sober fun

Summertime is filled with warm days and outdoor events. There are parties, family gatherings, barbecue outings and concerts, and most of these get-togethers offer alcohol.  If this is your first sober summer, it’s important to know that it will be different than past summers, but that doesn’t mean it will be any less eventful or fun. When you or a loved one is facing the challenges of remaining sober during these times, there are steps you can take that will help. Here are some tips for sober fun during the summer season1.

Summer Sobriety Tips: How to Have a Sober Summer

  1. Set boundaries regarding how much time is spent at occasions where alcohol drinking is typical.
  2. Have a friend or family member go with you to a social function for added support.
  3. If you think you will drink at a social gathering or event, it might be safer to skip it.
  4. Leave the party early to minimize chances of temptation. Make sure you have a way to get home easily if you choose to leave the event early.
  5. If you need to gather your composure, call a friend to gain the support you need while taking a breather from the event.
  6. When you are in an atmosphere where alcohol is being served, avoid negative people and any confrontations or debates.
  7. Use the relaxation tools that you learned in recovery to build up your resistance to stress.
  8. Participate in social and recreational activities that don’t include alcohol.
  9. Schedule social and recreational activities that don’t include alcohol and invite your loved ones along.

Take Alcohol Out of the Equation with Sober Summer Activities

Let your friends and family know that taking alcohol out of the equation makes for a safer summer. A study published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse found that up to 70 percent of all deaths that happened during water recreation activities involve the use of alcohol2. Here are some ideas for activities you can create that are fun, interesting, and don’t involve alcohol.

Sober Social Ideas for Summer

  • Start a sober book club: Summer is a time for catching up on reading so why not form a sober book club. Meet with your fellow readers and discuss your reading. It’s a fun way to flex the creative muscles while enjoying social relationships that are alcohol-free.
  • Volunteer: It always feels good to help someone else, and volunteering is an ideal way to do so on a consistent basis. When you feel good about yourself, you are less likely to seek out alcohol, so volunteer for a cause that helps you stay focused on what you need and want: a healthy and rewarding life.
  • Host a sober barbecue: Throw your own alcohol-free barbecue. Get out the grill, invite loved ones over and get grilling. An event like this may even convince some friends and family members that everyone can have a good time without drinking.
  • Change up your meetings: Find a recovery meeting you don’t normally attend. This is a great way to meet new, like-minded people and increase your opportunities to socialize with those who don’t include alcohol in their activities.
  • Host a sober themed party: Brainstorm with friends to come up with some creative themed sober party ideas to keep things interesting. Examples could include a “Jaws” pool party, a homemade ice cream sampler, or a Fortnite party with pizza and non-alcoholic drinks.

Alcohol-Free Social Events in Austin, TX – Summer 2019

Although some of these events do have alcohol available, they do not revolve around drinking alcoholic beverages and you can attend each of them without having any alcohol.

  • Summer Classic Film Series – May 23-August 31
  • Austin Symphony Concerts in the Park – June 2-August 25
  • Black Fret Summer Sessions – June 7-September 6
  • Sound & Cinema – June 19-August 14
  • Rhythm Onstage – June 20-August 1
  • Movies in the Park – June 20-October 17
  • African American Book Festival – June 22
  • Fourth of July Fireworks and Symphony – July 4
  • Blues on the Green – July 17 and August 7
  • Lady Bird Day – July 27
  • Quesoff – July 27
  • Classic Game Fest – July 27-28
  • Austin Pride Festival & Parade – August 10
  • All Genders, Lifestyles, and Identities Film Festival (aGLIFF) – August 22-25
  • 15th Annual Bat Fest – August 24
  • 29th Annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival – August 25
  • Out of Bounds Comedy Festival – August 27-September 2
  • Babes Fest – September 6-8
  • Fantastic Fest – September 19-26
  • Pecan Fest – September 21
  • Capital City Black Film Festival – TBD

Alcohol-Free Activities in Austin, TX

  • Austin Art Garage
  • Austin Zoo
  • Barton Creek Greenbelt
  • Barton Springs Pool
  • Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In
  • BookPeople
  • Bullock Texas State History Museum
  • Cap City Comedy
  • Cathedral of Junk
  • Hamilton Pool Preserve
  • Inner Space Cavern
  • LBJ Presidential Library
  • Lake Travis Zipline Adventures
  • Mayfield Park
  • Mount Bonnell
  • South Congress Bridge Bats
  • Texas Memorial Museum
  • Texas State Capitol Tours
  • The Institution Theater
  • Urban Axes
  • Zilker Botanical Gardens

Alcohol-Free Social Events in Houston, TX – Summer 2019

Although some of these events do have alcohol available, they do not revolve around drinking alcoholic beverages and you can attend each of them without having any alcohol.

  • East End Farmers Market – every Sunday
  • Market Square Park Movie Nights – various dates
  • Market Square Park Blanket Bingo – various dates
  • Rainbow on the Green – June 21
  • International Day of Yoga at Midtown Park – June 21
  • Houston Pride Festival – June 22
  • Market Square Park Summer Concert – June 28
  • AsiaFest – June 29
  • Cleburne Dragon Boat Festival – June 29-30
  • Star-Spangled Salute – July 3
  • Citgo Freedom Over Texas – July 4
  • Houston World Series of Dog Shows – July 17-21
  • 23rd Annual QFest – July 25-29
  • Houston Shakespeare Festival – August 2-11
  • 29th Annual Houston International Jazz Festival – August 3
  • AdvoCare Texas Kickoff – September 13
  • Fiestas Patrias – September 15
  • Houston Restaurant Weeks – TBD
  • Houston Art Fair – TBD

Alcohol-Free Activities in Houston, TX

  • 19th Street Shopping
  • Art Car Museum
  • BBVA Compass Stadium
  • Buffalo Bayou Park
  • Chinatown
  • Cockrell Butterfly Center
  • Cullen Sculpture Garden
  • Discovery Green
  • Downtown Aquarium
  • Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park
  • Hermann Park
  • Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
  • Houston Museum District
  • Houston Museum of Natural Science
  • Houston Zoo
  • James Turrell Skyspace
  • Market Square Park
  • Memorial Park
  • Minute Maid Park
  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • NRG Stadium
  • Sam Houston Park
  • Space Center Houston
  • The Menil Collection
  • Waugh Bridge Bats

There are many triggers that can happen during the summer, when it may seem like all you see is people enjoying themselves while drinking. It is possible to have an enjoyable and fun summer being sober—and it’s safer too. Use the tips we discussed to ensure your summer has the fun and excitement you deserve that can be had alcohol-free. Plenty of people enjoy the summer without a drop of alcohol, and so can you.


  1. http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/news-events/news-noteworthy/niaaa-fact-sheet-risky-drinking-can-put-chill-your-summer-fun
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