7 Alternatives to Drinking on A Friday Night

Perhaps the Friday night bar scene has left you feeling a little dull inside. Or now the winter nights are rolling in; you’re looking for a more wholesome way to fill your evenings.

Constant partying and drinking can lead to a feeling of living for the weekend, of ‘you have to drink on a Friday night.’

Unfortunately, the modern social acceptance of recreational and binge drinking results in many people thinking nothing of drinking every weekend.

Instead, many now fill their Friday nights and weekends with ‘fun’ in the form of wild, bottomless drinking. [1]

When The Boozy Weekends Need to End

However, many individuals come to a point in their lives where they can only take so much of these alcohol-filled Friday nights, followed by hungover; wasted weekends spent laying on the sofa and watching TV.

Or perhaps, more importantly, newly sober individuals look for a way to bat away those addiction cravings and fill the space that would previously be filled with drugs or alcohol.

Sober Friday nights can feel challenging, almost sad, as you try to accept your new sober life and find other, more positive ways to have fun on a Friday night. But honestly, the list of exciting ways to spend your Friday nights are endless.

So, check out the best, most fulfilling and rewarding ways to replace alcohol on a Friday night below.

1. Go for A Walk

Whatever the season, replacing alcohol consumption with a refreshing, invigorating walk is a great way to change your Friday night routine.

So why not take your camera and head off for a photo walk, seeing your town or village through a new lens?

Even better, bring a friend along for the ride and catch up over old times. Winter doesn’t have to stop you from heading out for a refreshing walk.

There’s nothing quite like donning your favourite winter boots, wrapping your cosiest scarf around you, and heading out into nature or your local park for a crisp evening stroll.

2. Escape into Another Reality

Stepping into another world is a popular way to break up Friday night boredom.

Find a new, freeing reality in several ways. Immerse yourself in a thrilling movie at the cinema, enjoy a Netflix binge, a good book or drift away with an exciting audiobook.

With many ways to escape your usual Friday night reality, it’s easy to forget that you ever needed that Friday night glass of wine to begin with.

So give yourself over and enjoy a new kind of experience as you scream at the latest horror movie, binge the latest trending Netflix show or find yourself taken away to a magical land of wizardry and magic with the famous Harry Potter novels.

3. Get Your Friends Together for an Alcohol-Free Games Night

Serve up hot chocolate with all the trimmings, fancy coffees, herbal teas, and fancy snacks as you and your friends laugh and cheat your way into oblivion with an alcohol-free game’s night.

Whether Charades, Boggle, Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit is your thing, you’re bound to have fun as you and your friends get a little competitive.

The great thing about games nights that you’ve organised is there’ll be no temptation to drink, as you control what is brought into the house.

Just let your friends know in advance that it will be an alcohol-free event and that all the fun will be from the games, snacks, and hot chocolate.

4. Whatever You Need from Alcohol, Find a Replacement

To replace whatever alcohol gives you, you need to figure out what you’re looking for in the bottle. What benefit do you get from drinking alcohol? What pleasure does it fill you with? What purpose does Friday night drinking serve?

You’re going to have to get specific about your reasons to find out the why and way to get past Friday night drinking.

Is downing that fourth glass of wine on a Friday night your way of relaxing after a long week at work or after a hard day of looking after the children?

If so, wouldn’t a relaxing candlelit bath, a massage, facial or yoga be more relaxing?

If alcohol is a form of treating yourself after a hard week at work, why not treat yourself to a nice meal (without alcohol), a piece of cake or a bowl of ice cream?

Is your weekend drinking a way of coping with emotions that you are unable to express or internalise?

You can plan alternative ways of meeting your needs without alcohol. Holistic therapies are a great way to learn to deal with your emotions.

Taking up yoga, meditation, mindfulness, art classes, music therapy, and hiking are brilliant ways to learn how to deal with your feelings positively.  [2]

5. Find New Places and People

Travelling is a beautiful way to learn about new cultures, meet new people, explore new countries. What’s more, travelling teaches you things about the world and yourself that you wouldn’t learn while staying at home drinking on a Friday night.

Spending your Friday nights planning your next trip (whether that’s in your home country or abroad due to travel restrictions) can be a fun and exciting way to start the weekend.

You may have spent too much time on previous trips in bars and clubs, reducing what time you must explore the wonderful places around you.

So while planning your next trip, remember to plan to do all the fun things you wouldn’t have done before because you were too busy drinking.

As you consume less alcohol on the weekends, hopefully, you’ll be on your way to saving plenty of money to go towards your next trip.

Don’t forget travelling doesn’t have to be thousands of miles away; it can include nearby city breaks and not too distant countryside breaks.

6. Exercise the Stress Away

Yes, exercise doesn’t seem like the most exciting aspect for a Friday night. But there are plenty of reasons why exercise is a perfect replacement for consuming alcohol on a Friday night.

Exercise has a fantastic way of reducing the body’s levels of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, promoting the production of endorphins.

Endorphins are the brain’s natural painkillers and mood elevators, releasing a completely natural high plus feelings of relaxation and optimism

Not only does alcohol have long-term, positive effects on your body, it also has essential mental health benefits, with a neurochemical basis.

So as you finish your workout, usually panting and sweaty, you will feel better than when you began; tired but happy.

No one ever regrets a workout. But you don’t need to exercise alone. Head out to a group fitness class, drag your partner along for a run, or head out for an invigorating hike into the fresh mountainous air.

You will feel great afterwards. [3]

7. Find an Event You’re Excited About

Having something exciting to look forward to on a Friday night is a great way to replace the deceiving excitement that drinking alcohol can bring.

Treating yourself to the gift of a comedy show, music concert, evening class, spa day, or any outing that excites you is a perfect Friday night activity.

Sites like Wowcher and Groupon are great ways to find cheap tickets to all kinds of events.

As you can see, Friday nights were created for so much more than just drinking, bars and clubs. With so many more ways to relax, entertain and manage your emotions, if you give it a go, you won’t be disappointed.

So permit yourself to give Friday night or weekend sobriety a chance. You won’t regret it.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4872611/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6247953/
  3. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/exercising-to-relax