Addiction | 5 min read

Local Activities & Sober Events in New York To Celebrate Safely

Written By

Amanda Stevens

Amanda Stevens, B.S.

On February 5, 2024

Sober Events In New York

What you will learn

  • Many social activities involve drinking, but you can have plenty of fun in New York without drugs and alcohol.
  • New York is filled with sober events and healthy activities that you can enjoy without jeopardizing your sobriety.
  • The best way to ensure lasting sobriety is to complete formal treatment and receive the support and resources you need to be successful.
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Are you spending time in New York City and looking for fun things to do that don’t involve drugs or alcohol? While the city may be known for its nightlife, there’s plenty to see and do clean and sober.  From privately hosted events and designated sober locations to other fun activities like cooking, art, or AI experiences, browse our fun list of local activities and sober events in New York.

Sober St. Patty’s Day®

This is a local event put on every year that features many iconic Irish activities, like music and dance, without the green beer. You can learn more on their website or get tickets through Eventbrite.

Sober Fun NYC

Sober Fun NYC is a group dedicated to keeping the fun going while sober. They host local events, showcase fun and unique activities, and offer alternative outlets for a night on the town. Check the list of upcoming events or browse their archive of exciting activities.

Sober MeetUp

This community website collects listings of all local events across the nation. You can sort by location and find sober events near you. Some events are hosted by individuals or private sober groups, or you can create your own and host a sober event you’d want to attend.

Attend An Absence of Proof Pop-Up Bar

Offering zero-proof cocktails, Absence of Proof is a pop-up sober bar experience that hosts events in a number of U.S. cities, including NYC.

Host Your Own Event With Sober In Central Park

Sober in Central Park is a sober event production company that creates curated and fun events for any number of themes, celebrations, or parties.

Other Activities and Attractions For Sober Events In NYC

Attractions For Sober Events In NYC

Immerse Yourself in Human Creativity and AI

The “World of AI-imagination” is ARTECHOUSE Studio’s latest venture into generative AI with large-scale experiential digital artwork. Harnessing the power of the senses, the experience takes you through such worlds as the Cinematic Odyssey, which celebrates the creative possibilities of AI in cinematic art.

After the event, visit the XR Bar to enjoy the sober life with craft mocktails inspired by the exhibition and brought to life with digital art and the mobile app. This is a pop-up event, so make sure you don’t miss it!

Visit the World’s #1 Slime Experience

Yes, really. One of New York’s most popular pop-up events, the Sloomoo Institute’s Slime Experience features never-ending hand-crafted slime in vivid colors and captivating scenes for all your ASMR delight. You can also shop the slime, if you’re so inclined, and bring home your very own Sloomoo Swirl or Cereal Milk Ice Cream.

Make sure to stop in the dream slime DIY Bar to play with over 4.3 million unique combinations of scents and colors to create your own concoction.

Channel Your Inner Gordon Ramsay

For a more intimate night out – minus the booze – Sur La Table offers cooking classes with hands-on learning experiences to cook gourmet meals. With themed fare like Italian Steakhouse, An Evening in Thailand, Winter in Paris, and Beef Wellington Feasts, there’s no shortage of fun and flavor to choose from.

Learn a New Life Skill

MasterClass has been a hit since its launch. Along with the online courses, the learning platform offers in-person classes at select locations in and around NYC. This is a fun way to improve your quality of life and enjoy a healthier lifestyle, especially after completing formal addiction treatment, and the best time to start is now.[1]

Whether you want to learn the art of negotiation from Chris Voss, sharpen your comedic timing with Kevin Hart, or “prepare to be unprepared” with Amy Poehler, there’s always a new skill or hobby to pick up.

Try Your Hand at Pottery

If you ever want to learn pottery, Brooklyn Clay has workshops and lessons to learn the ropes. Spend a Friday night with the kids playing with clay or turn yourself into a master pottery in a ceramics bootcamp. There’s always something to do, but if you’re a more hands-off type, you can enjoy a studio tour and shop for some handmade gifts.

Strap on Your Dancing Shoes and Learn the Tango

Complete with Argentinian teachers and established dancers, the Dardo Galletto Studios features dance classes for every skill level – whether you have two left feet or danced professionally. They offer group classes, private classes, onstage performances, Queer Tango Festivals, and much more.

Connect with Others Through Storytelling

For a unique night out, attend open-mic storytelling competitions at The Moth. You’re always welcome to listen, but if you’re brave, the stage is open to anyone with a five-minute story to tell – it just has to match the night’s theme.

Find a New Outlet for Creativity

Paint ‘n sip events are becoming more popular, but what if you want to paint without the wine? PaintAlong Manhattan offers paint classes to learn beginner painting skills without drinking and discover a new hobby.

Get Inspired by Masterpieces of Modern and Contemporary Art

The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) is one of the most renowned art museums in the world. In addition to the permanent collection featuring works from Salvador Dali, Richard Hunt, Frida Kahlo, Paul Cezanne, Roy Lichtenstein, and Piet Mondrian, you can catch exhibitions that feature new artists or movements to deepen your experience.

Enjoy Some Kitsch

Madame Tussaud’s World Famous Wax Museum is a must-see in the city. From famous figures like Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra for photo ops to new exhibitions, there’s a lot of fun to explore for a sober day out.

The Glow Gala is one of the newest experiences, allowing you to mingle with the hottest celebrities in wax form, including Angelina Jolie, RuPaul, and Ariana Grande on an NYC rooftop. Another highlight is the WB Icons of Horror, which features horror film legends like the Nun from “The Conjuring” cinematic universe and Pennywise from “IT.”

Have a 007 Experience

NYC’s top-rated Spyscape museum gives you a firsthand look at the hidden worlds, codes, surveillance, and lie-detection skills of the trade. Designed with Mi6 experts – the real-life Bonds – Spyscape is one of the most memorable experiences you can have in the city.

In addition to the museum itself, which showcases gadgets like Enigma machines and micro-bugging devices, the museum offers SPYGAMES immersive experiences to let you live out a CIA-style experience and stretch your mental and physical agility for a natural adrenaline rush.

Enjoy Some Relaxation in a Serene Garden

If you want a relaxing day out in the city, the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx offers 250 acres of specialty gardens and collections. In the heart of the garden is the Thain Family Forest, an old-growth forest of centuries-old beeches, cherry, and tulip trees.

You could also see research laboratories, the greenhouse and conservatory, and the LuEsther T. Mertz Library, a research library that features over 6.5 million plant specimens.

Struggling with Addiction?

Clean and sober events are great for having safe fun in addiction recovery, but these may not be enough to sustain a lifetime of sobriety. It’s important to keep a list of alternative events and activities in the event you need to safely fill an evening.

For assistance with your recovery or to register for formal treatment, reach out to Ascendant NY and get connected with valuable resources and treatment program options.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sober Events In New York

Can You Have Fun Without Drugs and Alcohol?

Of course! Drugs and alcohol can affect the brain’s reward center, making it difficult to feel pleasure with anything but substances.[2] Recovery helps to refocus the brain to enjoy natural rewards, like an activity or new experience, so you can have fun without drugs or alcohol.

Are There Places to Go Where Drinking Isn’t Expected?

Alcohol is so commonplace in society that it creates extra pressure to drink in certain social situations – and it may be uncomfortable to abstain. Fortunately, New York has plenty of museums, parks, arts, and cultural experiences, and more, all of which are enjoyed without alcohol.

In addition, bars and restaurants are adopting the zero-proof alcohol movement, giving you a range of options for mocktails and elevated non-alcoholic soft drinks.

When Is Recovery Month?

Since its start in 1989, National Recovery Month has taken place every September to promote and support treatment and recovery, promote the strong and proud recovery community, and show appreciation for mental health service providers.[3] During this month, community organizations often host different clean and sober events to celebrate recovery.

Ascendant New York Editorial Guidelines

Here at Ascendant New York, we understand the importance of having access to accurate medical information you can trust, especially when you or a loved one is suffering from addiction. Find out more on our policy.


[1] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2023, September 25). Treatment and recovery. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from on 2023, November 29.

[2] Gardner, E. L. (2011). Addiction and brain reward and Antireward Pathways. Advances in psychosomatic medicine. Retrieved from on 2023, November 29.

[3] National recovery month 2023. SAMHSA. (n.d.). Retrieved from on 2023, November 29.