A Super Fun Guide to Sober October in NYC

Hit the pause button on booze before the holidays with this new precursor to Dry January.

Hall des Lumières x Equinox Vinyasa Experience
Hall des Lumières x Equinox Vinyasa Experience | Photo by Matt Ritchie
Hall des Lumières x Equinox Vinyasa Experience | Photo by Matt Ritchie

With its origins dating back to a month-long challenge/fundraising campaign in 2014 by the UK-based charity, Macmillan Cancer Support, Sober October has become a popular new precursor to Dry January.

And whether it’s to hit the pause button on booze before the upcoming season of holiday indulgence or to simply just take a break from drinking in general, here in New York City, there are loads of activities perfectly designed for an alcohol-free October.

From embarking on a city-wide mocktail crawl to sweating out toxins at limited-time exercise pop-ups, here’s how to have the most fun Sober October in NYC.

Boisson in Cobble Hill
Boisson in Cobble Hill | Photo courtesy of Boisson

Explore chic zero-ABV liquor stores for tastings and new bar cart favs

Throughout October
Various locations
After operating as a roving pop-up over the past year and debuting its West Village brick-and-mortar last month, Sèchey has established itself as one of the hottest new spots for all of your delicious (and super chic) zero-ABV necessities. As a dependable resource for when in the mood to concoct spirit-free drinks, peruse shelves of non-alcoholic beer, wine, and spirits, alongside eclectic ingredients like aromatic bitters and botanical elixirs. Also, keep tabs on their IG page for fall mocktail inspo and in-store tastings.

Similarly, Boisson is another solid source for spirit-free libations in the city. With a new Rockefeller Center location debuting on October 10, check out its shiny new digs and snag their limited-edition Ultimate Sober October Kit, which features zero-ABV wine, beer, and apértifs plus several mocktail recipes. In-store programming includes an expansive range of tastings at the new Midtown store, as well as at its five current locales in Cobble Hill, Williamsburg, West Village, the Upper East Side, and the Upper West Side.

CityPickle | Photo courtesy of CityPickle

Throughout October
Hudson Yards
Switch up your workout routine and pick up a paddle for a game of pickleball. Recently debuting its month-long temporary facility at the Backyard at Hudson Yards, the CityPickle pop-up offers free court registration and paddles available to rent for $10. Also, for those looking to improve their game, players can book a 50-minute lesson with pro Katherine Hedden, USA Pickleball’s Manhattan Ambassador. Stay tuned as more courts are slated to open in Long Island City early 2023.
Cost: 1-hour court reservation for free; $10 paddle rental; lessons from $100

Hall des Lumières x Equinox Vinyasa Experience
Hall des Lumières x Equinox Vinyasa Experience | Photo by Matt Ritchie

Thursday, October 20, 8 am
City Hall
Hall des Lumières, the new immersive digital art center at 49 Chambers, recently made its debut with Gustav Klimt: World in Motion, an exhibition celebrating the iconic Austrian painter. Within the more-than-a-century-old building formerly home to the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank, and hosted in collaboration with Equinox Group, start the morning of October 20 by participating in a 45-minute vinyasa yoga session, while surrounded by glowing projections of Klimt’s most famous works. Mats are included upon arrival and guests are treated to 15-minutes of gratuitous exploration around the exhibit after the end of class.
Cost: Tickets from $50

Si & Am mocktail at Deux Chats
Si & Am mocktail at Deux Chats | Photo by Melissa Hom

Embark on a mocktail crawl across the city

Throughout October
Various locations
While New York City is infamous for its dance clubs and world-class bars, there are also plenty of options for a more laid-back night out with palatable mocktails courtesy of the city’s top restaurants and bars.

In NoMad, pull up to the popular Middle Eastern eatery, Lamalo, for non-alcoholic gin drinks like the Satisfaction (citrus shrub, soda water) and Born To Be Wild (watermelon cordial) during brunch and dinner. A few blocks south, head to one of the area’s more recent debuts, the French restaurant Koloman, for an Alpine Swizzle (pineapple, ginger). And to explore further, the latest hotspot drink joints offering booze-free mocktails include Holywater in Tribeca and Deux Chats in Williamsburg.

For a strictly booze-free bar to hang out at, drop by the East Village’s new Hekate Café and Elixir Lounge, which is centered on creating a safe space with the following message: booze doesn’t have to be a main component in socializing. Also, keep tabs on where the traveling concept, Listen Bar, is planning to pop up next.

Murray's Cheese
Murray's Cheese

Friday, October 21, 6 pm–7:30 pm
Greenwich Village
Learn how to pair your artisanal cheeses with something other than wine at Murray’s Cheese Shop’s special Sober October event. Hosted at its Bleecker Street flagship, fromage experts will introduce attendees to a range of non-alcoholic alternatives that seamlessly compliment a variety of cheeses, plus seasonal treats like baked goods and locally sourced apples. To expand your culinary horizons even further, Murray’s also holds cheese-enthusiast boot camps as well as virtual courses.
Cost: Tickets from $95.00

Cryotherapy at Remedy Place
Cryotherapy at Remedy Place | Photo courtesy of Remedy Place

Throughout October
Flatiron District
Founded in Los Angeles in 2019 by Dr. Jonathan Leary, Remedy Place—a wellness club and innovative treatment center known for drawing famous clientele like Kim Kardashian and Kasey Musgraves—has now expanded with its first East Coast location in the Flatiron District. Popular for its social-centric concept, which encourages non-members and members to celebrate self-care, guests can book sessions for infrared saunas, lymphatic compression suits, ice baths, cryotherapy, acupuncture, and more. Additionally, an official membership includes plus-one benefits and reduced pricing on treatment.
Cost: Treatment prices vary

Saturday, October 22
Randalls Island Park
As part of your autumnal wellness journey, if a lengthy commitment to training for the 51st New York City Marathon isn’t up your alley, maybe pivoting to an “adventure race” is more your speed. Held on Randalls Island, the New York City Challenge Race features more than 25 urban obstacles over three miles for you to go over, around, and through. All fitness levels are welcome, but be prepared to carry heavy items like massive tires, scale over walls, slide across obstacles including parked taxis, and perform other action hero-esque feats.
Cost: Entry starts at $80

Mohonk Mountain House
Mohonk Mountain House

Escape spooky season in the city for timeless autumnal activities

Various locations
As part of this month’s self-care efforts, escape the city’s booze-filled spooky season for the great outdoors and a nearby adventure filled with nature and the crisp autumn air. Options include a day trip filled with apple picking and fall foliage-peeping, or take in the picturesque charm of the Western Catskills. Other nearby options include a getaway in the Hudson Valley spent cozied up at a chic glamping site or stylish modern lodge, while dropping by beloved family-owned diners and net-zero bakeries.

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Izzy Baskette is a Staff Writer for Thrillist New York. Find her on Instagram.