From Non-Alcoholic Wine to Indoor Skydiving, Cheers to Booze-Free Fun in Philly
The best sober activities to do in Philadelphia instead of drinking.
Philly is a city of dives and cocktail bars (we’re a little short on clubs), but we wouldn’t blame you if you’re looking to trade Citywides for smoothies. There are still plenty of ways to have fun without a sip of booze, aside from the usual suspects of museums or scenic nature spots. Whether you’re looking for non-alcoholic wine and zero proof cocktails or solid hangout ideas that aren’t sitting in a bar, here are the best options for a sober good time in Philly.
Non Alcoholic Wine and Non Alcoholic Drinks in Philly
Manayunk, Free entry
The city’s first zero proof bar (this one) opened in 2022, employing people in recovery and returning from incarceration. The food menu is totally vegan and features a cauliflower burger (and other meat-free burger varieties), a seitan cheesesteak, pizzas, and fried pickle slices. Sip on alcohol-free versions of classic drinks like the Old Fashioned, Sangria, Hot Toddy, and Citywide.
Various locations, Free entry
Bars citywide are getting hip to the zero proof trend, with many offering must-try alcohol-free sips. Try the highlight of Bolo’s NA menu, aka the Punch It! (mango, coconut cream). Get all of the fun of a margarita, sans hangover, thanks to Forsythia’s Free Spirit (NA tequila, hibiscus, plum shrub) as well as the 75 Year Old Virgin (juniper, cara cara, and NA sparkling wine). Go for an NA version of an Aperol Spritz at Stratus Rooftop Lounge with the Amalfi Coast (Lyre’s Zero Proof Bitter Italian Liqueur). Take your dirty chai obsession to the bar with a Dirty Chai Shakerato (chai, espresso) at Urban Farmer (their Cadillac Shirley Temple and Flight of the Dove are also great). Over at Darling Jack’s Tavern, the Raspberry Ricky (basil, bubbles) will tickle your tastebuds. The offerings at Kiddo include the Dale’s Tonic (grapefruit, lemongrass, cinchona bark) and Black Raspberry (macerated black raspberries, champagne vinegar). For a calming tonic, try Doctor’s Orders (lapsang souchong, ginger, honey) or One Last Question (sarsaparilla, vanilla) at Wilder.
Various locations, Free entry
If you miss the experience of a refreshing glass of wine after a long day, there are local spots where you can get alcohol-free versions. For January, Panorama at the Penns View Hotel offers flights of de-alcoholised wine from around the world. East Passyunk’s Barcelona Wine Bar has two alcohol-free wines on offer (one red, one white). Both the Rittenhouse and Wash West locations of Tria serve a slightly-sparkling apple juice from Normandy. The cozy Superfolie serves up a zero-proof sparkling riesling for those temperate drinkers.
Various locations, Free entry
The local coffee scene brews a mean cup of joe that’ll put you in a better mood than any booze could. Some worthy spots to add to your personal Philly coffee bucket list include La Colombe (their Fishtown flagship location is the perfect spot for a lazy morning); Elixr Coffee Roasters (stop into the Rittenhouse location after a day of shopping); Ultimo Coffee Roasters (spend an afternoon working at the Newbold cafe and hop across the street to South Philadelphia Taproom for happy hour); Thank You Thank You Coffee Brewers (a cozy spot in Washington Square); Caphe Roasters (Vietnamese coffee and killer banh mi in Kensington); and Rival Bros. Coffee Roasters (a pick-me-up pitstop on a stroll down East Passyunk).
Various locations, Free entry
Wake up chipper and refreshed—and beat the brunch crowd—for a delightful Philly breakfast. Dig into a tasty breakfast sandwich on a chewy bagel from Kismet or try to wrap your mouth around the fluffiest eggs imaginable courtesy of a Middle Child sandwich. A fresh cup of diner coffee and hashbrowns await you at Sulimay’s. Cafe Lift has a new location on Spring Garden, but the same great Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. Don’t miss the elevated Hot Pocket at Honeysuckle Provisions, featuring smoky collards and egg. If you’re craving biscuits and gravy, Honey’s Sit N Eat is your go-to. Those who b-fast know The Dutch—and their sweet Dutch Baby—is a standard.
Various locations, Price varies by location
For a classy and decadent experience without the hangover, consider afternoon tea. Tea tiers at The Dandelion feature pots of English Breakfast, Chamomile Tea, Green Tea with Mint, Darjeeling Earl Grey, Chai Tea, and Honeybush and Rooibos and those delightful finger sandwiches. Scones, petit pies, and international teas from India, China, Japan, and Taiwan are on the menu at the Mary Cassatt Tea Room at the Rittenhouse Hotel (reservations are recommended). Fresh teas are imported from France to the Prince Tea House, where the Brown Sugar Bubble Mille Crepes Cake is also a favorite.
Outdoor Activities to Do in Philadelphia Instead of Drinking
Various locations, Starting at $5
Nothing gets the blood pumping like a couple of laps around an ice rink. Pretend you’re the star of your own seasonal Hallmark movie at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, where, in addition to ice skating on an NHL-size rink, you can get romantic on a ferris wheel and warm up with hot chocolate. Over in Dilworth Park, Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink gives skaters the chance to glide in the shadow of City Hall. Twinkle lights and winter foliage adorn the outdoor space around the rink, where you can cozy up next to a fire pit. (There are other nearby indoor rinks if you’d rather stay out of the elements.)
Kennett Square, PA, $13-25
No matter the time of year, Longwood Gardens, the sprawling and meticulously upkept outdoor grounds and indoor conservatory, is the perfect place for zero ABV enjoyment. Marvel at nature throughout every season: Watch the gardens bloom to life in springtime and ogle the dazzling lights during the holiday season. Come summer, the fountains erupt with light and music.
Italian Market, $95
Philly-based food writer Maddy Sweitzer-Lamme guides visitors through the Italian Market, a neighborhood steeped in culinary history, and the surrounding South Philly area on this three-ish hour walking tour. Taste pastries, banh mi, tacos, lox, and so much more. Remember to wear your walking shoes: You’ll cover about two miles.
Fairmount Park, Free
The city’s largest park—covering just over 2,000 acres—is yours for the exploring. Within the park’s boundaries are tons of hiking trails, serene hideaways, historic mansions, and picnic spots. Train like a famous athlete and run the Boxers’ Trail or take it easy and enjoy the views of the Schuylkill River on the Schuylkill River Trail. The grounds surrounding Fairmount Park Horticulture Center are particularly idyllic in the springtime when the cherry blossoms are in bloom. Six historic houses, 18th century villas, known as the Park Charms, are available for tours throughout the year, and if they’re not open, the edifices themselves are worth enjoying from the outside.
Various locations, Free admission
Step one in your mission to turn your kitchen into your own farm-to-table restaurant: Source those farm-fresh ingredients. Weekly farmers markets are held in parks throughout the city, like the popular Clark Park Farmers Market (Saturdays year round) and Headhouse Farmers Market (Sundays year round). Vendors come from around the area to sell organic vegetables, grass-fed beef, artisanal cheese and breads, fresh-cut flowers, and so much more.
Sports Activities to Do in Philadelphia Instead of Drinking
Bensalem, PA, Starting at $9.50
You’re never too old for a friendly game of laser tag. Bensalem’s Ultrazone boasts a multi-level arena with space for up to 39 players. The blacklit course is ideal for both nostalgic grownups and kids looking for corners to hide. Strap on your pack and pretend you’re in a video game come to life.
King of Prussia, PA, Starting at $70
If you don’t have the guts to jump out of a plane but still want the experience, consider indoor skydiving. iFly’s King of Prussia facilities feature a super-strong wind tunnel that simulates the experience of skydiving. Just hop into a flight suit and helmet, learn the basics at a quick orientation, and spread your wings and fly. No liquid courage required.
Various locations, Starting at $25
Tried Crossfit, pilates, yoga, spinning, and everything in between? Take on a new physical challenge in fitness acrobatics. Combining aspects of yoga, gymnastics, and weightlifting, beginner classes cover fundamental poses, like Front bird, Throne, Whale, Thigh Stand, and how to transition between them. Sign up solo or with a partner.
Center City, Starting at $29 per hour
This subterranean ping-pong “social club” features 16 tables for competitive table tennis players. Make reservations (for groups of two to 10 people) ahead of time to ensure you get a spot. Yes, there is a bar, but they have two zero proof cocktails and non-alcoholic beers and sparkling wine on the menu. Munch on pizza, fries, and guac in between games.
Northern Liberties, Starting at $85
After all this athletic activity, you probably need some rejuvenation. Sit in the steam at Formation Sauna + Wellness, where a 90-minute session gets you exclusive access to the sauna and cold shower hydrotherapy. If you’re looking for more pampering, you can add on a DIY skincare treatment, a foot soak, a massage, and meditation.