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Would you go booze-free on a first date?

By Kaila Perusco

Conscious Dating founder Kaila Perusco thinks you can do it. She’s running a Dry July-themed speed dating event this week and in the lead up to her sober social she gave us seven ideas for an alcohol-free catch-up so you can continue the clean living theme on your first date.

1)   Do the Coogee to Bondi walk

Combine fresh air, flirting and fitness on the Coogee to Bondi walk. Share your love of the outdoors and check out Sydney’s many shades of blue. You could meet at a café and get a coffee to amble along with, just do half the walk for a shorter date, or finish with fish and chips on the beach. Check out our list of the best walks in Sydney

2)   Get cosy with dinner and a movie

More than a few Sydneysiders can relate to having turned up to Govinda's, wine bottle in hand, only to be told it’s an alcohol-free restaurant – which makes it a perfect booze-free date night. If the date's going well, stay for a movie in the upstairs cinema, kick off your shoes and relax. (Also, you can tell a lot about your date by how they tackle the buffet).

Snuggle up at Govinda's

3)   Visit New Romance

Celebrating a fusion of contemporary art from Australia and Korea, New Romance at the MCA is the perfect exhibition for a first date. From crossbreed cacti to dancing robots, there’s plenty here for conversation starters. Steal a kiss behind an exhibit and your first date story will go down in history.

4)   Scale new heights at 9 Degrees Bouldering

Lighting up our Instagram feed, and for good reason. Bouldering is rock climbing without ropes or harnesses, where you tackle a ‘route’ with crash pads to cushion the fall. It’s a physical and mental challenge and will definitely break the ice!

A couple at 9 degrees bouldering
Race each other to the top
9 Degrees

5)   Get brekky at the Marrickville Markets

Breakfast dates are a great idea, and you don’t have to rise too early to hit up Marrickville markets every Sunday from 9am-3pm. Grab some corn fritters and get your flirt on at the chai tent. If the date goes well, you’ve got the whole day to hang out. If it doesn’t, at least you’ll go home with some fresh veggies!

6)   Chill out at Zensation Tea House

For a super relaxed first-date, head to Zensation Tea House in Surry Hills. Try the dim sum, choose from a huge selection of teas, or let Christina walk you through a tea ceremony. This quiet oasis is a great place for a long conversation.

7)   Opt for a low-key picnic

The picnic date is a classic. And in a city like ours, there’s no shortage of great spots (think Centennial Park, Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden, Redleaf or the Botanical Gardens). Stock up on fancy cheese and dips and don’t forget the mints if you plan on playing tonsil hockey on your picnic rug. Think of all the vitamin D you’ll be getting. Find Sydney's best picnic spots for inspiration. 

Booze free? Hell no. If you'd rather hit the bar on your first date we've got a list of highly recommended spots

Sober all month? You deserve a medal. Here's a list of celebratory mocktails to enjoy as you ride out the rest of July. 

Find out more about the legends who run Sydney's best speed dating nights.

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