6 Ways to Catch Up with a Friend That Don’t Involve Drinking

posted on July 31, 2019 | by Megan Lierley

6 Ways to Catch Up with a Friend That Don’t Involve Drinking

“Let’s grab a glass of wine!” is practically shorthand for inviting a friend to hang out and catch up; and while sometimes that wine date is just what you need, it doesn’t have to be the default. In my twenties, I could spend hours drinking wine with girlfriends, only to wake up the next day, head to morning yoga, and make it painlessly through my work day. My thirties? Not so much.

Midweek drinking can derail my best intentions—from the early morning workout to ticking items off my to-do list at work. But knowing what’s going on in my friends’ lives is no less important to me, in fact, it’s something I cherish more now that it’s rarer based on our increasingly busy schedules. In an effort for more quality time with my girlfriends—and fewer hangovers—I tested and dreamed up some creative ways to catch up with my friends these days—thirties style.

Learn a new skill together

In the past week, I’ve seen or heard about a terrarium making workshop, a cheese board arrangement class, and free salsa lessons. Especially in urban areas, there are infinite opportunities to learn a new craft or hone an old skill. I’ve been dying to take a pottery class, so I’d be thrilled if a friend agreed to catch up over clay.

Explore a new neighborhood by foot

San Francisco is only 49 square miles and yet, I consistently find myself eating, drinking, and exercising in the same 2–3 neighborhoods. I love the idea of picking a new-to-us neighborhood and walking or biking it from top to bottom, stopping in cute shops along the way.

Host a two-person book or article club

This happened accidentally, but after everyone but me and one close friend failed to read our book club book, we decided to meet at Starbucks and chat about it, anyway. While unintentional, this was my Goldie Locks book club experience—just the right mix of talking about the book and letting ourselves drift away into other topics…it’s easier to reign in two people, especially when you’re drinking tea instead of cocktails! If you don’t want to wait weeks before your next catch up, choose a longform article (tons of my recommendations here!) you can read in an evening and chat about the following day.

Get crafty—the ‘90s are back

Remember these? The other night, a friend of mine came over and actually pulled them out of her backpack for us to make coasters. It was nostalgic, funny, and honestly, the coasters are pretty damn cute. Also, I’m loving this summer’s bright, beaded jewelry trend (this and this!) but I bet we could use our collective summer camp expertise to enjoy an evening creating our own wearable art.

Get pampered

If you get a treatment at a resort’s day spa, you will typically have access to the grounds (read: pool!) for the remainder of the day. I can think of few more glorious ways to spend a summer afternoon than a morning massage followed by gabbing poolside with a girlfriend. On a budget? Pick up some sheet masks and a fun nail polish color, add some eucalyptus essential oil to your diffuser, put on a soothing playlist, and veg out on the couch together.

Tackle a daunting—and delicious—dinner recipe

I love having friends over for dinner, but I usually stick to pretty basic recipes so I can focus more on the conversation and less on slicing veggies and measuring spices. But what if that process was the main event? My boyfriend and I recently made beef Wellington, which (at least for us amateurs) required us to stay totally focused through prepping, kneading, and roasting. The best part of this activity is enjoying your accomplishment together (OK, you might want some wine for that!).

What are your favorite ways to catch up with friends that don’t involve alcohol? I’d love to hear in the comments!