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Meet your instructor

Emma Mankey Hidem is the creator and host of The Game Show of Love, an interactive dating game show, which she started in April 2020 as a pivot for her media production business, Sunnyside Productions, during covid-19.

The Game Show of Love created connection for people during an unprecedently lonely time and a community built up around the show. In her unexpected role of dating-show-community-manager, Emma hosted expert talks, lead discussions, and even ran a relationship book club.

As Emma dove further and further into the dating industry, she realized how much terrible advice was out there and she decided she needed to step up.

In her new capacity as a dating expert, she has been featured in Newsweek multiple times and on the nationally-syndicated tv show The List, to name a few.

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10 Dry January Date Ideas

January 15, 20243 min read

We’re halfway through January! Can you believe it? Like me, you might be doing “Dry January” and choosing to abstain from alcohol for the month. Dating without the crutch of alcohol can sound scary but it’s good to practice putting yourself out there without the social lubricant of alcohol. It can even help boost your confidence! But the other problem is that so many date activities revolve around drinking. So here 10 dry date ideas to get you through the rest of the month!

So, here are 10 dry date ideas to get you through the rest of the month! 👊

a museum gallery

1. Go to a museum

Embrace arts and culture and hit up a museum. Bonus: some museums are free or have free days/nights so this can also be a great cheap option!

Rock Creek in the snow

2. Go on a walk or hike

Embrace nature! Yes, it’s winter in some places now but snowy hikes or walks can be incredibly beautiful. And thanks to climate change, you may get some much nicer-than-usual days.

3. Take a dance class

Clubbing might be an environment where it’s hard not to drink but you could take a dance class instead. Get those bodies moving in a setting that isn’t rampant with alcohol. Dance is also sexy so it’s a great way to lean into that chemistry.

4. Or some other kind of class

Pottery, painting, cooking, yoga, meditation, golf… There are classes for just about any type of activity.

the lights of a concert with the audiences' hands up

5. Go to a concert

This one could be a little tricky to resist drinking if you’re used to drinking at shows but concerts are just as enjoyable sans alcohol if you think you can resist the temptation.

6. Play some sports

Embrace a little healthy competition via sports – there are many places to play recreational sports of various kinds. From axe throwing to top golf to racquetball to archery to curling to paintball or laser tag to you name it. No matter the speed/intensity you're looking for, there's bound to be some options in your city or town. Check your area for different sporting complexes.

a board game - image by cottonbro studios

7. Play board games

Board games can be played at home or many cities have board game cafes or board game shops that have time slots in which you can play games. Board games are a great way to have a date but take the pressure off of conversation because you can focus on the game when the conversation lags. Competitive board games can lead to a little flirtatious rivalry while cooperative board games get your working together. There are even games that help you get to know each other!

8. Go thrift store shopping

Thrift store shopping is one of my favorite unconventional date ideas because you can get silly with it and try to find the most ridiculous items. You’re not actually required to buy anything but it can also serve double duty and you could come away with some items you actually want or need.

9. Be a hometown tourist

We often neglect tourist sites of our home towns because we figure we will "eventually get around to it" since we live there. For example, I have lived in DC for 13 years but have never toured the Capitol or White House. Be a local tourist and check out some of the sites you’ve not gotten around to yet.

10. Go stargazing

This one is also a little weather-dependent but winter is actually a better time to look at the stars on a cloudless night because the air is clearer due to lack of humidity. What could be more romantic than snuggling up under a blanket with some hot cocoa and watching the stars?!

Sound off with your own dry date ideas in the comments!

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