Two sober friends having fun reading and relaxing in a hammock

Sober Spring

Fun Things to do in Austin

Springtime in the Austin area is in full swing, and now is the time to get out and enjoy everything that it has to offer. If this is your first ‘Sober Spring’ or you are in early recovery, it’s important to know that while it will be different than in the past, that doesn’t mean it will be any less exciting or eventful.

Enjoy Austin’s Many Outdoor Opportunities

There are many triggers that can happen during the spring season, when activities tend to move outdoors after the long winter and it may seem like all you see is people enjoying themselves while drinking. However, it is possible to have a fun and enjoyable springtime sans the alcohol, and Austin is full of sober activities[1] that will fill your time in amazing ways.

  • Rent a powerboat on Lake Travis. Leave the booze onshore and cruise Lake Travis for a day with friends or family and enjoy swimming, tubing, waterskiing, wakeboarding, or just enjoy a beautiful sunset from the middle of the lake.
  • Rent a pontoon boat on Lake Austin. If you’re looking for a more relaxing day on the water, a pontoon boat rental on Lake Austin is the way to go. Bring along a cooler filled with non-alcoholic beverages and snacks to share with everyone onboard.
  • Plan to spend a day exploring Zilker Park. The park covers an entire 350 acres south of downtown Austin, and there is truly something for everyone to enjoy. Try your hand at disc golf on the park’s “18-hole” course, play a game of sand volleyball, hike or bike the trail, fly a kite, or pack a picnic and bring along a blanket to enjoy an afternoon in the sun.
  • Go swimming in Barton Springs pool. The pool’s three natural springs keep the water at a constant temperature of 68 degrees, which may seem cold during the summer months but is perfect during spring. Bring along snorkeling gear to get the best view of the naturally maintained bottom, as well as the various fish and turtles that inhabit the pool.
  • Rent a canoe, kayak, or SUP on Lady Bird Lake. Check out an up close view of the downtown Austin skyline from the water, and if you time your visit around sunset paddle over to the Congress Ave. bridge to watch the city’s resident bat colony emerge for its nightly feeding.
  • Visit the Zilker Botanical Garden. The garden is at its best in the spring, although it’s stunningly beautiful year-round. The Taniguchi Japanese Garden offers instant stress relief in the form of tranquil koi ponds, quaint foot bridges, and lush landscaping.

Related post: Fun Sober Activities in Houston

Try New Sober Social Activities

  • Start a sober book club: Spring is the perfect time for catching up on your ‘to read’ list, and organizing a sober book club can be a great way to catch up with friends and meet new people who share a common interest in reading.
  • Volunteer: Volunteering is an ideal way to do some good in the world on a consistent basis, and it makes you feel better for it. When you feel positive about yourself you are less likely to seek out alcohol or other substances, so volunteer for a cause that helps you stay focused on what is important to you.
  • Host a sober barbecue: The ‘sober barbecue’ trend has become popular in recent years, and is a great way to introduce your friends and family to the idea that activities that usually involve drinking alcohol can be just as fun without it.
  • Change up your normal recovery meetings: Find a recovery meeting you don’t normally attend. This is a great way to meet new, like-minded people and increase your opportunities to socialize with those who don’t include alcohol in their activities.
  • Throw a sober themed party: Spend an afternoon brainstorming with friends to come up with some creative themed sober party ideas to keep things interesting. Examples could include a “Jaws” theme pool party or a “bring your own craft soda” night.

If you need more Sober Spring ideas, be sure to check out these other popular Austin area attractions as well:

  • Austin Zoo
  • Barton Creek Greenbelt
  • Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In
  • BookPeople
  • Bullock Texas State History Museum
  • Cap City Comedy
  • Cathedral of Junk
  • Hamilton Pool Preserve
  • Inner Space Cavern
  • LBJ Presidential Library
  • Lake Travis Zipline Adventures
  • Mayfield Park
  • Mount Bonnell
  • Texas Memorial Museum
  • Texas State Capitol Tours
  • The Institution Theater

Enjoy Your Sober Spring with Friends and Family

Letting your family, friends, and social network know in advance that you won’t be drinking at any parties, family gatherings, or social events is a great way to make them aware of your personal boundaries regarding alcohol use. Keeping these steps in mind while you are enjoying yourself at social functions can help minimize any cravings or temptations you might have:

  1. Bring along a sober friend or family member with you to a party for added support.
  2. If you think you will drink at a social gathering or event, it is absolutely okay to skip it.
  3. Leave the party early to if you need to. Make sure you have a way to get home easily if you choose to leave the event early.
  4. Use the relaxation tools that you learned in recovery to build up your resistance to stress.
  5. Invite your friends to join in the idea of Sober Spring. You may find that many more friends than you think are open to the idea of giving up alcohol.

References: [1] Things to Do in Austin, TX | Attractions & Live Music (austintexas.org)


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