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The Best Non-Alcoholic Drinks and Sober Things to Do in Denver

Updated: May 27

Photo: Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images / Contributor


Guaranteed fun, no booze required.

Sure, Denver is one of the world’s top craft brewery destinations, but the Mile High is also a front runner for cities with residents embracing sober lifestyles—or at least getting curious about softly breaking up with alcohol. The Metro Denver area is vibrant and full of entertainment, culture, and activity, but for those looking for sober things to do, eat, and see may think their options are limited. And to that, we say: Think again!


In addition to the scenic landscapes, skiing, museums, and free fun around Denver, the city is teeming with things to do that don’t require alcohol to be fun, plus establishments, pop-up events, and organizations dedicated to encouraging a sober experience. You can find new and exciting ways to spend time in Denver—inside, outside, or both—without any pressure to drink, from sports and outdoor activities to attending sober meetups or simply enjoying the arts, entertainment, and culinary scene that Denver has to offer. Here’s a snapshot of fun things to do in Denver instead of drinking.

Courtesy of Honey Elixir Bar/Kalli Wilkins of Photosynthesis Creative Studio


Non-Alcoholic Drink Experiences in Denver

RiNo

One of Denver’s most unique establishments, Honey Elixir Bar provides a satisfying sensory experience in all respects. From its vibrant, jewel-toned decor to its assortment of beverages and snacks, it’s one of the coolest places in the city to hang out. Pick a non-alcoholic drink that calls to you, whether that’s a crystal-charged, color-changing potion or the warm and sweet embrace of energizing cacao. If you’re looking for something off the beaten path to sip on, this is the spot. Restaurants and bars with notable mocktail and non-alcoholic menus in Denver include: American Elm, Fellow Traveler, Lady Jane, Poka Lola Social Club, and Roger’s LIquid Oasis at Edgewater Public Market.


Multiple locations

Denver-based company Grüvi is on a mission to trailblaze a new way to live and socialize with its award-winning line of non-alcoholic beer and wines. They are the first company to win gold medals in both NA beer and wine, from a rose to dry prosecco to a gold-medal winning golden lager, there is a non-alcoholic drink for you, no matter your taste. Grüvi is female co-founded, family-run, minority-owned, and uniquely positioned to bring much-needed joy and variety to the alcohol-free space, with more than 250 locations selling its goodness.


Multiple locations

This alcohol-free cocktail experience company was founded by two sisters who love everything about social drinking... except the alcohol. As a result, they’ve created zero-proof social spaces and cocktail kits that make the sober-curious lifestyle more accessible. Zero Proofed hosts public pop-up events (as well as private events) that intrigued non-drinkers can attend in Denver, where they’ll find delicious, hand-crafted 0% ABV cocktail recipes and a downright good time.


RiNo

While this is certainly more of a mini-golf experience than a drink experience, it’s worth noting that RiNo’s Puttshack has an impressive selection of zero-proof cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages to choose from while you practice your short game. In addition to mock-mules, bellinis, and painkillers, there are several non-alcoholic beers available, so you can let your competitive spirit shine without feeling foggy-headed.


Live Entertainment to See in Denver instead of Drinking

LoDo, Greenwood Village

There are several spots to watch stand-up comedy in Denver, and two of the most popular are the Metro Area’s Comedy Works outposts. And while you may be hesitant given the venue’s two item minimum, there are plenty of non-alcoholic beverages on the menu to sip in between belly laughs.


RiNo

One of Denver’s most impressive concert venues (yes, yes, aside from Red Rocks), Mission features world-renowned musical artists and performances on a regular basis. For those concerned about limited drink options for an upcoming show, fear not: in collaboration with Queen City Collective Coffee, Mission offers concertgoers an array of coffee mocktails—classic drinks with a coffee twist. But the drinks are also not super heavy on the caffeine, so there’s just enough kick to get you through the show without leaving you wired until morning.


Auraria

Sports and music fans rejoice—the entertainment epicenter of Denver, where you can cheer on your Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche, is a great place to spend time, have fun, and eat good food while supporting your teams. Plus, its convenience to Downtown Denver means the fun doesn’t have to stop at the gates. If you’re looking for something cold and refreshing to enjoy (that isn’t water) while rooting for your team or singing your heart out, rest assured that fans can now purchase Grüvi non-alcoholic beverages at locations throughout the venue (yes, the very Grüvi mentioned above).

Courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens/Scott Dressel-Martin


Outdoor Things to Do in Denver instead of Drinking

Morrison

Alcohol can really ruin a good zen, which is why opting for early morning flow at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater in lieu of booze is good for the mind, body, and spirit. Join dozens of other yogis once the warm weather hits and do your sun salutations with a clear head. Even better: stay properly hydrated and then treat yourself to a hearty breakfast or some cold-pressed juice in downtown Morrison after.


Baker, Centennial, Englewood, Golden, RiNo

Several indoor rock climbing locations dot the metro area, and not only is it a good way to stay active, healthy, and social, it’s best done stone-cold sober. Embrace climbing as a new hobby or enjoy it as a long beloved pastime, and meet some new friends among the toeholds.


Cheesman Park

The green space within Denver’s city limits is nothing to scoff at, even despite our proximity to the Rockies. Part of Denver’s urban appeal is the Denver Botanic Gardens, which are open year-round and constantly aflutter with special programming (and of course, gorgeous flora). A simple stroll, date night, or attending one of the Gardens’ many events and festivals are all excellent reasons for stepping out and away from any crowded bar scene.


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Erica Buehler is a Denver-based freelance writer and editor. Follow her @e_buehler on Instagram and @e_buehler_ on Twitter for more updates on Denver food and other Mile High shenanigans.

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