• John Roesch

5 Relaxing Sober Activities in NYC

Life in New York is a nonstop adventure. The hustle, the bustle, a million people going a million places and doing a million different things. For most of us, this daily grind inspires us to work harder, do more, and make our own dreams come true. But even the most energetic and patient New Yorkers need a break sometimes. For most, an evening stop at a bar or nightclub is a good way to unwind after a long week of work, errands, dodging tourists, and eating on the run. But if your relaxation plans don’t include alcohol, you might be coming up short on ways to relax and unwind. Don’t worry, NYC has got you covered.

Saunas, Steam Baths, and Spas, oh my!

There’s no better way to relax in NYC than at a sauna or steam bath. New York City offers dozens of options so you can pick your preferred spa based on what type of environment suits your style. We love the wide open spaces and endless services at Spa Castle in College Point, NY, but Spa Castle’s Manhattan location is great if you want to stay closer to home. For a more European feel, try Russian and Turkish Baths on the East Side. This old school no frills sauna will leave you feeling relaxed and exhilarated. If you really want to treat yourself, try Bliss 49 on Lexington Ave. This luxury spa has dozens of services available, from massage to facials, saunas, steam baths, and more. You’ll leave feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and renewed. And best of all, these spas don’t serve alcohol, so there’s no risk of trigger or temptation.

The New York Botanical Garden - 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx

Sprawled across 715 acres in the heart of Brooklyn near Fordham university is one of NYC’s least kept secrets: The New York Botanical Garden. This indoor/outdoor botanical garden not only boasts NYC’s largest collection of flora, but there are always incredible special events, seasonal displays, and a wide array of guided tours. We highly recommend the NYBG Holiday Train Show, which features loving recreations of 150 of New York City’s most famous landmarks, including the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, and Rockefeller Center. The NYBG is a great place to go alone or with a big group of friends or family. There are evening events where alcohol is served, but the bars are few and far between, and easy to avoid.

Wolfe’s Pond Park - Staten Island

If you’re looking for a rural feel without leaving New York City, hop on the Staten Island Ferry. Once you get to the island, head south. At the southern tip of Staten Island lies a little slice of heaven in the busiest city in the world, Wolfe’s Pond. There’s a beach, a playground, tennis court, a WW2 Battle of the Bulge monument, hiking trails and bike paths. But best of all, Wolfe’s Pond is quiet. There are no restaurants or bars in Wolfe’s Pond Park, so be sure to bring a snack and a bottle of water, because you’re going to want to stay a while and soak up the relaxing, calming feeling the park provides in the Spring and Summer months.

Amazing Sights in Central Park - Manhattan

Every New Yorker knows about Central Park. It’s one of the great public spaces in NYC. But did you know there are hundreds if not thousands of attractions and features in Central Park? Statues, lakes, lawns, commemorative gardens, bike paths, walking trails, famous landmarks, play areas, and unique structures are tucked in every corner of Central Park’s 800+ acre landscape. Take a day to explore and learn about features you’ve never noticed or seen before. Check out for more info. Not only is Central Park free, alcohol consumption is limited and usually pretty low-key. This makes Central Park a largely trigger-free to spend some time in NYC.

Museums Galore - and most of them are free!

New York City is filled with some of the greatest museums in the world. The Guggenheim, NYC MOMA, New York Museum of Natural History, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art are just the beginning. New York City boasts hundreds of museums, each one brimming with the finest examples of art, historical artifacts, furniture, fashion, design, film, media, sculpture, religious artifacts and more. Best of all, many NYC museums are donation-based, which means walking in without paying is technically allowed – just make sure you check the museum’s policies before waltzing in, we don’t want anyone to get in trouble. New York City museums are usually alcohol-free environments, making a museum the perfect place to go for a little sober rest and relaxation that will stimulate your mind and provide inspiration. For a full list of New York City Museums, check out this Wikipedia page.

-- Bryan Swift for Life Assurance Recovery

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