Happy hour can be a great way to unwind and let the day’s steam blow off. It can also blow your budget and become a mindless routine that extends the workday as you vent to colleagues about that day’s happenings. 

Shake things up and try one of these happy hour alternatives to mix things up breathe some fresh air into your Monday through Friday schedule.

  1. Go for a long walk
    Our human bodies were not meant to sit around all day. After a long day at your desk, get your blood flowing with a brisk walk. An endorphin boost will leave you feeling good!
  2. Phone a friend and shoot the shit
    Don’t let ‘out of sight, out of mind’ be your thing. Call your closest allies that you don’t get to see on a daily basis and let them know what’s going on in your life. Stay connected. Our best friends keep us grounded even when the world outside is stormy.
  3. Check out local talent at open-mic night
    It’s easy to forget there is a whole world outside of your cubicle walls. Get inspired by watching artists-at-heart brave their souls at open-mic night. Comedy, music, poetry — pick your jam when it comes to supporting local talent.
  4. Get your creative juices flowing
    Do you have a pastime that engages your right brain? Drawing, photography, music, creative writing? Taking time to pursue passions outside of the office will make you a more well-rounded person.
  5. Unplug and cozy up with a good book
    Email alerts, texts, social media notifications, ringing phones. We are connected 24-7 these days. Give yourself a rest from our hyper-connected world by turning off your phone and pulling out a favorite fiction read. Let your mind explore a fantasy world.
  6. Get into a flow with yoga
    At work, things can fly our way from all directions and some days it feels like we’re spinning our wheels. Get re-centered and find your inner balance in a post-work yoga sesh.
  7. Channel your inner DIY goddess
    Do you have a home project you’ve been meaning to get to for a while, but haven’t? Planting an herb garden? Hanging a new photo? Building an IKEA bookcase? Buckle down and dedicate time after work each day until the project is done. The sense of accomplishment you’ll feel will be huge!
  8. Run the bleachers at a local school
    One of the best happy hour alternatives to blow of steam is to get active. Take yourself back to school to run the bleachers, lap the track, or create a mini obstacle course to get an intense workout in and burn off those office snacks you had.
  9. Catch up on your Podcast library
    There are more Podcasts today than we will ever be able to listen to. Rather than plopping on the couch in front of a TV screen, make a cup of tea, and turn on your favorite Podcast series.
  10. Volunteer your heart out
    Coach sports or lead a class at the YMCA, or find something else up your alley at Volunteermatch.org. Helping others will fill your heart with gratitude. You may even be able to build your resume with new skills (think leadership) learned through volunteer work!
  11. Create a custom coffee mug for your desk
    Ditch your office attire and let your inner child run free. Find a local artist studio and take a course on drawing, painting or ceramics. Or start easy, at Color Me Mine studios nationwide, you can paint a ceramic mug, plate, bowl or figurine, and they’ll glaze it for you.
  12. Pamper yourself
    In our go, go, go world, it’s important to actively remind ourselves to slow down, at times. If you’ve had a hectic day at the office, consider an evening of self-care at home. A glass of wine, a long, hot shower, a face mask, an at-home mani/pedi… Give yourself permission to take care of yourself. You don’t have to wait for the weekend to schedule a mini R& R break.
  13. Plan a date night
    Don’t wait for Friday night for date night. Surprise your man and plan a mid-week, low-cost date to spice up the workweek.

Which one of these happy hour alternatives speaks to you? Comment below!

13 Budget-Friendly Happy Hour Alternatives

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