Your guide on how to Party Sober. These party planning tips will ensure your next party is a hit – substance free!
Being sober doesn’t mean being boring. Go to a party sober a few times and you might find it can be even more fun than being intoxicated. If you are in recovery you either party sober, or don’t party at all— and while it may seem impossible at first, you can host and attend parties that are not only drug and alcohol free, but fun too!
While planning your first substance free party you may quickly realize how much entertaining generally revolved around alcohol in the past and feel lost and overwhelmed about trying to pull off a successful party without it. We suggested throwing your own sober party in our holiday sobriety tips; here you can find party planning tips for hosting any party sober and with style.
Party Sober: Tips and Tricks
- Food, food, food. Have such great food that guests don’t even notice the lack of alcohol. No matter the occasion, having something for your guests to happily munch on is essential. Whether you’re having a proper dinner party, or just plan on serving hors d’oeuvres, be creative in the kitchen. Pull out your tried and true favourites, and aim to please everyone’s taste buds. Crackers and cheese, chocolate covered anything, and colourful fruits or veggies with savoury dips are all great choices that will keep your guests smiling. Invite some friends to help prepare food ahead of time, and have fun with it!
- Create a chill environment. It can seem daunting to create a party atmosphere where everyone feels at ease. People often use alcohol as a social lubricant, but as the host there are ways you can help make all your guests feel comfortable sans alcohol. Introduce people to one another, consider rearranging or removing furniture to make a more open space for people to mingle, and present your food and drinks in a way that invites people to help themselves. Make sure no one is standing alone in the corner, and gauge the mood of the party; if the energy level is dropping pull out one of the games from our list below to keep people entertained.
- Let the music do the talking. Put some time into your music selection. Having an enjoyable playlist will help people feel comfortable. You can even set up a system where guests can search and play their favourite music videos from YouTube or your playlist.
- Plan a lunch party. If you’re worried people will be disappointed there is no alcohol present at a sober party you’re planning, make it over lunch. Especially if you’re planning a party for people you don’t know as well, such as an office party, people will be less likely to expect alcohol (and less disappointed that there isn’t any) if the party is held over lunch rather than dinner.
- Plan ahead. Make lists, menus, and talk to some people you plan on inviting for help and ideas. Do you need extra seating? Do you have a backup plan if a new recipe fails? If planning a party is stressing you out, step back, take a deep breath, and relax. Having a sober party should be fun!
Party Sober: Games and Activities
- Make a photo booth. This can be a fun and cheap way to get people interacting and laughing at your party. Search Pinterest for free photo booth props, and you can even use the camera on your phone to take picture. Loads of laughter and good memories are guaranteed. And, after looking through the photo booth pictures from your party, sober guests must just be pleasantly surprised at how great they look in party pictures when they’re not intoxicated!
- Board games. Have a game night. Board games can be great sober fun. Games like Apples to Apples and Dirty Minds can get larger groups laughing harder than they imagined. When you party sober your brain is actually still functioning at its full potential, so brain games like Scrabble, Cranium, and Balderdash can be enjoyed by smaller groups. Check out your local second hand store for new board games and ask guests to bring their favourites.
- Charades. Charades is another classic game that gets people laughing and can be easily enjoyed sober. Charades can bring even the shyest guests out of their shells once you start playing. Have some words and phrases prepared ahead of time and ask guests to make up their own, or download a charades app on your phone that randomly generates clues to be acted out.
Party Sober: Food and Drinks
- Food, food, food. Did we mention food? You don’t have to break the bank to have a crowd pleasing menu. Plan ahead and decide how much you are willing to spend, and then find recipes that fit within your budget. Or host a potluck, and ask everyone to bring their favourite dish. You can set a theme if you want (for example Mexican or Asian cuisine) or choose a seasonal ingredient such as apple or pumpkin and let your guests get creative.
- Mocktails. Prepare such phenomenal virgin drinks at your party sober guests won’t even miss the alcohol. From rich hot chocolate to simple lemonade to fancy mixes like a strawberry mango mocktail, making your party about savouring the flavours will surely have people asking for recipes.
- Have a coffee bar. Coffee doesn’t always have to be hours old and full of artificial milk and sweetener. Setting up a coffee bar at your next sober party can be a fun and interesting way to introduce people to the variety and joys that can be found in a simple cup of coffee. To set up a coffee bar be sure to have both decaf and regular coffee for starters then add flavoured syrups, warm milk, chocolate and cinnamon sticks for stirring, and of course maybe a few small cookies for dipping. Make coffee-something your guests probably already love-even more special and fun.
We hope these sober party ideas help you plan and host your next party sober, confident, and with a smile. At The Cabin we believe in your addiction recovery and encourage you to celebrate your sobriety each and every day.