The holidays can be a trying time for those of us who are sober. And yes, it all starts with Halloween. Although it’s not impossible to have a wild and sober Halloween, we must also acknowledge that many of us used to spend Halloween partying in a not-very-sober style and that it can be hard to transition to having fun on this holiday now that you’re not drinking anymore.
The good news, though, is that it’s definitely possible to enjoy this holiday sans booze. Not only are there plenty of options for how to rock a sober Halloween these days but you can also make your own sober Halloween. That’s right, perhaps it’s time to break out those partying chops and throw yourself your very own sober Halloween party. Follow our seven tips on how to throw your very own alcohol-free Halloween event and you’re sure to have the time of your life.
1. Encourage everyone to dress up, and don’t be afraid to have a theme!
Dressing up isn’t just relegated to being a kid or attending those wild Halloween parties before you got sober. Just because you won’t be drinking doesn’t mean that you can’t still shine a light on your secret side, your scary side, your sexy side, or whatever side you think would be fun to show off this year.
You know what might be extra fun, too? Have a theme! Ask all of your guests to come dressed as their favorite decade or their favorite movie character or their favorite pop culture disaster from the past decade. Having a theme tends to lighten things up and give people a new chance to get creative — and who doesn’t love a little extra creativity after getting sober?!
2. Make sure you are well-stocked with ALL of the mocktails.
There are lots of options of what to serve at your first sober Halloween party but great mocktails should definitely be on the list. You can make something simple like some non-alcoholic cocktails that are definitely better than the original or keep it simple by indulging in some store-bought mocktails instead.
Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can make some Halloween mocktails to party with all night long… or at least until it hits 9 pm and you want everyone to go home cause, like, sleep is totally important after you get sober.
3. Designate different areas of your house for different activities.
One way to ensure that pretty much everyone has a great time at your sober party is to set up different types of activities for different types of people. You might have some that love to dance, others that love the cookie tray, and even some introverts that might want to mingle… but not too much.
So here’s what you do: Figure out how to construct your space so that you have different rooms or zones devoted to different party activities. You can have a room just for dancing (obviously), lots of snacks in the kitchen along with a pumpkin carving contest. You can also set up a table in your living room with some board games (I highly recommend Betrayal at House on the Hill for some SPOOKY fun). And, if you can, set up your front yard or even bathroom (if you can manage it) as the ultimate scary retreat. After all, it’s not Halloween without a bit of a haunted house element, amirite?
4. Set up a projector screen to play horror movies in your backyard.
If you have a backyard, then you probably know that people will be clamoring to get outside and have some Halloween-y fun. Well, similar to the room idea above, why not designate this area (or another part of your house, if you have the space) for a scary movie marathon?
Of course, it’s your party, so nobody says you actually have to show scary movies… If that’s your thing, that’s cool. But if not, you can do something similar with kid-friendly Halloween movies like Hocus Pocus. And, of course, you should definitely end the night with The Nightmare Before Christmas.
5. Don’t forget to have a well-funded dessert table… YUM!
Desserts are delicious and no party is complete without plenty of desserts. So, yes, besides mocktails, you will want to have plenty of sweet treats at your party. I highly recommend that you bake up some mini cupcakes, cookies, and anything else you can think of… if you’re the baking type. If not, you can ask all of your party guests to bring their own favorite dessert to share (which is much cheaper and easier than bringing a bottle of wine like perhaps you used to do in the old days).
If you have the space and don’t want to do a pumpkin carving station, you can also do a Halloween cookie decorating contest as part of your dessert table. Isn’t it more fun to eat cookies that you decorate yourself with fun candy eyes and scary shapes?
6. Invite sober friends and non-sober friends, but don’t forget the kiddos!
Since you’re having a sober Halloween party, you have plenty of options for the kinds of people you could invite. Sure, you might want to invite all of your non-sober friends that you partied with years ago, but don’t be afraid to take this opportunity to mix it up a little bit. Invite your sober friends, too, and even their kiddos.
Bringing kids to a Halloween party can be extra fun because they really get what Halloween is about (fun and candy, of course). Plus, it’ll be nice to have a little bit of variety at your party. The kids will likely love the mocktails and the cookies as much as the adults and, hey, you never know what kind of hijinks you’ll get into because you’ve just expanded and melted your social circles.
7. End it all with some childhood favorite treats… and maybe tricks.
Okay, so maybe I don’t mean actual treats but it MIGHT be pretty fun to bring it back to childhood by making some take-home treat bags for all of your party guests. Whether that means you actually make up little baggies for everyone to grab on their way out the door, filled with some Halloween candy favorites, or simply have a big bowl of candy that people can grab things out of on their way out the door, definitely end the night with this favorite childhood memory.
This is a particularly important step if you have kids as party guests but, let’s face it, pretty much everyone else will enjoy going home with some Halloween candy at the end of the night. And, hey, it’s definitely better to wake up with a baggie full of treats the next morning than those hangovers we used to experience, right? (That wasn’t just me, was it?)
There’s no reason to fear the holiday season when you can arm yourself with these sober party-throwing tips. Halloween may have previously been a holiday during which you drank a lot (I know I did) but it can definitely still be fun now that you don’t drink. Trust me on that. By dressing up, playing some games, watching some scary movies, dancing with friends, and indulging in lots o’ candy and mocktails, anything is possible.