Halloween is one of America’s favorite holidays, and it’s generally known as a kid’s holiday – with as many as 93 percent of kids in the US celebrating it. However, that doesn’t mean it’s just a kid’s holiday. For many former kids who have since grown into working adults, Halloween has transformed from an excuse to get a lot of candy to an excuse to party in costume. It’s become the third biggest party of the year, besides New Year’s Eve and the Super Bowl.
But you don’t need to drink to enjoy your Halloween. With the right strategy, you can throw your own amazing Halloween party and have plenty of fun without the need for drugs or alcohol.
Hosting Your Own Halloween Party
First things first, you’ll need to know that Halloween presents you with plenty of excuses not to drink. Because it’s such an easy party to theme for, there’s a lot to do and plan without alcohol. Themed parties are always a great way to give your sober party a little flair, and there are ways to spice things up without alcohol, by hosting competitions, providing games, and streaming movies.
Focus on the Costumes
If Halloween is known for anything, it’s costumes. And oh boy are there a lot of them. From the customary nurse, to a slew of pop culture characters, to the joke costumes, there are no shortage of great ideas.
However, costume parties with lots of alcohol tend to lead to runny makeup, broken or misplaced props, and a general lack of coherence and composure. By making the party booze-free (or optionally booze-free), you can place greater emphasis on high-effort costumes and even reward the wittiest or most elaborate costume.
If you’re going to throw a proper costume party, then it might not even be a bad idea to book a venue, get an MC, and have an actual competition on-stage to determine the best effort. But with Halloween being as close as it is, it’s better to keep the costumes and plans low-key – focus on wit rather than budget, so your guests don’t feel obliged to splurge on a serious and committed cosplay.
Have a Movie Marathon
Halloween is one of those holidays where a movie marathon is more appropriate than ever. Regardless of what kind of Halloween movie you enjoy best – from bloody, thrilling slashers to spooky ghost stories, jump-scare fests, or psychological horror – there’s a countless collection of scary and appropriate movies and TV shows to binge on Halloween night.
While it’s customary to play a drinking game when the movie being watched is less than stellar, alcohol can also take the sting out of a pretty good horror film. Remember, alcohol is a depressant, and as a side effect it temporarily helps reduce feelings of panic and anxiety. When you’re watching a good horror film, those feelings are a calculated part of the experience.
On the other hand, plenty of scary film franchises devolve into a ton of dumb fun when you’re with friends, even without the booze.
Carve Without Fear
It’s generally going to be far more dangerous and much less fun to task your guests with carving their very own pumpkin when they’re buzzed, high, or both. While there’s plenty of fun to be had in trying to be coordinated or creative when sloshed, it’s not a good idea to try and tickle your creativity with a large carving knife while drunk or otherwise inebriated.
However, when sober, you can carve without fear. It’s probably been a long time since anyone you know has had to carve a pumpkin, and it’s a surprising amount of fun when done right. Give yourselves a chance to get creative and more than just a little competitive by hosting a pumpkin carving competition. Pick something small as the prize – at the end of the day, the most important win is bragging rights.
Some basic tips, first. Try to make sure everyone gets a proper carving knife, and a cutting board. You don’t want anyone to cut into the table, or themselves. Secondly, pick a variety of pumpkins. Some people might call dips on the narrow one, or on the squat one, or the big round one, depending on the ideas they’ve got. Be sure to prepare your pumpkins before everyone arrives – get them cleaned up, dried, and check them for any soft spots or signs of decay.
You can also get started on removing the seeds and pulp, so your guests only need worry about bringing their artistic vision to life without the leg work. No need to throw out the good stuff – the seeds taste excellent when dried and are a great source of zinc, and the pulp can be mixed with lemon and pureed to add to pies or shakes, worked into a dough for bread, or cooked into a big soup.
Remember: Adult Parties Don’t Need to Be Booze-Filled
Among younger adults, there’s the assumption that every major party you attend after turning 21 is meant to revolve around the consumption of alcohol. You don’t need to booze up to have a good time, and many adults would argue that the best parties are those that are a blast without drinks, as well as with.
There’s a significant number of teetotalers in today’s America. While binge drinking and overall alcohol consumption has grown, many millennials and adult members of Gen Z know how to throw a good party without a drop of alcohol.
Halloween can be a great deal of fun without drinking, but it doesn’t have to be the exception. While it’s probably the one time in most people’s year where cutting into pumpkins, binging horror films and wearing costumes is all appropriate and even encouraged, there are plenty of other ways to spice up sober parties and have a good time at any point in the year without drugs or booze.