Sobriety doesn't mean that fun and socialising have to come to a halt. In fact, hosting an alcohol-free evening with close friends can be an enjoyable and enriching experience. Here are some tips for celebrating sobriety while creating meaningful connections.
Be Honest With Your Guests
Open and honest communication is essential when hosting a sober evening. It’s perfectly acceptable to inform your guests that you won’t be serving alcohol. When you communicate your intentions clearly and kindly, you create an atmosphere of trust and understanding. You can explain that you’re choosing to celebrate sobriety or simply prefer an alcohol-free get-together to create a safe and inclusive environment for everyone.
Most friends will appreciate your transparency and respect your choices. If anyone has questions or concerns, you can address them beforehand to ensure everyone is aware and able to enjoy the evening without any misconceptions. By being upfront about your choices, you can encourage your friends to join you in embracing a fun and alcohol-free experience.
Invite Like-Minded People
To ensure your alcohol-free evening is as enjoyable as possible, invite friends who share your enthusiasm for a sober and fulfilling social experience. Approximately 36% of American adults don’t drink any alcohol at all, so you’re not alone in your sobriety. Seek out friends who do not drink or who appreciate the benefits of a sober evening to hang out. Sharing similar values and goals for the evening can create an environment of mutual support and understanding.
Whether you connect through shared hobbies, parenting experiences or common interests, surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals will contribute to a more comfortable and enjoyable gathering where everyone can truly be themselves.
Choose a Fun Theme
The secret to hosting a memorable alcohol-free evening is selecting a theme that appeals to you and your guests. Whether it’s a game night, movie marathon or a themed dinner party, a well-chosen theme sets the tone for the evening and keeps everyone engaged. Popular themes might include a potluck dinner, a make-your-own mocktail party, a spa night or an evening centered around specific cuisine. Encourage your friends to get creative and bring their own ideas to the table.
Plan Delicious Mocktails
Just because you’re skipping the alcohol doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice a fun drink. Mocktails — or nonalcoholic cocktails — can be just as satisfying and refreshing as their alcoholic counterparts. Stock up on a variety of juices, sodas, cordials and garnishes to craft a menu of delectable drinks. Don’t forget to provide nonalcoholic beer and wine options for those who prefer a familiar taste.
Here are some mocktails you can get creative with:
- Virgin mojito
- Pina colada without rum
- Sparkling cranberry punch
- Nonalcoholic bloody mary
- Watermelon cooler
- Cucumber lime spritzer
- Mango tango
Go for Interactive Food Options
When hosting an alcohol-free evening with friends, selecting engaging food options can elevate the experience. Consider indulging in interactive and communal dining experiences, like a crab boil where you all have to crack your own crab legs, a Swiss-themed fondue, or a build-your-own burger night. These choices are delicious and create memorable moments of connection around the dining table.
Organise Engaging Activities
Plan a range of activities everyone can enjoy to keep the evening lively. Board games, funny card games and charades are classic options that will bring out laughter and friendly competition. Alternatively, you can set up a mini karaoke station or a craft corner for artistic expression. The key is to create an environment where everyone feels included and entertained.
Try these interactive activities for your next sober dinner party:
- Murder mystery
- Never have I ever
- Two truths and a lie
- Cards Against Humanity
- Cooking or baking challenges
- Costume contests
Play Fitting Music
Music can set the mood and elevate the atmosphere of your evening. Play soothing background music for a relaxed dinner or more energetic tunes for a dance party — the right playlist can enhance the overall experience. Consider curating a selection of songs that resonate with the group’s tastes and preferences. Engage your friends in the process by asking them to suggest their favorite tracks, creating a collaborative and personalized soundtrack for the evening.
Live music, whether it’s a friend with musical talents or a local musician, can add an extra layer of entertainment and make the night even more special.
The Joy of Sober Socialising
Hosting an alcohol-free evening with friends can be an excellent way to celebrate sobriety as a parent. Choosing a suitable theme, planning tasty mocktails, and organising interactive activities can create an entertaining and meaningful experience for everyone involved. Remember, it’s not about what’s in your glass but the quality of time spent with cherished friends that genuinely matters.
By Ava Roman
Ava Roman (she/her) is the Managing Editor of
Revivalist, a women’s lifestyle magazine that empowers women to live their most authentic life. When Ava is not writing you'll probably find her doing yoga or snuggled up with her cat and a good book.