Life is full of opportunities to mingle with friends and reunite with loved ones, but if you don’t drink alcohol in general or if you want to stop drinking, whatever the reason might be, these gatherings may leave you feeling frustrated instead of festive. Luckily, you can get around the cocktail party tradition by throwing your own alcohol-free celebration. The following tips can help you plan a party that’s so entertaining and unforgettable, nobody will even miss the alcohol!
Stage photo-ops with holiday or party themed props
You don’t need alcohol to get goofy. Set up a “photo booth” in one corner by hanging up a seasonal backdrop, such as a holiday or occasion themed quilt or fabric with a festive pattern, near a table full of silly props. The possibilities are endless and the more creative you get, the better those pictures will turn out. At Christmas, your guests can drape themselves in garland and lights, stick their faces through wreaths, don pairs of fake elf ears or even pop on a red Rudolph nose. For spring, you can think Easter, bunny ears and tails or silly chicken feathers can help people get in the mood. A baby shower is easy with bottles, pacifiers and your choice of pink and blue blankies for your photo.
Screen themed movies
There’s certainly no shortage of feature films about the holidays and other occasions. Instead of heading to the movie theater to see one of this year’s inevitable holiday releases, invite your friends to a holiday or occasion themed movie marathon and screen all your favorite classics. If you want to really have fun with the theme, you can even unroll a red carpet and ask your guests to dress up as their favorite holiday movie characters.
Give regular drinks a festive flare
Beer, wine and spirits aren’t the only ways to quench your thirst and spice up your drink menu. If you really want to make your celebration special, infuse your drink options with the holiday spirit instead. Make it fun for your guests to prepare their own hot chocolate by stocking up on delicious, holiday-themed “garnishes” like marshmallows, cinnamon sticks and nutmeg. Arrange them in bowls and fill the space between them with tinsel and ornaments, and offer candy canes instead of stirring straws.
Apple cider and mulled cranberry juice are two other warm, festive favorites that go well with fall weather, but you don’t have to stick to hot drinks. You could even invest in a few ice cube trays with fun shapes like leaves or trees. Freeze several batches in the days before the party, and store them in an ice bucket so no one runs out.
Compile a killer playlist and play karaoke
When you send out your party invitations, ask guests for song requests along with their RSVPs. Borrow albums from friends if you don’t have a big music collection, and put together a themed playlist that’s upbeat and festive without being cheesy. If you stick to instrumental songs, you can still talk and mingle freely.
If you are up for a more “hands on” party, you can do your own karaoke set up with an improvised stage to bring a lot of laughs from everyone.
Stage a decorative scavenger hunt
If your guests have cameras or smartphones, challenge everyone to a photo scavenger hunt. Scour your house for especially unique decorations to have your guests find or do it outside if weather permits. See how long it takes your friends and family members to find everything on the list. Make it more interesting by requiring participants to do silly things like hang decorations on their clothes, the more adventurous can run through the sprinkler in summer or stand in the snow barefoot. Think of the fun you will have as you send out an after party slideshow of all the hilarious party snapshots!