There are many reasons to have an alcohol-free bachelorette party. These range from respect for religious choice to in our case avoiding substance abuse. So, let’s imagine that you are organizing a party for your best friend who is a sober person and look at some great ideas for the special day. Sometimes sobriety milestones are not measured in time, but by achievements. A sober party is a big deal.
There are two rules:
- It must be alcohol-free and
- It must be a good time
Abraham Lincoln said, “folks are usually about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” The same is true of fun.
We don’t consume alcoholic beverages and there are options such as non-alcoholic beer. The other one is mocktails which are alcohol-free cocktails. There are obvious ones such as a Virgin Mary or a virgin mojito and of course Shirley Temples. The Big Bang Theory once mentioned a virgin Cuba libre.
But there are more exciting options such as Tahitian Coffee. Here is the recipe:
2 oz lime juice
2 oz orange
1 oz simple syrup
1 oz passion fruit puree
2 oz guava puree
2 oz cold brew concentrate
3 oz honey syrup*
16 oz ice
Divide the recipe between 2 tins and blend with measured ice. Pour into a 12 oz vessel. Garnish with orchids and grated coffee.
*Honey syrup: Mix 3 parts honey to 1 part hot water, by weight. Shake and stir until syrup reaches uniform dilution. Keep refrigerated.
Mocktail Mania though is not just about drinking alcohol-free drinks, it is more about making them. It is about a group of friends getting together and inventing drinks. Common ingredients can include:
- Grenadine Syrup
- Lime juice or slices
- Peach tea
- Tonic water
- Ginger ale
There are also several alcohol-free wines, whiskey, and tequila alternatives amongst other things. This makes it easier to create, for example, an authentic tasting Irish Coffee. There is however a caveat – some people are uncomfortable with drinks that emulate the taste of tastes we were exposed to before they achieved their own sobriety.
There can be a great deal of laughter and pleasure in this fun activity which can be a wonderfully creative expression of ideas. You can even say the winning mocktail will be served on the wedding day.
There are so many options here. From fine dining to Chinese, Tex-Mex, and more. You can pick a favorite restaurant or hit that two Michelin star place you have been dying to try out. It might cost a fortune, but this is a special event, From a lazy breakfast through to a nice dinner. Better still theatre and dinner, but there are other possibilities as well which are less usual.
One is a street food tour. Go on to a website and look up good street food in your area and travel. You can do it just as a tour of food vans or select food vans near other attractions and go to those as well. It is surprising how few people become tourists in their own city and how little they have seen and know. You may live in Philly and have traveled to France, but how much of Philadelphia have you seen?
But there is an even better choice. A cooking class! From three hours to a full day and ranging from basics through to pasta making, cooking with chocolate, and shellfish, there is a course for everyone. One of the great things about this is you may make new friends with any students outside your group.
A workout and a challenge. We climbed mountains to become sober so this idea, for those on a sober journey is a great metaphor for their personal experience. Exercise releases endorphins so at the end of it you may feel exhausted, but you will feel good.
Climbing walls vary and are available for different skill levels, so even if you haven’t done this before the challenge can be adapted to your skill level. Safety harnesses when you are rock climbing indoors ensures that you won’t plummet to the ground if you lose your grip.
Does it get better than going back to your youth and having a sleepover? Movies, popcorn, card games, pillow fights, and midnight horror stories. There may be no better way to have a good time.
There is something extraordinarily fun and cathartic and letting ourselves become children again. It is a great way of reconnecting with ourselves before we start a new life as part of a married couple. It is also a very nice way to bond with friends as we tend to let our hair down at sleepovers in a way that we can’t at other events.
Let’s start by defining geocaching
Geocaching is, basically, a hi-tech treasure hunt. Using GPS (either on your phone or specialist GPS device), you track down little hidden treasures called geocaches, or ‘caches if you’re feeling trendy. (https://www.winfieldsoutdoors.co.uk/blog/geocaching-for-beginners/)
While you can use known geocache sites to get the coordinates, why not change it up a little and set up a cache somewhere and provide the group of friends with the location and send them on their way to look for the hoard.
Change it up a bit again and turn it into a scavenger hunt with each cache providing information on the whereabouts of the next cache. An Amazing Race in your own town.
What can a cache contain? It is normally waterproof and if it is part of a formal geocache will contain a log and pencil for you to sign. But beyond that, they can contain anything from trinkets to something that can be traded. For something like this, they could contain the bride’s garter for the wedding day, a bunch of letters from friends wishing the future couple well. A final cache could be at a park and could be a hamper for a picnic lunch.
If you set up caches specifically for the party and are worried about their safety, then call on close friends or any family member willing to help watch them.
Music unites the world. We may like different styles ranging from country to death metal to raga, but we will like music, so why not take in a concert. From something at a small, intimate venue to an arena concert – what takes your fancy?
In my hometown, there is a street with multiple live music venues right next to each other and across the road. Within a five-minute walk of each other, it is possible to hear jazz, folk, progressive rock, and pop. Let me put it another way. Within a five-minute walk of each other, it is possible to hear covers of Ella Fitzgerald, Joni Mitchell, Pink Floyd, and Abba.
One of the best things about the small live venues is that for occasions such as this bands or singers will often take requests, so the evening can be personalized with a special song.
And of course, there is always the chance to belt out some karaoke and do a few duets – is there a better girls’ night than a night at a karaoke bar.
Have a Ball
I mean a basketball, a football, or any type of ball. Any type of sports event, actually. Take in a day at the races or watch a game either at the stadium or at home. Little ignites passion like sports. Think Packers vs Bears or Indiana vs Perdue to know this is true.
The point is to have a ball watching a sporting event. If it is at the racetrack, there is the chance of dressing glamorously and sitting in the better stands and playing quite the duchess. At home, this can go down well with spicy wings and virgin Margaritas which is the perfect pairing for a great game.
What woman doesn’t love a spa day? Okay, there are a few, I’m sure but they are in the minority. What better way, though, to remove the stress.
Deep tissue massages, saunas, perfectly prepared and presented meals, cappuccinos, and chilled grape juice all while being attended as pampered people deserve. Not just being pampered but made to feel like the most special people in the world.
Make it a bachelorette weekend! Imagine horseback riding, through the woods, cool wind, dappled sunlight overhead before turning to ride back to the hotel room for herbal tea and a long soak with friends in a jacuzzi. Imagine skiing the slopes at Aspen and then settling down in front of a warm fire with hot chocolate.
Planning for the big day can be tiring and intense. A weekend away can be the perfect antidote to that stress. The possibilities are endless from days at a National Park to a coastal retreat or a city break if travel is an issue. A weekend away does not have to be a quiet, boring event, but can incorporate other events like a weekend hike with overnight camps or cheese tastings. Even the culinary lessons mentioned earlier could be expanded into a weekend course.
So much can be combined with a weekend away. The pamper day, the concert or dinner at the out-of-the-way restaurant run by a James Beard winning chef. Who said a bachelorette party had to be just one thing?
One great idea is glamping – Glamorous camping. It is a point where camping meets home comforts. Actually, for many of us, our first exposure to glamping was camping out on the front lawn as children.
Dancing is always a great way to release energy and a dance class is a great way to let off steam and get those muscles stretched. It can be anything from Latin to a pole dancing class. Dancing can be as energetic as any sport.
As a group, getting moves right can be hard work but the results can be fantastic to show off on the wedding day.
Pay it Forward
This is actually very cool. We have been sober for some time now and by paying it forward we get to thank those who have helped us on our journey away from substance abuse. We can do this by helping others.
So how is this fun? Make it fun? Make it doing what you love. My choice would be to throw a party.
Pack a bunch of food, juices, and perhaps some party games. My choice would be to go to a home for Down’s Syndrome people. This could, in my opinion, be the best way to do a bachelorette party.
Down’s folk are amazingly special, and I don’t mean that in a politically correct sense, They are amazingly affectionate and accepting, that you will leave feeling utterly special – more special than any pamper day, but a lot more tired.
Research shows that kind acts create endorphins, the feel-good neurochemical, the same way exercise does. Caring is also good for mental health. Another idea would be to have a party at an old age home. If the imminent bride has a relative in a care center who will be unable to make it to the wedding this is the best way for helping them feel included.
Have a movie night. Pick a genre or an actor or a series. Get together a few of the closest friends of the bride-to-be, order pizza or salad (healthy options are better, but perhaps not on a day such as this day), and binge “Succession” or “Insecure”. Fans of Jennifer Lawrence can watch American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook, and Dark Phoenix.
If you want, get A Star is Born, My Name is Bill W., and Long Day’s Journey into Night and have an alcoholism theme. Probably a touch too serious for something like this, but then this is something that may never have happened without a sober lifestyle.
Pass the popcorn and cola. If you binge on Harry Potter, why not play Trivial Pursuit: World of Harry Potter, or if you binge on Star Trek then play that version of Trivial Pursuit.
And Speaking of Games
Game night! Let me mention a few titles. Final Fantasy 14, EVE Online, World of Warcraft, and Dungeons and Dragons Online. This is straight-down geek fun and the best way to party with friends in another time zone or on another continent.
Become an elf or a troll, a warrior, or a healer. The games can vary from mayhem to strategy and even in the same game depending on the personalities in your group. There is a whole community out there playing MMORPGs or Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games.
They can be utter fun, but there are also options like online First Person Shooters and various battle royale games such as Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone. Local friends can gather in one place and play often to cries of desperation and shouts of glee. With headsets, you can talk to your friends elsewhere while you share the chaos.
If you go this route, it is a good idea to give the others a good amount of notice so they can register and get used to playing the game. If this is not done it can be a recipe for disaster.
Throw a murder mystery evening. This is another form of role-playing. One of the guests is “murdered” and everyone is given information such as alibis, their relationship with the victim, and other suspects.
Slowly, Sherlock like the pool of suspects is reduced until as Mr. Holmes said, “Whatever remains no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” It can be lots of fun and there are private events companies who can do this for you.
So, there it is. Ideas for sober bachelorette parties that prove champagne toasts aren’t needed to have fun. A party does not have to have alcohol to be the real thing and managing a sober party is an important milestone.
The list of possibilities is not limited to this. Other ideas could include:
- An amusement park
- A ghost tour
- Taking in a museum
I have tried to stay away from the deeper issue of sobriety in this post and to make it about the event rather than about the past and all the days of sobriety and all the positive changes that brought us here. We have a lifelong commitment to sobriety and in a short time a lifelong commitment to another person.
The post has been about managing sobriety during a huge day. It is a day that often involves drink, but as we have seen does not need to. We have been through a twelve-step program and attended alcoholics anonymous meetings and probably believed that fun without alcohol was impossible. How wrong could we have been? Fun is possible and can be had without a hangover the next day.
But away from the partying and the fun, stop for a brief moment and consider how far life has come from the first day of sobriety, think of the great thing that is approaching and take the time to experience gratitude for your best friends and the support group you have.