15 Tips for Throwing a Sober Party

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A sober party is still a party. You want everyone to have a fun time, even without any presence of alcohol. But more importantly, you don’t want to provide any incentives for anyone to relapse into their old habits. The last thing that people who have gone through some of the addiction solutions Florida has to offer is to be constantly reminded of how great the old days were, for example. What you want to do is introduce as much laughter to the party, create some icebreakers, include a few party games, offer choices, etc. In this article, we will be sharing our 15 tips for throwing a sober party you and your friends will remember for years to come!

The importance of a sober party

Sober parties are a common topic among people that have spent some time in recovery. The reason why these parties are so important is that sober parties emphasize the significance that the recovery process has. Many people look at the recovery process too lightly, thinking that it is only a matter of saying “no” to alcohol. In reality, staying sober is an ongoing process and a very difficult one at that. It is perfectly natural to want to celebrate your achievements with a party, and sober parties do exactly that for people that are fighting their former addiction.

bookmark titled "important"
You will always want to “bookmark” your sober party!

The fact of the matter is that recovery is not just about not drinking alcohol. It is also about forming new habits, adopting a new lifestyle, and changing your way of thinking. All this requires a tremendous amount of effort, as well as conviction. And to top it all off, the recovery process is never over. Anyone who had problems with alcohol addiction in the past is going to need to work to stay sober. Yes, it gets easier as time goes on for most people, but staying sober for another year is something worth celebrating.

Therefore, sober parties can be extremely important in two cases. They either symbolize the start of the recovery or mark another year of sobriety, both of which are significant life events.

Staying humble

The truth is that very few people manage to achieve and sustain sobriety on their own. With that in mind, sober parties present an excellent way of making sure that all the people who have helped get some appreciation. In other words, sober parties are as much for those who are staying sober as they are for appreciating all the people who have contributed to the recovery process. You get to reminisce about old times when you asked questions such as “Does insurance cover alcohol rehab?”, “How long will I be in rehab?”, and similar. In other words, a sober party is a great place to look at how far you have come.

Choosing the date for your sober party

Choosing the best date for a sober party can be a bit tricky. Do you want to choose a date of the last drink? The date of medical intervention? Or perhaps you would like to celebrate the date when you (or someone else) first decided that they want to get help. Or maybe you want to be throwing a sober party on the date of the last date of addiction treatment?

All in all, while it is a subject that merits some consideration, the choice ultimately does not matter that much. There is no wrong or right answer. What is important is that you celebrate a date that you feel was important. However, if you are throwing a sober party for someone else, you may want to ask them a few questions and figure out which date was the most important to them.

Common sober parties

While every sober party is, more or less, unique, some parties are more common than others. Here are the three main “types” of a sober party:

  • Rehab reunions
  • Dinner at a restaurant
  • Mocktail parties
person serving food
Restaurants are great locales for sober parties.

There’s a reason why these party types are more common than others. They tend to work to their desired effect more often than not. While experimenting with other locales is great (more on that in the tip section), it also poses a bit more risk. These three are “tried-and-true” solutions when it comes to sober parties. Let’s see why that is the case.

Rehab reunions

Most people who spend some time in a rehab center make new friends. Whether you are attending outpatient or inpatient treatment, meeting and talking with people is a given. And, over time, you get to form a sort of bond that is quite unique. All of you have gone through the shared experience that is rehabilitation. There is no one who can understand you more than people that have gone through the same thing, after all.

The perfect way to get together with some of your friends or acquaintances from the treatment days is, of course, throwing a sober party. A rehab reunion is a great way of celebrating everyone’s recovery process as well as a great chance to catch up on things and current events. But, more importantly, a sober party is an excellent place to remind everyone that they are not alone, talk about relapse prevention plans, and similar. The main reason why recovery fellowships and similar support groups see great progress is due to the fact that everyone shares in the group’s successes and failures. And there’s the fact that your friends from rehab are the ones that will appreciate your success story the most.

Dinner at a restaurant

Almost everyone has a fancy restaurant they’ve wanted to try out but the expenses required were never justified. A sober party, however, is a perfect justification for spending a bit more. The greatest benefit of throwing a sober party in a restaurant is the fact that you don’t need to worry about food and drinks. All you need to do is show up and enjoy yourself!

Mocktail parties

Mocktails are drinks made from various ingredients (herbs, juices, soda water, etc.) but without alcohol. For people in recovery, a mocktail party is a great way to emphasize their creativity and figure out new and interesting mocktail recipes. In fact, mocktails are something of a symbol of success among many people in recovery.

person mixing mocktails and throwing a sober party
Mocktails are colorful, fun, and alcohol-free!

Celebrating a sober anniversary on your own

The fact of the matter is that many people are not really into parties, sober or otherwise. But it is important to mark a sober anniversary regardless. Ideally, you will want at least someone with you. The closest friend or a family member, for example. But you don’t necessarily need them. You can simply treat yourself to something special, something that you have always wanted. That way, every time you think about it, you will also think about how much time and effort you have spent on being sober, as well as how long have you been sober.

15 Tips for throwing a sober party!

Here’s a quick list of things you want to do when throwing a sober party:

  1. Invite people who do not drink
  2. Include party games and icebreakers
  3. Dancing!
  4. Include a talent show
  5. Try out new food recipes
  6. Host a party in the morning or afternoon
  7. Choose a cool locale
  8. Emphasize laughter
  9. Be upfront about drinking rules
  10. Offer choices
  11. Make a themed party
  12. Keep your spirits high
  13. Create a party “ritual”
  14. Avoid talking about the “old days”
  15. Allow for “exit strategies”
person thinking about throwing a sober party
Throwing a sober party requires some critical thinking.

You may also want to consider your guests. If someone has, for example, just finished their treatment at an inpatient rehab Florida center, make sure to accommodate them to the best of your ability. They might need the party more than the others but it is extremely important that you be very careful around them. Not so careful that it gets creepy, of course, but a bit of added consideration never hurt anyone.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at our tips in a bit more detail.

Invite people who do not drink

The first rule of a sober party is that no one drinks. That is why you should limit your guests to people that are known not to drink at parties. While you may make an exception here and there, it is best to stick to this rule. The reason why you want to do so is that you want your party to be full of people who know how to have fun without any alcohol present.

Furthermore, you will avoid any peer pressure issues by not having people who will “lobby” for a drink. In fact, you might want to limit your party to people that are in recovery, or people that are attending one of the intensive outpatient programs Florida has on offer. It might seem a bit cruel not to include all the people that you want but it is a sober party after all. Your primary concern is to make sure that no one drinks alcohol and that no one even talks about it.

Include party games and icebreakers

Without any alcohol, you will want to make sure that your party is fun and entertaining for everyone involved. A great way to accomplish this task is by including various party games. There is no shortage of these games to go around, and you can find dozens with a quick google search when throwing a sober party. Try to figure out which games will have the most appeal to the crowd you’re inviting, though. Just because a party game is popular does not mean that your particular group of people will enjoy it.

person holding two green balls
Everyone loves party games.

Aside from party games, you will also want to include convenient icebreakers. People that left one of the alcohol rehab Florida centers recently might have a bit of a harder time connecting to others, after all. Combining icebreakers and games is best, of course. For example, you can play a “two truths and a lie” game, where you pair two people and have one of them state three facts about themselves. The partner then needs to figure out which two are true and which is the lie. This simple icebreaker game is bound to spark bursts of laughter, something that you simply can’t get enough of.


You may think that dancing is reserved for people who drink alcohol. While it is true that most people are more inclined to dance under its effect, there are other ways to make people more comfortable on the dance floor. The best thing that you can do is to introduce dancing as a learning experience. Bring in someone who knows great dance moves or knows some of the traditional dances and have them teach the other guests. You may be surprised when your friend fresh from one of the drug rehab Florida centers decide to join in! Dancing is a lot of fun, even if you are simply learning the moves. And those that are not participating may also join in the fun by cheering and providing moral support!

Include a talent show

Allowing people to show their own talents is a great way for everyone to celebrate their unique selves. Incidentally, celebrating yourself is one of the key concepts of alcohol recovery. And it is a lot of fun, as well! Don’t go too serious on the talent show, of course, simply allow people to have fun with it. If you know that your group is absolutely bursting with talent, however, then you might want to make a “full-blown” talent show and maybe even introduce some prizes.

red curtain
A talent show offers a way for everyone to shine.

A talent show is extremely entertaining, no matter what. Just make sure that you don’t “push” anyone into it who would rather sit back. People that just got out from heroin rehab Florida programs might want to take it easy for a bit, for example. You will also want to announce that you will be holding a talent show (no participation required) before the party. That way, people can practice their act and really get into it at the party.

Try out new food and drink recipes

A sober party is a perfect opportunity to showcase some other food and drinks. A regular party mostly depends on alcohol and snacks but a sober party can really make other food and drink “shine”. Don’t be afraid to experiment with ingredients when throwing a sober party, try out that recipe you always wanted to try. And try to get your guests to bring in a dish of their own.

You would be surprised at what other people can cook up. Some of your guests might have nothing else to do but cook while attending a program in one of the crack cocaine rehab centers, for example.  Food connects people like nothing else, after all. As do colorful cocktails. Go wild on the non-alcoholic cocktails but refrain from using “mocktails” and non-alcoholic beer. You don’t want anything that can remind the guests of their prior activities or anything that will put the spotlight back on alcohol.

Host a party in the morning or afternoon

Another thing that you can do to avoid party-alcohol connection is to host a party at a “nonstandard” time, such as morning or afternoon. If you know your guests well, you might want to avoid certain times, though. For example, if you know that a certain person who finished one of the meth rehab Florida programs used to abuse the substance in the morning, host the party in the afternoon. However, organizing a party at a “non-typical-party time” might be somewhat difficult. That is why you may want to plan such a party in advance, to allow everyone to work their schedules and be able to attend.

Choose a cool locale

People usually connect house parties with alcohol. No matter what you may do, this simple fact may make all the difference. That is why you might want to consider hosting a party at another locale, such as the beach, park, or even at an entertainment park. The setting itself can be entertaining enough if you choose correctly.

people throwing a sober party in an entertainment park
The entertainment park is an amazing locale for a sober party.

To make the most out of this tip, you will want to make sure that everyone gets to “pitch in” when it comes to the locale choice. You want your guests who just came out from Florida prescription drugs addiction treatment to be able to have a say, after all. Make a group vote and see how it goes. What is important is that you get everyone included in the vote. Most people will be fine with any locale as long as they know it will be fun.

Emphasize laughter

The most important thing about any party is not alcohol or any other substance. The most important thing is fun. And the easiest way for everyone to have fun is to provide them with as many sources of laughter as possible. A stand-up comedian is an excellent starting point to get everyone in the mood. You can also have people prepare funny stories and jokes in advance, so they are well-prepared when they arrive at the party. You might be surprised to see that the funniest people are the ones that just came out of oxycodone rehab. They might have just needed the right chance to express themselves. Of course, if someone does not wish to participate and simply wants to sit back and laugh, allow them to do so.

Be upfront about drinking rules

If you are looking to make a huge sober party, you will most likely have to invite people that normally drink at parties. If that is the case, you will want to be as upfront about the drinking rules as possible. Speak to everyone in person to ensure that they are alright with that.

Offer choices

When throwing a sober party, you want your guests to have as many choices as possible. We mentioned this a couple of times already but this is the time to really “drive it in”. If someone does not want to participate in a specific activity, allow them the choice of not participating. The same goes with food and drinks, provided they do not request anything alcoholic, of course.

two hands with "yes" and "no" written on them
Make sure to offer each guest a choice when it comes to activities.

Make a themed party

Planning your party will be a lot easier if you think of a set theme beforehand. A themed party also offers unique lines of conversation and makes social interactions a bit easier. Throwing a sober party such as a ’60s throwback party or a cosplay party is a surefire way for everyone to have fun.

Keep your spirits high

As the host, you are the most important person at the party. If your spirits are high, the other guests will pick up on that really fast. Conversely, if your spirits are low, your guests will pick up on that even faster.

Create a party “ritual”

Many cultures do not revolve around alcohol at all. But they all have their cool rituals that are present at every party. Think about creating your own, unique, party ritual, something that will really get the people together. An example of a cool ritual is guided meditation, which is an amazing way to get a bit of release, and an excellent way to control overwhelming emotions during rehab. Think of something that the group of people you’re inviting would really like and introduce it to the party!

Avoid talking about the “old days”

One thing that you want to avoid at all costs is conversations derailing into the talk about the old days. Especially not if the talk involves any sort of positive connotations. Throwing a sober party is all about making new traditions and memories and finding joy in the present. While the past definitely has its place, it is definitely not at the sober party.

Allow for “exit strategies”

Lastly, the fact of the matter is that, no matter what you do, some people might simply not feel comfortable at the party. And that is alright. When throwing a sober party, make sure to allow those people a viable “exit strategy”. Make it known that it is alright to simply make a no-questions-asked-retreat.


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