SparkNotes Blog

How to Have Fun at a Party When You Don’t Want to Drink

Oh boy, here we go. You’re finally “of age,” you’re at a party, and if you were worried it might be a *bit* of a boozer, the pineapple pool floats and “mystery punch” confirmed your worst fears. Even so, you have no intention of drinking. You want to hang with your buds and be there for whatever unforgettable moments will take place in this suburban backyard, but you have no desire to a) go anywhere near the jungle juice, or b) stand in a corner bored out of your mind all night.

So, what do you do? Go home? Nah. Your outfit’s too cute and you have things you want to discuss with someone other than your mom. Well, don’t sweat it, because we’ve got a whole list of tips and tricks to keep you having fun at the next raging shindig you find yourself Nick Carrawaying through.

  1. Go for a long walk around the party. Just do laps around the house, inside, outside, through the dad-cave. Walking is the best way to heart health and also the best way to meet a suitor (ask any of the Bennet sisters)—who knows, you might stumble upon some fun party action.
  2. Talk to someone you don’t know who also appears not to be drinking (they’re there, promise, and they’ll be thrilled to speak to someone vaguely coherent).
  3. Become the party DJ. Only you can stop the guy in the Skull Candy from playing Blurred Lines for the fifth time.
  4. Make a virgin cocktail. Mix together some seltzer, a splash of cranberry juice, and top with a slice of lime. You’re partying like Gwyneth Paltrow! Enjoy your refreshing party drink that is just as glamorous as champagne, without the hangover.
  5. Snacks! Bring snacks, make snacks, offer drunk folks snacks. You’ll have something to do and you’ll be a hero.
  6. Recite a Shakespearean monologue in the living room. May we recommend Lady MacBeth?
  7. Challenge the biggest dude at the party to a push up contest. No matter what happens, it will be a show.
  8. Text your parents that you love them (awwwww). Blog about the party under an unforgivably shrewd nom de plume. Those who can’t do, become novelists.
  9. Bring a deck of tarot cards. Set up shop in a corner of the party and give out free tarot readings.
  10. Enjoy everyone’s relaxed, more-friendly-than-usual demeanor without having to worry that they will judge you later for the nuances of your small talk on Outlander.
  11. Find the house animal (dog, cat, parrot?) and shower it with belly rubs and ear scratches. If this was an ’80s movie, you would be cool odd-couple cop partners!
  12. Become a “fact collector.” Grab a notebook and walk around the party asking everybody what their favorite animal fact is. If they don’t have one, give them one of your all-time faves (“Monkeys can sing underwater.” Doesn’t have to be true.)
  13. Ask if you can make some tea in the kitchen. Enjoy that tea!
  14. Dance, dance, dance, as if no one is watching, because if everyone is drinking jungle juice, they aren’t going to remember much about your dance skills.
  15. Play a game! Surely there’s a board game in this house, somewhere! If they don’t have a board game, play cards. If you can’t find cards, play charades. Or Duck, Duck, Goose or Hide and Seek or literally any game you can think of. Volunteer to clean out a closet in the house. Vacuum some items into a space bag! It’s fun and satisfying.
  16. Plan your dream vacation. Why not? You accidentally just stepped in some puke and no one has been able to maintain eye contact with you for the past hour. Might as well start planning that ideal getaway.
  17. Leave whenever you like. The thing about a true palooza is that, at some point,  a) everyone who is imbibing will become entirely insufferable, and b) no one will find it the least bit rude when you decide to leave. If you’re feeling generous and responsible, you can offer a tipsy friend a ride, but you can otherwise feel free to tear out away from the mess with your vibe intact and confident that you have done and said nothing embarrassing for practically the first time in your life.

Do you have any tips for enjoying a boozy party, sober?