Heavy drinking and St. Patrick’s Day tend to go hand-in-hand, but that can pose a problem for anyone hoping to skip the alcohol. Whether you’re underage, a recovering addict, or simply a parent who wants a safe way to engage their children for the holiday, there are all kinds of ways to have a substance-free good time. Here are a few ways to have a fun, sober St. Patrick’s Day:
1. Visit a museum
No matter where you live there’s likely at least one really awesome museum in your area, and you might even stumble across a St. Patrick’s themed exhibit. If you’ll have your children, opt for children’s museums where noise won’t be as big of an issue and they’ll get to have more of a hands-on experience. If you’re solo or with a partner, try to choose an exhibit that will allow each of you to learn something new. Enriching your mind and expanding your cultural horizons is always a fabulous way to spend your time. Plus with so many people out celebrating at the bars, there might even be smaller crowds at the museum!
2. Find a fun run, 5k, or other physical event
Surrounding just about every holiday are plenty of marathons, 5k walks, and tournaments, often with proceeds going to a good cause. Even if you’re not particularly active, find an event that will work for your fitness level and sign up. You don’t have to be experienced for most — there will probably be plenty of other newbies there with you, anyway — and you can always find friends or co-workers who might be interested in signing up. Check your local newspaper, taking note of which events are child- and pet-friendly so you can plan accordingly. You’ll meet new people, get to wear a funky green outfit, give yourself a mood-lifting boost of endorphins, and end up feeling really accomplished by the end of it. The goal is to just have a good time, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself about how well you do.
3. Have a relaxing night in
Sometimes it’s the nights in that end up being the most worthwhile, and if you’re in recovery and avoiding triggers, it’s an easy way to avoid temptation on St. Patrick’s Day. Have something you’ve really been craving for dinner and catch up on your reading, crafting, or hobbying. Bake some delicious treats with your kids. Invite friends over for a movie night with hot cocoa and tea. If your gang usually does a big night out and is nostalgic for dressing up in festive gear, create custom t-shirts for everyone to wear. Just because you’re not going out doesn’t mean you can’t get into the spirit and have some fun!
4. Take a “trip” to Ireland
There are plenty of sober Irish traditions to try on St. Patrick’s Day, so dive right in. So often the eating part of the holiday is overlooked — and that’s a shame! Try your hand at an authentic Irish dinner, or find out which restaurants in the area are running a special and order in. You can work your creative side with some festive crafting, and read your children Celtic fairy tales before bed.
Whatever your reason for abstaining from alcohol this St. Patrick’s Day, it doesn’t have to mean giving up the fun. Try one of these ideas and find out for yourself!