New Year’s Eve is one of those holidays that is synonymous with substances. From champagne toasts to holiday-themed drinks, there is a lot of emphasis on drinking during the holidays. Many people even choose to spend this holiday at bars or clubs.
When you’re in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, it can feel like an impossible task to figure out how to celebrate a widely popular holiday that seemingly revolves around drinking. However, you can rest assured that there are many ways to enjoy New Year’s Eve without alcohol or drugs.
Here at Legends Recovery Center, we provide addiction treatment to those who need it. For those who are not in our programs, we still strive to provide information and resources to aid in every stage of recovery. In this blog, we will provide you with sober new years eve ideas so you can celebrate without substances.
Throw Your Own Substance-Free Party
If you are searching for sober New Year’s Eve ideas, the first one may be the most obvious: throwing your party! New Year’s Eve is usually celebrated through gatherings of friends and family. And just because you are gathering doesn’t mean that you need to drink.
Rather than attending a boozy New Year’s Eve party that someone else is hosting, you can host your own. This puts you entirely in control of what substances (or lack thereof) are present at your party. You can even tell your guests ahead of time that, while you welcome them bringing food or beverages, no alcohol will be permitted at the party to support your (or others’) sobriety.
You may be concerned that no one will show up if no substances are allowed. However, many people do not drink for a host of reasons. They may be in recovery as well, pregnant, or have a medical condition that prevents them from drinking. Some people dislike feeling drunk or just don’t prefer the taste of alcohol.
Have a Themed Event
A sober New Year’s Eve party with a theme can be an exciting way to celebrate. Create your themeuse one of the ideas below:
- Decade Theme: Have your guests dress based on their favorite decade and create food, drinks, and, decorations to match.
- Mystery Night: Ask each guest to come in disguise, or ask them to dress up as a certain character. You can also create mystery games for guests to solve together.
- Trivia Night: Create trivia questions related to the past year and have teams compete against each other in an ultimate sober showdown.
- Board Game Tournament: Invite your friends over for an evening of competitive board games. Each game can have new rules and may the best team win!
- Dance Party: Put on some of your favorite sober tunes and have a dance competition. You can even give out prizes for the most creative moves or best costumes.
- Karaoke Night: Create an at-home karaoke setup with everyone’s favorite sober songs. Get creative with costumes and set up a judging panel to see who can belt out the best tune. Movie Marathon: Gather your closest sober friends for an all-night movie marathon featuring some of the top films from the past year. Don’t forget to order plenty of snacks!
Host a Substance-Free Dinner Party
Second, on our list of sober New Year’s Eve ideas is hosting a dinner party. Dinner parties are excellent ways to celebrate any occasion. And the focus is mainly on food and enjoying each other’s company. Similar to the substance-free party we suggested above, you can let your guests know that no drugs or alcohol should be brought to the party.
Cooking is one of the best activities to engage in when you are in recovery. This is especially true if you did not cook regularly before receiving treatment. Cooking is a relaxing activity that helps you practice a practical skill. Further, for many people in recovery, cooking is a way to take control of their health or provide nourishment for their family.
During a dinner party, you and your guests can cook together. Or, if you choose to host a sober New Year’s Eve dinner party, ask your guests to bring over their favorite dishes. This is an excellent way for each person to share their experience and get creative.
Have a Low-Key Night In
New Year’s Eve doesn’t always need to mean partying. If you want to have a sober and safe New Year’s Eve, staying in is always an option. Get yourself some comfy loungewear, order your favorite takeout, and plan a holiday movie night. This could be a cozy evening with someone special or a fun night with your besties.
There are plenty of things you can do during the night besides watching movies as well. Board games, puzzles, or even a sober karaoke session are all great sober New Year’s Eve ideas. You and your guests will not only remember your night, but you’ll also avoid a huge headache in the morning!
Go Away for the Weekend
There is no obligation to stay home on New Year’s Eve to avoid drugs and alcohol. If you want to do something special for New Year’s Eve, taking a weekend trip could make the holiday feel extra special. It’s a great way to escape the noise and distraction of life or the area you live in while you relax, celebrate, and make sober New Year’s Eve memories.
Whether you decide to visit family, or old friends in another town, or take a solo adventure for yourself, there are plenty of options for a sober New Year’s Eve. Wherever you choose to travel, experiencing new things and having new experiences is an excellent way to start the new year.
Find a Sober New Year’s Eve Party Near You
Another sober New year’s Eve idea is to find a sober party near you. Wherever there are Alcoholics Anonymous and SMART Recovery groups, there are sober gatherings. Many of these groups even host events specifically to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
Finding a sober New Year’s Eve party can ensure that you are surrounded by sober people and can have sober fun. This is an excellent way to make sure that your new year’s eve celebration is free of drugs and alcohol and full of connection, community, and sober activities. These events can be in the form of a sober dance, a midnight 12-Step or SMART Recovery meeting, or a sober party held by someone else who is in recovery.
No matter what type of sober event you attend, you will be surrounded by people who share similar sober goals. These individuals will also understand what it’s like to be celebrating a holiday that used to revolve around drugs or drinking. And, best of all, there will be no pressure to drink or use drugs—just sober fun and connection!
Tips for Enjoying a Sober New Year’s Eve
Regardless of how you decide to spend your New Year’s Eve, there are plenty of things that you can do to ensure that you are comfortable. The following tips can help you avoid triggers that can contribute to relapse:
- Avoid situations where you will be around drugs or alcohol
- Don’t go to an event if you feel uncomfortable attending
- Talk to your sponsor for support
- Seek out sober friends who can help you stay sober
- Make sure there are sober activities you can participate in
- Focus on developing new sober habits and hobbies
- Take time for yourself—do something that makes you feel good, like yoga or meditation
- Speak with your therapist about strategies to stay sober this New Year’s Eve, or to develop a plan if you do relapse
- Focus more on having fun and relaxing than what you think you should be doing on New Year’s Eve
No matter how you choose to ring in the New Year sober, it’s important to make sure you stay connected with your sober community. Share your sober New Year’s Eve experiences on social media or create a group chat with sober friends where you can check in and provide mutual support. Most importantly, remember that sobriety is something to celebrate too!
Recovering with Legends Recovery Center
These sober New Year’s Eve ideas only have one requirement: that you are sober. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse, consider addiction treatment with Legends Recovery Center of Ohio. We are ready to help you or a loved one to you start their journey to recovery.
At our recovery center in Cleveland, Ohio, we offer various types of addiction treatment including medical detox for different substance use disorders such as alcohol use disorder or heroin use disorder. We also provide inpatient addiction treatment as well as outpatient addiction care in the form of partial hospitalization programs (PHP) and intensive outpatient programs (IOP).
To learn more about our addiction treatment services in Cleveland, Ohio, contact us at Legends Recovery Center. Our admissions specialists are ready to help you find the right program to fit your future today.