Non-drinking games for St. Patrick’s Day

Things to do for those who don’t drink. And we know you’re out there, hiding in your houses on this, the day of all drinks.

Photo by: nebarnix

As we get older, we run across more and more folks who for whatever reason have sworn off the booze.

For those individuals, nothing makes the heart clench in fear like an invitation to join their pro-alcohol friends for a St. Patrick’s Day hang. This holiday–at least in the U.S.–has veered a little away from “celebrating Irish culture” and towards “celebrating a cartoon version of Irish culture, while filling bloodstream with potentially lethal amounts of alcohol.”

So here’s what you, non-drinker, can do to avoid FOMO.

— ∮∮∮ —

Sober Bingo

Fill your card with such items as “Guy wearing hat that delivers beer directly to mouth,” “Couple yelling at each other on corner,” “Dog dressed as pint glass,” and “Butt crack.”

The only con to Sober Bingo is that you’ll likely be the only one playing it, so victory may not be sweet.


As your friends descent into drunkenness, convince each one to don a wristband connected to you by a plastic coil (you can find these easily in specialty children’s stores, or just make your own!). Your official reason for being the hub to your friends’ spokes is so that you can keep track of everyone in case they wander off in a stupor. But your real reason is so that you can control the direction of their stumblings, creating a jerky yet rhythmic dance troupe that would do great on Vine.

The Big Sleep

Contract mononucleosis. Nurse a glass of water. Each time one of your friend’s backs is turned, pour some water into their beers. That’ll show ’em what being bored and tired is like.

Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Paint your eyelids to resemble eyeballs, so that you can nap, but nap politely. A more challenging variation is to close your eyes and attempt to navigate the entire room/bar/festival. This will make you appear as drunk as everyone else, so again, the only person who will appreciate this game is you.

Slow Flip Cup

It’s easy enough to pull something over on drunk people–that’s why drunk people were first invented! Propose a game of flip cup and offer to set up the table. Instead of beer, fill the cups with honey (you will need a ton of honey, it would be wise to prepare for this game by making a ton of bee friends). Watch zero drunk people learn from the first drunk person’s discovery.


Look through phone and change Mom’s name to your name. Assume hilarity follows, but be prepared to risk missing invitations to sweet hangouts. Unless you’re tired of hangouts, in which case just delete your name. And everyone else’s, while you’re at it.


Just the regular game. Alcohol impairs motor skills, so, like…you’ll win.

House of Cards

Open a note on your phone and whenever anyone tells you a drunk secret, record what they’re saying, under the auspices of sending a text. Wait several years until the time is right. Use this secret to your advantage. Run for president. Win. Reverse climate change.

  • error

    Report an error

Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

There is 1 reader comment. Read it.