7 Ideas for What to Do on Prom Night


Prom is an exciting and highly anticipated event for many teenagers. It’s a night of fun, friends, glitz and glam! While prom is a fantastic time for celebrating, it can also come with peer pressure to engage in underage drinking. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to have fun on prom night without alcohol, and being sober means you can make even better memories! Let’s look at some ideas for what to do on prom night that don’t involve drinking alcohol.

The Importance of Prom Safety

Prom is more than just a dance. It’s a time for self-expression and celebration with friends. However, prom night can sometimes include peer pressure to drink.

Underage drinking, in general, can lead to legal troubles, health risks, and negative effects on academic and athletic performance. It can land you in trouble with school administrators and potentially lead to risky decisions. A few consequences you could face from drinking alcohol at prom include:

  • School suspension or expulsion
  • Underage drinking and driving
  • Forgetting a beautiful night
  • Ending your night earlier than anticipated

We promise teens can have a fun and unforgettable night without alcohol and without compromising safety. Parents and educators can help by discussing prom safety and setting clear expectations about not drinking alcohol.


Navigating Peer Pressure on Prom Night

Research shows that a lot of the peer pressure that surrounds drinking on prom night may be unwarranted. A recent study found that while 94% of participants believe the typical high school senior drinks alcohol on prom night, only one-third of prom attendees reported actually drinking alcohol on the day of the event. Just this spring, teens across North Carolina took the pledge to have a sober prom during Talk it Out NC’s Dine & Shine Prom Night Sweepstakes.

Remember, what happens on prom night is in your control. You certainly don’t have to drink if you don’t want to (you’re in the majority if you don’t!), and there are tons of other things you can do to have fun on this special night that don’t involve alcohol.

Still, if you’re concerned about being faced with peer pressure and not knowing how to react on prom night, here are some ways to help navigate it:

  • Plan to go with friends who also don’t want to drink alcohol.
  • Brainstorm a couple of ways to say no to alcohol in a straightforward manner. You can simply say, “No thanks, I’m good.” You can also change the subject and say something like, “Who wants to request a new song from the DJ?”
  • Use the “Text X” Plan with your parents. It’s an understanding that if you just text “X” (or another prearranged message), they’ll come get you, no questions asked.


What To Do on Prom Night to Create Lasting Memories

If you’re looking for what to do on prom night to create memories without alcohol, consider some of these ideas:

  1. Dine in Style: Organize a group dinner at a fancy restaurant or someone’s backyard before the dance. Dressing up and enjoying a meal together can start the night on a high note.
  2. Enjoy a Limo or Trolley Ride: Make the ride to and from prom a part of the celebration. Stop for pictures at scenic locations and enjoy the ride together. Renting a limo or trolley not only makes the travel fun but also ensures everyone gets to and from prom safely.
  3. Hit the Dance Floor: Once you arrive at prom, focus on the music, and spend time on the dance floor! Dancing is always fun with a partner or in a group.
  4. Plan a Photo Scavenger Hunt: Create a list of photo challenges for teams to complete throughout the night. This can include snapping pictures in funny poses, grabbing a picture with a school staff member, finding someone wearing blue, photos with decorations, or in a photo booth, if available. This keeps your group busy finishing the tasks and not worrying about alcohol!
  5. Plan a Post-Prom Group Activity: After the dance wraps up, organize a visit to a local bowling alley, arcade, or movie theater with friends. Choosing a venue where alcohol is not served can help ensure the night stays fun and safe. Plus, think how fun it would be to do any of these activities while you’re still dressed to impress!
  6. Organize a Midnight Breakfast: If the prom ends late, why not extend the fun with a midnight breakfast? Head to a local diner or ask a parent to help you host breakfast at home.
  7. Relax and Unwind Safely: After a long night of dancing and socializing, have a post-prom movie party at a friend’s house. Set up a screen, grab the snacks, and hang out for the rest of the night.


Creating a Memorable Prom Night

Prom night doesn’t have to include alcohol to be memorable. Focusing on fun activities and spending time with friends means everyone can have a great time without the risks associated with drinking alcohol. Parents and guardians can reinforce the message that the best prom memories come from the experiences shared, not the substances consumed.

If you’re ready to have a safe and sober prom, Take the Pledge to wait to drink until you’re 21.