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OPINION: How to have a fun, sober Halloweekend

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Ana Beltran | The Daily Wildcat

Coconino Residence Hall’s reception desk decorated for Halloween, 2019. 

Halloween is a fun holiday for many people. It’s exciting to dress up as vampires, witches, black cats or zombies. It’s nostalgic to reminisce about the nights spent running door to door around your childhood neighborhood begging for candy. Some of the magic of the holiday disappears once you reach adulthood, but Halloween in college can bring something a lot of people find even more fun than trick or treating: parties. 

It’s no secret that plenty of college students love going to parties. Whether they’re frat parties, house parties or costume parties, they’re sure to draw a large crowd. It’s never hard to find a party to attend over Halloweekend if you live on a college campus. In fact, Halloween and other holidays are some of the most popular days for first-year college students to engage in heavy drinking

However, there are a lot of reasons why someone wouldn’t want to drink or go to Halloweekend parties. Approximately 20% of college students in the nation don’t drink at all. When you’re sober, it’s understandable to want to avoid a Halloweekend party that includes alcohol and binge drinking. Or maybe you feel nervous when surrounded by a bunch of drunk people that you don’t know, so you prefer to have small get-togethers with friends or to stay at home alone. 

Whatever the reason, there is no shame in deciding not to drink during Halloweekend. You can still have just as much fun celebrating the holiday, and you’ll wake up the Monday morning after the holiday without a hangover, which is a bonus for sure! 

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Now, the question is: what things that don’t involve alcohol can you do on Halloween in Tucson? 

Well, if you enjoy feeling spooked, one of the best things to do sober on Halloween is to go to a haunted house. The Slaughterhouse will be open for the entirety of Halloweekend, and it brands itself as “the only haunted house that’s actually haunted.” Nightfall at Old Tucson, Sanctum of Horror and Terror in the Corn are three other great options in the city and nearby.

If you want something a bit more interactive than a haunted house that just includes jump scares and spooky set designs, Terror in the Corn also offers multiple different horror attractions. One option is zombie paintball shootout, where visitors use paintball guns to knock out the zombies that are trying to attack them. 

In addition to the interactive zombie attraction, there’s also an escape room. Doing any type of escape room on Halloween could be a fun way to spend the evening, but it could be even more entertaining if the escape room is horror themed. The mini escape room at Terror in the Corn takes place on a school bus, and visitors have to flee from a serial killer who is trapped on the bus with them. 

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If you’d rather spend the evening at home, it’s possible to throw an alcohol-free Halloween party. Picture a good night with friends, sitting on the couch with candy, popcorn and wearing costumes. Your favorite horror movies are on TV. Maybe a classic like "Friday the 13th" followed by a Disney original like "Halloweentown." Whatever you choose to watch, it’s hard to go wrong with a movie marathon on a Halloween evening. 

Even though all of the activities listed above include hanging out with other people, there’s also nothing wrong with spending the holiday alone. You could have a horror movie marathon at night with the lights off. The dim lighting enhances the fear factor of even the mildest horror film. Or you could curl up with a good horror novel. 

Whether you spend the evening with friends or solo, it’s possible to have an alcohol-free Halloween. If being around drunk people or alcohol doesn’t seem like the best thing for you to do, any of these options will help you still have a fun time celebrating the holiday. 


Follow Emma Watts on Twitter



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Emma is studying English and creative writing. In her free time she likes hiking, baking and writing short stories.


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UA COVID-19 Test Tracker

Daily (12/4)
744 14 1.9%
Total (8/2)
64,794 1,040 1.6%
Includes tests since August 2, 2021
Data from https://covid19.arizona.edu/updates
Updated December 5, 2021