An alcohol-free stag do may sound like some men’s idea of living hell but should excessive drinking be relied upon as a way to celebrate a friend’s last night of freedom? Just take a look at some of the celebrities going sober, the nation’s favourite funny man James Corden was spotted looking decidedly sober leaving his stag do in Mahiki in London and McFly’s Harry Judd famously spent his stag do sober. Harry went back to his old boarding school for a jolly hockey sticks inspired stag do and, even though he didn’t drink alcohol, it didn’t stop him having a late night dormitory pillow fight with Robbie Savage and his band mates!
With more awareness about the damage alcohol does to the body and more men taking health and fitness seriously with marathon and sport training, take the focus away from beer and spirits on your stag do, and go in for an activity that’s all good clean fun. From zombie chases to deep sea fishing, find some activity inspiration from the ideas below and start looking forward to a stag do you’ll actually remember.
Get a buzz from adrenaline instead of Jaeger bombs with a stag activity that’s going to get the heart pumping. Adventure activities are proving to be more and more popular with stag groups and have a load of benefits; not only are they healthier than spending all day in a bar or pub, but a day spent white water rafting or abseiling is going to provide an easy topic of conversation for the stags to talk about over the weekend and, at a later date, the actual wedding. Challenge daring stags to a sky dive – at 12,500ft in the air, it might feel like you need a drink to get you out the plane but the rush you get from the free-fall with be better than any night out you can remember. Dermot O’Leary is a fan of outdoor activities, for his stag he travelled with 23 mates to Morzine, a village in the Alps, for a couple of days of rock climbing adventure. If your stag do falls in the winter months, a skiing weekend is a brilliant choice for a stag groups looking for a natural high.
Alcohol certainly helps ease social awkwardness and makes it easier to chat to people, but there are many alternatives to get the group talking and a competitive activity is a sure-fire way to get everyone bonding and likely to bring up some good stories for the best man speech! For any soon-to-be grooms who fancy themselves as the next Rory McIlroy, take the group to a golf course so he can show off his skills. Give everyone an honest handicap to keep the game fair and sort out a desirable prize for the winner so that everyone brings their A-game.
If you choose a team sport, make sure it doesn’t turn into a stand-off between college friends vs. colleagues by mixing up the teams so everyone meets someone new and gets talking. Organise a 5 a-side football match championship, again with a fun prize up for grabs to get everyone’s competitive edge out. If you’re up for something a bit wackier, stag organiser, Eclipse Leisure, offer West-country style games where stags can compete in quirky countryside sports like the Tractor Tyre Roll, Welly Wanging and the Pitch Fork Duel – certainly a different way to get competitive!
There are plenty of alcohol-free pursuits that will bring out your manliness. Forget Jonny Walker whiskey and cigars and instead exert your virility with an afternoon of deep-sea fishing – fighting for the bragging rights of being the man who has the biggest catch of the day. If you do prefer a stag do that is geared towards the English gent, make like Prince William with a stay in the countryside shooting clay pigeons. With your cap donned, no previous experience is needed for clay pigeon shooting and it’s a surprisingly rewarding activity – it’s also impossible to guess from the start who is going to have the natural flair for it and is a good activity if you have to cater to a mixed age group. If you hanker for times gone by when men hunted, pillaged and were served plates of meat by wenches think about incorporating a medieval banquet into the stag weekend. Medieval banquet venues serve up plate after plate of joints, roasts and meat platters, with some even insisting that you feast in the traditional olden day style with just your hands, mouth and knife.
Feel the Fear
There’s a trend at the moment for hair-raising horror activities to try on a stag do. Paintballing no longer cuts the mustard as mates look to terrify the stag, and themselves, in more bizarre and exciting ways. Instead of a getting the stag silly on a dirty pint, really mess with his head with a kidnap-the-stag experience abroad. Hired ‘thugs’ will take the stag, blindfold and hand-cuff him before taking him to a final reveal point where, of course, the rest of the party are waiting to see his face when he realises it was all a set up. Thrill seeking stag parties are also taking part in zombie runs, where the stag and his friends have to run across outdoor terrain where actors, dressed up as terrifying flesh-eating zombies, lurk and wait to chase you down – there are even zombie survival days in abandoned shopping centres where your group has to shoot down zombies with replica Benelli M3s.
Where to find out more
Zombie days are available with firstandonlyevents.co.uk. Enjoy golf, clay shooting and 5-aside football in Newcastle or journey to Cardiff for white water rafting with www.eclipseleisure.co.uk. Go stag skydiving with activitypeople.co.uk