Sometimes I forget that I didn’t start this solely as a travel blog but also for the whole”weekend fun” bit. Sometimes you can’t get out of town but still want to do something fun and different. A themed barcrawl is the perfect answer to this. It’s not your everyday weekend,, gets you out of your normal haunts and lets you (hopefully) see some new places.
This is also something good to plan in advance as it’s an excuse to get people to come to you. It’s like having a party but without all the additional cleanup and preparation. You will need to host people for the weekend, figure out an itinerary and a driving situation (if you could do a walking crawl, then you’re really in business. Public transportation is ok, but hard to coordinate with large groups of people and if you really want to go all out get a limo or party bus. Usually by the time you break everything down the price is pretty reasonable, especially if you plan in advance like suggested.
Here are my top ten ideas:
1) Pub Golf:
For pub golf you’ll need 9 (or 18) bars, score cards and golf attire. The gist is that every bar on your list has a par, whether you want that to be number of drinks consumed or minutes it takes everyone to finish their drink. Everyone in the group adheres to this in order to keep their score on par. You could throw out bonuses at each bar (take a picture on top of the bar, get a stranger’s number etc) in order to help alleviate bad scores at other locals. Make sure somebody responsible is taking score and make sure that you really go heavy on the argyle. And be more creative than a polo shirt and boat shoes. That’s my normal weekend get up.
2) International Bar Crawl:
For this bar crawl you designate each bar on your route a “country” and come up with an appropriate drink to go along with it. For example at “Ireland” you might do a carbomb or shot of Jameson, a shot of tequila in “Mexico”, and a pint of ale in “The UK.” If you live in a town with a lot of bars you might be lucky enough to actually have bars of different origins. I know that Lancaster would be able to host an Irish bar, English pub, Mexican bar and possibly some sort of Asian establishment (there’s a lot of restaurants but I don’t know off the top of my head if/any serve alcohol). Going to a taphouse that has different international samples might also be a fun way to check off multiple countries.
Make it a content and bring a fake passport. Whoever downs all the prescribed cultural experiences wins and encourage participants to dress up as their country of origin.
3) Non-seasonal Holiday Bar Crawl:
My friend texted me a picture last week of a bar she was at in NY that was advertising a Christmas in August celebration. I’m a big fan of non-seasonal holiday celebrations and this are easy because most people have holiday attire lying around and won’t need to be making purchases. Try a Halloween costumed crawl in April or the ever popular Christmas in July.
I would suggest a 4th of July themed during any month, but being patriotic is always in season.
4) Seasonal Bar Crawl (you have to be a little creative here):
Seasonal bar crawls are the easiest. I shouldn’t have to spell this out for you. I’m a personal fan of the ugly Christmas sweater bar crawl.
5) All Star Bar Crawl (not for the faint of heart):
I’ve done an all star bar crawl once. It was a Tuesday night and I had to work the next day. I was 21 and resilient. These days it would probably need 4-5 days recovery time. The purpose of an all-star bar crawl is to see how many bars you could get to in one day. 5 or 6 bars? Nothing, that’s your basic night of barhopping We managed 23 bars between 6-2 in NEPA which meant their was a lot of driving involved (easy we had a DD), but imagine doing this in Scranton or Philly or Manayunk or somewhere extremely walkable and starting in the afternoon. This could get truly epic. Make sure to document each bar with photographs if only to laugh at your falling faces as the day/night goes on.
6) Uni-colored sweatpants:
One time I was at Kildares in Scranton and a bunch of people came in uni-colored old school ankle cuff sweatsuits for no real reason others than they were on a sweatsuit bar crawl. I was instantly smitten.
7) Children’s Vehicle:
I got this idea from the book Die Happy: 499 Things Every Guys Gotta Do While He Still Can that I’m pretty obsessed with and would like to see it come to fruition one day. I feel like this would be difficult to pull off and would need a very flat expanse, very accommodating bar owners and definitely some daylight. You pick a route and travel from bar to bar on children’s vehicles. The book suggests bigwheels but those are expensive so scooters, bouncing balls, wagons, tricycles etc could all work. Bikes are not children’s vehicles. Neither are skateboards.
8) Matching Tee Shirts:
This is the most basic by far but you could really get any group together (co-workers, college friends, ex teammates etc) and get tee shirts made for your bar crawl. It’s easy, you don’t have to embarrass yourself via your outfit (meaning even the boring friends are in) and everyone loves a barcrawl tee shirt (or maybe just University of Scranton grads…I literally have an entire drawer full).
9) Dive Bar:
I feel like I got on dive bar crawls pretty much every time I go out so this wouldn’t be a big deal for me however if you’re more inclined to stick to popular sports bars (or just didn’t grow up in NEPA) this could be a fun change of pace. Only stop at bars where there is no smoking ban. Only stop at bars that look like houses. Only stop at bars that look like their in the midst of decay. Leave bars that have pints priced over $2.00. Get the point? Wear either jorts or dress like you’re going to a country club wedding.
10) Scavenger Hunt Bar Crawl:
The Scavenger Hunt Bar Crawl means dividing your party into several teams. Since the point of these crawls is to bring people together make sure you only do the hunt for an hour or two. Come up with a list of items to obtain and pictures that must be taken and assign each a point value (the harder/more humiliating the item the more points they should have). If possible only let the one or two people planning this be part of the list making process in order to make it more challenging. You probably should have some sort of prize or reward for the winning team whether everyone puts in $5.00 and the winner gets the pot or the loser has to take a shot of the winner’s choice.
*Don’t be upset if the barcrawls veer off course after an hour or so, the main purpose is getting everyone together and having fun, unless you’re doing the all star barcrawl, in which case…leave the weak behind.