Anyone can plan a pub crawl. But it takes a little extra creativity to move beyond "hanging out at the bar" together into an epic night of awesome revelry.
The key is finding a fun theme that everyone can get behind — and one you can pull off with as little planning as possible. Because once you name a theme, a date, a time and a location, everything else falls in place.
Planning your own pub crawl?
You can't just pick any theme
You can always go with themes that everyone else is doing (zombies seems particularly popular these days), but the most successful themes reflect the times — and your personality. Anyone with half a brain can grab a group of friends and head out on the town with no or little planning, but having a theme makes the night memorable. It makes it appealing — if anyone was on the fence about attending when you invited them to your plain old pub crawl, they'll be jumping at the chance to be party of your themed pub crawl.
So what are some good ideas for pub crawl themes? Here are 9 suggestions that will have people clearing their calendars to join you for a night out on the town.
Scavenger hunt theme
Perhaps we're biased because we're such scavenger hunt freaks, but when you add a competition to your pub crawl, everyone jumps in right away. Trying to solve crazy challenges like finding the best beard in the bar and taking a team selfie, or having the bartender create a drink just for your team, brings an unbeatable element of fun to just plain old drinking (which, let's face it, is usually pretty fun all by itself). Finding things is FUN. Completing crazy challenges is FUN. Scavenger hunts are FUN. When you're competing for free drinks at the end of the hunt (always a good prize to offer the winning team), you can bet everyone will bring their A-Game. (Take a look at our scavenger hunt built just for pub crawls!)
"Gotta Drink 'Em All" Pokemon Go Pub Crawl
PokemonGO is all the rage right now, and thus because it's so timely (and has built-in games and moving around), it's a perfect theme for a bar crawl. Meet at your favorite PokeGym and start battling it out over beers. Winners at each location get to pick the next bar.
Hulk Hogan theme
Take your vitamins and say your prayers, because Hulkamania isn't just for the 80s — it's also a chance for you and your friends to wear blonde moustaches and overtly flex your muscles in front of strangers. By letting the Hulk become your alter-ego for the night, you have no other choice than to have an awesome experience. (And if this photo doesn't motivate you enough to try this theme, we don't know what will.)
Pick your favorite 80s movie
Whether it's Top Gun, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Star Wars or The Lost Boys, movies made in the 1980s offer plenty of catchphrases to yell at the bar and costumes to wear that will keep everyone guessing.
Or maybe instead of picking just one movie, you have everyone come dressed as their favorite 80s movie character — that gives everyone a little bit more flexibility when it comes to dressing up (though the photos won't be as cool as if everyone is from the same movie).
Pick your favorite article of clothing
This is a twist on the Snuggie theme, which was popular a few years back. Daniel Tosh is famous for picking one article of clothing that he wears for every season of his show on Comedy Central: cardigan sweater, bow tie, kaftan, and sweater vests. Take your pick, and have everyone wear their favorite version — they can be tame or wild, it's up to the participant.
Literary Pub Crawl
Harry Potter seems an obvious topic, but depending on your taste and style, you could go more classy (Jane Austen, anyone?) or more raunchy (50 Shades of Grey), which sounds like a bachelorette party waiting to happen. You could also have readings along the way, or visit bars that have a literary backstory.
Lumberjack/Lumberjill Pub Crawl
We all can find a flannel shirt, a toque and an eyebrow pencil for a moustache last minute. A lumberjack theme will put you in the mood for drinking, the costume is comfortable (and warm) making it easy to move quickly from pub to pub in the winter months, and the possibility is high for breaking out in song (isn't that something lumberjacks do?). This theme gets bonus points for being easy, unique AND fun.
Dress like your parents
This is a twist on dressing up for a specific era and instead you dress like your parents. Most people will just pick the 90s or the 80s and expand on that theme, but you may have some friends who want to get really specific and wear bow ties or house dresses. What's it like to be your parents on a pub crawl? You're about to find out.
Let the Universe decide
Assuming you've got a date in mind, picking a theme from that day's holidays can be a no brainer. For instance, I just checked, and today is National All or Nothing Day, while March 8 is Be Nasty Day. Use checkiday.com to find out what you should be celebrating today. Or pick a month: August is National Golf Month (come dressed in your favorite collared shirt and tacky pants).
Got any more great theme ideas? Leave 'em in the comments!