The dance only lasts for a few hours, but you want your prom to last all night. There are plenty of options for after prom, from school-sponsored parties, to midnight movies, or parent-supervised bonfires. No matter your after prom activities, plan ahead to create memories. These do's and don'ts can help.
Get sentimental. Prom often marks the end of an era in a special way. Celebrate your youth and take mental pictures throughout the night to really cherish your memories.
Something young. You might be dressed in expensive formal wear, but don't forget to let loose and act your age. Do something silly, like take pictures with goofy glasses or in a mall photo booth. Go out for ice cream in your dresses. Dance to boy bands. Have fun.
Consider a costume change. At some point you'll get tired of wearing your dress and heels. Pack a change of clothes and shoes and change before After Prom. If you're worried about looking cute, choose an outfit that features the color of your dress or wear some sparkly flats and keep your prom jewelry on. You'll have more fun as the night wears on if you're wearing something more comfortable.
Discuss transportation plans. You should have two plans. The first plan is with your date and friends, coordinating rides to the prom and to the After Prom. The second is with your parents or a trusted friend. Make sure you have someone you can call if you want picked up in the middle of the night. Your parents won't be mad if you want them to come get you from a risky situation. Chances are, they'll be proud of you for being so responsible and thinking ahead.
Charge your phone. Pack a wall-charger or a car-charger and make sure your phone is charged. You want to be able to take pictures and videos all night. More importantly, your parents need to be able to reach you and your phone should be ready if you need to call a ride.
Have a breakfast in formal wear. Some of the sweetest prom memories are made over a giant stack of pancakes. Go to a diner or other breakfast restaurant and have a delicious, greasy breakfast with your friends. If you have an early curfew, make plans for the following morning and put your dress back on. Breakfast is a great time to swap your favorite memories and debrief with your friends.
Take extra money. Whether it's mad money for getting home in a sticky situation or cash for tips, late night snacks, or other spontaneous plans, make sure you have a way to pay.
Drink and Drive. Underage drinking is illegal and risky. You don't have to drink to have fun on prom night or to fit in. If you do drink on prom night, under no circumstances should you drink and drive. It's not worth the risk. Either stay where you are, if it's safe, or call your parents or a trusted friend to come get you. Even if you get in trouble, it's better in the long-run than getting behind the wheel after drinking, or riding in the car with a drunk or high driver.
Drive if you're too tired. Parents and teachers talk a lot about drinking and driving. Texting and driving is dangerous too. What doesn't often get mentioned is exhausted drivers. When you're leaving After Prom, you'll have been up all night. Maybe you are excited and alert, but if you're sleepy, call a ride or have someone else drive.
Forget pictures. Parents take tons of pictures before the dance and by the time After Prom comes around you may be tired of snapshots. Remember to take pictures of the After Prom too. The more casual atmosphere creates tons of fun and silly memories you'll want later on.
Stress your parents out. You're craving your independence, but your parents don't want to be left out. Keep your parents in the loop about your plans. Talk to them about transportation and what you're doing for After Prom. Send them pictures from your phone. They love you; help them feel included so they don't worry about you all night. You'll have more fun that way too.
Miss out. If your parents have curfew rules or strict expectations for your prom night, you don't have to be left out. Negotiate a prom plan that allows you to go to a school-sponsored After Prom. If that's not an option, ask your parents if they'd be okay with you joining your friends for breakfast in the morning. That way you get to hear the stories and indulge in the last of the prom activities, even if you had to be home earlier in the night.