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The Non-Amateur’s Guide to Smuggling Alcohol to Public Events

The Non-Amateur’s Guide to Smuggling Alcohol to Public Events

If you’re staying in DC to watch the the annual fireworks display this 4th of July, the National Parks Service has an important message for you: no firearms, drones, alcohol, glass containers, explosives, or rogue fireworks on its property.

You see this type of message a lot around Washington, and for the most part it’s easy to comply with. What kind of person needs to bring their own fireworks to a fireworks display, anyway? That being said, you may find yourself at events this summer when a drink feels less optional. If you fit in any of the categories below, you might just be able to drink in the splendor of our nation’s capital and the beverage of your choice.

For the Veteran Bird Watcher


Roll up to a security checkpoint with Truefabrications’ binoculars flask draped around your neck and talk loudly about your long day of birding at one of the area’s many parks. Never mind that the only thing you can see through the lenses is liquor–when paired with a drawstring bucket hat and a safari vest, no one will know the difference. Binoculars flask, $19; bucket hat, $6-$18; safari vest, $35-$100; all at Amazon.

For the Thirsty Athlete

The WineRack  is the perfect accessory for revelers looking for a hands-free way to hydrate. Before you brave DC crowds, pump this sports bra full of your favorite libation. You can sip on the attached straw the whole night, just don’t pull it out while you’re going through security. Pair with American Flag Leggings for extra flair. WineRack, $30; leggings, $10; all at Amazon.

For Someone Who Wants a Little Extra

Be bold in your choice of accessories this summer. Blush Charade makes an ’80s-style bangle, in a variety of colors, that also happens to hold four ounces of liquid. Stack on multiple bangles for maximum fun. $45 at Amazon.

For the Drinker Who Never Has a Hair Out of Place

What sort of well-coiffed outdoorsperson would dream of being without a hairbrush? You can tame your hair and stay hydrated with the Paddle Brush Secret Flask. Just pour your favorite beverage into the handle, throw it in your bag, and begin grooming yourself if anyone’s looking. $19 at Amazon.

For Someone Who Sees Rain in the Forecast

Don’t let rain ruin your summer day. With Smuggle Your Booze’s hidden flask umbrella in your bag, you can solemnly talk about the Capital Weather Gang’s Express Forecast as long as the fuzz is within earshot. Note: This is not actually a real working umbrella. If there’s actually rain on the horizon, pack a spare. From $10 at Amazon.

For Someone With Flawless Skin

Forget about exterior moisturizing. Internal hydration is key. With GoPong’s Lotion Flasks, you can carry booze wherever you go, all while making your friends feel bad about their skincare practices. Pair with a flawless complexion. $8 at Amazon.

For the Patriot Who’s Not Afraid of a Ticket

The Freedom Flask is essentially a plastic pouch that you fill with liquor and stuff in your crotch for easy accessibility. The college students that developed the Freedom Flask insist that “If you think it may be awkward pouring a drink from your fly – it’s not.” But be careful how you share your drinks! A ticket for peeing in public might earn you only temporary notoriety, but if things go really wrong your photo could end up taped to metal detectors for the rest of your life. $20 at

For Someone Stuck in the Early 2000s

Who says digital cameras are passé? Binocktails’ camera flask holds five ounces of liquid you can easily pour into a nearby drink. Pair with frosted tips and cargo shorts for the full early 2000s look. Say cheese! Fake camera, $16 at Amazon; cargo shorts, $22 (half off!) at Poshmark.

For the Unconcerned Bon Vivant

Maybe you’re not a wine bra type of person. That’s okay–some people are happiest with a classic flask. This one by Stanley is sleek, discreet, and may even outlast your drinking problem. $11.48 on Amazon.

And remember, the best accessory is always moderation. Be safe!

Courtney Vinopal is a former Washingtonian editorial fellow. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, and previously worked as a press attaché for the Embassy of France in Washington, where she ran the institution’s social media accounts and newsletters. She lives in Woodley Park.