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For some of us, our weekends during college and our early 20s was spent blasting that guilty pleasure playlist, getting glammed up and heading out for a night on the town with the girls. Ladies Night was the carrot dangling in front of you as you worked hard during the week. Sometimes our guy friends joined in the fun, but there was something about ladies night that had us looking forward to the weekend. When I was in college, a road trip (one hour each way) to the beach was a favorite activity, too.
The secret we all know is that ladies night is less about picking up guys and more about blowing off steam with friends. While it can be fun, after a while, hitting up a local club or bar can become…depressing.
We start comparing ourselves to younger, more attractive women. And as we mature, there are a lot of younger women in the room at times.
We start feeling like we’re being looked at like a piece of meat out on the dance floor by shady dudes hoping to land a drunk chick. Yeah, I had that unwanted experience dancing with friends in Vegas. I’ll pass on the guy, thank you very much!
Sometimes it goes deeper and we wind up buzzed and wondering what we’re doing with our lives. Need I mention the hangovers, or wreaking of smoke the next day? What’s the point if the after feels worse than you did before going out to blow off steam with your friends?
How about getting your pals together for something new? How about actually being able to hold a conversation and bond?
Here are 21 ways to liven up the usual ladies’ night, which will sometimes be a ladies’ morning or afternoon. (And that’s OK because there’s always someone in the group who can’t make it out at 10PM anyway.)
21 Ways to Liven Up Ladies Night
1) Wine bar or wine tasting- Let’s get fancy! Learn a little something about wines and find your new favorite during this outing.
2) BINGO- Yep, your grandma was onto something all along! This game is actually very fast-paced and (try not to laugh) a mental workout! If nothing else, the people-watching is entertainment enough! Not sure you want to visit a BINGO hall? Then consider a fun dice game like Bunko which just needs tables of 4 to play. Or drag out the cards for some penny poker.
3) Paint your own pottery or painting party- Many local ceramics shops host ladies’ night specials with discounts. Also, every town seems to have a “Vino’s Picasso” or “Painting with a Twist,” wherein you pay a fee, B.Y.O.B. and an instructor walks everyone through a simple painting, providing all of the supplies as well. These parties can be held in the workshop or in private homes.
4) Cooking class- Who couldn’t learn a few proper techniques or tips to use in the kitchen? Community centers offer these and a wealth of other classes, so your group could take a different class every week.
5) Brunch with mimosas- Conversation is different in the light of day. And when’s the last time you made yourself a really good breakfast?
6) Fitness class- Yoga one week, Zumba the next, kickboxing after that? Choose something different each time to keep everyone moving and interested.
7) Go for a hike/stand up paddle board/kayak, etc.- The point here is to get outside, and maybe even out of your comfort zones.
8) Passion party- Everyone laughs and learns at these trendy parties aimed at raising your sexual I.Q. and bringing some spice back into your love life.
9) Volunteer- With so many organizations needing help, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved. Whether you all spend a few hours at the animal shelter, soup kitchen, throwing a party for lonely seniors or cleaning up a local beach, you’ll be glad you did.
10) Self-defense class- You won’t feel foolish if you all go and learn together. These important skills will be remembered throughout your life.
11) Karaoke- Go on and make a fool of yourself, or pretend you’ve finally landed that audition on The Voice. If you don’t sing, that’s cool, too. Your friends need a cheering section!
12) Bowling- You probably haven’t been bowling with friends wince you were a kid. Use bumpers if you must, but give yourself a fake name, Instagram your awesome shoes and laugh the night away!
13) Group bike ride- Don’t have a bike? Rent one! Even better, rent one of those multi-person bikes! This will take window shopping to a whole new level.
14) Slumber party- You read that right. Have a grown up sleepover. If no one has the right space for it, get a hotel room for the night. Jump on the bed, rent movies, play board games, and be sure to pull out all the nostalgic stops!
15) Makeup/candle/nail party- There are so many direct sales representatives (You probably know several.), who would LOVE to entertain your group for the night. Everyone gets to snack and socialize while shopping from the comfort of home (and helping to empower the entrepreneur).
16) Picnic- Plan a simple potluck in the park or at the beach. Lay out blankets in the grass and have a traditional picnic. With minimal distraction, it will be a great way to catch up.
17) Celebrity home/historic tour- Learn something new about your city by signing up for a tour.
18) Museum/art gallery- Stroll through area art galleries or museums. You never know what will inspire you.
19) Concert- Find out which musicians are coming to your area and get tickets to the show. Whether big or small, this outing will be memorable.
20) Comedy club- Who couldn’t use a good laugh? Just don’t sit in the front row, unless you have thick skin!
21) Open mic night- As with karaoke, you don’t have to participate in this one. Speakers and performers love to have a full audience, and these are free events! If you do muster the courage to get up there, know that it doesn’t take great artistry to read a page out of your favorite book, or share something that inspired you recently.
Which will you convince your friends to try first?