When you hear the words "bachelorette party," many things come to mind: penis straws, a lot of drinking, and a LOT of cash spent. But a bachelorette party doesn't have to fit that stereo-typical image. Drinking and hiring a stripper aren't the only ways to celebrate a woman's departure from singlehood. The era of the alternative bachelorette party is (thankfully) here, and these are some of the best ideas we've seen:
1. Go to an intense exercise class like SoulCycle or Ballet Barre
Nothing bonds a bunch of girls like sweating it out together — and treating yourself to a round of celebratory cocktails after.
2. Go Camping
Why does a bachelorette have to be at a fancy night club? Instead, get in touch with nature together. Rub some dirt on your face. Just make sure you include a few gals with camping experience on your excursion.
3. Have an Old-school sleepover
This one is super cheap and a great excuse to eat ice cream sundaes. And if you feel like splurging a bit more, rent a hotel room (your 13-year-old self will be so thrilled!). Then just watch a bunch of movies about bachelorette parties.
4. Play Paintball in YOUR OLD BRIDESMAID DRESSES!
What's better than paintball, you ask? Destroying bridesmaid dresses that you will never wear again. Known as Bridal Paintball, this is for the bachelorette with a sense of humor who's not afraid to get dirty.
5. Have a Glamour Shots Bachelorette Party
Everyone is going to be on her phone for half of the time Instagramming, so why not make the party all about the photos? Go to a portrait studio and dress up in elaborate costumes. Maybe you'll even decide to keep the costumes on for your night out on the town.
6. Take a Museum Hack Tour
A museum tour at a bachelorette party? Sounds ridiculous right? Not so fast. Museum Hack tours give you backstage, renegade tours of museums. The NYC-based startup has tours of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History. You get to see a lot of things you wouldn't see if you were by yourself or with a museum-affiliated tour group. It's like your very own Night at the Museum but instead of Ben Stiller, it's a bunch of girls.
7. Have a Scavenger Hunt
If you are great at planning games, why not make a really elaborate scavenger hunt for your bachelorette? One that involves a bit of traveling, solving riddles, talking to strangers, etc...
8. Take a Pole Dancing Class
Take a cue from Brandi Glanville and make your whole bachelorette about learning how to wrap your body around a pole. These are actually really fun and not as awkward as they sound.
9. Book a cooking class
Why not learn some useful skills from your bachelorette? A cooking class is a great idea, and it will arguably help you more than those pole dancing techniques.
10. Take a cocktail class
Even more useful than cooking? Learning how to make cocktails! The bride and your bridesmaids can have your very own Coyote Ugly moment.
11. Go bungee jumping or sky-diving
There is no bigger plunge than marriage, so why not metaphor it out with a group bungee jumping session or sky-diving!
12. Visit a psychic
Provide the bride with a (hopefully good) psychic reading on her impending marriage. Throw in a ouija board and some floaty scarves, and you've got a theme party.
13. Have a craft party
DIY it up with your own bachelorette crafting party. Paint wine glasses, make a scrapbook, make wedding favors!
14. Take a Road Trip
Who says road trips are just for post-college ramblings and cross-country moves? Take a cue from The Sweetest Thing and just have a fun and inexpensive two- or three-day journey.
15. Keep it moving
Start at one friend's house with one activity, then move to two more throughout the night. Or maybe go from manicurist to massage parlor to drinks!
16. check out a festival
There are always festivals happening in towns and cities, especially in the summer. Go to one and have all the entertainment and food done for you.
17. Give Back
Move away from the "This is all about the bride" mentality and give a little back. Volunteer at a homeless or animal shelter. Build a house! In lieu of gifts, have everyone donate to the bride's favorite charity!
18. Make it a Bucket list bachelorette
Get the bride going on her bucket list with the help of her friends. You probably can't do all of it, but you can do a lot.
19. Go to a comedy club
Instead of a strip club, why not a comedy club? The bride will still get plenty of attention!
20. Opt for a Health-themed bachelorette
Instead getting horribly hungover and eating terribly, why not make it a weekend or day of replenishment? Do some yoga, have a farm-to-table meal and meditate.
21. Have a Trapeze party
A little bit dare-devil, a lot about building trust: She'll never forget her swingin' trapeze lesson bachelorette.
22. Herd cattle
It sure looked fun in City Slickers, so why the heck not? You can't do that in Puerto Rico.
23. Play poker
Instead of going all the way to Vegas, why not just play poker at someone's house with great food and drinks? If you don't know how to play, hire someone to come teach you all. It's a great game (and a good way to pick up a little cash on the side, or graciously lose to the bride).
24. Make scents
Sounds weird, right? But actually fragrance parties are becoming all the rage for bachelorettes. Why not create a signature perfume for you and all your bachelorettes?
25. Team up with the boys
Who says bachelorettes have to be sex exclusive? Many couples have the same group of friends, making it easier (and more fun) to celebrate as a group. Plus you can pool your money. And believe it or not, sometimes men and women have fun doing the same activities... crazy, right?