When you hear the words "bachelorette party," many things come to mind: themed decor, a lot of drinking, and a LOT of cash spent. But a bachelorette party doesn't have to fit that stereotypical image. Drinking and hiring a stripper aren't the only ways to celebrate your departure from singlehood. The era of the alternative bachelorette party is (thankfully) here, and there are plenty of unconventional and awesome bachelorette party ideas to take inspiration from.
According to The Knot, typical bachelorette parties, depending on the city you live in, can cost up to $1,958, with an average cost of a three-day bachelorette party trip coming in at a whopping $1,400. Odds are you and your guests are already sinking money into travel and lodging for the upcoming wedding, so the last thing you want is to take a party and make it stressful when the dollar amounts start to add up. While there's nothing wrong with getting everyone together on a trip, there are plenty of ways to have fun without making it a big getaway, and to make it more affordable and accessible to everyone in your wedding party. You just have to be willing to get creative — here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Go To A Group Class
Nothing bonds a bunch of girls like sweating it out together, whether you opt for something intense like a cycling class, or more beginner-friendly like an introductory Zumba class. Plus, you have the option of treating yourselves 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. Enjoy the great outdoors with bonding hikes and roasting s'mores. Just make sure you include squad members with actual 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 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 your BFFs
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 — you never know where the night might take you!
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 one heck of a workout — be prepared to roll out some sore muscles the next day!
9. Book A Cooking Class
Why not learn some useful skills from your bachelorette? A cooking class is a great idea, and odds are you'll get to eat whatever it is you cook, so you'll save money on dinner, too.
10. Take a Cocktail Class
Even more useful than cooking? Learning how to make cocktails! You all can have your very own Coyote Ugly moment, and maybe even dream up a signature cocktail for the wedding that will feel even more meaningful, since you came up with it together.
11. Go Bungee Jumping, Sky-Diving, Or To iFly
There is no bigger plunge than marriage, so why not metaphor it out with a group bungee jumping session or sky-diving! Since odds are not everybody in your party will be on board with this idea, you can also look into iFly or other places offering "indoor skydiving," which is all of the thrill of falling out of the sky without actually, uh, falling out of the sky.
12. Visit A Psychic
Provide the bride with a (hopefully good) psychic reading on her impending marriage. Get everyone's readings done and then head out to dinner to compare your futures, and toast the the blissfully wedded one the bride has ahead.
13. Have A Craft Party
DIY it up with your own bachelorette crafting party. Paint wine glasses, make a scrapbook, make your own candles with signature scents that match each of your personalities. Still need some more inspo? Here are a bunch of DIY project ideas to get you started.
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. Make sure to take a bunch of photos so you can display them during the wedding reception.
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. Ask each member of the wedding party what fun, inexpensive excursion they want to go on, then make a little map of your town from there.
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. You might end up loving it so much that you make it a tradition, and head to the same festival for years to come.
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, run a charity race together, or find an activity that helps to raise money for a cause that is meaningful to the wedding party or their family in some way.
18. Cross Items Off The Bucket List
Get the bride going on her bucket list with the help of her friends. Brainstorm a big list of all the things you said you were going to do in college or after you graduated, but never got organized enough to pull off. 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 — and won't have to worry half as much about getting tagged in a photo with a stranger's butt in wiggling in her face ten years down the line.
20. Have A Self-Care Themed Party
Instead of dealing with a hangover the next morning, why not make it a weekend or day of replenishment? Do some yoga, have a farm-to-table meal, or take a meditation class. Have a day where you take care of your bodies and souls, or just hit the reset button.
21. Have A Trapeze Party
A little bit daredevil, a lot about building trust: She'll never forget her swingin' trapeze lesson bachelorette. You can look into where you can book trapeze parties local to you, or inquire with a place offering trapeze lessons about setting up a party yourself.
22. Look Into Airbnb Experiences
Airbnb isn't just for traveling and staying the night — the company is now offering Airbnb Experiences tailored to specific areas. Whether you're celebrating in your hometown or out of the area, odds are there's some kind of gem of an activity on offer that you might not have known about on your own.
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
Fragrance parties are becoming all the rage for bachelorettes. Why not create a signature perfume for you and your wedding party? You can all wear it when you go down the aisle, and always associate the scent with your big day.
25. Combine Forces
Who says the bachelorette party has to stay separate from a partner's? 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. The more the merrier!