The words “bachelorette party” might conjure images of overflowing shots of tequila, barhopping festivities that carry on late into the night, and ahem, a certain type of decorative straw. Boozey bachelorette parties definitely have their place for sure—but they might not be for everyone.
If your group isn’t the drinking kind, that certainly doesn’t mean you have to skip out on a bachelorette party altogether. Bachelorette parties are great for marking the big life transition as well as for celebrating awesome friendships, both new and old.
And if you’re willing to think outside of the traditional bar idea, there are tons of great alcohol-free options. Here are some of our favorite ideas:
Adventure is Calling
With mountain-themed and adventurous weddings on the rise, so are thrill-seeking bachelorette parties. Skip the Las Vegas strip and opt for outdoorsy activities like zip-lining, biking, skiing, or hiking.
Some of our favorites hiking spots include Joshua Tree National Park and the Blue Ridge Mountains, and we love Colorado and Utah for skiing. Consider rock climbing in Moab or Acadia National Parks or giving stand up paddle boarding a go in San Diego. The possibilities of outdoor adventures are endless—or perhaps glamping is more your thing?…
A Day of Pampering
No matter how fun and exciting they are, weddings can still be downright exhausting for the many people involved. Instead of nursing a hangover, plan a spa-themed bachelorette party for a little pre-wedding self-care. This can include anything from massages to blowouts to mani-pedis to mud baths. And if you have a bridal party with varying budgets, this is a perfect route for allowing attendees to pick and choose what type of services they can afford without having to break the bank.
Few things beat a really good meal—especially one with your girlfriends. Consider mapping out some of the best foodie restaurants in town and hop around for an evening of small plates, or get your hands messy and schedule a cooking class. Many restaurants and bakeries offer specialized classes—perfect for a group of those who know their way around the kitchen and novices alike. Consider a wood-fired pizza night, focaccia classes, or learn how to make dumplings. Or for the tea lovers, take a lesson from the British and throw a proper afternoon tea party.
Attending a local craft workshop is a fun way to spend time with girlfriends. Airbnb Experiences is a great place to start regardless if the bachelorette party is in a different city or your hometown. Here you’ll find everything from pottery to jewelry making to calligraphy—all of which can be very useful skills for wedding planning (hint, hint).
Who says you have to go far for a bachelorette party? Sometimes you just need your best people, in the same room, at the same time. Pull out the board games and card games and settle in for a fun night in. Cads About Matrimony is a popular wedding-related game that gets the whole crowd involved, or stick with traditional favorites like poker and Monopoly. Or if you need some more game ideas, we’ve got you covered right here.
An Evening with the Arts
Is the bride-to-be a theatre lover? Consider nabbing tickets to Hamilton or an old classic like West Side Story or Phantom of the Opera. Live music shows also make for a great bach party, or opt for a night at the museum. Museum Hack leads unconventional tours on some of the best museums around, sharing the gossip, scandal, and secrets behind the artwork. They have specially curated tours for bachelorette parties and work to make them ultra-personalized to your group. They currently operate in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and D.C.
Have Fun with Florals
From wreath-making to floral crowns to succulent jewelry, DIY floral parties are all the rage lately. Swap the alcohol for tea and coffee, and settle into a slow, relaxing afternoon learning how to make vibrant arrangements or botanical masterpieces with your girls. And there’s a bonus: plan it close enough to the wedding and the bridesmaids can create their own personalized bouquets for the big day. It’s a win-win.
GO Old School
It’s an inevitable part of getting older—we get busy with our own individual lives, careers, and relationships and have a hard time catching up with our best friends…which is why nothing beats an old-fashioned slumber party. It’s cozy, nostalgic, fun and inexpensive. So, call your girlfriends, pack your favorite pj’s and snacks, and prepare your argument for the age-old debate over the best Friends character.
Get specific… very, very specific
Think about what the bride-to-be really loves and use that as a springboard. Does she love Harry Potter? Get your main muggles together and plan a magical themed bachelorette party or hop on a broomstick and head to Harry Potter World for Butterbeer (don’t worry, it’s non-alcoholic). Big Game of Thrones fan? Throw a pool party with dragon floats, personalized GOT mugs, and all the “Wedding is coming” references you can sprinkle in. (You can even fight over who gets to be Mother of Dragons, but you should probably let the bride have that one.)
One last thought on an alcohol-free bachelorette party …
Since you won’t be spending time in line waiting for drinks at a bar or heading off a hangover the next day, chances are you’ll be able to plan multiple fun outings all in one weekend.
A central message board like Guestboard is the perfect place for sharing planning ideas, whether you’re deciding between your favorite trails to hike or choosing between a bread baking or pasta making class (tip: go for both). It also helps each bridesmaid know who is in charge of what—which means less time stressing and more time for fun.
Just remember, you don’t need to fill up on champagne and cocktails to have the best bachelorette party ever—all you need are your best girlfriends and a little bit of creative thinking.