Offbeat bachelorette party ideas

Photo courtesy of She-n-He Photography and Design.
Photo courtesy of She-n-He Photography and Design.

We get a lot of emails asking for bachelorette party advice and then recently I was asked by a soon-to-be married friend of mine for offbeat bachelorette party ideas, citing that, "The awesome male strip revue that we were going to go see only has shows on Friday and Saturday and my party is on a Wednesday night. Boooooo. I need offbeat bachelorette party ideas!"

So here we go, I've rounded up a few bachelorette/hens night ideas…

The laid back

Mineral Mud Bath
Photo courtesy of janeyeseeyou via Flickr.
  • Spa day. Perfect for those that just wanna sit back and get pampered before their wedding instead of partying it up, risking a hangover. Grab your closest friends and bond over mani/pedis, massages, or go to one of those places that have those huge mud baths. Those are awesome.
  • Wine/liquor tasting Rent a limo or chose a designated driver and then go wine/beer/liquor tasting. Make sure to buy a bottle (or case) of the bride's favorite wine at each stop for her to share with her partner.

The adventurous


  • Trapeze class. Take a plunge before you take the plunge (instant rimshot) with a trapeze class.
  • Scavenger hunt. Great for the really creative bridal parties that love to go all out. But, if you don't wanna do the work and just want to enjoy the hunt, there are companies out there that put these things together. Like my friend's company, Wise Guys Events that features a bachelorette party game: it is a bar-crawl type game, entirely customizable, with secret agents waiting in different bars that have clues hidden somewhere on their person. (Mention codeword "sharkbite" for a 5% discount, LOL!)

The silly

Photo courtesy of She-n-He Photography and Design.
  • Ugly dress party. Find a big batch of heinous wedding dresses online for cheap and then get your friends and bridesmaids together to have a "Let's re-imagine these ugly dresses party!" And then go out on the town in them! (This idea came to us from She-n-He Photography and Design, click here to see more info from that night.)
  • Drag shows. Never not fun. (Just make sure you're clear that they're ok with bachelorette parties first.)
  • "A cold one and some adult entertainment" aka ice cream, a trip by the local gaming/fantasy store, and an evening of Dramatic Readings of Really Bad Dragon Erotica. (This idea came from Offbeat Bride Tribe member "Ariel (but not that one).")
  • Karaoke! Need I say more?

The crafty

  • Tom's shoe decorating party. Tribesmaid "WowJunkie" suggested a Style Your Sole party. She explains, "A Style Your Sole party is people coming together to express themselves and help children in need by customizing their own blank, canvas TOMS." It's a charitable and creative good time.
  • Baking party. Take a group baking class — yummy treats and lots of sugar. Or get together the night before the wedding and have everyone bake and then decorate the cupcakes you will serve at your wedding. Of course make sure to bake extras to eat during the party!

The weekend

Welcome to Las Vegas Sign
Photo courtesy of Roadsidepictures via Flickr.
  • Vegas baby! Don't know about you, but when I think bachelor/ette parties I think of Las Vegas. Spend the weekend in Sin City dancing, drinking, gambling and smelling like cigarettes. It's a time-honored tradition.
  • Music festival. Use your bachelorette party as an excuse to spend the weekend at your favorite music festival. Check out FestivalFinder.com to see if there is one that coincides with your wedding plans.
  • Camping Great for those parties that want to get away on the cheap, and for the kind of girls who ain't afraid to get dirty. Go camping somewhere that had nearby hiking trails, natural water falls or the best yet — natural hot springs!

The girlie

  • Old school slumber party. Blow up air mattresses, grab your sleeping bags, order pizza and then stay up all night watching your guilty pleasure movies and get goofy in your pjs.
  • 80s night. Tribesmaid "Oii 2. ESBiE" said that she and about ten girls drunkenly give each other HORRIBLE '80s makeovers and then walked a couple blocks to the local independent theatre to see their midnight movie, which is usually a cult classic of some kind (like The Evil Dead, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Pretty in Pink, etc.).
  • Take a belly dancing or a pole dancing class. I know a bunch of people who have taken both of these classes and they all say how much they loved them. And the great part about doing it as a group is, who cares if you look like a fool, at least you're looking silly together. Plus the bride might pick up some fun tips for a wedding night lap dance!

The risque

<Jessica and her bachelorette party clan
Photo courtesy of garyfgarcia on Flickr.
  • Boudoir photo shoot. All the ladies pitch in so that the bride can get some awesome sexy (classy optional) photos done as a gift to both herself and her new husband! Bring drinks and gift her with sexy outfits to wear. For Washington brides, check out recent sponsor, Seattle Boudoir Photography's bachelorette party deal.
  • Sex toy party. Along with Tupperware and make-up, sex toys are have entered the world of multi-level marketing parties, except these particular parties are WAY more fun than viewing Tupperware. Ask a consultant to come over to your house and spend the night drinking and playing with vibrators.
  • Strip club. Who says that strip clubs are only for bachelor parties? A gentlemen's or lady's club, either one can be fun and entertaining. I know I've been fascinated a time or two ma'self. And if you're looking for something a little more artsy, check out a burlesque club.

Want even more ideas?

A few posts from our archives…

  1. You can also hire a bellydancer to come to your house and do a performance and lesson for all the girls. That way it is more intimate and fun and drunk if you want to!!!

    8 agree
  2. This post is awesome! Thanks! I think I'll combine 80's night with some pole classes! That should surely create some blackmail photos, or at least good times:)

    4 agree
    • Agreed! These are some wild and crazy ideas! Add to the list: rent a party bus for a safe and sane party.

      4 agree
  3. LOVE the ugly dress idea! (and vegas sounds kinda fun too….) I went to 3 cool places in NYC for my bachelorette party! The 1st one had gorgeous men (dressed to the nines as women!!!)

    -kelley

    5 agree
    • Hey, I'm throwing a bachelorette party in NYC this summer. Could you suggest some venues? I live here, but I'm still coming up short on anything creative. My bride loves her some cross-dressing men and I think she'd love something like where you went. I will Google, of course, but a tried and true venue would be sweet. Thanks!

      2 agree
  4. I love the spa idea combined with the boudoir photo shoot. What a great way to spend some quality fun time with your friends. You can also have great fun with the boudoir photo shoot and the memory will be there for years to come.

    3 agree
  5. I totally did the grown-ass woman slumber party. It was a great way for all my closest lady friends from different points in my life to get together and really spend time together. It was also really inexpensive for everyone involved. I just asked everyone to bring their favorite slumber party junk food and then made waffles for everyone in the morning.

    8 agree
  6. Along the lines of the sex toy party, but with a new-agey, spiritual, romantic twist: a tantric sex workshop party. I found a woman in Chicago who was willing to do a group workshop for my best friend (the bride) and our friends for, I think, around $600. This was in 2007, so the current price may be different, and unfortunately, I don't have her info any more. Even more unfortunately, times were a little tight for the Maids and we couldn't get the money together between all of us. But I think it'd be an amazing experience if you're able to do it! Do a search to see if there are any tantric sex teachers in your area; you might be surprised :-).

    3 agree
  7. The night before I got married, we had the girls over and did a wedding-themed murder mystery bachelorette party right after the rehearsal. It was so much fun, and it totally got rid of all the rehearsal stress. We had to do something that would be appropriate for many ages since both my little sister and my husband's little sister were in the wedding and I wanted to include them in the party, and the murder mystery party was the perfect thing. Totally recommend!

    10 agree
    • Where'd you get the murder mystery stuff to pull it off? Sounds perfect!!!

      6 agree
      • I've found games in thrift stores, online (they're cheaper used), but I've also seen them new in stores with board games!

        They're a lot of fun, but don't have a whole lot of replay value (unless you play with an entirely different group), so it seems like a lot of people put them up on ebay when they're done with them.

  8. Seriously loving the advice pieces!

    A girlfriend of mine did a pirate party, we dressed up like pirates, made play dough penis', did a stripersize class, went to a "pirates only" local punk show (where even people who weren't part of the bachelorette party were dressed up like pirates!)! Good Times!

    4 agree
  9. Love the camping idea! That's actually exactly what my fiance is doing, and what a friend of ours did. Definitely relaxing for those who are into the outdoors.

    I'm going to a great laser tag place with my girls. I wanted to go play paintball, but as someone pointed out the risk of getting a big ol' bruise in the wrong place is too high. Laser tag seemed like the harm-free alternative.

    4 agree
  10. Those of you lucky enough to have a Lush (www.lush.com) in your area- they throw bachelorette parties! After hours, free facials/foot/hand massages. Free to use the space, they just ask that each person purchases $20/merch. you can bring wine and food too.
    Mine's going to be there over the summer.
    I. CAN. NOT. WAIT!

    25 agree
    • I love Lush! My husband and I backpacked around the UK for our honeymoon, and I was hooked! That deal is awesome.

      2 agree
    • Thanks so much for this tip. Just called and got the details on the local store. I love their stuff! Might just be the perfect way to kick off the night.

      2 agree
  11. In days past, I worked as a kayak guide and took out a group of ladies on a day tour for a bachelorette party. We happened to see a wedding going on on a boat during the trip, which we all agreed was auspicious.

    2 agree
    • This looks like so much fun! I wish it wasn't so far away!

      2 agree
  12. We recently had a party that started at the roller derby (Rat City Roller Girls – holla!). That was fun, and we ate nachos.

    5 agree
    • i'm doing this too– this saturday! i live in l.a., so the night begins with the derby dolls, and ends with burlesque at jumbo's clown room. can't wait!

      1 agrees
  13. All I can say is I'm a little jealous of my fiancee's bachelor party coming up, and if my bridesmaid's are planning anything like this for me, I will be one happy bachelorette. This is not for the faint hearted, but I would love to do it: Go to a shooting range and get lessons on shooting guns. Yep I know, it's violent and reinforces any number of non-PC paradigms, but c'mon, so do any number of things many of us are doing around our weddings. It just seems so indulgent and over the top and exhilerating! To top that, one of the groomsmen found a guy willing to give them a lesson on SHOOTING AN UZI!!! Color me green with envy! What a buzz! After that, we'd put on fancy clothes in a limo and go eat, drink and dance the night away. I wish I would've thunk it first!

    7 agree
    • All the boys in my family go skeet shooting on the morning of their wedding(s). Since I have been with them all since birth I normally go to. This is a fun idea for girls too – especially in Vegas!!! (They totally have all the signs for which ranges rent guns at the airport)

      2 agree
    • ooh ooh! i wanted to do this too, but there's a lot going on right now (of course) and i didn't want to pile too much onto one day. i've actually enjoyed shooting the few times i've done it, it is indeed exhilarating!

      2 agree
    • That's awesome! I'm an NRA instructor- this is a GREAT activity for girls! Very empowering- girls usually ALWAYS shoot better than guys (at least my students do). My Fiance and I go to the range with each other often enough- it's too much fun!

  14. We're going a bit more offbeat and having a combined bachelor/bachelorette party, but we're renting this nifty deal called the Land Shark which is a truck/boat that picks you up at a desired location and then goes across the harbor before dropping you off at the bars. Not too expensive, lots of booze, accommodates a ton of people, plus you get to drunkenly bark at sea lions on the buoys you pass, which is always my favorite!

    7 agree
  15. Because some of my cousins are underage, we're doing a bowling party earlier in the evening, followed by a pub crawl to all my neighbourhood favourites. Hopefully we'll end up at a Pizza Pizza or eating shawarma in some sketchy little place. I can't wait!

    3 agree
  16. my friend rented us a beachhouse from someone she knew and we sipped on the beach all wknd. we had every kind of bachelorette party favor imaginable, including a weener cake with a mustache! haha and my friends came from all over the state to chill with us! it was so awesome.

    1 agrees
  17. We spent a weekend at a Food and Wine Summit. Spending an evening with my girls tasting amazing food and wine, and then staying at a hotel together was PERFECT for us.

    2 agree
  18. My hen night's this saturday! I'm so excited! We've planned it for 5 weeks before the wedding to avoid any UPI's (Unidentified party Injuries) for the big day. We're starting at a vintage clothing store where we'll be making hair fascinators, followed by a meal at one of my fave Italian restaurants. We'll finish up with necking copious amounts of booze and giggling in bars!

    1 agrees
  19. I just had my bachelorette party last weekend, and I first I was freaking out because I thought there would be male strippers and nonsense involved. Luckily, my friend is an amazing party planner and we started out the night with some good old fashioned bowling and nachos and finished up with good old fashioned karaoke!!
    Another option she gave me was a show at a comedy club, which would've been great, but I knew I would want to be gabbing with my girlfriends all night instead.
    Great post!!

    1 agrees
  20. Yessssss, slumber party! Here was my Favorite Ladies Party:
    1) Pottery painting at a hastily researched local pottery painting business. We were kept there for hours in this crazy woman's house and cellar and had to keep going back, risking being eaten by a panther one time, to collect all of our artwork. So we made some lasting memories.
    2) The bar. Of course.
    3) Fell asleep in a mess of sleeping bags watching Labyrinth.
    So yeah I'd say it was pretty off the hook… Haha.

    4 agree
  21. I recently had to give up drinking because of my ulcer, which took all of the bachelorette party ideas I'd had off the table. After much deliberation, I'm going supernerd – my best friend and I are taking a little road trip (1 1/2 – 2 hr drive) to go to two different museums (with dinosaurs!) and I'm getting a dinosaur t-shirt to wear for the occasion. Science party!

    4 agree
  22. At mine, we had greek food (with flaming cheese!) and then went and played putt-putt in the rain. It was goofy and low-key and a whole lot of fun. :)

    1 agrees
  23. My best friend is a non-drinker and has serious issues with strippers, male or female, so for her bachelorette party we flex to St. Louis the week before her wedding and had a girls weekend of eating out, wandering around doing silly tourist things, laughing our butts off and going to a Cure concert because that's her favorite band. It was absolutely awesome, and 10 years later it is still the absolutely best bachelorette party I've ever been to!

    4 agree
  24. The slumber Party sounds fun. For my hen's night, I didn`t want something trashy and sleezy – I love my man, marrying him was not something to comiserate. So my amazing MOH came with the idea of a 'Let's be six' themed night, based on a Winnie the Pooh quote. It was great, everyone dressed up with pigtails, ribbons, plastic accessories. We had dinner, hit a bar, they got me a tarot reader, and then we played elastics (old primary school game) for an hour in the local square before meeting up with the bucks. We had walkers by stoping to play, with my MOH handing out lolly rings as prizes! Best night ever, and so many people have commented on how FUN it was!

    2 agree
  25. My sisters and friends of mine arranged for an evening at our local circus school. We played on the trampoline, trapeze and this hoop hanging from the ceiling, and learned how to spin plates on sticks and juggle! It was a blast, and way more fun than some of the girls expected it to be. ;)

    4 agree
  26. I did the wine tour that was a Jack and Jill a few weeks ago, which was a lot of fun. The bride and groom even made tee shirts!

    1 agrees
  27. We are doing the music festival route (All Good!), but the day or two before, since I have friends and family from all over the country, we are going to do a kickball game! We'll be printing "brides vs. grooms" t-shirts, and we are going to order a bunch of pizzas and a few kegs to help break the ice for all of our friends and family who don't really know each other. That way, everyone will be a little bit more loose at the wedding. Can't wait!

    1 agrees
  28. only because I want to brag about my amazing friends….They threw me "AshBash". I am of lover of David Bowie and all things glam rock. So they threw me a glam rock costume party. They even hired a David Bowie impersonator. There was a disco ball and red carpet photo booth. They made a huge light box that simply said ash bash. It was amazing.

    We did a carnical theme for another friend and a victorian funeral for one that got married last fall (her wedding theme was very victorian)

    4 agree
  29. I think you just saved my 30th Birthday (and perhaps bachelorette too, but that's months away and I'm not dealing with it yet.) I've been wanting a scavenger hunt but couldn't find the time to organize it all. I hadn't thought of hiring someone to help. Awesomeness.

  30. Love the 80s night idea. It'd give me a chance to reuse the fabulous bubble dress I bought for a previous 80s shindig…

    My love and I are planning on hanging out on and off on bachelor/bachelorette party day. We might get everyone together to float the Boise river early in the day, then probably have a casual barbecue in the backyard. Then we'll split up and hit the bars (OMG in fabulous 80s-wear?!?!?) and regroup later in the night. We like each other's friends, and we don't really feel like we're ball-and-chaining each other, so hanging out as a big group for a lot of the time sounds super fun to us.

  31. for mine, my girls planned a 50s-themed bowling-and-ice-cream-sundae night. they even made matching bowling shirts. =) we had these little old ladies come up to us at the alley and talk about when they used to go bowling after school wearing the same [poodle and pencil] skirts we were. it was fun. =)

    2 agree
  32. My bridesmaids have organised a burlesque class for us I'm so excited!! Apparently nipple tassels and gloves are provided..think I may need a wee drink first!

  33. My amazing maid of honor threw me a feminist sci-fi themed bachelorette party! We all dressed up as female sci-fi/fantasy/nerd characters and played "Feminist Bingo." I still have the sign saying, "Welcome to Feminist Comicon," on my living room wall. :-)

    1 agrees
  34. Hellloooo. Shooting!

    I don't even think i'm biased when I say I had tehe best bachelorette party of all time.

    2 agree
  35. My friends totally know me… so they surprised me with a trip to a baseball game! (I grew up in Boston; the Sox are in the water.) Then the night before the wedding my husband and I shared a joint party at the Spy Museum [ http://www.spymuseum.org/spyatnight/ ] which turned out to be the most brilliantly fun thing ever — not just the program, but having his close friends and mine all together in one place getting to know each other and relax over a drink or three and some silliness.

  36. I admit I had a Twilight themed hen night. (hey, I like it in an 'ironic' way ok?) My friends were totally on board. We watched Twilight while played a sort of Twilight bingo/drinking game. We also played 'strip man' which is basically 'hang man' where you guess a phrase, but instead of drawing a stick figure, paper clothing was removed from pics of Jacob and Edward. I know this sounds weird, but it was totally hilarious.

    1 agrees
    • OMG I MUST show this idea to my Man of Honor. We're having a costume wedding and he's going as Jasper from Twilight. We could probably get the guys in on it too. we're all huge geeks for it. Oooh or Star Wars… Choices, choices…

      2 agree
  37. At the risk of starting a kerfluffle/being negative, many regular patrons of a drag/gay bar are less than happy to have bachelorettes showing up to rub their impending marriage in the faces of those who can't. If you already are a regular patron, you're probably friends with one of the bartenders, so ask them what they think first ..or ask the owner if it's cool to show up with your party if you've made a donation to a charity of their choice first..and if you do, and they do say yes, for goodness sake, don't paw the gogo boys, girls–not cool!

    14 agree
    • Yup, ask in advance! I've heard of a lot of clubs even banning bachelorette parties.

    • I've been to Saturday night drag shows here in Seattle where honestly about half the patrons are bachelorette and birthday parties. At least in my geighborhood, it's It Is Known that bachelorette parties looooove drag.

      I definitely wouldn't suggest hitting up some underground drag club, but I'm seeing increasingly that drag shows are specifically marketed to straight ladies… which means that you're less likely to feel like you're introducing on someone else's scene. Thanks, Ru Paul's Drag Race!

      1 agrees
  38. okey dokey, as a 4-time bridesmaid, I feel the need to balance out with something positive..so 3 bachette suggestions:

    1) Dress up party: everyone brings a prop (Mod, steampunk, faerie, circus, the theme possibilities abound), make a DIY photobooth and go bowling in costume afterwards!
    2) Rocky Horror+ midnight potluck picnic ..have everyone bring their favorite naughty vice/gourmet goodies:eg pixie stix+absinthe
    3) Jack-n-Jill mudwrestling party–hey, who doesn't love intergendered intergenerational mudwrestling?!

    the pole-dancing party is really great if you've got conservatives in the bunch: you haven't lived 'till you've seen 6 femme conservative psychologists upsidedown on poles!

    3 agree
  39. Burlesque show! I took my hubby to the Can Can Cabaret in Seattle for his 30th birthday a few years ago and it was incredible. There was a bachelorette group they looked like they were having a blast!

    1 agrees
  40. I did a comedy club followed by Dave & Busters for dinner, drinks and fun. My husband flew up to chicago for WhirlyBall.

  41. yay! i hate the idea that you have to see some guido shake his dong in your face. the town i live in used to hold a record for the most bars in a square mile, now there are "only" about 6-9, if the boardwalk is open. my girls and i will be doing an old-school bar crawl…except! (and ths is key) on rollerSKATES. im getting my maids matching knee socks, shorts and shirts to be as "rollergirlie" as possible. so stoked.

    and i love that you mentioned sextoy parties…im a consultant and they are my FAVORITE parties to do! quick, fun and a gREAT way to kick off the night!!!!

    2 agree
  42. I told my girlfriends a few weeks ago that I wanted to go see a drag show. There's a Drag Queen Brunch at a place in DC and several clubs that host awesome shows. Before I told them I wanted to go see the lovely "ladies" in drag they'd already planned one of the adult slumber parties. So I guess we are doing both. This should be tons of fun and lots of good stories.

    2 agree
  43. I took my sister roller skating at the rink she and the other bridesmaid used to frequent when they were in junior high. It was ridiculously fun! She doesn't drink, so it was perfect.

  44. My friends did a whole bachelorette weekend before my wedding that included a henna artist, a yoga teacher, and a nature walk. After we came home from Saturday's dinner and karaoke, they surprised me by having a moon bounce for us to play in all night! That was truly inspired for our particular group.

    1 agrees
  45. The dresses from the above-pictured Ugly Dress Party cost $75 total for 25 dresses. Ask Craigslist and you shall receive :)

  46. So many great ideas in the article and the comments. My friends all wanted to help with the wedding, I'm having a flower party: buy wholesale flowers and have my friends and family make some of the bouquets and decorations for the church. I love the idea of combining it with something else–bad wedding dresses, or roller derby, or all sorts of other ideas.

  47. My ladies are taking me and my friends out to Sugar River Raceway to go go-kart racing (their go-karts go 60mph)!!! I'm kind of a car/motorcycle/anythingthatgoesfast junkie so I figured this was the only appropriate way to celebrate! I can't wait!!

  48. One of my sister's friends had a paintball party. They dressed in crazy costumes and signed up for an informal paintball tournament. They ended up winning their bracket! The pics I saw were crazy! 6 girls wearing tutu's and lots of accessories with paintball guns covered in leaves and stick, plus a trophy. then they went home and had a slumber party

  49. My girlfriends took me camping for my stagette. It was a full weekend event. I went surfing in my wetsuit with a veil! And then we dressed up in sundresses and hats that we glued huge bright flowers on to and drank wine on the beach! It was the BEST weekend EVER!

    1 agrees
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