A hen night is the perfect excuse to party with your girls. So rather than your last night of proverbial freedom, think of it as the ultimate opportunity to have some real fun with your best friends. Here are my top ten hen night ideas to suit every budget from luxury to DIY cheat including the most amazing Champagne bar you’ll ever see…
It’s often the chief bridesmaid who organises the hen night for all the bride’s best friends and ideally it should be the bride’s decision what they do. If a stripper and a pub crawl are not your style, here are some ideas to mix and match for maximum fun with your girls whatever your budget.
1. Relax with a spa experience
Luxury: Enjoy a long weekend away at a spa hotel, in fluffy white robes and slippers having massages, swims, facials and manicures. Finish the evening all dressed up for a three course meal and bottles of bubbly.
Cheat: Check out last minute deals at spa hotels or save even more cash by hosting your own home spa experience. All you need is face masks and nail varnish, just ask your friends to bring a bottle and stay the night.
Spa hen nights at DesignaVenture.
2. Go dancing
Luxury: Book a dance holiday and spend a few days learning to Jive all dressed in gorgeous 50s dresses or book a private dance class and learn salsa, belly dancing, flamenco or even burlesque.
Cheat: Shake your stuff at a special club night in the city. Gypsy Hotel is a perfect example: a 1950s style rock n roll club in London where you can dress up, see live acts and dance till dawn!
3. Get away in the UK
Luxury: Rent a luxury cottage for a long weekend and enjoy country walks to the local pub, canoeing on the river or sunbathing on the beach. Coastal towns, big cities and sweet little villages are all wonderful.
Cheat: Pack a tent and sleeping bag and go camping. Drive to the coast together and either set up tents or rent a cheap static caravan for fun together on a campsite near some local attractions.
4. See the sights overseas
Luxury: Pack your bikinis and jet off to far-flung shores for a few days of decadence to soak up the sun in style. Go sight-seeing then relax on a sun lounger before hitting the bars and dancing the night away with the locals.
Cheat: Channel Tunnel it to France for the weekend and live on French bread, cheese and red wine while you go sight-seeing by bus, train and foot, though leave your high heels for your night out!
5. Go skiing
Luxury: Fly to a ski resort and stay in a pretty chalet with whirlpool bath. Glide down mountains against breath-taking scenery before enjoying a fondue with friends and getting ‘off-piste’ (you know what I mean…)
Cheat: Ski at the Chill Factore indoor real snow venue in Manchester with panoramic views of real snow slopes (yes, really!) Enjoy ski and snowboarding lessons and sledging before hitting the on-site bars and restaurants.
6. Bright lights, big city fun
Luxury: Take a limo to the bright lights and enjoy a full evening’s entertainment starting off with fine dining at a top restaurant and finishing your night with a trip to the theatre, opera or ballet.
Cheat: Get in the car, Thelma and Louise style and eat out in the big city at a cool karaoke bar before taking in a movie or going bowling and dancing the night away. Bloomsbury Bowling in London is a great place to go.
7. Get outdoors
Luxury: A sailing weekend could be the ultimate outdoors fun but if, like me, you prefer something faster then drive a racing car or motorbike round Brands Hatch, go quad biking, drive a tank or simply Go Ape.
Cheat: Go mountain biking through the woods and finish with a picnic under the trees. For anyone not so ‘outdoorsy’, drive to the park and sit in the open air drinking happily on the grass before your night out.
Outodoors hen nights and more at DesignaVenture.
8. Customise your knickers…
Luxury: Book aparty at a specialist arts and crafts centre where you and your girls can make a fascinator or garter for the wedding or customise a pair of pretty knickers each. The Makery in Bath is the place to go.
Cheat: Put on your own arts and crafts afternoon in your home with materials from Confetti.co.uk Hobby Craft or a local art shop. Create your own table planner for the wedding or make your Thank You cards.
9. Have a murderous time
Luxury: Book a murder mystery weekend in a stately home where you’ll all dress for dinner and have fun watching a murder mystery unfold before your very eyes…
Cheat: Go on a Jack the Ripper tour of London for an historical chiller complete with a drink at the Ten Bells pub or watch a horror movie together in the comfort of your home, just add popcorn, ice creams and booze.
10. Champagne or cocktails, darling?
Luxury: Live life in style at London’s Voltaire Champagne Bar. Lie back against plush sofas and fur throws as you savour the finest Champagnes in sumptuous surroundings. Just don’t bring willy straws…
Cheat: Have your own cocktail night. Dim the lights, put on music and ask your friends to come dressed up, each with a different bottle and snacks. Just add cool glasses, shakers, stirrers, umbrellas and laughter. Bring willy straws.
Live life to the full at Voltaire Champagne Bar, London.
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So, what’s your idea of a perfect girl’s night out? Is a male stripper your scene and what are you planning for your hen night? Tell all here. It’s ok, we won’t tell the groom if you don’t want us to…
Check out more hen night ideas in the wedding directory and get your – ahem – willy straws in the Confetti Shop.
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Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.