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relationships: Just a Bunch of Not-Basic Girls' Night Out Ideas for the Best Night of Your GD Life

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When you hear “girls’ night out,” what comes to mind is probably “jeans and a cute top,” the experience of rushing to finish your cocktail, or more likely, White Claw, before the Uber arrives, and that feeling of frustration when you realize you have to pay for both a cover and coat check. But news flash, my friends: Not every girls’ night out has to involve pregaming then going to some random bar. I know! This is brand new information! But it’s true. A girls’ night can take many forms, from wholesome as hell to rowdy and rambunctious. Once you get over the idea that you have to go out out for a G.N.O. (as our queen Miley Cyrus so aptly abbreviated it in her hit 2007 banger), the world is your freakin oyster.

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So whether you're looking for ideas for spring or just wistfully pocketing these for a later date, we threw together 31 of the best ~alternative~ girls' night out ideas. Whether you're feeling a full-on club vibe, a sip-cocktails-at-a-museum kinda evening, or wanna sit around with your friends in sweats, we've got you covered. Throw out a few of these plans in your group chat and hold for applause—you don’t even have to give us any credit. (Psssst, there are a ton of activities on this list that you can do virtually, too, since COVID is still very much a thing.)

1. Host a PowerPoint night.

One of the best things to come out of the pandemic is the PowerPoint night, where friends come together and low-key roast each other (or maybe that’s just my friend group?) with hilarious slideshows about anything and everything. Some of my favorite topics include “What American Girl doll everyone would be,” “T.Swift songs to describe each person,” and “Everyone’s worst ex,” but we also have a list of additional PowerPoint night ideas if you ever find yourself in need of inspo.

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2. Do this Mamma Mia! workout class.

Before you say anything, I 'm aware that "meeting your three possible dads on a Greek island the day before your wedding where you all sing along to ABBA" and "working out" doesn't really go hand-in-hand. But you need to trust me on this one. No one is going to be judging your form at home and dancing to the Mamma Mia! soundtrack is more fun than...anything? Get tipsy, laugh, and take a chance on this one. (Sorry, had to.)

3. Book an online cooking class.

This is an easy thing you can do mid-pandemic too! Williams Sonoma has a ton of virtual events to choose from. Bonus points to whoever can pull off the best Julia Child accent.

4. Have your own night at the museum.

Plenty of museums now offer “after hours” programming, complete with DJs, drinks, and open access to select exhibits. I think it was Socrates who said, "Learning is best done with a cocktail in hand." And so many museums have also opened their doors to virtual audiences. Touring The Met from the comfort of your couch in your coziest sweats and a bottle of rosé? Sign me up! (You can...right here.)

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5. Hit up a bespoke cocktail bar.

Your fave dive bar can wait. Opt instead for the kind of plush setting where it feels like Colonel Mustard could murder you with a candlestick at any second. Also, nothing makes me feel more like an adult lady than telling the bartender to "surprise me."

6. Have your future told by a psychic.

Grab some friends for emotional support ( 'cause honey, you will absolutely need to dissect the experience after) and book a reading to glimpse what the future has in store for you.

a close up of a sign: Beginner Oracle Cards © Beginner Oracle Cards


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7. Justice! For! Bowling!

Do you know what's still fun? Bowling. Especially glow-in-the-dark bowling. It was always the sickest 10th birthday party, and it's still lots of fun to do with your besties (socks and hand sanitizer not included).

8. Host your own wine-tasting party.

By that we mean you buy a bunch of cheap-ish bottles from Trader Joe's or a similar spot, and then sit around with your girlfriends tasting the different varieties while saying fancy things about the rich notes of shoe leather and black cherry. Let me help you out and suggest a few options...

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9. Play tourist in your hometown.

Plan a night to do the kinds of things you would only do if your cousin Lauren were in town. Go eat that famous dish! Go walk across that famous bridge! Get your steps in seeing all the sights!

10. Sing it out at karaoke.

Because what's more fun than belting out your favorite Whitney song? Belting Whitney with all of your closest girlfriends, duh!

11. Have some laughs at a comedy show.

Before there were comedy podcasts, there was the comedy club. These shows are usually pretty cheap, and the giggles are guaranteed. Talent can be hit-or-miss, but that's just part of the fun. Plus, there are SO many comedy shows happening over Zoom.

12. Take a pole dancing class.

Channel your inner J.Lo in Hustlers (BTW, THE ACADEMY ROBBED HER!!!) and take a pole dancing class with your besties. It can be pretty freeing to empower yourself through the extremely timeless art of shaking your booty.

A post shared by Hustlers (@hustlersmovie)

13. Hit up one of those fancy movie theaters with the comfy seats.

There is something so darn divine about reclining in those cushy chairs and watching a movie on the big screen. Lots of these theaters now offer gourmet menus for a full dine-in experience. Sipping a 'tini while watching Chris Evans/Chris Hemsworth/Chris Pratt's latest project? Sign me up.

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14. Spend a night at the opera.

If you live in any major metropolitan area, this one’s for you. PSA: Opera glasses are less than $20 on Amazon if you really want to look legit.

Opera Binoculars © Opera Binoculars


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15. Treat yourself to a fancy restaurant.

What better way to practice self-love than with a bougier-than-usual bottle of wine and fries for the table? Obviously, I don't recommend making expensive dinner reservations so often that your budget takes a hit, but planning a seasonal fancy meal is a super fun way to get together and celebrate everything that's going on in your group's day-to-day lives.

16. Let out your inner roller girl.

Why not lean all the way in? Commit to a dress code (hot pants encouraged), take a few laps underneath the disco ball, and then go back to someone's apartment and stream Whip It.

A post shared by Niaz Uddin (@neohumanity)

17. Watch a meteor shower.

Check out this calendar of 2022 celestial events, and make note of the ones you want to witness. You and your friends can gather on someone's roof (or a yard works too, depending on where you live), mix up a few to-go bevs, and catch the show.

18. Head to a gallery opening.

Here's the thing about gallery openings—not only is it an opportunity to look at beautiful objects (and often beautiful people, too), but there is also free wine, so...

19. Grab some cheap tickets to a sporting event.

Even if court-side seats aren't in the cards, you and your friends can still kick it in the nosebleed section with nachos and beer.

Bella Hadid et al. standing in front of a crowd: Another slider, please. © Noel Vasquez - Getty Images Another slider, please.

20. Check out a symphony orchestra.

Nothing makes me feel more like a classy adult woman than viewing a group of insanely talented humans in tailcoats and black getups playing Chopin. If this isn’t an option where you guys live, scope out the local spots that have live jazz as an alternative.

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21. Throw it back with an '80s/ '90s/ '00s dance party.

Nostalgic dance parties have hit music venues in a big way. What other night out can include leg warmers and teased bangs? Check your local clubs and event spaces to see the next time they're hosting a themed night.

22. Chill out in a late-night coffee shop.

In case you've been out of school for so long now that you've forgotten, here's a friendly reminder that certain coffee shops stay open until the wee hours of the morning. Stake out the Friends-iest overstuffed couch and sip (decaf) drinks until you get tired.

A post shared by friends memes (@thefriendsmeme)

23. Put it all on black at a casino.

Casinos can actually be really fun spots to drink and pull levers and maybe win some money. Lots of people-watching opps, too. Just set a monetary limit for yourselves, lest anyone get out of hand.

24. Scream your heart out at an amusement park.

Most parks stay open well after dark, which means the view from the top of that roller coaster will be momentarily gorgeous before you plunge downwards and start shrieking.

25. Test your gracefulness at a ballet class.

The epitome of grace and discipline, ballerinas are always a magical sight to behold. Even if you guys don't possess a coordinated bone in any of your bodies, you'll have a ball giggling (kindly!) at everyone's attempts.

a woman holding a pair of legs: Adult Canvas Pink Ballet Slipper © Adult Canvas Pink Ballet Slipper


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26. Channel your inner Van Gogh at a paint and sip.

Okay, I hear you, these classes sound "soooooo basic," (I only hear this in Anna Delvey's voice now) but get over it, because they're popular for a reason. Plus, if you're anything like me, it takes a few glasses of vino to let your creative freak flag fly.

27. Go on a booze cruise.

If you live by a body of water, chances are you have the opportunity to board a boat. In New York City, for instance, there are Circle Line cruises that tour the harbor while serving drinks and snacks. There’s just something about sparkly city lights on water that makes the night feel truly infinite, ya know?

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28. Have an Airbnb staycation for one night only.

So this might count as "staying in," but it's not your real house so just roll with it. Rent a luxe loft with a few friends for a night of fabulous make-believe. You can order take-out, bring along a few bottles of wine, and snuggle up on the couch—a bona fide sleepover party!

29. Try your luck with a random Groupon.

Scour Groupon or LivingSocial for a rando activity—ideally something you've never done before—and then treat your friend to an afternoon of adventure. Nothing bonds you faster than mutually freaking out over indoor skydiving...or just dabbling in a pottery class, your call.

30. Fake a bachelorette party.

Grab a bunch of p**** paraphernalia and a fake veil from a local sex shop, and hit up your favorite circuit of bars like you're at a bachelorette party. If you're not dressed up as the (fake) bride-to-be, work on getting your group free drinks.

31. Have an Extra™ photoshoot.

Okay, I 'm trusting you won't judge me for this idea. Glam up, and then take turns snapping Insta-worthy pics of each other. First of all, it's fun to be goofy and play model every once in a blue moon, and second of all, your friends definitely know how to find your light.

United Airlines Is Changing Its Cancellation Policy for Basic Economy — What to Know .
Travelers can either upgrade to a standard economy ticket or cancel it for a fee. Basic economy tickets are typically the cheapest and most restrictive fare option offered by airlines.

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