By Rori Boyce
When you think of planning fun dates for Friday night, chances are you aren’t focused on spending time with your friends. But a little thought and a bit of planning can go a long way towards ensuring the time you make to spend with your friends doesn’t always end up with a big bar bill. Besides, aren’t your girlfriends just as deserving of a special night out as that guy you met at the coffee shop last week?
Whether you are trying to build relationships with new women friends or to maintain your connection with your existing girlfriends, making the effort to plan a fun friendship “date” will show them how much you value them and their friendship. To give you some ideas to get you going, here are 10 fun dates you can plan with your best female friends.
1. Sunday Brunch
Okay, so maybe this isn’t Friday night but it is a great way to get several friends together for some terrific girl time. You can make your brunch as formal or as free as you want, just make sure you are available to spend time with the lovely ladies in your life. This means no slaving away in the kitchen while the others gossip and get to know each other. Consider having your brunch catered or, for a budget solution, make it potluck. This ensures you won’t be too busy being the hostess to have any fun, and it gets everyone a little more involved. If you opt for the potluck option it’s a good idea to have everyone let you know what they are bringing so you don’t end up with 30 bagels and no coffee.
2. Chick Flick Movie Night
This is a great friendship date that can include just you and your friend or several friends. You can catch the latest tear-jerker at the local theatre or find a couple favorites on Netflix for a less expensive night at home. Stock up on popcorn, candy, and soft drinks, and don’t forget the tissues!
3. Do Something Good for Someone Else
There is a special kind of bond that forms when you spend time with others doing volunteer work. This might mean grabbing your girlfriend to take the elderly neighbor’s dog for a walk, building a house with habitat for humanity, or filling bowls at the local soup kitchen. Whatever you do, doing it together will make it more fun!
4. Have a Spa Night
If you can afford it, go nuts and schedule all the treatments you and your friend could possibly want at the ritzy spa downtown. If “nuts” isn’t in your budget this month, you can still pamper yourself in the luxury of your own home. Pick up some face masks and manicure sets at the drug store and spend the evening doing each other’s nails, giving each other facials, and being girly together. You never know what beauty secrets your friends are holding.
5. Host a Swap
This is another great way to get more than one friend together for fun and frugality. First, decide what you are swapping, it might be clothes, shoes, handbags, or even lightly used make-up or beauty products. I mean, what woman doesn’t have a drawer, box or a bag full of lipstick, eye shadow, and assorted lotions that definitely seemed more suitable in the store. Swapping these things with your girlfriends is a great way to recycle them and it lets everyone walk away with something new.
6. Take in the Tourist Attractions
There are touristy spots everywhere and odds are you have never or rarely been to those located in your own city (admit, you’ve never been!). So, why not play tourist for a day and take in the best attractions together. Definitely pretend you’re a true tourist and take a ton of photos.
7. Watch TV Together
Okay, this might not sound like something you need to plan in advance, but there are some shows that are simply better when watched together. Making a standing date to watch Orange is the New Black, Scandal or The Bachelor/Bachelorette can turn sitting in front of the TV into a social experience. This is another great way to spend time with a group of friends all at once.
8. Take a Class
Is there something that you are both interested in learning about? How about wine tasting, cooking, or tap dancing? If there is a mutual interest, find a class and do it together. You will have fun, build your bond, and you are much more likely to go if it is something you and your friend(s) are doing together. From tennis lessons to writing classes to martial arts, taking classes together will help ensure you are spending lots of time together and let you learn something in the process.
9. Go Outdoors
If you and your friend are both the outdoorsy type, schedule a hike or a morning kayaking trip, an outdoor yoga class together, or even a quick trip to the beach. You will be outside enjoying the sun and sky, getting fresh air, and building a stronger bond.
10. Get Dressed Up
Dying to try that new restaurant downtown? Have a fabulous pair of shoes and nowhere to wear them? You don’t need to be on the arm of a man to get all dressed up and go out on the town. Put on your best dresses, your highest heels, and your most adventurous lipstick and the two (or three) of you will have everyone in the restaurant, bar, or theatre wondering who those gorgeous women are!
Have other suggestions on great things to do with friends, or a story about a fun adventure you shared with great gal pals, we’d love to hear it! Leave us a message below.