Bachelor and bachelorette parties don’t have the best reputation. Want to stay out of jail and avoid a fight with your significant other? A raunchy night probably isn’t the way to go. If cheap thrills (think suggestive cake decorations and dancing girls) don’t scream, “I’m about to marry the love of my life!” to you, consider these higher brow, sophisticated party ideas to celebrate your last moments of singled.
Bachelor Parties for Mature Men
A raucous weekend in Las Vegas may have sounded like a good idea in your early twenties, but as a mature adults, you’re less interested in unlimited booze and losing all your money at blackjack and more interested in old fashioned, grownup male bonding with your buds.
- Get tickets for a comedian or hypnotist. Or, hire one to perform at a venue that you’re going to rent out.
- Make a road trip to see a favorite band perform live.
- Go on a golfing weekend in Palm Springs, California.
- Pack the car and head off for a weekend of camping, hiking and fishing in the woods.
- Only have one evening to get together? Dress up in your best and head out to a cigar bar (don’t forget to order a single malt Scotch – you’ll fit right in).
- Go on an adventure, like whitewater rafting, hang gliding, rock climbing or skydiving.
- Secure awesome seats to a sports game.
- Live near the ocean? Go surfing (both beginners and advanced surfers will have fun), deep sea fishing or scuba diving, then have a beach bonfire when the sun goes down. Or, charter a yacht for the evening.
- Treat the groom-to-be to a lesson in race car driving.
- If a trip to Atlantic City is on the risky side, host a poker night at home.
- Spend the day at the horse racetrack.
- Get out pre-wedding anxiety by heading to the shooting range or having a friendly game of paintball.
- Earn bragging rights by beating everyone else at a go-cart race.
- Head to the mountains for a few days of skiing and snowboarding.
Bachelorette Parties for Cosmopolitan Women
Bachelorettes can become a bit of a caricature if they’re not careful. Avoid the embarrassment of an alcohol-fueled evening by spending time with your best girl friends in a more fulfilling (and memorable) way.
- Book a weekend at a resort – most have bachelorette party packages, especially in popular destinations.
- Spend a day or weekend shopping in New York City, then treat yourself to cocktails at night.
- Relax during a spa weekend – make sure the spa has champagne service! You can also have spa professionals come to your house to pamper you at home. Book a caterer who’ll mix up refreshing cocktails and create light sandwiches.
- Work on your wedding day tan with a beach weekend. Enjoy a raw bar or fresh lobster at night.
- If camping’s not nearly chic enough for your group of friends, go “glamping” instead – think of it as luxe camping. Search online for decked out cabins that are close by to charming towns so that you can explore the area during the day.
- Love vino? Go on a winery tour and tasting. Think of it as an upscale trip to the bar! Extend the experience by bouncing from winery to winery via a limo. Have a wine-paired dinner at the last winery you hit.
- Thrill seekers can spend an afternoon parasailing, zip lining or at a trapeze class.
- Throw a grownup slumber party with champagne, decadent desserts, manis and pedis, chick flicks and a little Truth or Dare for old times’ sake.
- What could be better than a wellness retreat? Participate in fun workouts (Zumba, kickboxing), eat healthy, gourmet meals, unwind with spa treatments and spend plenty of time at the beach.
- If you live in New York City or Los Angeles, sign up for Stiletto Spy School, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Choose your mission, learn the basics of hand-to-hand combat and shake up the perfect martini.
- Throw a new age party by hiring a tarot card reader and an astrologer.
- Have a Victorian-style tea party. Set tables with lace doilies and serve finger sandwiches and scones. Set up at home or book a tea room at a fancy hotel.
- Plan out a scavenger hunt at a friend’s sprawling house or a neighborhood garden. Prizes can be grownup and chic, like bottles of wine and massage gift certificates.
- Book a front row table at an upscale comedy club and figure out a way to let the comedians know you’re there for a bachelorette party – the bride will become the center of attention.
Co-Ed Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties
If the bride and groom can’t bear to spend time apart, a joint bachelor-bachelorette party may be a good idea. This can be especially fun if both social groups are friends with each other. A co-ed party doesn’t mean that guys and girls have to spend every waking second together, though. Spend time with your requisite social groups and then connect with each other to have some joint fun, too.
- Spend a day at sea, complete with beer, wine, food, music, rafts and jet skis.
- A lot of spas are set on golf courses. While the guys are on the green, the girls can get pampered at the spa. Then, everyone can get together for fun once the sun sets.
- Play a boys versus girls softball game and then picnic at an area park.
- Spend a day or weekend at the lake. Swim, sunbathe, grill, play volleyball and have horseshoe competitions.
- Head to an amusement part of water park for morning-to-night fun.
- Odds are that you’re not going to plan your own bachelor or bachelorette party. Be clear with your bridal party about what you definitely don’t want to occur during the celebration.
- What have you and your group of girls or guys always talked about wanting to do together? Weekend on the beach in Miami? Walking beer tour in Manhattan? Take out those bucket lists and check something off.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to throw the party. Even if you don’t get sloshed on brewski or wine, you’ll still want a few days to recover, rest up and trade, “I can’t believe that happened,” stories with your nearest and dearest. Give yourself at least a few days between the party and the wedding day.