6 Fun Ideas for "Girls' Night In"

Self on 12.06.12
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Photo: Simon Bonaventure/Creative Commons

If you’re anything like me, then it may seem like getting together with friends is a whole lot more challenging as cold, wintry weather sets in. Gone are the lazy days of summer and easy outdoor entertaining. Sure, there are restaurants and cafés and the typical holiday parties, but those can get old. That’s why I’ve come up with this list of fun ways to have an old-fashioned “girls’ night in.” By staying at home, you’ll not only save money and effort, but you’ll also replicate the excitement of those childhood sleepovers we all loved so much. To enjoy an upgraded adult version, just send your husband out for a few hours, crack open a bottle of wine, and invite your girlfriends over for an evening that will make you all feel good.

1.    Cookie exchange party
Christmas cookies
Photo: Moyan_Brenn/Creative Commons

This kind of party serves a function beyond socializing, which is a bonus. Each guest bakes a large batch of cookies and packages one dozen per person attending the party. That way, everyone goes home with a wide variety of Christmas baking already done. The cookies, though, are simply an excuse to get together and visit. (Read a more detailed account of my recent cookie exchange here.)

2.    At-home spa night
foot soak
Photo: Bunches and Bits (Karina) / Creative Commons

Who doesn’t love a girls’ spa night? Make it even more fun by looking online for homemade recipes, such as oatmeal masks, foot soaks, and skin scrubs. Depending on how close you are, exchanging five-minute back massages can do wonders. Pull out nail polish and paint your toes a cheery colour to put a smile on your face every time you take off your socks.

3.    Ladies’ poker night
poker cards
Photo: juliaeatssweaters/Creative Commons

With one person who knows what they’re doing, it’s quite straightforward to get a good game of poker going. Prepare little info cards listing the various hands for each guest and make a sign that explains the chip values. Conversation will inevitably distract and often turn to laughter, but the cards will remain a focal point. Create a playlist of all-female singers for an authentically female atmosphere.

4.    Craft night
Paper flowers craft
Photo: PermaCultured/Creative Commons

The holidays seem to bring out the urge to do crafts, even for the least craft-oriented people. It’s easy to come up with ideas, from Christmas cards and tree ornaments, to evergreen wreaths and scrapbook gifts. Doing crafts is an activity that adapts well to having company, whether you all work on the same thing or have independent projects on the go.

5.    Knitting night (or a different skill-teaching night)
Knitting needles and yarn
Photo: meknits/Creative Commons

It’s very satisfying to learn how to do something new, especially if it has tangible results, and knitting is an easy, quick skill to acquire. I’m part of a knitting group that started as a one-night gathering and was such a success that it’s become a weekly event. It’s fun to make scarves and socks while visiting with friends, all of whom are at different knitting levels and can help each other out as needed.

6.    Good old movie night
Photo: jessica.diamond/Creative Commons

Don’t underestimate the perfection of a girls’ only movie night, especially around Christmastime, when there are so many delightfully cheesy, holiday-themed movies to see. Some of my favourites for this time of year are Love Actually, The Family Man, The Holiday, Four Christmases, and Bridget Jones’ Diary. On my ‘to watch’ list are Serendipity, When Harry Met Sally, and While You Were Sleeping, all of which are supposed to ooze warmth and coziness. Bring out the popcorn and a warm blanket and settle in.

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