How To Ruin A Night

Ready to ditch the burden of packed schedules, kids' appointments, grocery lists and bills (well, at least for a night)? It's time for girls’ night out! It's a chance to gather your friends and do something fun... for you. If a girls’ get-together is a rare occasion for you, putting some thought into your plans makes sense. Your time is too precious to waste, so consider the following worst girls' night out ideas and suggestions for alternative activities.

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Dining at a romantic restaurant

If you're getting together with you foodie friends, trying that sexy new restaurant with the candlelit tables, soft music and fabulous duck confit might sound like a good idea -- but it's not exactly the right backdrop for a raucous group of women eager to let off some steam. Save the romance for date night and find a fun cooking class. Learn how to whip up some mushroom crepes, tomato tarts and champagne custard while sipping a glass of wine (or two) and laughing it up with your friends.

Watching The Bachelor (or any reality TV, for that matter)

Can you ever watch reality television and not feel like you've just wasted an enormous amount of time? Feel good about time spent with your girlfriends by hosting a classic movie night instead. Make some sophisticated popcorn (with exotic flavors like Parmesan and pecorino, chili-lime, or sea salt and rosemary), pull out the pillows and cashmere throws, and cue up a chick flick. Try Breakfast at Tiffany's, Sex and the City, Father of the Bride or Sleepless in Seattle.

Throwing a multi-level marketing "party"

While we all can appreciate an entrepreneurial spirit, girls' night out and multi-level marketing events should occupy separate squares on the calendar. Nobody really enjoys feeling pressured to buy something or sign up as a sales rep for the latest and greatest product (even if it's fabulous). Instead, open up your home for a casual wine and cheese party. Pick a region (Spain, California, Australia) and ask each girlfriend to bring a bottle from that location (no, you don't have to finish them all). Provide some cheese and fruit pairings, and let the conversation roll.

Giving facials and other messy spa treatments

Nobody will deny that a facial is a treat, but save the aesthetic work for a more private moment. Steaming, extractions and gooey masks (not to mention the blotchy complexion that is sure to follow) aren't exactly conducive to socializing . If you want to indulge in some spa time, opt for manicures and pedicures instead. You can catch up with your friends and beautify your nails at the same time. Consider hiring some nail techs to come to your house, or find a salon that hosts girls' night out events, such as "Manicures and Martinis."

Sharing your child's big night

We are all proud of our children's accomplishments, but little Suzie's recital should not conjure thoughts of a girls' night out, even if you promise a post-performance round of cocktails. Some friends may feel obligated to attend if you ask, but consider enjoying the precious moments as a family instead. If you want to enjoy the arts with your BFFs, schedule a night out to watch a local band.  

Attending a political rally

Having some socially aware and civic-minded girlfriends is great, but political events of any kind are bound to end in heated conversations (at best) or flat-out arguments (at worst). If you want to make a real difference, turn a volunteer opportunity into a unique and memorable girls' night out. Serve up some yummy eats at the local shelter, or pack goodie boxes for deployed soldiers. Feel good about the time spent with your peeps.  

Visiting a strip club

On rare occasions, a strip club sounds like a fun idea, but the night rarely plays out as planned. It's hard not to walk away feeling like you need a shower and your money back. Gather your girls and head to a comedy club instead. You'll laugh just as hard, and you'll feel good about yourself in the morning.  

Taking in a poetry reading

Your artsy friends can appreciate a good poetry reading, and you may be on board as well. But poetry readings can evoke all sorts of emotions, some of which may not be conducive to a roaring girls' night out. If you want to tap into your creative passions, try an art exhibit instead.  

Puffing it up at a cigar lounge

There's something dangerous and rebellious about a bunch of women hanging out at a cigar bar, but it always results in constricted airways, a heavy blanket of cigar stench and echoes of "what were we thinking?" Find a classy champagne lounge or wine bar to gather instead.

Bulk shopping

Think caravanning to Costco with your girlfriends might be fun? Think again. No matter how you try to glorify the chore, it's still a chore. Instead, explore that new, family-owned shoe store that just opened. Shoe shopping is the ultimate girls' night out.

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