Going out and taking shots of tequila with the ladies on a Friday night is fun and all, but maybe you’re tired of the same old scene, same old douchey guys, same old Saturday hangovers that leave you half-dead in your bed until quarter past noon. Maybe you’re on a mini drinking hiatus. Maybe you’re not trying to spend your entire paycheck on booze and Ubers and drunk 3AM tacos. Maybe your feet are just sick and freaking tired of heels. Maybe you’re still not over that almost-boyfriend you were talking to and aren’t quite ready to get back on the ‘going out’ scene. Or maybe you actually want to talk and hear your girlfriends, rather than just the booming bass from a club speaker or some creep yelling, ‘Can I get your number?’ in your ear at closing time.
Whatever your reasoning for wanting to stay in — own it. There’s nothing wrong with a Girls’ Night In; in fact, it rocks. And here are some fun (and super easy) ways to enjoy each other’s company. (Boozing optional).
1. Dig out the old scrapbooks/photo albums and reminisce. We all have special memories, whether that’s from our awkward brace-face stage in middle school or high school prom night or freshman year of college. Whether you and your girlfriends have been friends for ages, or just recently started hanging out, sharing memories and stories from the past can bring you together and leave you in a fit of giggles at how crazy you were when you were younger.
2. Watch a chick flick, because honestly nothing beats lazy, snuggling, popcorn-eating movie nights. There are a zillion different love movies, comedies, scary movies, etc. Need inspiration? Check this list. Find something you all can agree on and put your feet up. You’ve had a long week, you deserve it!
3. Try one of those Pinterest recipes. You know what I’m talking about: the summer cocktails, the lettuce wraps, the DIY garlic chicken wings. The options on Pinterest are literally endless, and who better to attempt (and probably fail) with than your girlfriends? And hey, if it doesn’t taste good, at least you can take a cool Instagram pic.
4. Have a spa night. Complete with the sliced cucumbers over the eyes, have a full on nail painting, calming music, bubble baths, and face masks. Because sometimes you just need to rejuvenate and restart.
5. Do something crafty. Make decorations for your apartment, a homemade gift for a family member, start scrapbooking, paint, draw, color. Take night to just zone out on an artsy project.
6. Make chocolate fondue in the crockpot. Let’s be real, you don’t need one of those fancy chocolate fountains to enjoy all the rich, chocolatey goodness. All you need is a crockpot, a Pinterest recipe, chocolate, fruit, and an empty stomach.
7. Build a pillow fort. Because whoever said you were too old for pillow forts was dead wrong and you don’t need that negativity in your life.
8. Make healthy milkshakes. Substitute heavy ice cream for Halo Top, vanilla soy milk, or frozen bananas. Use fresh fruit and add protein if you want an even healthier boost. (Or disregard and just have a damn treat).
9. Set up a movie outside on the lawn. Staying in doesn’t mean literally being confined to the walls of your apartment. Set up a screen or white bed sheet outside and project a movie against a wall or flat standing surface. Don’t forget the snacks!
10. Make dinner from scratch. (Or as scratch as possible.) Don’t just throw a frozen pizza in, roll the dough and add all the ingredients yourself — a fun way to make things a bit healthier, and give you plenty of time to chat while you prepare.
11. Have a board game marathon. When was the last time you finished a game of Monopoly…like probably never, right? Take a trip down memory lane and play all the games of your childhood. You’re never too old! (And, if you want a ~grown up! twist, add some drinks to the mix!)
12. Give each other makeovers. Let’s face it, your girlfriend is probably wayyy better at eyeshadow than you, but you kill it at putting together cute outfits. Raid each others closets, do each others hair, and spend the night tweezing eyebrows, trying funky eyeliner colors, and feeling pretty.
13. Cook/bake for people in need. Baking is fun, but maybe you’re not hungry or really trying to cut back on the sweet intake. That doesn’t mean you have to give up the fun! Contact a local food bank or homeless shelter and see if there’s anything you can make for them!
14. Play truth or dare. Okay, when was the last time you played truth or dare? Seriously, it’s been too damn long.
15. Share your favorite, most embarrassing, and funniest memories. There’s nothing like a good story. No matter how long you’ve been friends, there’s nothing better than doubling over in laughter at the crazy antics you’ve gotten yourselves in.
16. Host your own dance party. Turn your favorite music up loud, grab some drinks, and dance like nobody’s watching (because, well, they’re out and totally not having as much fun as you right now.)
17. Do a clothing swap. Go through your clothes and get rid of all the things you haven’t worn in the last year. Then pick out each other’s outfits, swap, or borrow. Sometimes a new wardrobe can change your entire self-image.
18. Binge watch scary movies. Maybe you’re just not into the whole lovey-dovey, rom-com thing right now. Maybe you’re still trying to get over what’s his name and don’t need a movie to remind you how lonely you are – watch a scary one instead. Need ideas? Check this list of some good ones on Netflix.
19. Have a book club night. Get a book you’re both interested in and spend the night reading, eating snacks, and taking breaks every few chapters to talk about it.
20. Have a cooking/meal prep night. Sometimes life just gets too crazy and before you know it, the weekend’s flying by. Spend a night prepping for the week by cooking and preparing lunches or freezer meals for the future. This isn’t always fun when you’re alone, but with some girlfriends, music, and wine, it’s just as good as a night out on the town.
21. Sing karaoke. Who needs the crazy bar scene and the drunken half-shouting into the crappy microphone when you can do all of that at home with more fun and less stress? All you need is your favorite YouTube channel, a speaker, your girlfriends’ moral support, comfy clothes, and perhaps a glass of wine.
22. Get cultured/educated. Maybe not the let loose, chill out type of girls night in, but a valuable one nonetheless. Spend time talking to your girls about what’s been happening in the news this week, contemporary issues, politics, or maybe watch a play or musical that’s hitting the charts this week. The week can be too busy sometimes, take this time with your friends to catch up on all that you might have missed.
23. Watch and attempt something from a YouTube tutorial. Whether that’s smokey eyeshadow, a DIY drink recipe, or fishtail french braiding, who better to attempt (and fail) with than your girlfriends?
24. Have a photoshoot. Sometimes you just need a new FB picture, okay? Get all glammed up and stage the perfect shot of you, of you both, of you and your pupper, of a cute craft or recipe you just made. Whatever, just make sure it’s #instaworthy.
25. Challenge each other to a Just Dance/Wii Sports battle. Because not only is this fun, but it gets your body moving (esp. after all the junk food you may or may not have indulged in).
26. Record a hilarious YouTube video for absolutely no reason. Dancing, singing, parading around the kitchen like a weirdo – whatever floats your boat. And I dare you to share it.