10 Great Ideas for Girlfriend Get-Togethers
You can’t go wrong when you’re hanging out with girlfriends. Have you ever considered, though, breaking away from “the usual” (lunch date, dinner date, happy hour drinks) and trying something totally new? We offer ideas for a fun night or weekend.
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1. Cooking class
Hey, good lookin’! What’cha got cookin’? Whether you’re still learning how to boil water or you’re a seasoned pro looking for inspiration, gather the girls together and channel your inner Rachael Ray at a cooking class. Local classes are offered at Saga Hill Cooking & Events (Minneapolis), Local D’lish (North Loop), Nordic Ware Factory Store (St. Louis Park), Cooks of Crocus Hill (Edina and Grand Avenue, St. Paul), and Cooking the Market (Midtown Global Market).
At Cooks of Crocus Hill, the classes are educational and entertaining (For the Love of Brunch, anyone? Or maybe Homage to Fromage, or Wicked Fast Weeknight Feasts?). After laughing and learning and cooking and eating, check out the store for unique culinary gadgets, a wide selection of constantly changing cookbooks, and quality, high-end cookware. Cooks of Crocus Hill also offers a really great crop share program.
Another fun cooking class is offered at the Nordic Ware Factory Store, where classes are taught in the contemporary demonstration kitchen. Award winning local chefs, cookbook authors and experienced cooking instructors teach cooking and baking techniques and sample delicious recipes. There are many exciting classes planned for 2013. The two-hour classes are $25 per person, plus tax.
If you want to learn how to plan a menu while you shop, Cooking the Market is a fantastic way to think on the fly (because really, how many people go grocery shopping with an exact plan?), while becoming familiar with the seasonal ingredients and grocers throughout Midtown Global Market. The classes are offered once a month on Saturdays.
Since the first class was launched two years ago by personal chef Molly Herrmann, Cooking the Market has attracted couples (date night!), girlfriends, and corporate folks wanting to do a little team-building. “Honestly, Cooking the Market is great for anyone, at any level of cooking experience, and with any kind of interest,” says Tracy Morgan, who co-owns the company along with Herrmann. “You just need to be willing to have a great time and be open to new ideas.” The classes are fun and interactive. Wine is served along with a fresh, locally grown, in-season meal created on the fly by class participants. With private classes, you can add upgrades like a top-notch sommelier or karaoke, and customize the menu for dietary restrictions (gluten-free or vegetarian/vegan, for example).
“Sure, you can learn how to properly cut an onion, hand-make pasta, or whip up a mother sauce, but you also get three hours of pure enjoyment, and, you know, wine,” Morgan says. “CTM is never the same twice, and we’ve never had a recipe fail. This class will give you a burst of confidence in your ability to riff on a recipe idea, be inspired by ingredients, and just jump into something new. It’s wine, food, and fun, and we handle the dishes. Who wouldn’t love that?”
2. Girls Night at a B&B
Book a cozy room (or the whole house) in a bed and breakfast and catch up with your best friends without constant interruptions. Go out to dinner, take your time savoring the meal, relax, have another glass of wine. Stay up late and sleep in. Laugh until your sides hurt. Staying at a B&B with girlfriends is simply good for the soul.
“We’ve had the Village House for over five years and hosted many girlfriend gatherings,” says Anne Larson, manager of the Village House in Winona. “I’ve offered some sort of Girlfriend’s Getaway Travel Package for the past several years because the Village House is such a perfect venue for a small gathering of friends. We don’t actually live on the premises, so groups get to have the whole house to themselves. The atmosphere at the Village House is relaxed and intimate, and guests can bring in their own wine and appetizers, watch a movie, or enjoy a leisurely morning together.”
Larson has customized packages for cross-country skiers, leaf-peepers, Shakespeare Festival-goers, college roommates, bridesmaids, and knitters (to name a few). Oftentimes the ladies enjoy their stay so much, they make it an annual tradition.
3. Take a bliss break
When you are overstressed and overworked, your mind, body and spirit all suffer. Spas provide a much-needed escape from a stress-filled environment. Strong female friendships provide a much-needed foundation of stability, sense of belonging, and sounding board for speaking honestly about any and everything, sometimes crying openly, other times laughing inappropriately, reminiscing and teasing and sharing stories. Merge spas and friends during a spa party, and enjoy one another’s company while getting manicures, pedicures, refresher facials, or massages. You’ll leave feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and recharged.