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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4. It’s wine time!
Sample a nice mix of five-star food and wine, watch interesting cooking demonstrations, and meet talented winemakers and chefs at the 19th annual Minnesota Monthly Food & Wine Experience, set in the elegance of the Metropolitan and Legend’s Clubs of Target Field the first weekend of March. The “most delicious weekend of the year” includes 200 exhibitors sampling gourmet fare, 350+ fine wines, and 75+ specialty beers. Spend an afternoon celebrating your sisterhood (and the intricacies of the grape!) while sipping, sampling, and shopping your way through Target Field. Tickets are available at www.foodwineshow.com.
5. Tea for two (or three, or ten)
Tea parties aren’t just for little girls and their stuffed animals. You and your best friends can enjoy high tea (and pretend you’re on Downton Abbey) at the Saint Paul Hotel, Brit’s Pub in Minneapolis, the Mad Hatter Tea Room in downtown Anoka, Avalon Tea Room in White Bear Lake, Lady Elegant’s Tea Room in St. Paul, Maudie Macbride’s Tea in the Woods in West St. Paul, and Wisteria Twig in Red Wing. Reservations are always recommended; if not required.
According to Terrie Bulanek, director of catering at the Saint Paul Hotel, the hotel has had a long tradition of afternoon tea. “We know that public teas have been offered throughout the ages from the time the hotel opened in 1910. We also know that there were Tea Dances held in the grand ballroom for the public to provide social gathering opportunities during Prohibition. In recent history we have been offering afternoon tea to the public since the hotel was reopened in 1982 after a major renovation.”
On average, the hotel now serves a five-course traditional English style tea to over 4,000 people in the hotel’s beautiful lobby, as well as in private rooms. The appeal, Bulanek says, is more real face time, allowing us to expand our cultural and social skills. “Tea is a perfectly elegant event that allows us to gather, slow down, and practice the art of conversation,” she says. “It gets us out from behind our computers and away from electronic communication. It’s a sophisticated event that spans generations.”
6. Blowdry bar
Whether it’s a handful of your best girlfriends or a big group, a party at a blowdry bar is memorable for a few reasons: there are no cuts and no colors—just blowouts, you get to pick your preferred hairstyle from a menu, hang out with your girls in a lighthearted fun atmosphere, then leave feeling sassy and confident. Check out local blowdry bars Blowdry, WOW Bar, and Blast.
7. After-hours boutique shopping
Shop without the crowds at private after-hours parties, catered specifically to small groups of girlfriends. Many boutiques allow guests to bring wine, hors d’oeuvres, and dessert after-hours, allowing friends to sip and shop while checking out a beautiful selection of items for purchase. Cliché, located on Lyndale Avenue in Minneapolis, hosts happy hour parties for groups of 15+ girlfriends, typically with a discount of 20 percent off inventory. Cliché parties are hosted after hours from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, or early Sunday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Other local boutiques offering private shopping parties include Nani Nalu Beachware Boutique in Edina, Roe Wolfe in Mendota Heights, Fringe in Edina and St. Paul, Flirt on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul, and The Fun Sisters Boutique, with locations in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Stillwater, Nisswa, Walker, and Pequot Lakes. Call the individual stores for more details.