30 life questions that will strengthen your closest friendships
30 life questions that will strengthen your closest friendships

Geraldine Carton

7 comforting films worth watching to take your mind off Covid
7 comforting films worth watching to take your mind off Covid

Jennifer McShane

This Dalkey home, with sea access and incredible views, is on sale for €3.95 million
This Dalkey home, with sea access and incredible views, is on sale for €3.95 million

Megan Burns

Pandemic regrets: 20 things we would have done differently if we’d known what was ahead
Pandemic regrets: 20 things we would have done differently if we’d known what was ahead

Amanda Cassidy

Marianne Smyth, aka @smythsisters, picks 42 summer staples
Marianne Smyth, aka @smythsisters, picks 42 summer staples

Holly O'Neill

Paris Hilton and the physical, verbal and emotional abuse she suffered while at boarding school
Paris Hilton and the physical, verbal and emotional abuse she suffered while at boarding school

Lauren Heskin

Afore After: The new womenswear brand that’s so sustainable, it uses buttons made from Irish milk
Afore After: The new womenswear brand that’s so sustainable, it uses buttons made from Irish...

Sarah Finnan

6 new Netflix picks we can’t wait to watch in August
6 new Netflix picks we can’t wait to watch in August

Jennifer McShane

Friendship fallout in a pandemic: “I realised that nobody had picked up the phone to see how was I doing”
Friendship fallout in a pandemic: “I realised that nobody had picked up the phone to...

Niamh Ennis

Sophie Toscan du Plantier: 10 questions we’re still asking about the case
Sophie Toscan du Plantier: 10 questions we’re still asking about the case

Jennifer McShane

Image / Editorial

Bridesmaid 101: 7 Alternative Activity Ideas For The Hen Party


by Geraldine Carton
24th Feb 2018

Let’s not beat around the bush here, the modern day hen party has a bad rep. Between the drinking culture, the extensive penis paraphernalia, and the greased-up strippers, hens are up there with the stags in terms of the rí rá agus ruaile buaile that they’re known to get up to.

But what about the ladies who want to celebrate their upcoming nuptials with a touch of class and some “good clean fun” (at least during the day, anyway)? If you’ve been lumped with the task of organising a hen, and you know that the bride-to-be would like something fun and a little different, then read on.

1. Sports Day

A low-cost, high-craic activity, arranging a “sports day” is a great way to get people who may not know each other to bond over a desire to win. Include anything from three-legged races, sack races, What’s more, the tummy workout you get from all the laughing makes it worth the effort alone. We did this for my sister’s hen recently, and the individual games included:

  • “How far can you throw the accountancy book” (or whatever book is relevant to the bride’s interests/ profession)
  • Sack race
  • Hula hooping competition
  • Speed-walking relay race

Note: If the funds allow, get each team colour-coordinating sweatbands. 

2. Trip To The Farm

Milking cows, shearing sheep, feeding goats – even the non-animal-lovers in the group will enjoy one of the above activities. When you think about it, there really isn’t a more appropriate activity for a hen party.

3. Pottery Painting

A really lovely activity for both the creatively-blessed and creatively-challenged, alike. The Giddy Studios staff are brilliant and offer tips and assistance whenever needed. They also let you BYOB and order in food from the local Dundrum foodie hotspots while you paint. And at the end of it all, you get a questionably-painted piece of crockery to remind you of the fun had that day.

4. Nudist Painting

It might be 2018, but this is still Ireland, and we’re still feeling the effects of our sheltered, sexually-repressed upbringing. As such, nudist painting is one activity that’ll probably render the group a bunch of giggling schoolgirls, and bring the term “blushing bride” to a whole other level.

5. Belly Dancing Class

Insert some sort of “hips don’t lie” reference into the invitation, and off you go. This activity will bring your fellow hens on a middle eastern adventure to discover hips thrusts and shakes that they never even knew were possible. A surprisingly vigourous workout, if you head out on the tiles later that evening, you’ll be able to show off your new moves on the dance floor.

6. Flower Crown Making

Perfect for both the chilled, hippy bride, or the wilder, festival-going bride. A very wholesome activity to partake in which gives hens a chance to channel their inner Mother Nature.

7. Lip Sync Battle

Ok, this *may* require a drink or two beforehand, but we’re still including it because of the good-clean-fun aspect of the whole activity. It also garners double points for the fact that it’s very easy to arrange, plus it entertains all without subjecting anyone to the howling wails that karaoke performances can often involve.

Also Read

Mandy Moore pumping
EDITORIAL
Mandy Moore climbed an active volcano at dawn… while pumping

Hiking a mountain and breast pumping – now, that’s what we call multitasking at its finest. Mandy Moore enjoyed an...

By Sarah Finnan

EDITORIAL
The life-changing act of binning all your terrible underwear

A life of wearing the wrong underwear had Sophie White’s knickers in a twist. She reports on the unexpected satisfaction...

By Sophie White

EDITORIAL
‘We went to the zoo today – and life felt deliciously normal’

What’s seldom is truly wonderful, writes Amanda Cassidy Dublin Zoo has been the backdrop to our children’s lives – birthday...

By Amanda Cassidy

EDITORIAL
This is what happens when you hypersexualise young girls growing up

Who is demanding the fetishization of young girls anyway?”When I was working in my early twenties, and even my late...

By Amanda Cassidy

EDITORIAL
‘In a public health emergency, why does so much of the post-pandemic talk revolve around drinking?’

No other European country is having the same public order challenges our capital city is experiencing, writes Amanda Cassidy I...

By Amanda Cassidy

DIY wall murals
EDITORIAL
People are getting creative with their walls in lockdown and we’re dying to give it a go

While staying at home and with plenty of time to spare, creative people are turning to their walls as a...

By Megan Burns

EDITORIAL
Laura Whitmore’s baby name retaliation is about so much more than double standards

The Love Island presenter has divided social media after she singled out a journalist trying to confirm the name of...

By Amanda Cassidy