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Image / Style / Weddings

Bridesmaid 101: 7 alternative activities for the hen party


By Geraldine Carton
31st Jan 2022

Space to Grow Sligo

Bridesmaid 101: 7 alternative activities for the hen party

Now that the world is opened up again, your bridey bestie has tasked you with planning an almighty hen party and you're not sure where to begin. If the typical hen party doesn't excite you, why not try these more creative options

Now that the world is opening up again, we’re ready to meander out for a pint on a whim, book that month-long trip to South America and most importantly of all, see all the faces we have missed so desperately over the last two years.

Weddings are a meeting place for those faces. They’ve been postponed and downsized for 20 months and, along with it, all the extra bits like hen parties and stags. But now you, chief bridesmaid tasked with planning such an event, have realised you’ve had more time than most to organise it and yet you’re drawing a blank?

Granted, there’s the traditional option, but 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.

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. 

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 partyThe Farmyard in Co Clare and Causey Farm in Co Meath both offer exclusive Hen party packages.

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 with their at-home kits. Doing it in someone’s house also allows you to BYOB and order in some takeout 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.

Nudist Painting

It might be 2022, 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. Check out Life Drawing Hen Party in Galway, NudeLife in Dublin and Paint a Nude provides classes nationwide. 

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 vigorous 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. Try Cida Arcanjo in Dublin or Dance Divas in Galway.

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. Space To Grow in Sligo, Dublin’s Kay’s School of Floristry and Wedding Flowers in Galway all offer a flower crown workshop option.

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.