Valentine’s Day is approaching, but many military spouses and significant others won’t get to spend the day with their true love. If the military has separated you from your Valentine because of training or deployment, then enjoy a girls’ night out instead. Call it GALentine’s Day!
Of course, you can gather the girls for something typical like dinner or a movie. But you will have a lot more fun if you try something new! Whether you are hanging out with close friends or inviting some new wives from your unit, use these creative girls’ night out ideas anytime you need to relax with your girlfriends.
Paint and Sip
The paint and sip craze has become popular all over the country. An art instructor provides canvas, paints, and instruction–you provide the wine! Enjoy an evening of laughter as you all create a masterpiece. See if you can find a local restaurant or art shop that offers these classes. They are perfect for beginners, because you don’t need to know anything about painting or own any supplies.
Join in a murder mystery
If you like to read mysteries or listen to true crime podcasts, then you will love murder mystery dinners. These are sometimes in a local theater, other times in a hotel or conference center. You can even download kits online to print out and do with a group in your home or at a community center building on base.
A murder mystery is interactive and fun. Throughout the night, you will talk to costumed actors and probably interact with other guests. Sometimes there are prizes for the first person to guess the murderer. Roundup your best friends to go with you, but watch out; one of them might end up as the prime suspect!
Do a wine tasting
I’m lucky to live in California, where we can arrange tours and tastings from local vineyards. Even if you don’t live near a vineyard, you can enjoy great wine. See if any of the restaurants near you offer wine tastings or beer flights. Plan to order a variety of snacks or appetizers to go with the alcohol. Then gather your group to eat and drink together. Challenge everyone to try something new and find their favorite.
Escape rooms as a girls’ night out
Do you think you and your tribe could work together and solve puzzles to escape a locked room? Escape Rooms are becoming popular everywhere. You can find rooms with different themes, from horror movie dungeons, to video games, or a re-creation of Albert Einstein’s office. There are secret puzzles and clues hidden throughout the room, and the group has 45 minutes to solve them all.
It’s a great way to make new friends– fast.
Ride horses into the sunset
This was a popular outing at our last base. The base stable conducted trail rides along the beach at sunset. Yes, it was amazing! You don’t need prior riding experience to go on a simple trail ride, so anyone can join in. The horses will walk, not run, and they are usually docile and easy to control. It’s fun, relaxing, and will have unforgettable views.
I love local pottery shops that let you choose a piece of unfinished pottery and paint it yourself. This is fun no matter what your artistic abilities are. (My husband and I actually made time to do this during our honeymoon, and we still have our pottery creations!) You can choose a small figurine to paint, or something more challenging, like a large bowl to glaze.
Everyone can paint and show off their creations, then you leave them at the shop to be fired in the kiln. Usually, you can pick up your pottery one week later or have it mailed to you. This makes a great going away party for a military spouse before a PCS. Everyone makes a souvenir to remember them.
Learn to cook something fancy
Girls’ night out should always have good food! Sometimes military bases hold discounted cooking classes. Or you can register a group at a local restaurant. It’s a fun way to learn new cooking skills in an interactive group setting. All the ingredients and instructions are provided.
If you’ve never rolled out pastry dough before, don’t worry! You can learn from the instructor or your friends. Best of all, at the end you get to eat your creations. Then you can take the recipes home.
If you would rather host your friends for a cooking night in your own home, consider a meal delivery service like Clean Box. They will send you a meal complete with fresh ingredients and step-by-step directions. You and your friends become the chefs!
Go on a scavenger hunt
Have you ever done a scavenger hunt that sent you all over town? Some cities have established public scavenger hunts that can be played anytime. Once you sign up, clues are sent to your smart phone, and you walk to different city locations to find the answers. This is a great way to learn more about the town near your base. Getting lost will never be this much fun!
Indulge in chocolate fondue
Does anyone not like chocolate? It’s the ultimate treat for a girls’ night out. Because I can’t think of a more delicious way to spend an evening than laughing over chocolate fondue with friends. If you’re lucky, there is a Melting Pot restaurant near you. They specialize in delicious cheese and chocolate fondue dinners.
But I have also hosted fondue parties at home. (Much cheaper). Each guest brought different fruit, brownies, or snacks to dip. I heated up the chocolate in a fondue pot, and then we all enjoyed making tasty creations. Either way, it’s delicious fun.