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Whether you’re single or married, have kids or not… there is nothing more therapeutic for the soul than a get together with the girls.
It’s the perfect time and place to dish the dirt, vent your frustrations, share your feelings, laugh, cry… without judgement.
These are your people. Your village.
In this article, I’ll share 15 of my favorite women’s group activity ideas that are not only fun… but inexpensive.
This means that if you’re a mom, or on a budget, these ideas should leave you feeling guilt free about the decision to let your hair down for a little while!
You deserve it!
1. The Wine and Cheese Picnic
It’s cliché, but true… many women like to drink wine.
And what goes better with wine than cheese?
Add some truffles, olives, crackers, fresh bread and hummus… and you’ve got the makings of a decadent picnic basket.
Have your girlfriends each bring a favorite bottle of wine… and let whoever is organizing it supply the eats this time around.
Then just pick a scenic spot and enjoy!
2. Take a Winery (or Brewery) Tour
Sticking with the theme of wine, many vineyards offer tours for small groups that won’t break the bank.
For a modest fee, you get to sample fresh wines and complimentary tapas at the end of the tour. You also may find some places offer live music and outdoor dining.
On average, you can find a decent tour for less than $25 per person… which makes for a nice and cost effective afternoon.
3. Happy Hour or Ladies Night at the Bar
Happy hour is all about half price or discounted drinks… and most bars these days even offer “ladies night” specials to get more women into their establishment.
More women typically mean more single guys, which is great if you’re looking to meet your perfect match… or just play matchmaker for a friend.
There is also normally free food served during happy hour… making this one of the least expensive women’s group activities ideas on my list.
4. Go Hiking
Hiking is a great way to get exercise, while taking in nature’s beauty.
You can use an app like AllTrails or Gaia GPS (available on Google Play or the Apple Store) to find your next adventure. Trails are typically sorted by distance and difficulty, which makes it easy to find the one most suitable for all the gals in your group.
Hiker reviews and posted photos will also come in handy for choosing the next best hike.
5. Painting Party
BYOB painting parties have grown in popularity over the last few years.
But with many local craft stores and online retailers offering these bulks materials at discount… there is little reason why you can’t host your own painting party at home!
You can typically find painting stencils online. Pinterest, for instance, seemed to have quite a few. There is also the option of casting a YouTube tutorial during the party for fun and easy step by step painting projects.
But if you’d prefer to have someone else do the legwork, companies like Social Artworking have got you covered.
6. Book Club
Book clubs never go out of style.
In fact, pleasure reading is an art that is lost on so many of us as life gets in the way… and one that we really should make time for.
I know it’s easier said than done, but there are so many authors that are worth discovering and sharing with others.
A book club makes you accountable. It will force you to sit down and read the assigned book so that you’re able to discuss it intelligently.
Not to mention, book clubs often involve some tasty food and beverages.
7. Retro Sleepover
Do you remember your first slumber party? I do.
The movies, the snacks, the games. Playing silly pranks (frozen bra, anyone?). Painting nails, doing each other’s hair. Gossiping about the mean girls and gushing over your latest crush.
It was magical… or at least it seemed that way.
Times were so much simpler then… after all, teen angst has nothing on adulting.
So why not use a girl’s night as the perfect excuse to throw a retro sleepover.
Send out invites asking everyone to bring their favorite childhood snacks and all the glamour magazines they can muster.
Choose from a collection of movies that were popular back then. Same goes for a song playlist.
You may even want to share some old photos of you gals as kids, just for kicks.
8. Join a Sports League
Organized sports are a great way to stay (or get) fit, learn to work as a team and make new friends who share similar interests.
Many towns offer adult leagues through their recreation department or community center. There are also leagues to be found via private facilities, such as gyms or an indoor sports complex.
Softball, soccer, basketball, hockey, water polo… if you want to play bad enough, you’ll likely find someplace to accommodate you and your friends.
And if you can’t commit to a weekly schedule, there are usually pick up leagues to be found.
9. Scavenger Hunt
Organizing a scavenger hunt is one of the more creative women’s group activity ideas.
You can invite the girls over to your place and keep it at one location… or you can run things Midnight Madness style and get in your cars for the ultimate team competition, with clues all over town.
Be sure to include some fun prizes and don't’ forget to bring your camera along!
10. Visit a Botanical Garden or Museum
There is so much beauty in the world… and so much art that goes unseen.
And no matter how many online videos or “immersive experiences” we view, it just doesn’t do these things justice.
Ingesting the vibrant colors and aromatic fragrances of a botanical garden is a lovely and inexpensive way to spend the afternoon with your girlfriends. It’s usually rather inexpensive and you can sip lattes and take some gorgeous pictures along the way.
Some places even offer you the opportunity to purchase seeds and bulbs to bring home, so that your friends can start a friendship garden to remember these days.
Similarly, museums are a great way to expose yourself to familiar artists… as well as up and coming ones who may be worth starting a collection for. That or adding to one you already own.
11. Pick Your Own Fruit
Being a farmer may not have been on my potential career list as a child, but that isn’t to say I wasn’t and am not still intrigued at the thought of growing my own food.
It is truly a labor of love.
It takes patience and a green thumb… both of which I lack being a busy mom to young children.
But, when given the chance to pick fresh fruit right from the tree… I’m all over it!
It’s a great activity to do with just the gals, but you can also do it with other families. My kids really enjoy it.
The price is usually by the pound, so pick as much or as little as you’re comfortable with! And if you’re lucky, you’ll get a hayride out of it.
12. Organize a Potluck Lunch or Dinner
No one said you need to go out to a fancy restaurant to enjoy a nice meal with friends.
Another of the women’s group activity ideas I really like is the potluck lunch or dinner.
Everybody simply makes a dish they are proud of and agrees to bring it along. Typically you would assign a few appetizers, main dishes and desserts.
There are websites that make hosting a potluck meal a cinch. You simply set up the attendee list and the number of items needed in each category. Once somebody signs up for something, it’s done.
For an extra level of fancy, try setting up a theme for the meal or a particular type of cuisine.
This is a great way to push each other out of your comfort zones and expose your palates to new things.
13. Fire Pit
Who doesn’t love a good fire pit?
There is something so relaxing about it… communing with nature, as we listen to the nighttime sounds.
Talking with friends around the firepit can make for the perfect evening.
Grab some fixings for s’mores, hot cider and the perfect music… and it’s magic.
If you want to kick things up a notch, you can show an outdoor movie by the fire.
If you don’t already have a projector, there are some super affordable mini ones available that even come with a screen. They work by casting your smart device.
14. Volunteer for a Service Project
Volunteering is a great way to give back… not to mention, make yourself feel good.
It’s also a wonderful way to appreciate all of the good things you have in your life. Things like true friends.
This is one of those completely free women’s group activity ideas that can inspire and change you.
I suggest starting out by making a list of causes or things you and your friends care most about.
Things such as:
For every cause, there is a way to help it along.
Pick your passion and start searching the internet or local paper for opportunities. You won’t regret it.
15. Train for a 5K
Finishing a 5K race can be a great accomplishment for those new to running… or those committed to getting into better shape.
It is also a good enough distance to keep avid runners honest, when they are short on time… or have a light training day planned.
Training for a 5K with your girlfriends can be a great bonding experience. And following a set diet and exercise plan together makes you more likely to stay the course.
Whether you are doing it to improve your fitness level, or you’ve decided to run for a cause, there are 5K races to be found everywhere you look.
There are flat ones, hilly ones, scenic ones, muddy ones.
Whatever floats your boat.
You can raise money as part of a team and the entrance fee varies.
Final Thoughts on Women’s Group Activities That Are Fun and Inexpensive
After reading this, I hope you’ve found some inspiration for your next adventure with the girls.
Whether it’s the same group you’ve always turned to, or you’re hoping to make new friends in a non-threatening environment, I promise that there is at least one activity on this list that can get you where you want to be.
Some of the group ideas outlined here can be found by searching community message boards or social media posts.
Websites like Meetup are known for bringing people with similar interests together… which is a great place to start if you’re looking to join that book or hiking club. Volunteermatch is another great resource.
Whatever you decide… just know that it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money in order to have real value.
True friendships are priceless.
Nicole Krause has been writing both personally and professionally for over 20 years. She holds a dual B.A. in English and Film Studies. Her work has appeared in some of the country’s top publications, major news outlets, online publications and blogs. As a happily married (and extremely busy) mother of four… her articles primarily focus on parenting, marriage, family, finance, organization and product reviews.