Updated: Nov 29, 2019
Hen's parties. The very thought of them can make us anti-brides cringe at the premise of cheesy strip clubs and penis paraphernailia.
The idea of staggering up to a complete stranger and having them sign a boob on a dare is pretty eye-rollingly cliched. Vom. In fact most of the cliched, 'traditonal' ways we celebrate impending marriages are so damn cringeworthy.
When I was getting married, the very notion of having to throw a shindig where we worship and laugh at penis-shaped things as a grown ass woman almost made me want to cancel the wedding. I mean, yeah- the first few times in my 20s this kinda shit was funny. But in your 30s, it gets kinda old.
So when I had a hen's 'do' I made it pretty clear to my small group of frands that we were just going to have a relaxed meal with booze, followed by more booze, followed by lounging by the pool at the house we hired for our wedding. All I wanted to do was kick back like a boss lady of leish and enjoy some quiet time with my gals. That is literally all I could muster after months of planning an interstate hitchin' and running around getting.shit.done.
I had zero requests or expectations, with the exception of there were to be NO penis-shaped things. NO surprise strippers. No getting wasted in the back of a stretch hummer and falling into the gutter after one too many lolly-flavoured drinks with more penis-shaped things in them (I mean, if that floats your boat, sure, no judgement here).
If you're as averse to the idea of hen's party ideas as I was, I've compiled a list of ideas that won't induce a stroke at the mention of celebrating your impending bride-dom. Think of this list as a launching point for you to start thinking of things that are bit more outside the box than the traditional, cliched hen's party ideas.
Things you can do with your closest pals that are all about the experience, and having a great time with your besties, with all budgets and tastes in mind.
Karaoke and japanese fast food
Does the idea of burgers, karaoke, cocktails and an indoor spa in a Japanese biker bar sound good to you? Yes please! I booked in to Bosozuko in South Yarra last year for my birthday with a bunch of gal pals, and it did NOT disappoint!
Think a pulsing, colourful “Dirty Tokyo” behind Chapel Street, complete with games room with Nintendo 64, a private karaoke room, and a sunken booth made to look like an onsen, steaming with dry-ice. Under the light of a glittering motorbike helmet disco ball, Bosozoku mixes alcoholic bubble-tea or cherry-blossom-infused gin. There is also Asahi on tap, Kellerman’s own Robot Ninja beers, or Japanese whisky flights. It's a riot.
Eat a meal in the dark
Have you ever stopped to consider how much you rely on your eyesight to do something as simple as enjoy a meal out? From finding your wine glass to loading your fork to making eye contact with your dining companion, your eyesight makes eating out simple, and indeed almost automatic.
Melbourne's Dans Le Noir challenges you and forces you to rely on your other senses with lights out at this global dining phenomenon where you’ll eat dinner in complete darkness. Experienced guides, who have low or no vision, escort you into a pitch-black room and help you sit down, find your cutlery and find your wine and water. Then you’ll be given meals and learn how to eat without the help of sight.
It’s an unforgettable experience.
Go disco dancing
Ever wanted to try a dance class but too initmidated? Why not try Boogie Nights Dance classes. You don't need to know your left foot from your right foot to enjoy these adult dance lessons that will teach you all the moves of the spangly, sparkly disco era. Through a series of short routines that you can build into a full dance, you're sure to havea riot of a time in your glittery spandex leotard and disco shoes.
Casual classes are $18 per person, enquire for group workshops.
Southern food and absinthe
If you're a fan of smokey, southern-style cooking with a big nod to the deep south, then gather up your posse and head to Cillingwood insitution Le Bon Ton, a New Orleans-inspired bar and smokehouse.
Their menu showcases dishes and cooking techniques drawn from multiple regions of the American South, with inspiration for their dishes coming from as far west as New Mexico and as far east as Alabama.
The bar stays true to the traditional flavours of the South. Cocktail ingredients can range from sweet teas to fresh peaches to pressed mint. All beer is served frothy from the tap. The absinthes are complex, the whiskey smooth and the Champagne is ice cold.
Glam up afternoon with your gals
Got a fancy schmancy dinner booked? Or perhaps a night of dancing and gay-bar hopping?
A glam up with Killer Queen (that's us!) is a perfect way to start the ball rolling on your celebrations!
With the convenience of everything under one roof, we offer your posse of gal pals a complete glam up afternoon that's totally fun and will leave you feeling deliciously fine and ready to kick on.
Bring a group of up to 4 pals and indulge in sweet treats and sparkling as we glam you all up and pamper you with mini facials, glitter and lashes. You'll all get a gorgoues and simple lil' hair style to go with your glam up too, goodie bags for errrryone, plus the bride-to-be gets a special little sumthin' sumthin to say thank ya!
We'll even pump your fave tunes in the studio while you hang out and get ready! fun times ahoy. Email us to get it happening!
Where: Killer Queen Beauty of course!
Dinner somewhere fancyyyy
If your ideal night involves food rather than copious amounts of booze and table-top dancing, why not make your foodie dreams a reality by gathering a close group of pals and getting your feast on?
If you've always wanted to get dressed up schmick and head out somewhere terribly fancy and 5 star, what better ocassion than just before you get hitched?
Melbourne is know as Ausrtalia's eating destination so start planning! From dinner with a view in the city to hatted retaurants in the burb's, degustation menus to a la carte and beyond, the city is your oyster.
Make this is the sort of fine dining experience that stays with you long after yours or your friend’s wedding.
Hot tip: If the thought of spending $300 on a meal makes your stomach turn a little, look out for specials, book on a weeknight or try booking in for a lunch option instead. Also, try researching your city's local guides for hidden gems that may not be as luxe, but have ah-mazing food without the hefty pricetag. There are plenty of them out there, you just have to look.
Where: Nobu, Flower Drum. The Carlton Wine Room, Vue De Monde, the list is endless!
Hire a house and escape for the weekend
Why not head to the country or the coast for a chill AF, back-to-nature hen weekend!
From rustic treehouse hideaways to coastal cabins down the Great Ocean Road, gatehr your gal squad and hit up Air BnB to find a unique place to stay.
With a huge amount of options all over Melbourne, all you need to do is decide where you want to go.
Finally, all that’s left is to sit back, drink wine and enjoy amazing views – the perfect way to relax ahead with your favourite ladies.
Alternatively, try a glamping weekend away. Perfect for someone who wants a low key, alternative hens experience with their closest friends.
Where: Anywhere that takes your fancy! Try Lorne, Dayelsford, the Yarra Valley or Red Hill with their close proximities to nature, the ocean, and wineries.
Perfect for birthdays, hen’s nights, and other big celebrations, why not try Melbourne's best drag cabaret and have dinner served to you by a queen? Vau d’vile offers a full three-course dinner and drag show, the only one of its kind in Melbourne. Watch some of Melbourne's finest serving up some fierce drag on stage with a feather-filled show of choreographed group numbers, vibrant solos and comedy routines.
The moment you enter Vau d’vile it feels like you are welcomed into Bumpa Love’s big family. Stick around for the late shows in the front bar, House of Love, where a diverse coterie of queens, kings, bio queens and all sorts performs late into the night. On Friday nights catch Sexy Galexy hosting Royale, with some of Melbourne’s best kings (and more), and Saturday nights showcase the freshest drag around.
Dress up horror night
Gather some z-grade movies and a bunch of your finest halloween costumes and have a horror night in with a bunch of your besties.
Think fake blood, scary costumes, hauntingly beautiful food, spooky drinks,a killer goth-rock playlist....it would definitely be an event to remember!
Having everyone turn up in creepy costumes will not only look great whilst simultaneously creating the perfect ‘spooky’ atmosphere, but will also mean SO many laughs, amazing photo ops and more. Make your house a total spookfest with fake cobwebs and skulls aplenty, and make those drinks and food horrifyingly good. Just make sure you send me an invite!
Where: at your place!
A high-spirited afternoon or evening in a whisky bar to learn a thing or three about whisky? It’s a cozy theme that invites conversations and is perfect for a small group of close friends.
Starward Distillery is Melbourne's own award-winning whisky distillery bar. ... an open warehouse spacein Port Melbourne within easy walking distance of the city.
Ever wondered how whisky is made and why it tastes so damn good? Public tours of the distillery are held at 7pm on Fridays and 2pm over weekends. The tour is designed for both whisky enthusiasts and beginners alike — over the course of an hour, the distillers walk small groups through their production methods including mashing in, fermentation, distillation and ageing their special single malt spirit. You can taste it at its various stages along the way too, as well as seeing up close the state-of-the-art equipment and hundreds of barrels ageing the precious liquid. You can also try their whiskey making masterclass, in which you can bottle your own never-to-be-repeated Starward, straight from the barrel and fine tune those tastebuds with expert guidance. Perfect for the whiskey-lovin' bride to be.
Rustle up your squad and saddle up for a two-hour horse ride along the stunning Mornington Peninsula coastline. The beautiful coastal bushland of the Peninsula is full of hidden treasures to explore & discover. Meander slowly and enjoy the serenity or take it up a notch with our adrenalin charged experienced rides.
Gunnamatta Trail rides offers packages for groups, so you can soak into the Peninsula Hot Springs after your ride or sit down to lunch. Try the Beach, Bathe and Brew package which combines the adventure of an intrepid ride on the beach of St Andrew’s in the Mornington Peninsula, with a relaxing dip in the natural hot springs of Peninsula Hot Springs, and lunch at nearby St Andrews Beach Brewery. Amazing!
Tackle the cold in Australia’s first ice cave
Up for something different and memorable? Peninsula Hot Springs' "Fire and Ice" experience might be right up your alley! It involves alternating between an ice cave (the first of its kind in Australia) and accompanying sauna for hot/cold therapy, which has been practiced in Scandinavian countries for centuries.
The ‘fire’ component comprises two 30-person saunas – one dry; one wet, and both set at 90 degrees Celsius, while contrasting the heat of the sauna is the ‘ice’ component, which involves a cold plunge pool and ice plunge pool, an Ice Cave set at between 2 and minus 10 degrees Celsius, and a minus 25-degree Deep Freeze. These icy experiences are based on the theory of cryotherapy – a method made popular in Japan in the 1970s
Hot/cold therapy is a well-regarded method to reduce inflammation, stress and soreness in the body, release toxins, cleanse skin, burn calories, fight illness and improve cardiovascular performance and sleep quality.
Do like the Scandinavians do and experience something truly unique as well as utterly exhilerating and refreshing.
Learn a new skill
The folks at Fitzroy’s Work-Shop know how to throw a wild(ish) crafternoon. Why not try a perfume class, or perhaps brighten up your look by making your own acrylic jewellery. Or our personal fave, learning the ins and outs of making brie. Classes start at a very reaosnable $20 per person.
Work-Shop is flexible with class numbers, and the studio is conveniently located near all the clubs and bars of Fitzroy so you can head out afterwards and get your drank on.
Try a boozy painting class
Get the chance unleash your creativity and indulge your childhood memories with a painting class.
Tipples and Tints offers pop culture-themed painting classes at the fairytale-like Storyville in the CBD (classes include a complimentary cocktail and additional drinks at bar prices). An art teacher will walk you through step-by-step creating a literature-inspired piece of artwork on canvas using the flow of line and colour, and you will create something that you will be proud to call your own.
A cocktail or two will have you channelling your inner Dali, plus you'll get to take home the painting you create so you've all got a memento of your hen's. Costing from $63 per person it's a nice, cultured way to spend an arvo that's still fun, unique and memorable in a gorgeous setting.