5 ways to have fun with your friends without a babysitter

I love to spend a long evening out with my friends eating off of each other’s plates and splitting three desserts (unless there are more than two of us, in which case, I expect more desserts). If leisurely nights away from home have become a ridiculous fantasy like jetting off to Paris for a pedicure, then it is time to bring girls night out back home for a while.

Invite a few of your best ladies over for a specific themed gathering that starts after you put your child to bed. Here are five ideas to get you started:
1. Craftapallooza: you supply the project ideas and a few odds and ends, your friends bring their extra bits and you leave with some fun new treasure (or trash) and some giggles. Example: turn your old clothes into scrappy plush toys or kids pants. (We have a gajillion and two ideas in our crafty section or in our book for this).

2. Fondue Party: you supply the chocolate and cheese and your friends bring the dippables. When’s the last time you brought a pineapple and a bag of marshmallows to a party? We thought so. Funny and cheap.

3. Movie Binge: sitting in front of the TV is much more fun if you have a mission. Watch a coordinated double feature like Knocked Up and This is Forty or three back-to-back episodes of Downton Abbey. Choose a current TV show that you are storing on your DVR or stream a new release from amazon, hulu, or netflix. Convince your friends to make it a weekly event and your husband might start to look forward to his night off.

4. Clothing Swap: for a girls-only party. Clean your closet out and invite your pals to bring the good stuff over to see if someone will appreciate. Trade in your outfits for some that will suit you better. Please do not bring a shirt from a 10K you did in 2003. Please DO bring a shirt from Anthropologie that is totally cute, but would look better on someone whose shoulders are broader, wrists less bony, skin darker, or likes to dress sluttier.

5. Cooking party: Invent an elaborate menu and assign different ingredients to different guests. Boss them around when they arrive. Eat a several course meal that lasts until midnight. Assign clean up duties as well.

I hope that you still get to sample three desserts and you have so much fun that you make it a regular event!

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