What makes for a five-star hen do? It really depends on the bride – the perfect celebration will reflect her interests and incorporate related activities for all the hens to enjoy!
Of course, there are as many options as there are different types of brides. The party planner’s job is to figure out just the right activity (or activities!) for this particular bride and her guests.
To assist you with this all-important task, we’ve narrowed down 10 of the most fun and original hen-do activities in the UK. Whether you’re the bride, chief bridesmaid or some other generous soul in charge of the planning, you’re sure to find the right choice for your hen party right here!
1. Play Crazy Golf For A “Hole-In-One” Hen
There’s nothing like a lively group activity to keep up your hens’ energy (henergy?) through the night. Crazy golf is ideal for this, and with a deluxe venue like Swingers, you’re bound to have an amazing time.
At Swingers, you can choose from several lush crazy golf courses to play on, complete with drinks delivered by your own personal caddie! (We’d recommend the sweet, frothy Anna Pavlova or the fruity Fairway to Heaven.)
Once your hens start feeling peckish, move along to the fairy-lit dining area for burrata and pesto pizza, short rib tacos, rosemary-salted chips and so much more. For sweet-toothed groups, you can’t go wrong sharing the decadent salted caramel truffles to close out the night.
2. Stroll Through Gorgeous Botanical Gardens
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a destination hen to enjoy beautiful flora and great scenery! All you need are some botanical gardens, which can be found in remarkable abundance throughout the UK.
For hen parties near London, the Barbican Conservatory is an enchanting oasis in the city centre – or you could go the Kew Gardens route for a full day of oohing and ahhing at tropical plants, colourful flowers and spectacular views from their Treetop Walkway.
You’ll also find lovely botanical gardens in pretty much every major city in England – not to mention some impressive grounds attached to National Trust properties, which can be a real boon if you love regional floral and fauna.
3. Get Creative With A Craft Workshop
Calling all artsy brides! Your perfect hen-do might just be a craft workshop where participants can make their own flower crowns, flapper headbands, fascinators and more. (After all, no hen party is complete without some seriously stylish accessories.)
The Crafty Hen runs marvellous workshops all over the UK, allowing you and your hens to create everything from modest ceramics to not-so-modest garters and pasties – talk about a range of goods and services! You’ll have a fabulous time decorating your accessories with sequins, feathers, jewels and silk flowers.
All the better if you have somewhere fun to wear them afterwards – whether that’s high tea, a burlesque show or the wedding itself, it’s up to you!
4. Immerse Yourself In Iconic Artwork
Or for a day out that puts the “awe” in “awesome,” consider a total immersive experience, like the Van Gogh Experience or the Yayoi Kusama Infinity Rooms. (Both are happening in London through next year, and the Van Gogh is available in other cities as well!)
Yes, you could just visit your local art museum… but an immersive experience turns an already-classy afternoon into an unforgettable event. The massive projections and vivid colours of the Van Gogh and the sparkling optical illusions of the Kusama are also perfect for Instagram – but the sheer wonder of these experiences makes them worth the visit even sans photos.
Keep an eye out for similar exhibitions in the UK, as new ones are opening all the time!
5. Try A Specifically Themed Club Night
For brides who love to dance, there’s nothing better than a club night – but nothing worse than arriving at the club to find the DJ’s tastes don’t mesh with yours. To avoid this tragic fate, look for a themed club night with music from a specific genre, era or artist that the bride and hens all adore!
80s and 90s nights are usually solid bets, as are nights themed around particularly prolific artists. Swiftogeddon – the Taylor Swift club night thrumming with hits, remixes and deep cuts alike – is a perfect example (and it’s hosted all over the UK!).
Other ideas include Britney nights, Beyoncé nights, Beatles nights… whatever strikes your fancy! With a little research, you’re sure to find your musical match.
6. Go Camping (Or Glamping!)
A rustic getaway is just the ticket for outdoorsy groups. You can rent a hen party house in the countryside, or take it a step further and camp beneath the stars – though make sure you have a backup tent if it’s likely to rain.
The nice thing about camping (or glamping, if you prefer) is that it’s actually a whole bunch of activities rolled into one: hiking, picnicking and stories by the fire, all capped off with a sleepover!
Another advantage of this hen-do is that it’s relatively inexpensive; if the weather is nice and you’ve got some camping gear, it’s pretty much a no-brainer. Don’t forget the hard seltzers and ingredients for s’mores!
7. Enjoy A Tasty Baking Class
Another scrumptious hen-do idea is a baking or cake-decorating class. All-natural bakery Cutter & Squidge offers delightful decorating classes in London, complete with nibbles and mimosas (plus you can sample some wedding cakes while you’re there!).
You could also try a pastry-making class or a cookie-decorating class, if the canvas of a whole cake feels intimidating. In terms of timing, baking classes are great for a full-day experience, while decorating classes are more of an interlude – handy for filling the time between brunch and cocktail hour.
Whichever class you choose, you’ll end up with some delicious final products (and unbeatable midnight snacks)!
8. Let Your Troubles Float Away At The Baths
Or if your hens need a bit more de-stressing than frosting alone can provide, a spa trip could be in order! Look for a spa with indoor baths for a truly luxurious experience.
AIRE Ancient Baths in London has no fewer than seven baths of varying sizes and temperatures, plus a steam room and treatment rooms for massages.
A spa day like this is a lovely way to unwind during what may be a stressful wedding-planning period – plus, the low-lit, relaxing atmosphere lends itself to deep chats and fantastic bonding with your hens!
For the full rejuvenation experience, make sure to book in some massages as well. (Or if you’re keeping an eye on your budget, do face masks and pedicures at home, then go for the baths.)
9. Sing Along To Musical Brunch
Bottomless brunch is already a hen party staple, but what about musical bottomless brunch? Take your hens on a sweet-and-savoury sonic journey with brunch featuring songs from beloved shows!
The Escapologist in London hosts two irresistible brunches themed after Mamma Mia! and Rocky Horror Picture Show – so whether your bride is a sunny ABBA fan or prefers Halloween-y cult classics, they’ve got it covered. If you’d rather hear a medley, you can go for an actual West End Brunch, which includes performances from multiple iconic shows!
Of course, there are musical brunches galore in cities other than London as well – and if your hens aren’t much for musical theatre, you can always spring for a good old-fashioned DJ-helmed brunch instead.
10. Have A Magical “Murder Mystery” Experience
Watching live theatre play out is all well and good, but what if your hens want to be a part of the performance themselves? In this case, consider a riveting murder mystery party; it’s the perfect excuse to get all dressed up, drink elegant cocktails and practise fainting onto a chaise lounge!
With UK-based company Murder Mystery Events, you can book a murder mystery weekend at a preselected destination (you’ll find these events on their website), request an event at your own venue or purchase a game kit and execute the evening yourself.
Needless to say, it’s a killer option (no pun intended) for brides with dramatic flair and a bit of a dark side – and conveniently accessible to hen parties of any size, in any location.
All that said, for a hen party that’s the complete package, we’d recommend a venue where you can eat, drink and do something lively and memorable – which is why you can’t go wrong with Swingers.
Book a group package today for a hen that’s just the right combination of fab aesthetics, flawless refreshments, and loads of fairway fun.