20 Ideas for a Fun Girls' Night In

Carrie Lowrance

Crosswalk Contributor
Updated Sep 06, 2023
20 Ideas for a Fun Girls' Night In

We all have weeks that seem to take forever. Our meetings at work are back to back. We have to run the kids all over the place and, of course, keep up with household chores and other responsibilities. It is exhausting. What better way to say goodbye to a hectic week than to hang out with your gal pals on a Friday night? What’s even better? Spending a girls’ night in and having to spend little to no money to have a great time. Here are some ideas for your next girl’s night in.

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1. Play Board Games

1. Play Board Games

Break out the classics like Scrabble, Monopoly, and Clue, or have your friends bring over their favorite games. You could even break out the kid games like Candy Land, Cootie, or Hi Ho Cherry-O! Classic games that aren’t around anymore are also great, even kids’ games. Two of my favorites from when I was a kid that aren’t around anymore are Ready, Set, Spaghetti, and Pizza Party. Whether you choose the classics, fun for kids, or rare games, you won’t get bored on board game night.

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2. Play Video Games

2. Play Video Games

Who says the guys have to take over the game console? Round up the video games and let the fun begin. You can even have your friends bring over their favorite video games as well. To make it extra fun, give out prizes at the end of the night. They don’t have to be expensive, think candy, trial-size bottles of body spray or lotion, or travel-size hand sanitizer.

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happy women friends laughing and eating dinner at home

3. Potluck

Potlucks are always fun because there are all kinds of food to eat. This is especially fun when you have friends of different ethnicities who know how to make authentic food from their culture. This is a great way to experience different cuisines you may never get to try otherwise.

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4. Dessert Potluck

What’s even better than a food potluck? A dessert potluck. This is a great way to indulge your sweet tooth. Assign a different dessert to each person to make it even more interesting. For example, one brings pie, one brings cookies, and one brings a creamy dessert. For those who aren’t bakers, store-bought can be fine, too.

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senior women friends learning to knit and craft

5. Learn Something

You or a friend can teach everyone how to do something. If you’re good at knitting, you can teach how to do that. If a friend is good at making jewelry, she can teach that. Another friend could teach how to decorate a cake with tube icing and wax paper to practice on. It never hurts to learn something new.

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6. Cookie Bake-off

6. Cookie Bake-off

Have a cookie bake-off and have each of your friends make a different cookie. Choose and assign some flavor profiles ahead of time so you don’t get the same cookie. For example, most chocolate flavors of summer (think lemon, lime, orange), flavors of fall (think gingerbread, snickerdoodle, buttermilk vanilla), and fanciest (think cranberry almond, cut shortbread, or kitchen sink cookies).

I would also add the best cookie mix cookies. Not everyone is a great baker, so this is a way for your friends who are shy in the kitchen to still take part without being overwhelmed by a from-scratch recipe.

For a fun extra twist, do some research and see if you can find two or three ingredients that go well with all your cookie profiles, then choose one they have to add for the “twist.” (If you watch any baking championships on Food Network, you’ll know what I’m talking about.) Make sure it’s a flavor that goes well with all cookie flavor profiles so you don’t wind up with bad-tasting cookies. You can also skip this too if you think it will stress everyone out.

Don’t forget some prizes at the end of the night too.

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tv television remote change channel movie show stream

7. Theme Movie Night

Pick a theme for your movie night, like “80‘s romance,” action, or foreign film. You can also choose by actor or actress. Take a vote ahead of time from your friends to see what genre or actor/actress you will watch, and have them bring their favorites.

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woman making painting

8. Craft Night

Choose two or three crafts and go to town with the art supplies. Do some research online and make them as simple or as complicated as you want.

Photo credit: Getty Images/Horsche
woman making painting

8. Craft Night

Choose two or three crafts and go to town with the art supplies. Do some research online and make them as simple or as complicated as you want.

Photo credit: Getty Images/Horsche
woman making painting

8. Craft Night

Choose two or three crafts and go to town with the art supplies. Do some research online and make them as simple or as complicated as you want.

Photo credit: Getty Images/Horsche
women friends on bed sleepover in eye masks self care

9. PJ Party

Spend the evening in your pa’s and eat breakfast for dinner. Have fun lounging around and painting each other’s nails (don’t forget nail design kits, or if you’re lucky enough to have a friend who is a nail tech, let her work her magic), doing facials, and having a dance party or two. 

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10. Yoga Night

10. Yoga Night

Who says you have to go to a yoga studio? There are lots of great yoga videos on YouTube for beginners to advanced yoga practices. Invite the girls over with their mats, eat healthy snacks, and put on some soft worship music in the background. This makes a great night for mind, body, and soul.

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Paint brushes, art imitates creation

11. Abstract Art Night

Gather up the art supplies and let everyone create something abstract. Some fun supplies include construction paper, cardstock (white and colored), glue, glitter, glitter glue, colored cotton balls, pipe cleaners, paint, finger paint, puff paint (you can make your own with shaving cream, food coloring, and glue), markers, etc. Have your friends bring over their favorite art supplies or borrow them from their kids.

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Woman eating an ice cream cone; eating clean without making food an idol.

12. Ice Cream Bar

Indulging in a decadent ice cream sundae is heaven. Have your friends bring over their favorite ice cream flavors and toppings and go to town. Whip cream and cherries are a must.

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tent woods camping shelter forest night

13. Go Camping

Set up the tent in the backyard and get out the flashlights. If you don’t have a backyard, why not go camping in the living room? If it’s big enough, set up a tent or make some “tents” with blankets you can sleep under. Serve traditional camping fare like hot dogs or hobo dinners and make s’mores for dessert. For some extra ambiance, make a playlist with nature sounds or rain.

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woman folding clothes

14. Closet Swap

Everyone cleans out their closet and brings it over for a closet swap. This is a great way to get some new outfits, accessories, or some new shoes. If there is anything left over, take it to a local shelter to donate.

Keep in mind your closet doesn’t have to be the only one that gets cleaned out. Have a regular event where you trade things from one specific area of your house each month. One month your kid’s closet; another month your husband’s closet; the next month could be an entertainment swap (books, CDs, DVDs), etc.

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A dancing happy woman

15. Take Dance Lessons

Once again, you don’t have to pay an expensive instructor for dance lessons. You can find all kinds of dance lesson videos on YouTube, from beginner to advanced. Take a vote ahead of time and see which kind of dance everyone wants to learn first. This could turn into a once-a-month get-together where you learn a new dance each month or two, depending on how everyone is catching on. If you have two left feet? No worries, just have fun and go with it.

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Woman reading a novel at her window

16. Book Club

Vote on a book everyone wants to read and break out the wine, cheese, and fruit. You can vote by genre, author, or series. Spend the next few months enjoying the book and then turn it into a regular get-together.

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woman coloring book pencils

17. Color

Adult coloring books are very popular. To clarify, “adult” does not mean vulgar; it means the designs in the coloring book are more complex. You can find something awesome you like. I have a Celtic coloring book I love.

Coloring is also a great way to help anxiety and depression. So break out the colored pencils, add some soft background music, and color to your heart’s content while conversing with your friends.

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Women playing board game cards together

18. Play Cards

Card games are a great way to gather people together. Break out the classics like Go Fish, Uno, Old Maid, and Solitaire. One of my favorite card games is Apples to Apples, and the best part is they made it to be played in a group.

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19. Charity/Nonprofit Night

19. Charity/Nonprofit Night

Spend some time talking with your friends about different charities and nonprofits they like to support. Discuss different ways you can support, either by financial donation or by getting involved.

One month, you could all save your change and put it together to send for a financial donation. Another month, you could volunteer at the homeless shelter. The following month, you could spend time at an animal shelter or a charity that helps kids. Whatever touches your hearts, get involved and help each other’s favorite causes.

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Women having tea time

20. Anthology Night

This is more of a specialized idea for a girl’s night in. Are you an author? Do you have friends who are authors? Do any of you write in the same genre? If so, why not write an anthology together? An anthology is a collection of stories written by different authors that all go into the same book.

If this is appealing to you, talk with your author friends and see if anyone is interested in doing a project like this. You never know who your friends know, and this kind of project could turn into something fun. Spend the evening with some good eats and wine, and start planning your next literary adventure.

There are many ways to have a girl’s night in. I hope one of these ideas inspires you when planning your next night with your besties.

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/DGLimages

Originally published Thursday, 31 August 2023.