Looking to upgrade your standard Mexican and margaritas girls’ night out? Venture down to the city to try something different.
These six ideas will get you out of the house for a one-of-a-kind night with friends—no hosting or clean up required.
1. Painting and wine at Bottle & Bottega
Get your girlfriends together for a night of art and wine at Bottle & Bottega. They have studios in Lakeview and the South Loop, but also host pop-up painting parties at venues across the city and North Shore. You don’t have to be a pro with a paintbrush to make this a fun night out. These BYOB classes are designed for beginners, and professionals are on hand to offer instruction. You’ll recreate a classic piece of art, and your take-home masterpiece will be a great memory. This is also a creative idea for a birthday or bachelorette party!
Bottle & Bottega
1241 S Michigan Ave.
2. Beauty night at Blow by Blow
If you haven’t been to a blow dry bar, you don’t know what you’re missing. Blow by Blow on Oak Street was opened by North Shore mother-daughter duo Julie and Katie Gagnon. These fun salons, where you get a wash, blow dry and style, have been popping up across the country. Not only do you leave with amazing hair, but you can sip champagne and watch girly movies in the salon during your treatment. This is the ultimate girls’ night out! After you leave, take your gorgeous new look out for a spin and grab dinner and drinks in the area. We recommend Le Colonial for French-Vietnamese on Rush St.
Blow by Blow
67 Oak Street, 3rd Floor
3. Craft party at Sister Arts Studio
Similar to Bottle & Bottega, you and the girls can head to Sister Arts Studio for a night of crafting. They offer a variety of classes, including soap making, beginners knitting and jewelry design. The studio can accommodate up to 21 people and at only $15 a person plus materials, this is a super affordable outing. Bring your own snacks, drinks and even decorations to customize your party. Although they normally close at 5 or 6 p.m., Thursdays they’re open until 10 p.m., so that’s your best bet for a “night out.” When you’re ready for dinner, try Allium—artsy, cozy, great food and less than a 10-minute drive.
Sister Arts Studio, Inc.
721 W. Wrightwood
4. Cooking class at The Chopping Block
The Chopping Block offers tons of classes and wine tasting events, so this is a great alternative to hitting up your usual dinner spot. Popular menu themes include: French Bistro, Spanish Tapas, Traditional Thai, Sushi 101 and Homemade Pasta Party. If your friends love to cook—or love to drink wine and eat delicious food—this night out is sure to be a hit. Try new recipes, learn new skills and leave the mess behind. Since you’re involved in every step of the process, you’ll be able to recreate the recipe at home for your next family dinner.
The Chopping Block Cooking School
4747 North Lincoln Ave.
5. Cupcakes and Cocktails at Give Me Some Sugar
Take your decorating skills to a new level at Give Me Some Sugar. The Cupcakes and Cocktails decorating class is perfect for a group of girlfriends or coworkers to have a little fun and fine-tune their baking skills. In this hour-and-a-half long class, you’ll learn basic piping and design techniques and practice on a half dozen cupcakes that you’ll get to take home afterward. The Friday night classes fill up fast, so you’ll want to book a month or two in advance. Grab dinner at the super-trendy RPM Italian (about a 15-minute drive, which you’ll also have to book in advance). Our Dining Editor also recommends Owen and Engine around the corner on N Western Ave.
Give Me Some Sugar
2205 West Belmont Ave.
6. Design your own purse party at Lill Studio
Get together a group of girlfriends or coworkers and create your own custom handbag—since finding an amazing bag is an epic battle. Choose from different styles, fabrics and straps and in three weeks your design will be delivered right to your home. Mingle with friends and create a clutch for your next girls’ night out—multitasking at its finest. On your way home, grab dinner at RJ Grunts, classic American food with a famously large salad bar.
904 West Armitage Ave.