How to plan the perfect Girls night outWe love Girls’ Night Out, aka: GNO, at Girlfriendology. We love almost any excuse to get together with the wonderful women in our lives. Getting together with friends is good for our souls AND good for our health. When we have strong friendships we’re healthier and we live longer. And that’s more time to spend with our happy, healthy girlfriends, right?

As ADRIENNE ERIN reminds us, taking the time to plan a girls’ night out – no matter what is on the schedule – is one of the greatest things we can do for ourselves.

With all the stress of work, kids, errands and, yes, boyfriends or husbands, every woman needs a girls’ night out from time to time. If you haven’t been out with your besties in a while, it’s time to take the initiative and plan a fun get-together.

Shows like Sex and the City had a very specific idea of a girls’ night out, specifically involving overpriced drinks and uncomfortable shoes. But no two women are alike, and your night can be anything you (and your best friends) want it to be. Before picking up the phone, try out some of these ideas to turn your next night out into a night to remember.

Start with Food and Drinks

Would you ever go to a party without food and drinks? Of course not, so why would you plan a girls’ night out without them? You could take everyone to a restaurant, but this might be tough if space is limited or if someone is short on cash. Instead, eat at your house. Offer light fare like hors d’oeuvres or finger sandwiches, or make it DIY with fondue or a salad bar. Also include non-alcoholic beverages along with sangrias, especially if people are driving home.

Give a Gift

Gifts aren’t required for a great party, but they make your guests feel welcome – and your night a lot more memorable. Girls’ night out gifts don’t have to be girly. Hand out Mustang gift cards if your friends are into cars or Amazon gift cards if they’re addicted to phone apps. You don’t even have to buy anything to give great gifts — a handmade gift means just as much and doesn’t cost you a dime.

Planning a Great Girls Night OutDo Something New

Do you and your friends like to do things that are out of the ordinary? Will you try anything once? Then why not plan something new for your night out? Find an activity you wouldn’t do every day, like a booze cruise or a game night. Better yet, keep it a surprise until the last minute, unless everyone has to cough up a lot of money, in which case you might want to give your friends a heads up so they have the option of bowing out.

Indulge Yourselves

A woman doesn’t have to be girly to want to be pampered, so book a few hours at a spa and turn your girls’ night out into a spa day. Find a place with as many options as possible. You could book a set of packages, but you can’t assume all your friends will like the manicure or endure the 90-minute massage. Instead, print a list of services and let them decide what they want.Adrienne Erin, girlfriend ideas for staying in touch

With all the hustle and bustle of life, a girls’ night out is good for your soul. Follow these tips and make it a good time as well.

ADRIENNE ERIN is a writer who has always enjoyed a good girls’ night out! Some of her best memories involve staying up late playing board games with her friends, cruising around in an old Mustang, or scoping out the cool new fusion restaurant off the square. Follow her on Twitter to see more of her recent work.

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When’s the last time you had a Girls’ Night Out? Isn’t it about time to plan one?!

Here’s some more ideas: