Hen parties don’t always have the best reputation. When we think of hen parties, we think of a large gaggle of girls in sashes and L plates tearing through Temple Bar looking for the next bar. However, that’s certainly not the way it has to be. There are plenty of classy, elegant hen party ideas you can proudly invite the mothers to and avoid a hangover the next day.

Hen party balloons

Afternoon tea

For an elegant afternoon with your best girls, why not book in for afternoon tea with a glass of bubbly. There are plenty of options for afternoon tea all over the country, so no matter where you are, you can book with almost any hotel. Perfect for a fancy lunch plus some celebratory bubbles and not a pair of devil horns inside.

Day at the races

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For a full day of elegant fun, consider having a day at the races for your hen party. Get dolled up in your finest racing outfit and head to Leopardstown for the horses. You can book a package that includes lunch for you and your girls and admission to the races. You might even get lucky!

Caitlin Turner Photography

Carlingford hen party

If you want a full day of fun with a bit more action and adventure, you’re guaranteed to have a good time at the adventure centre in Carlingford. Prices start at €49 for a half day of fun, but you can choose to go up to a full weekend, which includes two night’s B&B and two lunches as well as three activity sessions.

Photo shoot

Get a girly photoshoot for your hen party for something very different. This is the perfect way to have some high quality mementos from your hen party too. You’ll have plenty of fun having a laugh with your girls and getting into poses and then you’ll get to keep the photographs forever.

Hen party photo shoot

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Makeover & dinner

For a simple night out with the girls, why not organise a makeover for you and your hen party. You’ll have fun getting done up and learning some great make-up application tips while you’re at it. Then head out on the town for a night of delicious food and a few drinks with your new look.

Make your own fascinator

If you and the rest of your hen party have a bit of a crafty side then you might want to try your hand at the art of millinery you and your girls can have a class in making fascinators and you’ll come away with your own handmade one. Who knows, if you have a knack for it you might even be able to make one that you can wear on your wedding day.

Hen party Fascinator making

Cocktail classes

Ok, so we never said anything about staying away from the cocktails all together. One of best ways to spend your hen party is by learning how to make some of your favourite cocktails. You and the girls can have a good giggle over learning how to make cocktails and even more of a giggle while you’re drinking them! Not to mention the fact that you’ll leave armed with perfect recipes for any future girly gatherings.

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- Jenny Darmody

Image credits: Balloons: Pinterest | Tea party: Caitlin Turner Photographer | Photo shoot: Kailey Michelle Events | Fascinator: Katie Vale Designs