Before we go offending the “Give us brunch or give us death!” contingent, let us be clear: We’re very passionate about our eggs Benedict and French toast. In fact, one of our favorite ways to spend an afternoon is indulging in mimosas and huevos rancheros with friends. However, given all the fun and interesting things one can do with their time, brunch isn’t always the most exciting option when planning a group outing.
Our motivation to change up how we bond and catch up with friends has led us to wine cellars where we’ve tested our sommelier skills, dance classes that convinced us we’re ready to tour with Beyoncé, and Paint Nite, the popular painting-event-meets-happy-hour where you can channel you inner Frida Kahlo over cocktails.
The next time you’re looking to get your crew together, consider one of these StyleCaster-approved hangout ideas. We promise that they’re just as fun as brunch.
Go to Paint Nite
Held in more than 1,500 cities worldwide, Paint Nite brings individuals and groups together for two hours of painting, drinking, and bonding with fellow amateur artists. Approachable hosts keep the intimidation factor nonexistent, as they guide you in recreating original works by Paint Nite artists, some influenced by famous painters such as Andy Warhol and Georgia O’Keefe. And even if you do find yourself unsure of the next step, you can always have another drink while you figure it out.
Enroll in Wine School
Do you know your Malbecs from your Chiantis? Your Pinot Grigios from your Chardonnays? Learn the basics and then some at wine school (we’re partial to Chelsea Wine Vault in NYC and The Chopping Block in Chicago) and never end up with a terrible bottle at your birthday dinner again.
Take Jewelry Making
If your jewelry-making skills peaked at summer camp with friendship bracelets, opportunities abound for you and your friends to pick up where you left off. South Floridians flock to Miami’s Jewelry Creations Workshop, while NYC’s Ayaka Nishi Design School has garnered a cult following.
Brush Up on Your Cooking Skills
Homemade pasta, anyone? For those looking to try something different than a typical restaurant outing but also consider a full meal essential to socializing, a cooking class at a local culinary school should fit the bill. The highlight will obviously come at the end when you get to eat whatever you learned how to whip up.
Get Your Dance On
There are few things more fun and liberating than dancing your heart out, especially when you’re in a studio with your friends as opposed to a packed, sweaty dance floor. We encourage you to leave your body-cons at home and take advantage of the opportunity to pretend you’re Ciara. L.A.’s Edge Performing Arts Center and Banana Skirt Productions in NYC both get our stamp of approval.
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