Girls' night in (and out) with your best friends

Long days and hot nights are the perfect excuse to relax with friends, so try these great ways to let your hair down.

Organising a girls’ night in (or out) every now and then, when the kids are with your other half or a babysitter, means you can really relax, unwind and catch up with friends.

Summer fun, here you come!

The restaurant special

It’s always a treat to eat out, but why not make it even more memorable by asking a local restaurant if they can lay on an extra treat, like getting the chef to give you and your mates a recipe demonstration or add a wine-tasting session into the mix?

You’ve got more chance of success if you pick a less busy night of the week.

The spa night

Fancy a spot of pampering with your catch-up? How about a spa day or night at a local health club or beauty salon?

And if you’ve on a tight budget, don’t forget you can throw a brilliant spa party at home.

The swishing night

A swishing party is one where you and your friends swap clothes – it’s a great no-cost way to revitalise your wardrobe.

That skirt you never wear could look fabulous on your friend, whereas the top that doesn’t suit her colouring might look wonderful on you.

We’ve got lots of tips on how to hold a great clothes swapping party

The chick-flick night

Whether you head to your local cinema or cosy up in front of Netflix, a movie is always a great way to unwind. Pass the popcorn!

Look out for long-forgotten favourites from your era. Child of the 80s? Go for something like Working Girl, Dirty Dancing or Heathers. More of a 90s girl? How about Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet or Scream. It’s always fun to relive your glory days – and if you know the film already you won’t have to concentrate so you can chat your way through it!

You could even theme the night – treat yourselves to Royales with Cheese if you’re watching Pulp Fiction, or Cosmopolitans for Sex & The City.

The sporty night

On a light summer evening, have a fun game of netball in the park when the kids have gone home. Pick a sport like netball or rounders – something you can keep fairly simple and that most friends will remember even if they were never prize-winners at it.

Keep the teams informal: you only need to split into two groups so there’s no need to worry about accurate team formations.

The crafty night

From knitting to découpage, craft activities are great for some girly bonding.

Pick something that doesn't require too many materials, can be completed in an evening and is relatively cheap, such as beaded jewellery making or hat decorating. Most importantly, pick something that allows you to chat!

The catch it while you can night

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for special exhibitions at museums or art galleries near you. Sign up for news from them, so you can go to preview nights – private galleries sometimes have guest lists that you can join, if you’re interested in art. And some museums have late-night viewings on a Friday.

What your idea of the perfect girls’ night? Let us know in the comments section below.