As I grow older, it becomes increasingly harder and harder to find that “extra time” laying around for spending quality time with those I love who are outside of my immediate family. The day to day grind gets me and I oftentimes, have to plan for weeks or months ahead to catch up with friends, because, well…life.
So for Christmas this past year, a few of my girlfriends and I decided that instead of exchanging presents we would give each other the gift of more quality time together. So, instead of spending money on things we don’t need, we each planned a surprise “experience day” for the group, revealed at Christmas and scheduled throughout 2020. This enables us to treat each other to either something we already know we love and enjoy doing, or to try something new together throughout the year!
We set a budget of $50 for each experience day to challenge ourselves to be creative with our ideas and also to enable us to focus on spending that QT with each other instead of just spending a lot of money on each other. (That’s right, only $50 total for the 4 of us each experience day!)
Experience Day #1 (January): ’90s themed “Brunch Bunch” crafting
We had homemade brunch with some of our favorite foods, Chick-fil-A minis and Jet Coffee were musts, and crafted 90’s style! We spent the morning grubbing and catching up while making friendship bracelets and puff painting tote bags.
Experience Day #2 (July): Christmas in July Movie Day
We plan to watch the movie “Elf” on the sofa, in our Christmas PJs and elf hats. Rest assured we will indulge in the four main food groups of Candy, Candy Canes, Candy Corn, and Syrup!
Experience Day #3 (TBD): Comedy Show at Wurst Biergarten
(This is my planned experience day.) We will head downtown on a night when Wurst has a comedy act and enjoy the outdoors and a tasty bev, laughing the night away!
Experience Day #4 (TBD): Movie Theatre Splurge
When was the last time you went to a movie that was NOT animated, rated PG, or something the hubs wanted to see? I’m psyched that we will get to kick back and relax in a movie theatre setting with Gal Pals one day soon!
Here are some of our runners up and some additional ideas for Experience Days with your Gal Pals:
Host a King Cake Party
- Everyone brings a King Cake from a different bakery to taste test, or make your own homemade king cake! The Lafayette Mom krewe has a King Cake Party every year and it is always a treasured time!
Attend Krewe de Canailles or a Mardi Gras parade together
- Nothing says FREE fun time like a parade! Hop in one of your Gal Pal’s mom van, or Uber on down to a parade, because it’s Carnival time!
Galentine’s Lunch at Social Southern Table
- Treat your Galentines to a special lunch experience with amazing food!
Spa Day at Home
- Whip out all those nail polishes, face masks and lotions and have an at-home Spa Day. Heck, even bust out the ole crimper and have some fun!
Yoga Class / Salt Room Session
- Decompress with a yoga class and salt room session. It may be much needed!
Pint and a Picture Night
- Pick the sappiest Hallmark Movie on TV and everyone grab their favorite pint of ice cream!
Visit Avery Island
- Have an experience day on Avery Island exploring Tabasco. This would be a great springtime weekend idea!
Paintball / Laser Tag
- If you have competitive Gal Pals this one may be for you! You could even make a trophy that would get passed from winner to winner.
Board Game Night
- Board Game Nights are a go-to for us. Bust out the classics like Scrabble or Pictionary, or play something new. A personal favorite is Castles – think interior design meets strategy!
Curate a Charcuterie Board and Wine Night
- Everyone brings their favorite cheese, fruit, and wine. You supply the glasses and crackers/bread and curate a board together!
Escape Room / Rage Room
- Sometimes, all you need is to be locked in a room together for an hour … or break stuff.
I hope some of these “Experience Day” ideas help you when the question pops up “What do you want to do today/tonight?” or “Will you be my Galentine?” or “What would you like for your Birthday?” or “What can I get you for Christmas?” But, whatever it is you specifically plan to do with your Gal Pals in 2020 doesn’t really matter. In the grand scheme of things, what matters is that you each take intentional time cultivating your friendship and spending that QT together!