If riding a mechanical bull while wearing a veil and a tiara isn’t your style, here are a few alternative bachelorette-party activities that will be even more memorable than bringing 15 of your closest friends to Chippendales.

NEW YORK CITY

Buddakan

Dinner at this dramatically lit Stephen Starr institution is the height of late-’90s Sex and the City New York glamour. Housed in an old Nabisco cookie factory, Buddakan is a maze of lavishly decorated rooms, fancy cocktails, and good (but very expensive) “modern Asian cuisine.” But this isn’t about the food—group dining is at its best here at the massive wooden table under the biggest sparkling chandeliers you’ve ever seen. (Great option for Philadelphia parties as well; the first Buddakan opened in the Old City neighborhood in 1998.)

Tatiana Restaurant & Night Club in Brighton Beach

I could try to describe the scene at this banquet hall on the Brooklyn boardwalk, but I think their website does it best: “Named after an Odessa beauty Tatiana, who is frequently seen making rounds in the exotic and grandiose restaurant. The Brighton Beach mystery of tradition unravels before your very eyes. I call it dining with attitude. The scene that opens up is something out of a James Bond movie “From Russia with Love”. It’s Sex in the City mixed in Sleepless on Brighton Beach. Vodka and Cognac pours like fountain Di Trevi in Rome. Ladies hang on to your husbands and guys don’t forget to shave, because there are plenty of people to impress.” Dining here with your gal pals will certainly be a night to remember.

SAN DIEGO

Starlite

We uncovered Starlite thanks to the CHOW Community. The restaurant and lounge has a covered patio upstairs with its own bar, perfect for a large group. There is an extensive cocktail list and late-night dining as well, so you can party into the wee hours.

Safari at San Diego Zoo

Why go to dinner when you can go on a cheetah safari?! At the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, there are a number of packages available at different price points and you can even zip line above the exhibits and check out the lions, tigers, and gorillas from the sky. There’s no better way to encourage bonding between your camp friends, college friends, and grad school friends than by scaring the crap out of them at the bachelorette party so they can reminisce about their time in the Elephant Valley on your wedding day.

SeaWorld

If none of your bridesmaids have seen the Blackfish documentary, SeaWorld could be a great option. The Shipwreck Rapids are calling your name!

AUSTIN

Franklin Barbecue

An Austin highlight with long lines, but hey you’ve already traveled to Texas for BBQ so you might as well make time for brisket, pulled pork, sausage, and ribs! If waiting in line and barbecue aren’t your idea of a fun weekend with friends, check out our community’s suggestions for other great spots to visit in Austin.

Bat Cruise!

Grab some brews and head out on the river to see one of the largest urban bat colonies in North America. Trust me, it’s more exciting than it sounds: The bats fly at sunset, and the tour guides at Capital Cruises are full of fun facts about the only mammals capable of flight.

Uchiko

The Japanese farmhouse aesthetic at Uchiko is only part of its charm. The sushi is absolutely top-notch, and James Beard Award winner Tyson Cole creates some of the best Japanese food you’ve ever had. Their sister restaurant, Uchi, is great too, but our community gives more thumbs-up to Uchiko. Treat your girlfriends right and go for the tasting menu.

CHICAGO

Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club

Part lounge, part restaurant, the Kit Kat features drag queen divas, a great cocktail menu, party packages, and, basically, is the perfect venue for a bachelorette party. You can even request a tarot card reader to discuss future challenges while enjoying your Coco Loco martini. If drag queens aren’t exactly what you had in mind, check out this discussion on Bachelorette Foodies on a budget.

LAS VEGAS

Minus 5 Ice Bar

If you’re trying to have an alternative bachelorette party in Las Vegas, you’re probably doing it wrong. But if you insist on heading to Sin City, the Mandalay Bay’s Minus 5 Ice Bar sounds pretty cool. I mean, the whole thing is made of ice! They even have a photographer on staff so you’ll never forget the time you all donned matching parkas, enjoyed house music, and watched an LED light show while freezing your buns off in the name of love. If sporting a winter coat in the middle of the desert is not your idea of a night out on the Strip, skip the ice outing and instead check out one of these Las Vegas bachelorette suggestions!

Photo Credits: Champagne toast / BDC. Life in Style., New York / FrontPage Magazine, Buddakan / The Restaurant Divas, Tatiana Restaurant, San Diego Skyline, Starlite / SOMA Magazine, San Diego Zoo Safari / Taking the Kids, SeaWorld / Huffington Post, Austin Skyline ,Franklin Barbecue / Fed Man Walking, Bat Cruise / Sister on the Go, Uchiko / Texas Style & Substance, Chicago Skyline / Four Walls Only, Kit Kat Lounge / Edible Ink, Las Vegas Skyline/ JoeyBLS Photography,Minus 5 Ice Bar / BizBash

Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC’s best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.
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