Planning a hen night in Leeds? Make it easy as pie with these cracking ideas.
Being in charge of a hen party can be a daunting task, but never fear, because Leeds is packed full of activities perfect for you and your favourite group of girls. Whether you’re culture vultures, beauty addicts, adrenalin junkies or booze hounds, there’s something to suit all tastes. So the hardest part of organising your do is working out what you want to try first.
1. Cocktail masterclass
You probably want booze to be involved in your hens’ night out, right? Then booze there shall be, and if you like it in giddy quantities, a cocktail masterclass should be your first choice.
You’ll find them at a whole host of Leeds venues. For a hidden speakeasy with top notch spirits, opt for The Maven (if you can find it, of course, it’s tucked away behind an unmarked doorway on Call Lane). For bonkers cocktails straight from a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party head to The Alchemist. Or why not make it an exclusive experience at Thewlis? This decadent drinking den has a members club vibe, complete with nibbles in the VIP area.
2. Bubble football
Nothing shows the love between you and your cherished pals quite like smashing into each other while wearing giant inflatable bubble suits. And that’s exactly what you’ll do at bubble football, although you’re more likely to split your sides laughing than actually score a goal.
If you’re game for this completely hilarious hen do, Leeds has two options for you. First off is Football Zorbing, where you can spice things up with their Bubble MayHen package. It includes slightly more games, slightly less football, but all the bubble suit fun. Meanwhile, Bubble Soccer in Seacroft offers tailor-made parties with favourite playground games – from Bulldog to Last Bubble Standing.
3. Afternoon tea
Back to the land of the sensible, where a luxurious treat-filled afternoon tea never goes amiss. You won’t have any shortage of choices in Leeds, and it’s a mighty fine way to while away a hen party full of quality time and quality eats.
Indulge the gang with afternoon tea overlooking the River Aire at 42 The Calls, or go deliciously retro at Just Grand! Vintage Tearoom, where they make the scones from scratch every day. And if you’re of the belief that afternoon tea just isn’t the same without free-flowing prosecco, make a beeline for Crafthouse atop Trinity Leeds. It’s sleek, stylish, and with all that prosecco, you’ll be planning your next getaway in no time.
4. Pole dancing
Give your hen night in Leeds a racy edge by introducing your mates to pole dancing. Full of tips and tricks, this masterclass is a little raunchy, but it’s not too serious, so you’re as likely to fall about laughing as you are to successfully execute a ‘sumo squat’.
You’re there to have fun, so the focus at Dance Studio Leeds is on having a hysterical time with your friends. In the 90 minute session, your group will learn a personalised dance routine, and don’t worry, all abilities are catered for, you don’t have to be a pro here. If pole dancing doesn’t float your boat, you could try anything from belly dancing to iconic routines from your favourite films.
5. Trampoline park
The lucky bride is jumping for joy at the prospect of her upcoming betrothal, but now all her hens can join her at the ultimate adult playground – a trampoline park. It’s not a place for high heels and mini skirts, but you can save that for your night out afterwards.
Lead the squad to Oxygen Freejumping trampoline park in Leeds and take turns wildly flying across 120 trampolines. The majority of these bouncy beauties are located side-by-side so you can all get stuck in together. There are a bunch of fun extras too, like the giant airbag and the massive foam pit, which is a little like leaping into a humungous pack of popcorn. Dreams really can come true.
6. Wine tasting
If your group goes potty for pinot and salivates for sauvignon, a wine tasting hen do might be just the ticket. It’s the perfect balance – learn all about the ins and outs of the tipples, while getting stuck into a bevvy or two (or three, or four). It’s a great ice breaker, but it’s also perfect for lifelong friends who simply love to spend quality time together while necking some wine.
Once Upon a Vine is a top choice for real aficionados in Leeds, with its own dedicated wine tasting room ideal for close-knit quaffing. Another favourite is Lazy Lounge where, as the name suggests, the wine tasting is pretty laid back. Your group can unwind with vino tasters and entertaining stories from the world of wine. It’s teamed with some pretty tasty food pairings too.
7. Go karting
To really rev up the fun on your hen do, kick things off with a hair-raising round of go karting. Leeds has its very own indoor racing track for you to take advantage of, and it’s the real deal.
Over 580 metres of tarmac awaits your motley crew, complete with hairpin bends, perfect straights and, most importantly, an on-site bar for a celebratory drink or two afterwards. Exactly how you hit the track is up to you. Club together with your friends and use your collective go karting prowess to battle it out against other groups, or make it every-hen-for-herself and go head-to-head with exclusive use of the track. There’s even a trophy presentation on the podium for the whizziest of hens.
8. Spa days
If relaxation is priority number one for your hen party in Leeds, it simply has to be a spa day. You won’t win any prizes for creativity, but who the heck cares when you have rooftop hydrotherapy pools, bubbling hot tubs and Nordic saunas all at your disposal?
Yorkshire is a treasure trove of amazing spas, but if you’re looking to stick close to Leeds, try Oulton Hall. This 18th century manor is surrounded by history but still boasts a state-of-the-art spa, and best of all, is only 20 minutes from the city. It even has its own relaxation room, just in case the jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and indoor pool aren’t indulgent enough. Want to make a weekend of it? They’ll put together a bespoke package for you that combines pampering with overnight stays and dining too.
9. Paint balling
If you think your beloved bride-to-be deserves a good splattering, it’s time to gear up and head out on the paint balling field. The magic of this adrenaline-fuelled activity is that the games can be played how you like. Would you like to club together for a sense of camaraderie or battle one-on-one to introduce a competitive edge to your celebration?
Blackfen Woods is a mere 10 minutes from Leeds city centre, and the 40 acre woodland is the perfect spot for your posse to run, dive, crawl, leap, hide and shoot to your heart’s content. Needless to say, all the equipment is provided, including face masks and full-blown ninja camouflage suits, so you won’t need to embark on your post-paintball night out covered in goo.
10. Burlesque lessons
Yorkshire local, Bella Besame, is a regular performer at cabaret shows all over the country, and now she’s on hand to help your hens strut their stuff with your very own burlesque masterclass.
It’s a little sexy, a little silly, and a whole lot of fun. No matter your age or fitness level, your group will learn how to shimmy, shake and twirl like a pro. Burlesque is all about laughter and caricature, so the dance moves themselves won’t be taken too seriously. Instead, you’ll learn some core steps, some classic poses, and have a ball. And if you decide you do want to make things a little naughty, you can try your hand at some striptease too.
11. Tree top adventures
From tease to trees, and a chance to treat your pals to a sky-high adventure. Located in the impressive grounds of Temple Newsam estate, just a 15 minute drive from Leeds, Go Ape will have your entire hen party monkeying around in the tree tops.
A whole host of adventures await, from wobbly planks to Tarzan swings, daring trapeze wires to racing zip lines. You can cheer each other on as each member of the group tackles their own personal Everest. Three different difficulty levels means both wobbly-kneed and adrenaline-fuelled hens can enjoy the course. What’s more, Temple Newsam has farms, gardens, cafes and walks galore, so the fun needn’t end when the harnesses come off.
12. Cooking classes
Foodie friends can whip up all manner of tasty treats in one of Leeds’ many cooking classes. Not only will you pick up new skills, you’ll also be able to devour a full-blown meal created by the hands of all your favourite chums.
Leeds Cookery School is a local option that lets you pick the cuisine to best suit your tastes. Pizza-making and cake-baking are all on the table or you can even recreate your favourite takeaways. Alternatively, you can step inside the kitchens of the city’s best restaurants. Famed Indian restaurant Hansa’s lets you get hands-on with their famed Gujurati recipes, while restaurant Chaophraya will have your hens cooking up a three-course Thai feast, with a cheeky glass of fruit punch on arrival.
13. Life drawing
Life drawing is a classic hen party activity that mixes a very grown-up pastime with adolescent silliness – while recreating the majesty of the human form on paper is a credible pursuit, pinning the willy on the sketch is also a whole lot of fun.
Lots of companies offer life drawing classes in Leeds, but they all follow a similar format. You’ll have a drink, play games and put pen to paper in the company of an artist and an au-natural model. But you can also get extra perks, for example, if you do it with Nude Life, they’ll get the bride to pose alongside the model (she can keep her keks on, of course). Expect loads of poses and loads of laughs as you get all too close to the human form in all its glory.
Want to sing so hard that the veins pop out of your forehead? Then it’s karaoke for you! It’s a stonking night out no matter the occasion, but for a hen night with your nearest and dearest, it’s worth an encore of its own.
Team your caterwauling with cocktails, prosecco pong and private karaoke rooms at Loop. From the outside, it looks like it’s just a bar, but that’s because they hide their karaoke booths away. Saunter downstairs to find 100,000 songs, loaded onto a tablet, so you can line ‘em up, and belt ‘em out. From Like a Virgin to Wrecking Ball and one last rendition of All The Single Ladies, you’re all set for a great night out.
15. Indoor climbing
Ropes at the ready, your hen do is about to scale new, giddy heights. A day’s indoor climbing is an ace way to get the adrenaline pumping and challenge your mates. Remember the childish glee of clambering to the very top of that massive climbing frame? Leeds has a couple of excellent options to bring this memory back to life.
Those who want to give climbing a serious crack can rock up to The Climbing Lab in Leeds. This centre is bouldering only, so it’s all low-level, non-roped climbing that you can get stuck into with minimal ado. For something with a little more oomph, Clip’n’Climb is the Las Vegas of indoor climbing. Expect bright lights and fun clambering challenges, with no experience required.
16. Escape rooms
Fancy being locked inside a room with all your best friends, clue-hunting and puzzle-solving in order to bust your way out? Escape rooms are an absolute riot and even better when shared with your closest chums.
Riddle your way out of one of Leeds’ many escape rooms, which boast some of the most impressive themed sets around, like an underwater rescue mission, a hidden science laboratory and even a Doctor Who themed escape. All your hens can get involved, and everyone’s respective strengths will be put to good use. Plus, the sense of achievement if you finally emerge victorious is enough to have everyone in your crew high-fiving for weeks.
17. Crazy Golf
For frivolous fun that doesn’t break the bank, crazy golf is a solid hen party choice. And if tired seaside courses with rickety old windmills are springing to mind, banish those thoughts immediately. It’s time to introduce your posse to the future of crazy golf – Junkyard Golf Club.
This is crazy golf on steroids. Inside Junkyard Golf Club is a sea of neon with a soundtrack of old school tunes and a trio of barmy golf courses ranging from the jungle to the fairground. And it’s not just golf either. There are two main in-house bars serving up cocktails, but you’ll find a couple of cheeky pop-ups halfway round the courses to fuel you on your putty way.
If that’s not enough balls to see you out of Single Town, you can take your hens off for an old school round of bowling. Roxy Lanes is the bowling venue of choice in Leeds, where quality food, drink and retro vibes combine to make it a far cry from the sticky-floored bowling alleys of old.
What’s more, Roxy Lanes is totally geared up for group parties. How? You can create your own package with prosecco pong and pool, alongside drinks packages and even a full-blown buffet. With everything from nachos and pizzas to mac’n’cheese bites, it’s enough for even the hungriest of hens to get their peck on.
19. Lazer quest
If a rootin’, tootin’, shootin’ good time is high on your priority list, assemble your A-Team of hens and troop down to iCombat. This is the place to sort the wheat from the chaff. How else would you know which of your bosom buddies to keep by your side during a zombie apocalypse?
Enter an impressively realistic battlefield arena where adults can go head-to-head in games of laser tag that blur the line between real-life and online gaming. It’s superbly done. The weapons are realistic (they’re loaded with CO2 and give a satisfying little kickback when you fire them), the technology is advanced, the missions are challenging, and it makes for a freakin’ awesome hen do.
Sticking with weapons but taking it outdoors and old school, archery is a great option for anyone who fancies moonlighting as Robin Hood. And why should you have all the fun? Take your hens on an active adventure full of barricades, bunkers and bow sports.
They offer all the classic team games at Combat Archery Leeds, which is located just outside the city centre. Your group can work together to capture the flag or go head-to-head in high-energy games of instant elimination. It’s a little bit like dodgeball meets Hunger Games, but don’t worry, the arrows are foam-tipped. You even get super cool face masks to wear. The question is – are your hens up for it?
21. Bottomless brunch
If good times with good friends means gorging on as much tasty food as you can all physically handle, get your gang down to one of Leeds’ best bottomless brunches. Hen parties are so often an all-day affair, and there’s no finer way to start the festivities (or to clear out the cobwebs the morning after), than unlimited bubbles.
A classy brunch can be found at Shears Yard, where £25 will get you a delicious brunch dish like sea trout risotto or a smoked bacon brioche sandwich, plus as many delectable cocktails as you fancy. Bottomless Bloody Marys? Sign us up. Or give your brunch an Asian twist at Bar Soba, where you’ll find Pad Thai noodles and katsu curries are paired with free-flow fizz.
22. Gin tasting
Gin is bang on trend at the moment, so why not make it a central part of your hen night? As well as being utterly scrumptious, it also has a rich past that lends itself to lively tasting sessions. How better to simultaneously dive into history and get utterly sloshed?
Leeds is a gin-lovers city, so loads of bars offer gin-centric activities. The Botanist readily admits gin is their favourite tipple and they’ll take your crew on a 90-minute flavour journey through the spirit’s myriad botanicals. Meanwhile, Mojo combines their gin tastings with snacks. Wonderful, wonderful snacks. The Gold package serves up a canapé selection, while Platinum boasts a whole two course menu after your ginitiation.Cover image credit: TeamSport Go Karting