Before slipping into that white wedding dress and saying "I do," every bride-to-be deserves a proper single-lady send-off.
This month marks the peak of the wedding season, which means it's also one of the most popular times for bachelorette parties. While lace thongs, 'bride-to-be' sashes and Chippendale dancers certainly have their place, not every bachelorette party needs burly men busting moves in little more than their birthday suits.
Here are 10 ideas for Baltimore bachelorette parties, broken down by personality type — from bookworms to wine lovers and thrill seekers.
1. The sports chick
Who doesn't want to watch the O'sbeat a rival team (we hope) at gorgeous, sunny Oriole Park at Camden Yards? Granted, it takes a minimum of 24 guests to reserve the Miller Lite Flite Deck, but a couple dozen friends shouldn't be all that hard to find. Tickets are $40 per guest for regular games, and $50 when theO's play the Yankees, Phillies or Red Sox. Tickets include a $15 food and beverage voucher.
The Miller Lite Flite Deck holds a maximum of 30 guests. Book at least a month in advance; prime game days sell out quickly. To book, call 410-547-6284 or go to baltimoreorioles.com. Oriole Park at Camden Yards is at 333 W. Camden St.
2. The not-so-starving artist
Show your artsy side with a session at the Painting Workshop, a studio with locations in Mount Washington and Reisterstown. The Mount Washington location sets you up in the Yurt, a circular, lattice-framed dwelling, traditionally used by nomads in Central Asia. No worries if you're new to painting — a still-life setup and instructions will be provided. For $225, you and your friends get two hours to paint.
The Painting Workshop is at 1605 Sulgrave Ave. in Mount Washington. To book, call the Mount Washington office at 410-466-3510 or go to thepaintingworkshop.com. The Reisterstown location, at 317 Main St., also accommodates bachelorette parties. Call 410-833-9790.
3. The socialite
Thirsty? The Wine Market in South Baltimore offers private wine-tasting events, broken down by region (Californian, Italian or French) and by season. Tastings feature about five wines, typically a combination of reds and whites. Tastings, which include hors d'oeuvres, range from $25 to $32 per person, and there's a wine store attached to the restaurant.
The Wine Market is at 921 E. Fort Ave. Book wine tastings two weeks to a month in advance. Call 410-244-6166 or go to the-wine-market.com.
4. The party girl
The stereotypical bachelor party outing might be to a strip club, but put a twist on that by taking some friends to a group class at at XPose Fitness. A 11/2 -hour party includes 30 minutes for drinks and refreshments, 30 minutes learning a sexy floor-chair routine and 30 minutes learning a routine on the pole. Private parties are held Friday or Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Book two to three months in advance. There is a $45 deposit and $19 per person charge on the day of the party.
Xpose Fitness is at 1700 Joan Ave. Call 410-661-1301 to book. Go to xposefitness.com for more details about other locations.
5. The dancing girl
If you're trying to get a little crazy, Power Plant Live is the place to be. Start with dinner at one of the numerous restaurants, including American fare at Kettle Hill and sushi and other Asian food at Tatu. Pre-book a Power Plant Live bar crawl, and you get a wrist band that waives the cover charges at Mosaic, Angels Rock Bar and PBR and gets you $3 cocktails and domestic beers from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. The wristband also includes free admission and $3 domestic beers and $4 Smirnoff bombs at Mex and Luckie's.
Power Plant Live is at 34 Market Place. For booking and more information, go to powerplantlive.com.
6. The bookworm
For the literary-minded bride, reserve a private room at the central Enoch Pratt Free Library to give your party a bookish feel. Relocate your average book club meeting to a more stately venue for a fun night with well-read friends. Bring your own refreshments. Room rentals are $100 for up to four hours, depending on the room.
The central library is at 400 Cathedral St. To book, call the Enoch Pratt Free Library at 410-396-5430.
7. The thrill-seeker
For the adrenaline junkie who isn't jittery enough about walking down the aisle, try jumping out of a plane. Skydive Baltimore can provide just that for the thrill-seeking bride and her favorite girlfriends. Rush as fast as 120 mph from as high as 14,000 feet in the air. The closest location to Baltimore is in Harford County, and rates for tandem jumps start at $239 per person.
Skydive Baltimore jumps take off from Harford County Airport, 3538 Aldino Road in Churchville. To book a group of five or more, call 800-659-5867. See skydivebaltimore.com for more information.
8. The stargazer
The Maryland Science Center offers a breathtaking view of the Inner Harbor and the Baltimore skyline. Guests also have access to the rooftop observatory. Bachelorette parties can enjoy a private screening in the IMAX Theater, a planetarium presentation and hands-on exhibits. The rate is $15 per person with a maximum party of 30. If the party is under 10 guests, there is a minimum charge of $150.
9. The foodie
Cooking isn't a required skill for brides in 2012, but it's still fun to learn to a new recipe or cuisine — and maybe figure out something to make with all those kitchen gadgets on your wedding registry. Book a private class for a group of eight or more with chef Nancy Longo at Pierpoint restaurant. Group lesson reservations are available on Sunday and Monday afternoons and evenings, with other dates available if you give more notice. Classes are $75 per person with alcohol included and $65 without.
Pierpoint is at 1822 Aliceanna St. Call 410-675-2080 or go to pierpointcatering.com.
10. The pampered girl
If you feel like relaxing with the girls in between being pampered from head to toe, spend the day at Zena's Spa & Salon. Bachelorettes can hang out in the back room with snacks and wine and enjoy services including manicures, pedicures, facials and massages. Parties usually book the Cinderella package, which includes a mini facial, mini massage, manicure and pedicure, and is $147 per person.
1014 N. Charles St. To book, call 410-783-1971 or go to zenasspa.com
For the guys
Kick off the afternoon by splitting into teams and shooting each other with paintballs at Route 40 Paintball, 11011 Pulaski Highway in White Marsh. With the bachelor party special, $15 per person gets you admission for two hours, a semiautomatic paintball gun and 100 paintballs. There's a minimum of 10 players. Call 410-335-7622 or go to route40paintball.com.
Then catch your breath and settle intro a brewery tour of Heavy Seas, 4615 Hollins Ferry Road, Suite B. The tour is free, but you're going to want to pay $5 to get a souvenir pint glass and a few samples of Heavy Seas' excellent brews. Tours are offered Saturdays. Call 410-247-7822 or go to hsbeer.com.
Or if you'd rather be drinking on the open seas, book a BYOG (bring your own grog) cruise with Urban Pirates. The swashbuckling ship leaves at 5:30 p.m., 7 p.m. 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets are $25. Book at least one week in advance. Call 410-327-8378 or go to urbanpirates.com.
Have a manly dinner of filet, sirloin, ribs and more at Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian churrascaria steakhouse, which roughly translates to meat with meat on the side. Dinner is $48.50 per person, with beverages, desserts, tax and gratuity extra. The restaurant is at 600 E. Pratt St.
End the night with a bar crawl at Power Plant Live, featuring the same deals detailed for bachelorettes. Power Plant Live is at 34 Market Place. For booking and more information, go to powerplantlive.com.