Your 6-Step Guide to Throwing the Ultimate (Grown-up) Girls’ Night In

Photo: Stocksy/Karma

From snuggling up on the floor under mountains of pillows and blankets to crying from laughter as you traded stories about crushes, there's a fondness that comes to mind when thinking back to your childhood slumber parties.

You might not be hosting get-togethers at your parents' houses anymore—and your dating stories are less about cooties and more about commitment issues—but research shows that carving out time to hang with your squad is super important for both your friendships and your health.

Now that heavy pours of organic wine can be involved, hanging out at home with your friends just went from fun to #necessary.

A girls' night in—the grown-up version of the sleepover—can be an attractive alternative to GNOs at kinda-cheesy clubs and way-too-pricey restaurants. (Even better if you were planning on staying in anyway.)

And let's be real: Now that heavy pours of organic wine can be involved, hanging out at home with your friends just went from fun to #necessary.

Here are the six things you need to host the ultimate mindfully chill girls' night in.

Photo: Stocksy/Melanie Defazio

1. Cozy pajamas

No slumber party is complete without cute pajamas—even if your friends aren't actually sleeping over, loungewear will definitely help you unwind. Whether you make it BYO-PJs or splurge on cute sleepwear for all your pals, make sure everyone is super comfortable—and selfie-ready. Want to make it even more memorable? Pick a theme and ask all your guests to dress the part. (Onesies for all!)

Photo: Unsplash/Stephen Di Donato
Photo: Unsplash/Stephen Di Donato

2. Hygge-approved decor

Embrace the nesting-obsessed Scandinavian home design trend by draping blankets across your furniture, scattering pillows on the floor, stringing up fairy lights, and burning enough candles to seriously set the mood. You want to create a comfortable and welcoming setting that's inviting to all of your gals. (If you need more direction, consider this your complete hygge home cheat sheet.)

Photo: Stocksy/Ellie Baygulov
Photo: Stocksy/Ellie Baygulov

3. Mindful munchies

Curate a menu that will satisfy all of your cravings while still keeping things deliciously healthy. For starters, maybe try these vegan loaded sweet potato fries or buffalo cauliflower bites. If you need something heartier, a deep-dish falafel pizza or charred brussels sprouts with bacon and dates will fill the void. And last but certainly not least, dessert: These four-ingredient nice creams and Snickers-inspired vegan tahini ice cream bars are sweet-tooth slayers. (Or just pick up a pint from one of these better-for-you vegan ice cream brands.)

Photo: Stocksy/Bonninstudio

4. Re-mixed drinks

Clean up your bar cart in anticipation of your big night in. Whether you're sticking to gut-healthy mocktails or superfood-packed cocktails, make sure they're tasty. Another option: Serve something with a star ingredient—an avocado margarita or a detoxifying charcoal blend have serious buzz factor. If you're going alcohol-free, up the cozy factor with one of these seven anti-inflammatory drinks.

Photo: Stocksy/Bonninstudio

5. #girlpower entertainment

You can't chill without a side of Netflix, right? Whether your squad is more into catching the latest Oscar nominee or just binge-watching the new season of Gilmore Girls, make sure you fill your queue with all the hits. Here are some options to start with:

For long-term friendship #goals: Grace and Frankie

When you just need a never-gets-old makeover story: Clueless

To laugh ridiculously and uncontrollably: For a Good Time Call

If you're looking for inspiring independence: Under the Tuscan Sun

Or go straight to a time-tested crowd-pleaser: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

Photo: Stocksy/Kara Riley

6. Energetically balanced extras

With so many buzzy wellness trends flying around, don't limit your entertainment to sitting around a screen. Try a women's circle, a guided meditation, or even a BYO-crystal swap. Or just push pause and share some thoughts and dreams with your friends. After all, the year of the rooster is calling for serious girlfriend togetherness.

Wearing matching pajamas and eating sweet potato fries aren't the only reasons to plan a get-together with your girls—check out this piece on the power of prioritizing friendship. And see how women are building communities (and bonds) outside their homes

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