Contrary to popular belief, bachelor parties don’t have to involve exotic dancers, crippling hangovers, or a trip to the emergency room. Sidni Greenblat, wedding planner and co-owner of Silver Springs’ Rave Reviews, says she’s noticed a shift away from bosom-centric celebrations.
“One of the things I’ve seen lately, not just among bachelors but also bachelorettes, is for everyone to go on a little destination trip,” says Greenblat. Luckily, Washingtonians don’t have to travel far for a day of fun. Here are six creative bachelor party ideas around Washington.
Bocce Ball and Beer
Black Jack (1612 14th St., NW; 202-986-5225)
A little friendly competition can be a great way to calm a groom’s nerves before the big day. Black Jack, one of our 2012 Cheap Eats picks, rents its second-floor bar and bocce court for private parties. Guests can devour man-friendly foods such as bacon-packed BLTs and duck-confit-topped nachos, throw back a few draft beers, and play unlimited games of bocce. And maybe the boys can enjoy a little skin, after all, with the hotspot’s Peep Show gin cocktail. A minimum $3,000 consumption-based tab is required to rent the space from 6 to 9 PM.
Skydive Orange Inc. (11339 Bloomsbury Rd., Orange, Virginia; 540-943-6587)
Weather permitting, groomsmen can “take the plunge” alongside their friend—not down the aisle, but out of a plane. The USPA-certified experts at Virginia’s Skydive Orange make more than 18,000 jumps a year, so first-timers are in good hands as they leap from 13,500 feet. The Deluxe Tandem Package ($395 per person) includes a high-def DVD of your skydive, a CD with roughly 75 photos, and a certificate he can proudly display for years to come.
Golfing With a Twist
TopGolf (6625 S. Van Dorn St., Alexandria; 703-924-2600)
TopGolf, a sports entertainment complex in Alexandria, combines a driving range, a video arcade, and a neighborhood bar. Players score points by hitting microchip-laden golf balls at targets, and scores are instantly posted to a screen in the bay area. While the technology may be a tad over our heads (microchips in golf balls?), planning a bachelor party couldn’t be easier: Guests can purchase individual “playing cards” for $40 (games start at $4.80 a pop) or break the bank with one of TopGolf’s many party packages. Those start at around $59 a person and include either a bay area or an event room, catered food, and a beverage package.
Race Car Driving
Dover International Speedway (1131 N. Dupont Hwy., Dover, Delaware; 1-800-468-6946)
Help your groom live out his NASCAR fantasy at Dover’s “Monster Mile” speedway. Amateur racers can suit up for driving orientation and instruction, then navigate genuine race cars at speeds up to 120 mph. The speedway offers a variety of packages, from a supervised four-lap session ($99) to a solo 20-lap drive ($639 weekdays, $679 weekends).
Take Him Out to the Ball Game
Nationals Park (1500 Capitol South St., SE; 202-675-6287)
Baseball enthusiasts of every budget can find something to do at Nationals Park. For just $15 a person, fans can get a behind-the-scenes look during a non-game-day tour, which features a peek inside the team’s dugout, clubhouse, and bullpen. If you’re looking for something more extravagant, round up the guys for a game-day get-together in one of the park’s 79 private suites. Prices start at $3,000 and include a generous catering stipend for Levy Restaurants. You can even arrange to have a congratulatory message appear on the park’s five-story HD scoreboard. Contact ticket sales account executive Karl Micka-Foos at 202-640-7688 for more information.
Crab Feast and Boating
The Crab Claw Restaurant (304 Burns St., Michaels, Maryland; 410-745-2900)
For some fun in the sun, head to St. Michaels for a day of boating, specialty drinks, and some of the tastiest crabs around. To start, climb aboard the Lady Patty, a 45-foot classic racing yacht, for a two-hour sail across the Chesapeake Bay ($35 per person). Afterward, satisfy his king-size craving for crab at one of St. Michaels’ favorite dining spots. Since 1965, the Crab Claw has been serving up classics such as Chesapeake Bay oysters, fried flounder, Crab Claw ale, and of course, Maryland blue crabs.
For more staycation ideas, pick up a copy of our August issue, featuring 35 Great Day Trips.