12 ideas for a Covid-friendly hen do this summer (2023)


e’re now into month 13 of pandemic-triggered weddageddon and it’s not just the big day itself that’s causing planning anxiety. With wedding season creeping up – 15 person ceremonies are finally back on, as of last week – bridesmaids across the capital are taking to WhatsApp with one big question: how to plan a micro hen do that is Covid safe and actually fun?

The good news is we’re finally free to celebrate hen dos in person again. The less relaxing news: the roadmap is still dependent on certain milestones being met, so that 30-person pre-wedding bash could quickly become a six-person celebration at the last minute - plus there’s the great British weather to contend with.

Finding bride and budget-friendly ideas can be tricky at the best of times, so the key for 2021 is finding (flexible) options that can be downsized, taken inside or – the absolute last resort – moved onto Zoom at the last-minute.

From hosting a garden Glast-home-bury to private dining with your own personal chef, this is your post-pandemic hen do guide.

Hire a canal boat

No minibreaks, no worries. Celebrating afloat is a fun way to bring the holiday vibes without having to leave the confines of the capital (or get from A to B while dodging the Tube).

Alternative hen party planner Cluck offers a boating experience featuring a bottomless brunch, a cruise along Regent’s Canal and a chance to let rip on the karaoke machine.

Co-founder Chloe Gilham says the company have been making amendments to allow their boating experience to go ahead. “The brunch we now have on the rooftop terrace rather than indoors,” she says. “The canal boat is open-air and with the karaoke, rather than everyone being in one room, groups are separated into clusters of six in each room.”

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Cluck offers a karaoke cruise with a DJ, or a more relaxed meander along the Regent’s canal with a picnic. Either way, you’ll be making waves.

£125 per person, thisiscluck.com

Embrace Glast-home-bury

If you can’t get to a festival, make your own. Georgie Williams, owner and creative director of wedding planners Key is in the Detail, says names like Hen-Fest and Stag-Chella are popular for a summer bash. She suggests sprucing up the garden party with some extra touches: bell tents and teepees are a fun (and weather-proof) addition.

“Glitter stations, bartenders, balloon garlands and a barbecue are a really good way of creating this festival vibe too,” says Williams. “If you want to go all out, send festival wristbands or lanyards as invites, personalise cocktails after the bride and groom and hire the ultimate photo backdrop, for Instagram pics of course.”

If you’re celebrating on May 22, you’re in luck. Glastonbury is hosting a one-off virtual event called Live At Worthy Farm for streaming in the background. The five-hour extravaganza will be broadcast at 7pm on Saturday night featuring performances from Coldplay, HAIM, and Wolf Alice.

From £20, worthyfarm.live

Host a flower crown workshop

If you like getting crafty, a flower crown workshop is a double winner – not only is it a chance to get hands-on with flowers, leafy foliage and ribbons, but the crowns also make perfect keepsakes for the big day or Glast-home-bury later on.

Rachel Richards, booking manager at Crafty Hen, says: “At the start of the pandemic, we quickly switched to running our most popular crafty hen activities online, organising virtual craft workshops for hen parties to still socialise, celebrate and make memories together from the comfort of their sofas.”

Tired of Zoom calls? Sustainable florist Lizard In Bloom is running flower crown workshops this summer, while Richards says Crafty Hen’s DIY craft kits have also been popular: “People can keep a hold of these and bring them out as and when lockdown restrictions ease and the British weather allows too. Then hold their own crafty party at the date, time and location that works best for them.”

From £20.50, thecraftyhen.co.uk

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Learn to dance

If you can’t get to a dance-floor, bring it home. Kacie Hanger, director and chief editor of The Hen Planner, recommends a Pulp Fiction theme where an instructor teaches everyone the Uma Thurman and John Travolta dance via Zoom. “The girls dressed up as John with the Bride as Uma and this theme was very successful,” she says of a recent hen.

Whether you want to whip your hair like Beyoncé or moonwalk to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Dance Party Experience offers virtual dance experiences with a professional teacher. Sessions are an hour long and participants can record the session – practice hard enough and it could even be one to whip out at the wedding.

From £13 per person, dancepartyexperience.com

Try your hand at life drawing

Paintbrushes and charcoal at the ready: Cluck offers the “sophisticated way to admire a naked hunk” with a life-drawing session. With tips from a professional artist, hens can improve their artistic skills and master the art of observation.

Gilham says they’ve made this experience virtual: “We’ve adapted these sessions so that it’s the naked Hulk and everybody drawing from the comfort of their own home, rather than being in the actual venue.”

From £100 per person, thisiscluck.com

Plan an old-school picnic

On a summer’s day, there’s nothing better than hunkering down with a hamper. Bespoke hen do company Feste offers a hen-do box that’s perfect for an al fresco get-together. It includes dressing up props, a keepsake, snacks and a playlist.

Co-founders Rachel Christie and Emilee Tombs suggest playing some old-school competitive games like rounders or British bulldog, while champagne picnics and bespoke treasure maps and trails are also popular.

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Hire a private chef

The upside of smaller numbers? It’s a chance to max out and be a bit boujie, says to Lauren Mack, director of bespoke party planning service Twist & Pout, who suggests hiring a private chef if you’re looking for a luxe dining experience.

Her company offers everything from afternoon teas to butlers in the buff while others offer exclusive tasting menus. offers a private supper club featuring seven ramekins and matching wines for £65 per person, while husband and wife duo Primavera Private Dining serves up a five course tasting menu for £105 per person. All-female led private chef platform YHANGRY has just netted £1.09 million in seed funding and offers vetted chefs with bespoke menus for as little as £17 per person.

Now that restaurants have reopened, consider hiring a private room at a restaurant like Clerkenwell’s The Modern Pantry or Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner at the Mandarin Oriental to ensure the party has a safe space.

Or arrange a private party pod: Coppa Club’s famous riverside igloos are open for business from this week, with woven wicker chairs, bamboo lanterns and festoon lighting for an intimate brunch or dinner overlooking Tower Bridge.

Have a staycation

Planning an Ibiza getaway or trip to Las Vegas might look uncertain, but there are plenty of hidden gems in the UK for a celebratory retreat (Covid-permitting).

Tombs says she had to change her own hen do plans last year from a big festival weekend abroad to an intimate hen do for five in St Leonards. But it wasn’t such a bad thing: “It meant we could splash out on the finer things like wine tasting at Tillingham Wines, a delicious dinner at Farmyard and we stayed in a stunning apartment overlooking the sea,” she explains.

She and her co-founder advise hen do planners to make sure deposits can be refunded if you’re booking something. “Most people including the accommodation options we work with are pretty accepting of the new rules these days. And we’d always recommend looking at hotels - last summer we were able to hire out the entire floor of the Hoxton Shoreditch for a group of hens for the weekend.”

Other options include finding a log cabin, treehouse or glamping site for a weekend of wholesome activities like kayaking, wild swimming, sailing or hiking.

Host a homemade spa night

You don’t have to stay away to be pampered. Williams says homemade spa nights are particularly popular with brides: “A foot spa, some face masks, prosecco and your best friends is a really fun way to kick start those wedding celebrations,” she explains.

“You can really go all out with home cinema setups, matching PJs and gift bags filled with everything perfect for a pamper.”

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For extra luxe points, hire an outdoor cinema or hot tub for an evening in the garden.

Hot tub hire from £123.25 at hirehottub.com, Twist & Pout offers an outdoor cinema experience (call for details)

Mix your own cocktails

For a flexi option, choose cocktails. The magic of a mixology masterclass is it can be adapted for different numbers and works just as well in person as it does on Zoom.

Dirty Martini offers virtual cocktail masterclass sessions with prepared cocktail kits over Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The kits are sent before the session and include a mini cocktail shaker and a recipe card for all four cocktails. Sessions are 45 minutes and you can even add either a deli box to accompany your private masterclass for £15 per person.

Personalised mobile bar service Botanical Bubbles is also providing virtual cocktail sessions. Each hen receives a box full of ingredients, equipment, recipe cards and garnishes. On the day, hosts Matt or Emily will help hens make each cocktail and share some history behind it.

From £35 per person, dirtymartini.uk.com, botanicalbubbles.co.uk

Solve a crime

How about digging out your best glamour and glitter to solve a murder? The Digital Murder Mystery Co was founded after the first lockdown and offers a perfect way to liven up the hen night, with download-ready murder mysteries and bespoke immersive experiences.

Choose from themes such as 1920s Paris, Studio 54, 1930s Nile Cruise and prepare for a fun-filled whodunit. Each mystery is set up for 12 players and each player receives character descriptions, scripts and outfit inspiration, plus downloadable Zoom backgrounds, a playlist and suggested dinner and cocktail recipes.

£275 for up to 12 guests, digitalmurdermystery.com

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Decorate your own lingerie

If flower crown workshops aren’t your bag, try something cheekier. The Crafty Hen offers a lingerie customisation workshop that promises hens the chance to pimp their own pair of pants. Participants can create underwear using fun fabrics, sequins, luxurious lace, bows and Swarovski crystals.

Or if you don’t fancy pimping your knickers, try making your own nipple tassels.No experience is necessary and sessions are virtual if you can’t meet in person – each hen will receive a kit containing all the materials before the workshop starts.

From £21 per person, thecraftyhen.co.uk


How do you make a chicken feel special? ›

Plan the day around her interests and preferences. If she enjoys dancing, throwing her a spectacular dance party can be just the thing. Get creative and plan the day around the things you know will mean the most to her.

How do you make a hens party fun? ›

10 Hilarious must play party games for your Hen Party
  1. 1) That's Not Me! – The Bride Embarrassment Contest.
  2. 2) Banned Words.
  3. 3) The Photo Phone Game.
  4. 4) That's Pants.
  5. 5) Pin The Tail On The Male.
  6. 6) Prosecco Pong.
  7. 7) Post-it Note Game.
  8. 8) I Solemnly Swear I've Been Up To No Good.

What do you do with a small hen party? ›

Hen Party Ideas For Small Groups: 15 Fancy Activities For Smaller...
  1. DIY Hen Do. ...
  2. Record a Song. ...
  3. Jewellery Making. ...
  4. Escape Room Activity. ...
  5. Salsa Dancing. ...
  6. Fancy Hotel Stay. ...
  7. Mobile Spa. ...
  8. Chocolate Making.
1 Dec 2016

Is it OK to have a small hen do? ›

And in fact, there are several benefits to having a low-key hen party: A smaller group of hens means it's easier for everyone to get to know each other quickly. Fewer hens means you will have more time to enjoy with each hen and really be able to appreciate their presence at your special weekend or day.

How do you mentally stimulate chickens? ›

Engage particular senses. Add bells throughout their environment for chickens to peck at and listen to their own music! Or add visually stimulating objects, such as mirrors or pinwheels, to spark their curiosity. Ensure mirrors are safe and will not break when chickens peck at their reflections.

How do I make my chicken not bored? ›

By hanging up some CDs around the run or garden, your hens can have lots of fun. Empty small plastic bottles filled with corn will keep your girls entertained for the house. Simply puncture a few holes in it so that the corn can fall out as they move it around, easily getting rid of any boredom!

What games do you play at a hens? ›

7 Trending Hen Do Games
  • Truth or Dare. See how daring you and the girls are during the celebrations and complete our list of rude, funny and unique truths and dares.
  • Hen Party Scavenger Hunt. ...
  • Mr & Mrs Quiz. ...
  • Toilet Paper Wedding Dress. ...
  • Hen Party Dares. ...
  • Would You Rather. ...
  • Never Have I Ever.
23 Nov 2022

Who traditionally pays for the hen do? ›

The General Etiquette

Whilst there's no hard and fast rule, tradition dictates that the bridesmaids and the other attendees cover the cost of the bride's place on her hen weekend.

Should the bride pay for her own hen party? ›

While there's no set rule on who pays for the bride's expenses during her hen weekend, it's customarily assumed that her bridesmaids and other guests will chip in. Depending on how much it will cost, some chickens may not be able to buy it. If the bride doesn't foot the bill, there won't be a wedding.

Do hens get lonely? ›

In short, yes. Chickens naturally flock together for warmth and comfort, for company, and when they are stressed or frightened. They are generally very social animals and without companionship can become depressed.

How do you know when a hen is happy? ›

High energy: Healthy chickens are social, curious and should feel energized to freely move throughout the coop, run or backyard. A lack of movement, low head carriage and overall depressed appearance may be a sign that something is wrong.

Can chickens be unhappy? ›

Some people think chickens don't get sad, but they do, especially if they don't have enough room to perform normal chicken behaviors like scratching and so forth, because their instincts are frustrated. This renders them helpless to do the things they need to!

What is stressful for chickens? ›

Stress in poultry manifests in three forms: physical, emotional and psychological. Stress stems from single elements: toxins, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, dyes, antibiotics and basic synthetic chemicals in the air, feeds, water and cleaning agents.

How do you make a chicken trust you? ›

How to Get Chickens to Like You
  1. Spend Quality Time. One of the best ways to get your flock to trust you is to spend time with them. ...
  2. Announce Your Arrival. Every time you go out to take care of them, let them know you're coming. ...
  3. Bring Treats. Chickens love treats. ...
  4. Know Your Chickens. ...
  5. Feed Them Premium Chicken Feed.
15 Sept 2022

What do chickens love the most? ›

Lettuce, kale, turnip greens and chard are great greens options. Watermelon, strawberries, and blueberries make healthy snacks for chickens when fed in moderation. A few flock favorites include: Vegetables: Lettuce, beets, broccoli, carrots, kale, swiss chard, squash, pumpkins and cucumbers.

Why do you put Vaseline on chickens? ›

Petroleum jelly on their combs

Some people say you can prevent frostbite on combs during the winter by putting petroleum jelly on the combs. For starters, this is really impractical if you have more than four or five chickens, especially if it is getting below freezing every night.

What music do chickens like? ›

A study was conducted by Bristol university in which they played pop, rock, classical or silence in nestboxes and monitored the laying chickens' preferences. They found that the chickens were much more likely to lay in the 'musical boxes', and that they had a slight preference for the classical music.

What is pass the dilly? ›

You must pass the dilly using only your chin, no hands are allowed & the dilly must be passed from one person to the other in a circle or line. If someone drops the dilly or use their hands, they have to have a shot of alcohol!

What do you do on a hen do? ›

10 Classic Hen Party Ideas
  • Karaoke.
  • Cocktail making.
  • Clubbing.
  • Afternoon tea.
  • Life drawing.
  • Hair & nail treatments.
  • Wine / alcohol tasting.
  • Limousine.

How do you make a bra pong game? ›

Well, you basically stick a few bras to a large board and write numbers for points on them. The rules of bra pong are simple. The hen party guests then bounce a ping pong ball into one of the cups of the bra. Each bra represents different points.

What do chickens do when bored? ›

And bored chickens can quickly become a real problem. Egg eating, feather pecking, aggression, even depression - standing still staring into space, for example - are all examples of what can happen if chickens can't express natural behaviours(1,2). Providing boredom busters can help lessen the problems.

What cool things can chickens do? ›

10 fun facts about chickens
  • Chickens are living descendants of dinosaurs. ...
  • Chickens aren't completely flightless. ...
  • Chickens can dream. ...
  • Chickens have better colour vision than humans. ...
  • Chickens have complex communication. ...
  • Chickens have great memories. ...
  • Chickens bathe by covering themselves in dirt. ...
  • Chickens have a pecking order.
26 Mar 2022

What are the most popular party themes 2022? ›

If you're digging for some awesome birthday themes to try, check out this list of the top 15 best of 2022!
  1. The Music of Your Life. ...
  2. Go Back in Time with a Roaring 20s Party. ...
  3. Escape to Paris. ...
  4. A Fresh Take on Sweet 16. ...
  5. Host an Artsy Party. ...
  6. Under the Sea. ...
  7. It's Time for a Talent Show! ...
  8. Birthday Themes: Adults-Only Cocktail Party.
16 Aug 2022

What parties are trending? ›

Here are some of the top party trends for 2022 events:
  • Party Trend: Go Big. ...
  • Party Trend: Modern Outdoor Events. ...
  • Party Trend: Creative Catering. ...
  • Party Trend: Individuality. ...
  • Party Trend: Hybrid Entertainment. ...
  • Party Trend: A Color Vibe. ...
  • Party Trend: Larger-Than-Life Cakes. ...
  • Party Trend: Celebrate Everything!

Can you wear white to a hen do? ›

If you're planning a Big Night Out then you can go all out on your hen do party wear. If you're the bride then you might want to consider wearing a white dress for your hen night.

Are chickens mad when wet? ›

Mad as a wet hen and mad as a hornet are phrases that mean extremely angry, enraged, very exasperated. Synonyms for mad as a wet hen and mad as a hornet that may be found in a thesaurus are angry, furious, outraged, irate. The idiom mad as a wet hen is sometimes rendered as madder than a wet hen.

Should a hen do be a surprise? ›

If a bride has organised her hen's night, she will spend a lot of time getting ready, so it's only fair to provide her with the opportunity to do so when it's a surprise. Surprises are good if a spa day, a makeover, or a shopping trip is organised as part of the hen's party so she can use these to glam up.

Does the bride get gifts for hen do? ›

If you've got a hen weekend looming then it's time to start thinking about gifts for the bride. Although it's in no way compulsory to give the bride hen party gifts, it is definitely a nice little extra that doesn't have to cost much as you can split it between all the hens.

What is the bride called on a hen do? ›

Is the bride the hen? Basically, anyone who is attending a hen party is referred to as a hen, and the entire group is known as 'the hens' or 'the hen party. ' The bride is essentially also a hen, but for clarity is often just referred to as 'The Bride' at the actual event.

What do groom's parents typically pay for? ›

What Does the Groom's Family Pay For, Traditionally? The groom's family is responsible for corsages and boutonnieres for immediate members of both families, the lodging of the groom's attendants (if you have offered to help pay for this expense), and sometimes the costs of the rehearsal dinner.

Does the groom's mother go to the hen party? ›

Yes You Should Bring Your Mam To Your Hen If...

- She's great fun to have on a night out, and gets into the spirit of things. - You're having a low-key hen with just dinner, afternoon tea, or a daytime activity. - Your mother gets on really well with your friends.

What does the bride mother pay for? ›

The Bride's Family

Think everything from invitations and stationery (with the exception of rehearsal dinner invites) to accommodations for bridesmaids. Also included are obvious things like the wedding dress, accessories, and hair and makeup.

How much do don't tell the bride give you? ›

The show's format consists of a couple who are given £12,000 (£14,000 in the BBC One and E4 versions) to spend on their wedding.

Do chickens remember their owner? ›

Surprisingly, yes - chicken really do seem to recognise their owners. In fact, research has shown that chickens are capable of recognising up to 100 human faces, so it won't take them long to learn who their owner is.

Do hens have feelings? ›

Chickens are sentient beings, meaning they experience a wide range of emotions and can feel pain. Each chicken on a factory farm has a distinct personality and desires, but factory farms deny everything that comes naturally to these intelligent and sensitive animals.

Why do chickens vibrate? ›

Chickens have air sacs and a syrinx that they use to push air out of the body and cause thin (tympaniform) membranes to vibrate and create noise. The chicken is able to control how a vocalization sounds by using the muscles of the syrinx.

Why does a hen cry? ›

Chickens that are captured emit long, loud, repeated squawks of distress: perhaps of warning, or as a cry for help. If a rooster pays unwanted attention to an unwilling hen, she only gives the distress call if a dominant rooster is present to obstruct his advances.

Why is my hen purring? ›

Purring (or Trilling)

These are expressions of utter contentment. Chickens purr when they are feeling calm and relaxed, and you may notice it most when you pet them!

Do chickens like their owners? ›

Chickens can bond with humans just like any other pet, especially if you're actively showing them how much you care!

What do chickens do when happy? ›

High Energy. The easiest and fastest way to know if your chickens are happy is to watch them. A content chicken will participate in normal chicken activities, such as pecking and scratching the ground, taking a dust bath, hunting for bugs, nesting, preening, and laying eggs.

Do chickens enjoy cuddles? ›

Cuddling is one of their favorite activities. In fact, they are known to seek their owners out when they want attention. One of the most child-friendly breeds of chicken, they will tolerate almost anything. However, we still recommend watching them interact with your children because they have a strong, powerful beak.

What makes a chicken unique? ›

A chicken is a bird. One of the features that differentiate it from most other birds is that it has a comb and two wattles. The comb is the red appendage on the top of the head, and the wattles are the two appendages under the chin. These are secondary sexual characteristics and are more prominent in the male.

How do you bond a chicken? ›

Be sure there is plenty of space to prevent overcrowding. One way to help both groups acclimate to each other is to place the two groups in side-by-side runs. Placing the two groups next to one another for one week can help the birds form bonds before being housed together.

How can you tell if your chickens are happy? ›

Healthy chickens are social, curious and should feel energized to freely move throughout the coop, run or backyard. A lack of movement, low head carriage and overall depressed appearance may be a sign that something is wrong.

What colors make chickens happy? ›

Orange – bright but not too intense, orange reminds chickens of daylight. Keep in mind that orange can be seen from a distance and may attract curious predators. Red – the classic barnyard color. Purple – a calming color that puts chickens at ease.

How do you talk to a hen? ›

Chatting With Chickens – How to Communicate With Your Flock
  1. Chatting with Your Chooks.
  2. Sing-a-long, Cluck-a-long!
  3. Whistle While You Tend Your Flock.
  4. Clap, Clap, Clapping May Bring Flap, Flap, Flapping!
  5. Food-Always the Great Motivator.
  6. The Delightful Sense of Touch.
  7. Cheers to Creative Communication.

Should I put Vaseline on my chickens? ›

These are two ways that chickens' bodies help to prevent frostbite. Yet, sometimes breeds succumb to frostbite for other reasons. Apply any one of the following: Vaseline/Petroleum Jelly/Bag Balm/Waxelene/Coconut Oil, to their combs and wattles prior to roosting each evening. Keep the coop dry and weatherproof.

Can chickens Recognise faces? ›

Chickens can recognize up to 100 faces

Chickens even remember positive or negative experiences with the faces they recognize and pass that information on to members of their flocks.

How do you know if a chicken trusts you? ›

If you sit still for a few moments, and quietly watch your chickens, they may bound up to you in curiosity, and even attempt to communicate to you. Even a glance towards you is a way of your chickens saying that they acknowledge your there. If your chickens are reluctant to walk over, entice them with some treats.

Can chickens remember their names? ›

You may be surprised to learn that chickens can be taught to recognise their own names.

Do chickens need daily attention? ›

Although low-maintenance, chickens do require a small amount of daily care as well as some monthly and semi-annual maintenance. Plan on spending 10 minutes a day on your pet chickens, an hour or so per month, plus a few hours twice a year on semi-annual chores.

Do chickens have feelings for humans? ›

Chickens can recognize up to 100 faces—and have been found to associate the faces they remember with the positive or negative experiences. Chickens can also show love and affection for the humans who care for them, and they certainly remember the humans they know and how those humans may have treated them.


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