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I’m very excited to be part of The Active Hen Project with Maximise and a small group of fabulous UK bloggers to create the perfect Active Hen Weekend. The timing of this project could not be more perfect, as I’m starting to think about my own celebrations.

A few weeks ago, I went to the first Maximise focus group to brainstorm ideas for the perfect Active Hen Weekend, but before I tell you what went down, let me introduce my fellow bloggers and give you some background to the project.

Maximise Background

Maximise have 15 years of experience in hen and stag weekend organisation which has enabled them to keep ahead of the trends, finding the hottest destinations for UK and abroad weekends and fine trimming packages to include all the important details, from amazing food and accommodation options to a personalised online booking system that the whole group can use.

The Active Hen Project

Maximise have seen a trend in women becoming more interested in hen activities that have an adventurous or active element to them – be it a quirky new dance class or an assault course! Maximise already offer loads of energetic activities for hens, but are keen to go one step further and make a truly unique Active Hen package for women who want to try something new, active and fun on a hen do.

The Active Hens

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Me! Elle from KeepitsimpElle , Faya from Fitness On Toast, Georgina from Georgina Does, Josie who is Maximise’s own hen weekend expert and Sian from The Girl Outdoors.

The Brief

Target audience:

· 25-35 years old

· 12 hens in the group

· Looking for a unique hen do (new trends, something not done before)

· Must be accessible for the whole group (varying levels of fitness)

· Typical budget £180 per person for whole weekend

· Avoid ‘tacky’ activities

Package to include:

· London based

· 2-3 activities

· 2 nights

· 2 meals

We started off by discussing what we love and loathe about hen parties and girlie weekends.
There were some colourful opinions (and drawings!) about what makes a good and bad hen do, and without wanting to focus too much on the negatives, I was pleased that I’m not the only person out there who hates the idea of a stereotypical hen do. A little bit of kitsch is ok with me, but I’d rather stay home and do my laundry than have a full blown tack-fest with L plates, dodgy strippers, plastic willies, sashes and cheesy clubs with 30 other hen groups. Luckily all the other ladies felt the same way!

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We then discussed the best hen parties we’d been to. My favourite was a private can can dance class (complete with the massive skirts) and a Cocktail HIIT Bootcamp where each station was themed around burning the number of calories in a particular cocktail, followed by a cocktail-making class.

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The others had lots of cool experiences too, the stand outs were a weekend glamping with lots of muddy outdoor activities and a Swedish hen weekend with saunas and skinny dipping.

We then went on to discuss fitness trends in London and how these could be incorporated into the Active Hen Weekend. Some of my favourite ideas were an urban orienteering treasure hunt, an old school sports day and a muddy obstacle race.

Elle has a fantastic idea for a Hen Run – a special 5km run with cheering squads, water (and cocktail) stations and personalised medals.

Another popular activity was yoga – as a wind down after a more active morning. Not just yoga either, we talked about all manner of fusion classes – Voga, boxing yoga and paddle board yoga to name just a few.

We liked the idea of incorporating a more chilled, creative activity into an otherwise action-packed day. Sushi and cocktail/healthy smoothie making classes were very popular as were cooking classes that tied in with an activity we had already tried, e.g. Bollywood dancing followed by a healthy curry making class.

We discussed the merits of hotels vs apartments and decided we’d prefer an apartment that could be personalised for the hen, with little touches like a hamper of beauty products for a night in, matching pyjamas and photos of the hen and friends. We also loved the idea of arranging for a beauty therapist to visit the apartment to give us manicures, facials and massages.

Clubbing wasn’t very high on anyone’s agenda as we all felt that the purpose of a hen weekend is to spend quality time with the bride, not to spend time drinking cheap sickly cocktails and then throwing up outside the club!

The focus group certainly gave me lots of ideas and I can’t wait to see how Maximise tailor a package based around our discussions when we all try out the Active Hen Weekend next month.

Our package will be available for the public to purchase from June onwards, and I already have a special discount to share.

Maximise are offering a special promotion for my readers – the bride goes free when book a hen package. You just need to quote the code: ACTIVEHEN when booking online or over the phone (0208 236 0111).

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