SAYING GOODBYE TO THE SINGLE LIFE
With summer wedding season comes an annual round of bachelor parties to celebrate (or mourn) the final days of youthful singlehood. Although many are elaborate and expensive, a successful bachelor party needn't cost a lot of money. Here are several ideas for a festive celebration that will create lasting (or fuzzy) memories without costing the groomsmen a mint.
Related: How to Be in a Wedding Party Without Going Broke
TAKE HIM OUT TO THE BALLGAME
Dust off the old mitts and head to the ballpark. Ticket prices have soared in recent years, but some Major League parks still offer bleacher seats for as little $15. Tickets to a regional minor league game are even more reasonably priced, as are the concessions, and the cheap seats are much closer to the action.
MAKE THE GROOM SING
No doubt there's a diva hidden somewhere deep in the recesses of the groom's soul that rarely sees the light of day. Most karaoke places charge an hourly rate, regardless of the size of the group. Goad the groom into belting a tune and reminisce over old favorites.
Dust off the chips, fill the fridge with beverages, order a few pizzas, and settle in for poker night. Embrace the gamesmanship and give the groom a good ribbing while giving him a chance to win some cash (he'll need it to afford the wedding).
TAKE A HIKE
A hike is a way to get a large group together outdoors without worrying about cost. Many trails are free and manageable, regardless of the group's overall skill level. Use the money saved for a casual dinner and a round of refreshing drinks afterward to celebrate the groom.
Related: 20 Amazing Hikes in the U.S.
ROAST THE GROOM
Guys love giving their buddies a hard time, so pull together the groom's closest friends for a good-natured roast. Whether you reserve space at a bar or restaurant or simply meet at someone's home, everyone should come prepared with treasured tales about the groom.
HOST A COOKOUT
Regardless whether the groom eats meat, nothing says "male bonding" quite like a night in the backyard with food on the grill and a cooler stocked with favorite beers. Crack open a cold one and revel in a laid-back night with good friends and good food.
HIT A VIDEO ARCADE
The groom might be on the verge of an important life transition, but that doesn't mean he wouldn't appreciate revisiting video games from his youth. Bring a few friends and let him loose in a video arcade. Look for one that will let you play like kids but drink like adults.
Camping is most often a cheap endeavor that leads to reminiscing over beer and a campfire. County, state, and national parks are relatively inexpensive but typically rustic. Don't overlook private campgrounds, which often have even more amenities than their public counterparts. Put your phones away and channel your inner Boy Scouts.
RENT A CABIN
Roughing it in a tent isn't for everyone, but a back-to-nature bash can be a simple as renting a cabin for the weekend. Even fully equipped cabins can be on the cheap side when the nightly rate is divided by five or six, making a boys weekend an inexpensive and unforgettable occasion.
BOOK A BREWERY TOUR
Pick a local brewery, book a tour, and let the beer flow freely. Many brewery tours are low-cost or free, and samples are frequently included. Not only is there free brew on hand, but tours can be entertaining, providing insight into the brewery's history and beer-making techniques.
TAKE A ROAD TRIP
A weekend road trip could be the perfect getaway, and cheap gas prices make driving all the more affordable. Pack up the car and see where the road leads, or build an itinerary ahead of time and scout cheap hotels or vacation rentals along the chosen route.
RIG AN OUTDOOR THEATER
Borrow or rent a projector and set up a relaxing outdoor area to shoot the breeze and watch a movie. Build a screen or play the movie against a blank white wall. Choose an old favorite, stock a few coolers, and have plenty of seating available.
GO ON A SCAVENGER HUNT
For a seriously thrifty bachelor party, have the guys search for the goofiest, strangest, or most absurd items in town. Smartphones open the door to all kinds of ideas, such as a photo of a group hug with strangers, the signature of a bartender at a bar you never go to, a weird pose with a statue, or someone with the same name as the bride-to-be.
SET UP A WHISKEY TASTING
Spring for a few bottles of whiskey (or other hard liquor of the groom's choice) and host an at-home whiskey tasting. Disposable shot glasses cost as little as $1 for 24, which makes this idea way more affordable. Sure, you can travel to a bar and line up shots for the groom, but staying in is cheaper and safer, especially if everyone plans to spend the night.
TRY AN ESCAPE ROOM
Escape rooms are physical adventure games that require participants to solve a series of puzzles to escape a locked room. Trendy as team-building exercises, they're also an awesome way to spend an hour with the groom and his best buds. Tickets often cost less than $30 each. Some places may offer group rates or discounts on daily deal sites.
Many paintball venues offer package pricing for groups, which includes equipment, ammo, and a place to play for an afternoon. Don't forget to check Groupon and other daily deal sites for promotions.
PLAY BOARD GAMES
Give an old standby a new twist by turning a traditional board game into a drinking game. Cards Against Humanity is a natural for a game night bachelor party, but even childhood games such as Chutes and Ladders have potential (plummet down a slide, take a drink.). A night at home with drinks, cards, games, and the right group of people could be just the way to celebrate.
PLAY VIDEO GAMES
A video game console (with extra controllers) might be all you need for an awesome night in. Better yet, set up a few TVs with different consoles and organize a tournament. For a retro feel, buy an old Nintendo 64 on eBay (or bust yours out of storage).
WATCH THE GAME
If the groom has a favorite team, head to a local sports bar. Or, if funds are really tight, ask a friend with a big-screen TV and a wide selection of channels to host. Make the evening more festive with home-brewed beer and a variety of snacks.
FORCE FEED HIM
No, don't literally force him to eat, but participating in a team eating challenge can be a fun -- if quirky -- way to celebrate. Not only does the groom get fed but so does the rest of the party.
For a unique bachelor party activity, book a stint at a local archery range. Renting lanes is often inexpensive, and ranges typically provide equipment rental at a reasonable additional cost for those who don't own a bow and arrows.
PLAN A THEME OUTING
Set a theme ('80s, hippie, gangster, etc.) and hit a local thrift store for costumes. Each group member should wear their costume for the duration of the night, even if it includes a nice dinner or swanky bar.
GO TO A COMEDY CLUB
Tickets to a comedy club typically are reasonably priced, making this an ideal setting for a bargain bachelor party. An open-mic night could be an amazing outlet for someone in the group (or even the groom himself).