If you want slot machines and showgirls, head to Vegas. Drive-thru daiquiris? Find them in New Orleans. For a unique, alternative bachelor or bachelorette party, try Portland. Here, quirky activities and fun spins on traditional outings will make your pre-wedding shenanigans truly unforgettable, and anything but run-of-the-mill. Read on to plan your perfect bachelor bash or bachelorette party in Portland.
See Portland landmarks like Powell’s City of Books and Pioneer Courthouse Square on a scavenger hunt by Urban Adventure Quest. Your team will traipse around downtown, following hints on your phone and completing fun group challenges. (Bonus: You can drop your new trivia knowledge on the bride’s mom if you need to share some G-rated details.)
How well do you know the wedding party? Find out at Escape Games PDX, which offers four different escape scenarios (including the Rose-City-themed Portlandia room), or in one of Escapism Portland’s six creepy schemes. Get locked in with your crew and work together to solve puzzles and make your escape in 60 minutes or less. After this, the wedding will be easy!
Portland’s weather doesn’t always cooperate for outdoor adventures, but you can bring the blood-pumping action inside at iFly, an indoors wind tunnel and sky diving park. An instructor will teach you everything you need to know to experience weightlessness without jumping out of a plane. Or work out some of your pent-up frustration over centerpieces in a friendly game of trampoline dodge ball at G6 Airpark (which hosts black light nights) or Sky High Sports. Just don’t aim for the bride and groom’s nose—black eyes definitely don’t match the wedding decor.
Will work for beer
Beer on a boat
See Portland’s many bridges from a different perspective — one experienced while drinking beer on a pedal-powered boat. Groups of up to 14 can sip local beer, wine, and cider while floating (and pedaling) on the Willamette River on a 90-minute BrewBarge cruise. Heads up: BrewBarge only provides the boat and plastic cups, so be sure to bring your own drinks, snacks and high-energy party playlists.
Beer on a bike
Forget about beer crawls; Pedalounge and BrewCycle make the journey throughout Portland’s brewery district as much fun as the destinations. You’ll have to work between brews—pedaling the many-seated contraption is harder than it looks—but it’s a hilarious way to break the ice between guests who don’t already know each other. Pro tip: Scout out a route beforehand to hit the bars and breweries on your must-drink list; you’ll have time to stop at three or four, depending on how fast you drink—and bike.
Putt it out
Blacklight miniature golf
With its day-glo skeletons and treasure chests, mini-golf at downtown’s Glowing Greens inspires selfies and pirate puns galore. A pirate statue marks the entrance to the 18-hole, underground course, ideal for co-ed parties. Open until 11 p.m. on weekends, Glowing Greens is a perfect pre-game activity or alcohol-free alternative to clubbing.
More golf options
Hone your group’s competitive edge at TopGolf Hillsboro, located 15 miles (24 km) west of downtown Portland. Experienced golfers and total newbies alike will enjoy taking some swings at this futuristic driving range with 102 climate-controlled bays and multiple bars and lounges. East of Portland, McMenamins Edgefield offers a full campus of fun, including multiple bars, a spa and two golf courses. Choose from 12 or 20 holes on the pitch-and-putt style courses, which boast Columbia River views and handy bar access.
Get your dance on
Old Town crawl
If you’re looking to spend the whole night in one walkable neighborhood, Old Town is the place to be. It offers a high concentration of dance clubs, all within walking distance of one another: The club Dirty is a bachelor bash favorite. Barrel Room frequently hosts DJs, live music and dueling pianos. At Dixie Tavern, servers dance on the bar in between slinging drinks. And the famous drag shows at Darcelle XV combine comedy, cabaret and lots of sequins.
Booking a private belly dance class at Znama Studio in Southeast Portland makes for an unforgettable bachelorette party. It will also teach the whole crew some killer moves for the wedding dance floor.
Sea of Roses
Planning a wedding can be stressful. Make sure the members of the wedding party have just what they need to pamper themselves. With Sea of Roses, your group can learn how to make soap, candles or floral arrangements from local makers, and take your creations home with you.
Forget the cheesy bach party favors no one will ever use again. Instead, make your own leather koozie, clutch or luggage tags at DIY Bar while sipping beer, cider, wine or kombucha. The bar has all the tools and materials you’ll need to make a whole menu of projects that embody the Portland vibe. Everyone in the group can choose a project for themselves, which range in difficulty from anyone-can-do-it to expert-crafters only.