This one’s for the girls.
Girls Night Out events have grown in popularity among downtowns in recent years, and Kitsap is no exception. Main street businesses mold themselves into themes apt for a girls night out with friends, mothers, sisters or any female comrade. Be ready to hunt for deals, get pampered, and maybe grab a cocktail. Specials and discounts are given, along with prizes, treats, hors d’oeuvres and much more.
“It’s just a really fun time for women to get together to hang out, be with their friends and family,” said Sina Pradel with the Bainbridge Island Downtown Association, which organizes Girls Night Out on Winslow Way each year.
This week, three communities throughout Kitsap will be setting up for their own local Girls Night Out, including Bainbridge Island, Port Orchard, and Poulsbo. The events are held from May 7-9, so if ladies plan it just right, they could have three straight nights of gifts, pampering and shopping specials.
From salons to gift shops and restaurants, local businesses do their best to offer specials and attractions that go above and beyond for the ladies.
“The merchants get really into it, and they get creative with what they offer,” Pradel said, noting that many shops will host trunk shows, offer cocktails, or other treats on May 8.
“It’s a night of fun, shopping and supporting local businesses,” she said. “We have about 20 business (in Winslow) participating this year.”
After the event concludes, the night isn’t over in Winslow. An after party is scheduled at San Carlos Restaurant in town.
Pradel said that participants in Winslow are encouraged to wear pink during the event.
Each region has its own unique take on the event. Businesses in Port Orchard will be participating in Ladies Night Out on May 9.
That’s Beautiful will offer a pair of crystal earrings to the first 30 visitors. Robert Earl Lighthouse will give a mini creme brulee to the first 100 ladies that come in. Amy’s on the Bay Restaurant and bar will feature specials on Three Olive Vodka drinks and free Three Olive Vodka merchandise. Then there’s the Itty Bitty Beauty Shoppe which will give away a free nail saver, mini polish and mini lotion.
“(Ladies Night Out) is free to participate and sign up,” said Kathleen Wilson, branch manager of the Port Orchard Library. “You get a bag and a list of participating businesses. The businesses will also have balloons showing they are participating.”
“Last year, we had over 500 women show up,” she said. “I think it’s just fun getting together with your friends, with the discounts offered and the freebees, and different things to make the night a little more special.”
The library is also getting into the spirit.
“There will be three raffle baskets throughout downtown, and we have a Mother’s Day raffle basket here,” Wilson said. The library will also host a craft workshop to make bookmarks with alcohol-ink and beads.
“We got this idea off of Pinterest,” Wilson said. “It’s making bookmarks with alcohol ink and beads.”
The effect leaves a unique marbleized pattern.
This year’s Ladies Night Out in Port Orchard will also feature the recently opened public market on Bay Street.
Poulsbo is putting its Girls Night Out to use for a good cause this year on May 7. Its theme will be “Girls Night Out for Girls Night In,” to support the YWCA’s Eli’s Place, a transitional shelter for victims of domestic violence. Donations of cash, grocery store gift cards or personal care items will be accepted at the event.
Participants can get a Girls Night Out bag in downtown Poulsbo to take to shops offering specials and deals, and can enter contests to win prizes.
If a Kitsap gal misses the special nights in May, another Girls Night Out event is slated for June 5 at the Kitsap Mall and will feature a cupcake war where the best cupcakes of Kitsap will battle it out.