The summer heat will soon turn into the warmer autumn months, and if you make time soon you can squeeze in a mini-vacation with your favorite gal pals. It has been a summer tradition to have a pod of friends and colleagues participate in an annual ladies’ day out. Just make the commitment for spending a day or evening with the people you love and you will be rejuvenated for the crazy weeks ahead. Of course, staying in Stephenson County means a little something for everyone!

The Ice Breaker

As summer wraps up, there is still much to do outside. Every ladies day out begins with the fun icebreaker activity to get the chatter started and the blood pumping. Stephenson County offers many engaging events to get the fun rolling outdoors. Freeport offers the Tutty’s Crossing Trailhead for long walks, a bike ride or just enjoying nature. Catch-up on stories with your favorite people biking the 17-mile Jane Addams Trail, or even just a section of it. Share special moments in the morning hours in nature – just make sure your giggling doesn’t scare off all of the wildlife.

Ridott’s Gretta’s Goats on Short Leg Farm also offers morning Goat Yoga. During this experience, goat partners join the group. Join in on the fun and laughter while building core strength with an expert yoga instructor. Private group services are also available. Check out the website for all schedules and offers.

Where is Lunch?

The next step in the ladies day out involves food. Spoil your group of loved ones with dining to suit your mood in Stephenson County. Choose between a diner setting or deli to surprise the group with a variety of options. Cimino’s in Freeport offers a lunch buffet to their customers that is very affordable and can be enjoyed on the outdoor patio. A pub atmosphere can be found throughout the county including Logan’s Bar & Grill in Freeport, Route 75 Bar & Grill in Dakota, Coach’s in Lena and many others to numerous to list.

Freeport also offers a variety of sandwich shops and coffee house atmospheres if the group favors the “on the go” date. Check out Hilldale Deli in Downtown Freeport, Main Street Eats & Treats in Lena for sandwiches or 9 East Coffee and Higher Grounds for the coffeehouse vibe.

The Main Event

The essential part of the ladies day out is the core activity. This activity keeps the fun momentum going and can bring in a new skill to the group.

If your ladies prefer to shop, Sugarbaker’s Boutique in Lena offers trendy home décor. There will also be painting parties at this location on August 10 from 10 am-1 pm.  While in Lena, stop at other shopping destinations including the Lena Mercantile, Fluegel’s Boutique and DeVoe Floral & Gifts.

Another possibility is exploring your inner artist with a pottery class. In Freeport, Stacey McDonald’s Pottery Studio offers group training on pottery and sculpting. Call ahead to reserve a seat for the group and create a famed piece you can continue to adore. Stacey McDonald, owner, will be hosting a beer stein class in August. Check out the website to register.

Did you know Freeport and Winslow offer equestrian farms? Horseback riding builds muscle and teamwork. Travel out in the countryside to take a ride with a trained horse. Beginners horseback lessons are held at Ivy’s Glide Gait Farm in Winslow or Freeport’s Bell Oaks Farm. Gather the girls and head out to the farms for a cool afternoon or evening.

Of course, we can’t forget about the non-activity – spa relaxation. Freeport’s Elite Design Team has services for everyone. Call ahead to make plans for a group massage, manicure, or other services while enjoying the company of your gal pals. Check out their list of services online.

River’s Edge Salon in Freeport offers vast services for group relaxation and self-care including mud-masks and evening yoga classes. Take advantage of the  special of $5 off massages in August. More information can be found online.

Dinner Dates

Finally, wrap up the Ladies Day Out with a calming dinner. Cannova’s Italian Cuisine offers reserved group seating and a menu full of Italian favorites worth the visit. If you’d rather drink your meal with just a few appetizers, slide over to one of our fine breweries in Lena and Freeport or find wine tasting fun at  Famous Fossil Winery in Cedarville.

After an amazing day together, catch up on the day’s activities and take the opportunity to plan the next trip.  Share the photos you’ve taken together and decide who is posting to make all of the world jealous of your time together. Plan to gather the girls for an autumn soiree that will keep these cherished times going. After all, there is still so much left to do in Stephenson County!