Organizations host women’s retreats for a variety of reasons–to connect with others for a specific cause, to foster new connections with people with similar interests, or to celebrate an event or accomplishment. No matter the reason, planning a women’s retreat requires organization and planning.
Why Host a Women's Retreat?
Hosting a women’s retreat is an excellent way to bring people together to relax, work towards a common mission, forge meaningful relationships, or celebrate. Furthermore, having a retreat involves getting away from all the other responsibilities and stresses in life to focus on a common goal or purpose.
Plus, women’s retreats are popular–in 2019, over 45,056 weekend or full-day women’s retreats took place, which clearly indicates people enjoy them and that they serve a purpose. Even more, there has been a 230% increase in the number of women-led travel companies that cater specifically to women.
Goals of a Women's Retreat
Depending on the reason for your women’s retreat, they can have a wide range of goals. Some typical goals include:
- Rest and relaxation while enjoying nature
- Engaging in wellness activities such as yoga or cycling
- Spiritual or religious goals
- Making progress towards planning an event for a specific cause
- Exploring an area you’ve never been to with other women
Women's Retreat Ideas & Activities
No matter the purpose, whether it’s faith, fun, or exploring new cuisine, there is no shortage of women’s retreat ideas and activities to consider. In this article, we dive into 10 of the best ideas for your next woman’s retreat.
Women’s Nature Retreat
Some people may argue there’s no better way to relax, recharge, and discover meaning than by experiencing the great outdoors. A women’s nature retreat is an excellent idea for spiritual groups, reunions, or for groups just getting to know one another. Some of the top locations for nature retreats include:
- Goddess Retreats in Bali for yoga, surfing, and wellness activities
- REI Outsetta for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities
- Big Sky Yoga Retreats in California, Montana, Costa Rica, Italy, and Argentina
Women’s Bible Group Retreat
Most churches have specific groups just for women, and annual women’s retreats are usually a common event. To organize a women’s bible group retreat, try to keep the group small enough to foster meaningful connections, small prayer groups, and service activities. If your group is larger, consider breaking the larger group into smaller groups to make things easier. Furthermore, make sure you have a designated group leader to facilitate activities and organize your events.
Women’s Spa Retreat
A spa retreat is an excellent idea for women to get away to relax and enjoy time away from home. This type of retreat doesn’t need to have a specific purpose–it’s completely up to you and should be tailored to the interests of the group. That being said, it’s a good idea to make sure your retreat venue offers a wide range of features that make it easy to relax, such as easily accessible dining, wifi, and comfortable accommodations.
Women’s Adventure Retreat
On the other side of relaxation is an adventure. Whether it’s climbing a mountain with a group of other women, running a half marathon together, or embarking on a challenging hike, an adventure retreat is an excellent idea for women who enjoy physical activity and connecting with others who do the same. Other adventurous retreat ideas include cycling, backpacking, camping, and kayaking.
Women’s Service Retreat
What better way to connect with other women than to make a positive difference in the world? Many organizations host women’s retreats with a service aspect in mind. Develop a committee for your retreat and gather the best ideas for a cause everyone is passionate about. Examples of service retreats could include volunteering with at-risk youth, visiting patients in the hospital, or building a house together with a program such as Habitat for Humanity.
Women’s Workplace Retreat
Workplace retreats are common in women-run organizations or businesses owned and operated by women. This type of retreat helps co-workers get out of the office and their usual routine to spend time together to brainstorm new business ideas, get to know one another on a more personal level, and most importantly, have fun together outside of a work environment. Excellent women’s workplace retreat activities include things like going to an escape room (what better way to build collaboration skills?), brainstorming sessions, and group dinners.
Women’s Photography Retreat
Photography is a hobby for many professionals, but it’s also a key skill for many business owners and professionals, especially in our digital age. This makes it a great women’s retreat idea because participants can hone their passions and skills that also help them professionally. Consider hiring a professional photographer to teach workshops and host the event in a location that lends itself to beautiful photo-taking backgrounds, such as state parks, beaches, or museums.
Virtual Women’s Retreat
Virtual events and retreats have risen in popularity out of necessity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, even as we work our way back to a new normal, we’ve learned virtual retreats are an excellent way to foster rapport, connect with other women, and participate in discussions and group games. You can even play games virtually such as online escape rooms, trivia, and board games using video conferencing software like Zoom or Google Hangouts.
Women’s Meditation Retreats
There’s no way around it–career women, working moms, and stay-at-home moms are busy. What better way to re-center and relax than with a group of women you enjoy spending time with than at a mediation retreat? It’s not for everyone, but many people have positive things to say about silent retreats, such as ones offered by Spirit Rock in California. Participants enjoy activities such as walks in nature, extensive mediation workshops, and learning sessions.
Women’s Cooking Retreat
Many women love to cook, but sometimes it is challenging to find time in our daily busy lives to try new recipes and cook with others. This makes a cooking retreat an excellent way for women to come together to discover new cuisine, share recipes, and learn new cooking techniques. Consider hiring a professional chef to guide your group through cooking different meals and offering a cookbook with all the recipes you learned that participants can take home.
Women's Retreat Gift Bag Ideas
No matter what type of retreat you’re planning, we never outgrow the practice of creating and receiving the party gift bags we did as children at birthday parties. They don’t have to break your budget, but they serve as both helpful things to use during and after your women’s retreat–and as thoughtful keepsakes and memories about your retreat.
Some top ideas for women's retreat gift bags include:
- Adult coloring books, especially for relaxation-themed or workplace women’s retreats
- Branded items with a retreat logo (if you have one) such as t-shirts, pens, or stickers
- A recipe card to take home with you, especially if you can use a recipe you enjoyed together on the trip
- Luxury food items such as artisan chocolate or tea, particularly if you can get it from the location your retreat is located in
- A memory book to place photos participants took during the retreat
- A journal for women to take notes in during or after the retreat
Plan a Women's Retreat with EventSprout
Planning a women’s retreat takes time and effort for it to be successful rather than stressful, so you can focus on hosting an incredible retreat. Fortunately, EventSprout offers the tools retreat organizers need to make it simple. Their software makes it easy to create a retreat website, sell tickets online and in-person (if you have a fee), and track attendance. Best of all, it’s completely free for event organizers.