As I mentioned in my post about making a comeback to lolita, I have recently been going through my lolita scrapbook a lot. Something I stumbled across was a list I made years ago about some ideas I had for meets. This list was a little bit different though, as I was looking at ideas away from the 'usual' lolita meet activities. I was inspired by meets that I was very fortunate to be a part of. Over the years I have done a lot of the lolita meet staples such as picnics, afternoon tea, swap meets and crafting accessories to go with lolita outfits. But I have also done some more unusual things such as visiting a horror house, game board cafes and making fudge at our local branch of the Fudge Kitchen. I love a picnic meet, but sometimes I think it can be fun to think outside of the box too. It can encourage you to try new things or discover something which you may have previously dismissed. Of course, a lot depends on your location and the mentality of your local community. You may think something sounds like a really good meet idea, only to be greeted with a lack of enthusiasm. I admit that this has happened to me several times. A lot of the problem with more unusual meets is that sometimes they can cost more money or they may involve additional travel.
But I kind of felt as though my list shouldn't go to waste. So today I am sharing some ideas that I came up with. They may pique your interest, they may not. If nothing else, I hope that it will serve as inspiration to have a think about whether you could be doing more with your local community.
Pick Your Own Fruit- You not only get to do something a bit different, but you also get to take home the fruit afterwards. Maybe you could brainstorm some ideas about what you could use the fruit for. I feel that a pick your own place is also a good place to go if you want to get to know your community a bit better. They generally tend to be quiet places and as the picking action is quite repetitive, you can still hold a conversation easily.
Falconry session- I have done this before a couple of times (not in lolita) so I have a good idea of what these falconry displays involve. Typically you will be given a glove to protect your arm as you handle the birds. You don't really get messy and most of the time the birds are more interested in the food on your glove than they are with you. Obviously you should check beforehand to check that lolita is in fact suitable. You will probably have to wear sensible shoes. This idea came to me because I saw another community did a 'llama walk' where they walked llamas through a wooded area. I thought this was such a fun idea. Alternatively, you could see if a local farm or zoo holds events where you can get close to the animals.
Store parties- Certain stores seem quite popular within the lolita community. As you get to know your community better, you may find that you have similar tastes in beauty or make up brands. Sometimes these stores will hold in-store parties or demonstrations. Brands such as Lush, for example, will hold parties after hours where you get to know their products better. You should check beforehand to see if there are any conditions your guests will need to meet. Sometimes you might be encouraged to purchase some stuff.
Murder Mystery Evening- Some people love to dress up for these events, so it is not too much of a stretch to wear lolita to a mystery evening. This is another meet that could encourage more interaction and communication within your community, as you gather evidence against your friends.
Baking- Crafting meets seem quite popular, but baking seems to be less so. I guess it is because of the fear of accidents. I have to admit that when I attended that fudge making meet I purposely wore cheaper lolita clothing rather than my best brand! Baking can be quite a relaxing activity and can be done in your own home (provided you are happy to invite your comm over).
Art meet- Take it in turns to draw each other. There are so many talented artists that I know in the lolita community. Drawing is quite a popular activity and I know that 'Draw Threads' are popular online. You don't have to be particularly talented, as the aim is to have fun. For the more serious artists in your community, it can offer some valuable practice. Plus you get some free art work of your co-ordinate!
Volunteering- You could try running a stall at a charity fair, or do something like visiting the elderly. The general public can take quite a lot of interest in seeing a group of lolitas out and about (I have even been mistaken as a member of staff at events like Alice Day), so maybe this is a way for us to use this to our advantage and help others out at the same time.
Wine Tasting- Obviously, this would be one for the older community members! Local vineyards often offer tours. But if wine does not take your fancy, perhaps there is another food or drink that you could sample. I think chocolate tasting could be very popular!
Makeover sessions- You could try an activity such as nail art or trying out different hair styles. This has the added bonus that you may learn a new technique that you could use with your lolita outfits.
Take a community class- You could try a singing lesson, acting, learn a new musical instrument together... I suppose a lot depends on what is on offer in your local area. Local interest groups sometimes offer demonstrations. I personally have been considering taking a photography course. I am also very fortunate to know somebody who runs a craft shop nearby, who do workshops and often provide tea and cake.
Do an 'Escape Room' Challenge- This is not one for claustrophobics! You get locked in a room and given a set amount of time to 'break out'. This usually involves fun puzzles and riddles to solve. One has opened locally to me, and I am tempted to at least give it a try,
Do an alternative take on the 'usual' lolita meet ideas- You could have a meet based around something like afternoon tea, but what about doing it in an unusual location? There are some really fun ideas and themes out there. Rooftops, riverboats, on a steam train... these are just some of the places I have found. Or you could do something like hire a boat and have a picnic whilst floating on a river.