Getting together with a group of girlfriends is revitalizing. Sharing laughs, insights and even sorrows can lighten the heart and inspire the mind. Sometimes we get so busy, though, that we need to put group gatherings on the calendar, just to make sure they happen.

Keep in mind the words of advice given when on an airplane; when the oxygen mask drops, place it on yourself first and then do the same for others.

There is a good chance you spend most of your time doing just that, taking care of others. Do remember to make time to take care of yourself, too. Yes, maybe even by putting yourself first.

What does it mean to do that? To put yourself first? Everyone has their own definition, but it might mean to just give yourself permission to have fun. We so often forget the importance of play that we now have to remember to schedule it.

Do it. Be the organizer of fun. Call up some pals and make plans to get out of your normal groove. There are a lot of ways on the Outer Banks to create, learn, taste, compete and laugh. We have even put together a few ideas to help you stage your own Girl’s Night Out.

Sisters, by blood or by choice, can all become mermaids with the help of the good folks at Kitty Hawk Kites where you can learn to swim like your favorite mono-tail.

Buy your own tail or use one of theirs, this one-of-a-kind experience inspires lots of add-ons, like bringing along a photographer and advance gathering for starfish mani-pedis.

Go bowling. OK, so this old-school play-date activity in Nags Head has been around for decades, for a reason. It is just plain fun. High fives abound. Pals offer each other encouragement as bodies lean to encourage ball and pin interaction, a bit of competitiveness often edges in and a whole lot of giggles can be had.

Create art in Donna Hollowell’s mixed-media magic art class. She has a variety of projects you can make together. Everyone takes home their own creation. You might know her shop in Kitty Hawk, called Deja New, where you can find cleverly re-purposed furniture and objects d’art, but did you know that she also offers fun and creative workshops? Hollowell can even put together an art journaling class for you and your friends to gather, create and carry home a new practice — she’ll even bring the class to you.

Learn to make wine with Lorraine MacRae at OBX Winery located in Hop ‘N Grapes, a full service DIY wine shop in Kill Devil Hills. Put together a wine blend that is exactly what you want to drink.

The team at OBX Winery sources grape musts and concentrates from around the world for you to blend. You and your pals decide what type of wine you want to make, then have a custom session where you make a limited, small batch production of the wine of your choice, sweetened to your taste, with your own personal label.

The wine will be ready to drink in about 30 days — a perfect reason to have another get together.

Contact MacRae about a class, or just stop by the shop. They can supply everything from juice to bottles and corks.

Taste something new. Schedule a private spice tasting with Terry Bell and the crew at The Spice & Tea Exchange in Duck. Use all your senses as you explore new and familiar herbs, spices and creative blends.

Spend time with friends sharing new recipe ideas, sipping exotic teas and learning. After you pick your favorites, plan your next field trip to a local fish house to pick up ingredients and give your new recipes a try. Of course, preparing and enjoying this dinner with the girls is the next essential Girls Night Out.

Make tiny pottery fairy houses together at Kinnakeet Clay on Hatteras Island.

You might not have even known you needed a tiny pottery fairy house, but once you do, a collection will ensue; they get addictive.

Book a private pottery party in Antoinette Mattingly’s comfy studio in Avon and start your obsession with a group of best pals. Perfect for planting inside or in outdoor garden areas, each house is guaranteed be unique and the perfect size for one teeny little fairy.

Whatever you decide, do plan to spend meaningful time with close friends. Restoring, refreshing and resetting can be a lot of fun.

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