By the time you’ve been to about a dozen bridal showers, you’ve played enough ice breaker games to last a lifetime. If I never play “toilet paper bride” again, it’ll be too soon! I know I must share these sentiments with many women because the trend for showers seems to be moving away from parlor games and toward more realistic and sophisticated pastimes. Women are bypassing popular perception of the traditional bridal shower and getting down to the heart of why we have them at all. Sure, the games are great for big showers where families and friends come together for the first time and the point is to learn something about the bride and groom while entertaining the crowd. But the real importance of a bridal shower is to celebrate the friendship between girls, the last days you’ll spend together as single women, and “shower” the bride with love, laughter and gifts before she starts the next chapter of her life. Women are learning to think outside of the box when it comes to planning a shower. Though luncheons, dinners and tea are still popular, more engaging activities are gaining popularity for bridal parties. If you’re an outdoorsy girl, you can plan a camping trip to Yosemite, or go hike the Inca trail in Peru. For city gals, spend a weekend at a posh spa in Vegas where you and the gals can get spa treatments during the day, then take in a show at night. For bridal shower ideas that don’t require a weekend commitment, try taking a cooking class together, learning to salsa dance or renting a pottery studio for a day. The real bonding happens when you share your passions.