Are you tired of doing the same things with your friends? Do you want to try something new and need some inspiration? Here’s a big list of fun things to do with friends, whatever you want to stay at home or venture outdoors.
These ideas are easy to do indoors. They are perfect if it’s raining or you just don’t feel like going out.
Games offer hours of entertainment. You could play old favorites or try something new.
You and your friends probably have a few board games lying around. Gather them up and host a board game night.
Even if you have to buy a brand new game, the cost will still be relatively low if you split it between several friends. For inspiration, check out this list of 50 classic board games and Polygon’s list of the best board games.
Card games such as poker, blackjack, spoons, and rummy are fun and cost nothing to play if you already have a deck of cards. If you’d like to try a new game, check out this guide to 40 different games and their rules.
Classic party games, such as Charades, Apples to Apples, and Sardines are simple and fun. You could also play quick “Minute To Win It” games (check out this list for instructions and ideas), video games, or tabletop RPGs.
Invite your friends over. Ask them to bring along stuff they no longer want or need and hold a swap. Everyone will get the chance to pick up something new without spending any money. If you still have things left over that no one wants, hold a yard sale and split the profits between you.
If you’re bored eating the same recipes all the time, discover new foods by hosting a potluck. Ask everyone to bring along one dish. You could decide on a theme for your potluck, such as “Italian food,” “favorite comfort food,” or “secret family recipes.”
If you’re inviting a small group, you could ask everyone to suggest one movie each. Alternatively, you could:
- Watch films that none of you would ever usually see. For example, if you and your friends normally watch action or sci-fi, try a couple of romantic comedies.
- Pick an actor and watch as many of their films as possible.
- If your friends love movies and you want to make film nights a regular thing, you could work your way through the American Film Institute’s 100 Greatest American Films Of All Time.
Find a free guide to palmistry, read up on the basics, then try to tell each other’s fortunes. Alternatively, try reading tea leaves. These methods are far from scientific, but they are good activities to do on a rainy day.
Slumber parties are nostalgic fun and let you pretend to be teenagers again. Do all the things you used to do at a sleepover with teenage friends: watch movies, give each other makeovers, eat an excessive amount of junk food, and play easy, silly games like “truth or dare.”
Turn your home into a spa for a few hours. Tidy up your home and create a relaxing atmosphere with candles, dim lighting, and soothing music or ambient sounds. Serve light, healthy snacks and drinks such as yogurt bowls, hummus with crudites, green tea, and cucumber-infused water.
Give each other manicures, hand massages, and face masks. If necessary, ask your friends to bring some supplies with them or contribute to the cost. You could also have a meditation session; find a guided meditation on YouTube and unwind for a while.
Spa days are usually more popular with girls, but there’s no reason guys can’t enjoy some relaxation and pampering too.
If you and your friends love to follow sports, start your own fantasy sports league. This guide will help you set it up: How to start a fantasy football league.
Choose a book, allow one or two weeks for everyone to read it, and then meet up for a discussion. If any of your friends are slow readers or have very little free time, it might be a good idea to choose a title that is available as an audiobook. If you pick a book everyone can borrow from the library or read for free online, this activity is completely free.
Invite a couple of friends over and cook dinner together. Find some interesting recipes online or invent your own dishes.
If your friends are willing to throw themselves into role play, hold a murder mystery party. They work for almost any sized group, and you don’t need to spend any money. There are lots of free mysteries online you can download, or if you have a good imagination, you could write your own.
Visiting an escape room is a great way to spend time with friends, but if there isn’t an escape room near you or you want to save some money, why not set up your own at home? You can find a free mission at Escape Team. Extra missions only cost a few dollars each.
Themed parties give everyone a chance to get creative with decorations, costumes, and food.
Here are a few possible themes:
- The 70s/80s/90s or another decade
- Enchanted forest
- Casino night
- Medieval castle
- Black tie evening
- Roman toga party
- Tropical beach
You could hold a party for your birthday or another big occasion, but you can also hold a party just because you feel like it.
Clear your living room and take an online dance lesson. You’ll have a great time and get some exercise too. Check out beginners’ videos on YouTube.
All you need is some cards and instructions. You could all try learning the same trick or choose different tricks and challenge each other to figure out how each illusion works.
Buy at least 5 different types of chocolate. (Ask your friends to split the cost if necessary.) Try not to buy any popular brands; look online or in specialty stores for unusual finds. Break the chocolate into pieces and put each variety on a numbered plate. Invite everyone to try every type and compare notes.
Draw up a list of things you’d like to do in the next few weeks or couple of months. You’ll probably need to vary the activities depending on the time of year and climate.
For example, your summer bucket list could include “Go camping for a weekend,” “Go swimming at the lake,” and “Go to an outdoor play or music festival.” If you’re making a winter bucket list, you could include “Go sledding,” “Make a gingerbread house,” “Go ice skating,” or “Make gourmet hot chocolate.”
If you and your friends love decorating your homes for the holidays, you could have a “decorating safari.” As a group, go to everyone’s house in turn and put up decorations while enjoying festive drinks and snacks.
You might also be interested in this list of fun things to do with your best friend.
When the weather is good, venture outdoors and try some of these activities.
Picnics or cookouts can be as simple or elaborate as you like. Don’t forget plates, a blanket, and cutlery.
Telling stories around a campfire late at night is a fun way to pass a few hours. Bring some marshmallows for toasting or make smores.
Hiking can be leisurely or extremely challenging, depending on the trail. If some of your friends are a lot fitter than others, make sure you pick a trail that everyone can handle.
Cycle around a lake, park, or forest, or if you’re feeling energetic, hit a mountain trail. If you don’t have your own bicycles, rent some for a couple of hours.
Outdoor sports and games are perfect in the spring and summer months.
Depending on what equipment you have, you could play:
- Disc golf
You may be able to find cheap second-hand gear online.
If you live in a place that gets snow, you could have a snowball fight, go sledding, or build snow figures in winter.
If you and your friends have dogs that play well together, meet at the local dog park or take a walk.
Swimming outdoors can help you feel connected with nature, and it’s totally free. Search for “wild swimming [your area]” on Google to find local wild swimming spots.
Buy some birdseed and feed the birds at your local park (unless you see signs that forbid you to do so) or set up a bird feeder in your garden.
Geocaching involves using GPS to find hidden containers (“caches”) outdoors. It’s a good way to explore new places with friends. Get started by downloading the free official Geocaching app.
Depending on the type of beach and how much time you want to spend there, you could play games, have a picnic, go surfing, have a cookout, build a sandcastle, go snorkeling, or just take a walk along the shore.
Wait until the children have gone home and play on the equipment (as long as it’s sturdy enough to withstand your weight).
Stargazing is a great spontaneous activity—you just need to go outside at night and look up at the sky. If you’d like to learn more about constellations and planets, download a free guide such as Star Walk 2.
Research local “pick your own” farms. You might be able to visit local apple orchards or pumpkin patches in the fall or sunflower patches in the summer. Choosing your own produce is more fun than buying it at the grocery store.
If you or your friends already have camping supplies, camping in a nearby park or in your backyard is a cheap way to have fun.
Lots of people find weeding, planting flowers, and tending vegetable patches very therapeutic. If you or your friends don’t have a garden, look for community gardening projects in your area and offer to lend a hand.
Mini golf is affordable and good for groups. If your friends enjoy it, make it a mission to play all the mini golf courses in your area.
Here are some activities to do when you’re bored with friends but can’t get together in person. Instead of talking on Zoom or on Facetime, try some of these fun things to do with your friends online.
There are lots of free and cheap online games you can play with friends, including Minecraft, Fortnite, and Apex Legends. You can also play board games online for a few dollars, including Monopoly and Clue. Search your usual app store to find the official online versions.
For a more sedate option, try multiplayer jigsaw puzzles.
Scener, Netflix Party, Rabbit, and other similar platforms make it easy to share shows and movies with friends. You could have a movie night or binge-watch a series together.
If you and your friends are big fans of a particular movie or TV show, try finding online scripts and hold a table reading. Look in the BBC Script Library or Simply Scripts for inspiration and free scripts.
Find karaoke tracks on Spotify or YouTube and sing along. It doesn’t matter if you can’t sing very well. Just have fun!
Use the Random Trivia Generator to come up with questions or write your own. Compete against each other one-on-one, or split into teams.
Explore museums, zoos, and art galleries virtually, including the Guggenheim Museum, the British Museum, and the Louvre. San Diego zoo has several live animal cams, so you can watch giraffes, koalas, polar bears, and more.
You could buy things you need, set a budget and challenge each other to find bargains, or just look at fun and crazy things people are selling online.
If you and your friends are in a creative mood, try these activities. They don’t require much money or specialist equipment, just enthusiasm and time.
There are hundreds of cookie recipes online or, if you have no confidence in your baking skills, you can use a store-bought mix. Decorate the cookies with frosting, sprinkles, and anything else you like. Get creative with your designs.
You don’t just have to photograph people! Try a food photoshoot, experiment with still life photography, or go outside and photograph landscapes. Photoshoots are a wonderful way to make memories, particularly if you take photos of yourself and your friends together. If you have the time and are willing to spend some money, you could compile the best photos into a scrapbook.
Origami is cheap and doesn’t require much equipment. All you need are a few squares of paper and some online tutorials. Because it’s such a portable activity, you can do it almost anywhere. Take some supplies with you to a coffee shop and have an “origami afternoon.”
Set a timer for 5 minutes and sketch each others’ portraits. They don’t have to be realistic drawings. Caricatures and cartoons are fun too.
You could work together on a short story, a limerick, or a piece of slam poetry. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could even create a play or start a novel.
If you want to go out but feel stuck for ideas, take a look at this list for inspiration.
Set yourselves a small budget—for example, $5 each—and see who can buy the weirdest item. Thrift stores and yard sales are other potential goldmines for weird and wonderful objects.
Theater and concert tickets can be expensive. For a more affordable alternative, hunt down smaller, cheaper gigs like local open mic nights. Look in your local press, browse bulletin boards in your community center, or check out your neighborhood’s Facebook page. Or look for food festivals, music festivals, farmers’ markets, and intercultural events, which are usually free.
Find a town within a reasonable driving distance that you’re not familiar with and visit for the day.
Make a list of things to find in the local area. For example, if you live in a large town, your list could include “a napkin from a restaurant,” “a squirrel in a tree,” “a funny sign,” “a convertible car,” “a statue,” and “a piece of jewelry worth over $1,000.”
Each player or team has to take a photo of each item to prove that they found it. The first person or team to find everything on the list is the winner.
If there are any supposedly haunted or spooky spots nearby, go late at night for a scary evening out or search for guided ghost tours in your area.
Many museums and galleries are free. Others offer low-cost entry on certain days of the week.
Groupon offers heavily discounted tickets for lots of activities and random things to do, including paintballing, golf, and more unusual pastimes like axe-throwing. You might also find cheap theater and movie tickets.
Dare each other to go on the most exciting rides, or just walk around and eat candy floss and other fair food.
Volunteering is one of the most rewarding free things to do. If you and your friends are passionate about a charity or cause, look for volunteering opportunities on VolunteerMatch. You may be able to help out at one-off events or commit to volunteering together on a regular basis.
To save money, choose matinee performances rather than evening movies, or search “dollar movie theater in [your city or area]” to find very cheap tickets.
Arcade games are a fun way to pass a few hours. Pick an arcade that serves good food and drink and make an evening of it.
Some upmarket gyms and health clubs offer free trial passes. Sign up with a friend and take advantage of the high-end facilities for a few days. Make sure you cancel the pass afterward so that you don’t incur charges.
13. Go to an improv class
Most large cities have improv groups. Google “improv near me” to find classes. Some theaters offer sessions for teens and young adults.
Some art schools offer one-off or drop-in classes for beginners. Google “art classes in [your city or area].”