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, whether you want to stay at home or venture outdoors.
If you are on a budget, you might also like this list of free and cheap things to do with your friends.
These ideas are easy to do indoors or at home. They are perfect if it’s raining or you just don’t feel like going out.
1. Play games
Games offer hours of entertainment. You could play some 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.
Other games to try
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.
2. Have a clothing/DVD/book/game swap
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.
3. Host a potluck lunch or dinner
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.”
4. Host a movie night
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.
5. Tell each others’ fortunes
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.
6. Host a sleepover
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.”
7. Have a spa day
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.
8. Start a fantasy sports league
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.
9. Form a book club
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.
10. Try new recipes
Invite a couple of friends over and cook dinner together. Find some interesting recipes online or invent your own dishes.
11. Hold a murder mystery night
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 an active imagination, you could write your own.
12. Set up your own escape room
Visiting an escape room is a fantastic 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.
13. Host a themed party
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.
14. Try an online dance class
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.
15. Learn some magic card tricks
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.
16. Have a chocolate tasting session
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. If you don’t like chocolate, have a wine or ice cream tasting session instead.
17. Make bucket lists
Inspire yourselves and each other by writing bucket lists. Compare lists and discuss how you can start turning your dreams into plans.
You could also make seasonal lists of things you’d like to do in the coming weeks and months. 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.”
Here is a list with more inspiration to make a bucket list with your best friend.
18. Put up holiday decorations
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.
19. Have a cocktail-making party
Gather your friends for a cocktail party. BBC Good Food has dozens of recipes you can try. Make your party special by dressing up smartly, putting on some music, and serving some snacks.
20. Make a time capsule
Find a sturdy waterproof container, fill it with mementos, and keep it hidden for a few years until you and your friends want to open it up and reminisce. You can take a traditional approach and bury your time capsule or just stow it away in a loft or closet. Check out the Library of Congress’ guide to making a time capsule for inspiration.
21. Do some puzzles
Puzzles can be fun bonding activities. Try working on sudokus, crosswords, word searches, or jigsaws with your friends. If you’re feeling more competitive, have a puzzle race with a prize for the person who completes the puzzle first. Richardson Puzzles and Games has lots of free puzzles to download.
22. Take some personality quizzes
Get to know each other better with online personality quizzes. Not many online tests are scientific, but they can still be entertaining and kickstart some interesting conversations. The Open Psychometrics site is a great place to start.
If you’re looking for indoor activities because of cold weather, you might like this list of things to do with friends in the winter.
When the weather is good, venture outdoors and try some of these activities.
1. Have a picnic or cookout
Picnics or cookouts can be as simple or elaborate as you like. Don’t forget plates, a blanket, and cutlery.
2. Sit around a campfire
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.
3. Go hiking
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. Take along a picnic lunch and make a day of it.
4. Go cycling
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.
5. Play outdoor games
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 aren’t into sports, why not go rollerskating or have a water balloon fight? You might like a few more ideas from this list of fun things to do with friends in the summer. And if you live in a place that gets snow, you could have a snowball fight, go sledding, or build snow figures.
6. Walk your dog(s)
If you and your friends have dogs that play well together, meet at the local dog park or take a walk.
7. Go swimming
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.
8. Feed the birds
Buy some bird seed 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. You could also go birdwatching. All you need is a simple guide to birds in your area (check out your local library), plus a pair of binoculars if you’d like a closer view.
9. Go Geocaching
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.
10. Visit the beach
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.
11. Visit a playground
Wait until the children have gone home and play on the equipment (as long as it’s sturdy enough to withstand your weight).
12. Go stargazing
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.
13. Pick your own fruit
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.
14. Go camping
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.
15. Do some gardening
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.
16. Play mini-golf
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.
17. Go horseback riding
Find your nearest riding school or equestrian center and book an introductory lesson. Horseriding can be an expensive hobby, but some schools will give you a discount if it’s your first lesson, so you won’t need to spend a lot of money if you’d like to try it.
18. Do an outdoor workout
Go to an outdoor exercise class or Bootcamp and take your friends along with you. Alternatively, you could design your own workout routine.
19. Visit a botanical garden
Botanical gardens are usually packed with fascinating plants, making them a pleasant place to take a walk and relax in nature with friends. Some gardens also run free or low-cost events, such as talks, guided tours, and art installations.
Here are some things 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 activities.
1. Play online games
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.
2. Watch movies or TV shows
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.
3. Have a table reading
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.
4. Sing karaoke
Find karaoke tracks on Spotify or YouTube and sing along. It doesn’t matter if you can’t sing very well. Just have fun!
5. Hold a quiz
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.
6. Take an online tour
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.
7. Go online shopping together
You could buy things you need, set a budget and challenge each other to find bargains, or just look at some fun and crazy things people are selling online.
8. Follow a tutorial or take a class
You might also like a few more suggestions for online things you can do with friends.
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. Creative things are also great activities for introverted people.
1. Bake and decorate cookies
Try one of the 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.
2. Have a photoshoot
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.
3. Do origami
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.
4. Make music
5. Draw portraits of each other
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.
6. Write a story, play, or poem
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.
7. Make candles
Candle-making is fairly simple. You can buy essential supplies in most craft stores, and there are lots of online tutorials to help you get started. Have fun customizing your candles with dried flowers, essential oils, and dyes. ProFlowers has a step-by-step guide for beginners.
8. Make some chalk art
Buy some cheap colored chalks and create some original artwork on your driveway. Have fun working together on a huge drawing. At the end of the day, simply wash it away with a hose or pressure washer.
If you want to go out but feel stuck for ideas, take a look at this list for inspiration.
1. Explore local flea markets
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.
2. Find cheap local events
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.
3. Explore a nearby town
Find a town within a reasonable driving distance that you’re not familiar with and visit for the day.
4. Have a scavenger hunt
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.
5. Take a ghost tour
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.
6. Visit a museum or art gallery
Many museums and galleries are free, and others offer low-cost entry on certain days of the week.
7. Look online for discounted tickets and deals
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.
8. Go to a funfair or amusement park
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.
10. Go to a movie
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. If you don’t feel like sitting in a movie theater, try a drive-in movie instead.
11. Visit an arcade
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.
12. Get a free gym pass
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.
14. Go to an art class
Some art schools offer one-off or drop-in classes for beginners. Google “art classes in [your city or area].”
15. Go bowling
Bowling is a fun and relatively affordable way to pass an hour or two with a group of friends.
16. Try a new cafe or restaurant
If you and your friends end up eating or drinking at the same places all the time, mix things up by trying somewhere new.