Is your friend group bored of hitting the same old dive bars and bland restaurants? Sometimes you need to inject new life into your friendships to keep things stimulating!
If your crew is tired of doing the same old things week in and week out, consider mixing it up and trying something from our epic list of things to do with friends.
Explore new destinations, embark on thrilling adventures, and learn new things, all while bonding with those closest to you.
Table of Contents
101 Fantastic Things to Do With Friends All Year Long!
I’ve developed a massive list of over 100 fun activities with your friends, ranging from daytime activities to weekend fun, bucket list ideas to weekend getaways.
The list includes free activities for those looking for frugal fun and somewhat pricey adventures for when money is not an issue. The first half contains descriptions because they are things I’ve actually done with my friends, while the last half lists other fun activities that I may have done but not with friends.
Regardless of your budget or what types of activities you enjoy, you will find something that sparks your interest on this epic list!
So dive in and have a fantastic time doing fun things with your friends!
Hiking is an ideal thing to do with friends during the spring and summer months. An outdoor adventure allows you to do something physically rewarding together while enjoying scenic views and lush landscapes.
There are hiking trails near almost every city (and some even in cities!) with varying degrees of difficulty. Check out alltrails.com to find the best trails near you.
Delight in the culinary expertise of your friend group by hosting a potluck. A fantastic bonus of potluck is that no one has to do all the cooking, but everyone can enjoy a delicious meal with friends.
Consider inviting your friends to a potluck picnic if cleanup and space are issues. Meet up at your favorite park with your delectable dishes, share, and catch up, all while staying outside in the fresh air.
Breaking bread with your best friends is a time-honored bonding experience. Enjoying a meal at a scrumptious new restaurant allows everyone to enjoy a laid-back dining experience without worrying about cooking and cleaning.
My friends and I used to have a monthly dinner outing with a twist. Each month, someone new chose a restaurant and made reservations. The system allowed us to get together each month without putting the planning and organizing all on one person. It also allowed us to sample restaurants we may never have considered.
It’s just as easy to have fun with friends while staying inside as it is to go out – and cheaper too! One of my favorite things to do with friends is host a game night. I love video games, so my game nights often involve rotating the controller in search of Bowser. Another great thing about hosting a video game night is that it can be virtual if some folks can’t make it.
You can also take your game night outside with some Pokemon Go! Grab your friends and your smartphones and compete to catch the best Pokemon or train the Pokemon you’ve caught together. It’s like a scavenger hunt inside a video game!
Game nights go way beyond video games. You can play board games, card games, and even random party games (Pictionary was always my favorite party game – use a giant whiteboard so everyone can see what you draw makes it even better!).
A weird thing about growing up near a particular place is that you don’t generally do any things tourists do. I grew up in Chicago and lived there for twenty years before I ever went up to the top of the Sears Tower (It will always be the Sears Tower to me!), and I only did it because a friend was visiting from out of town.
You don’t need to wait until you have an out-of-town visitor to explore the sites near your city. Grab your best friends and pretend that you’re tourists for the day. See all the fun things your town has to offer!
My favorite thing to do in any city I visit is a ghost tour. Most cities have a paranormal walking tour, which is always a good time. Learn the sordid history of your town, and have fun with friends trying to spook each other.
Even if your town doesn’t have a specific ghost tour, there is probably some record of spooky happenings someplace in the city. You and your friends can make up your own! Research the history of your town, visit a local graveyard, pay respects to all the past residents, and see any haunted locales. Not only will you learn about your city, but you’ll have fun doing it!
Visit a Museum
Speaking of learning, visiting a museum is a great way to spend a day with your friends learning something new. Although I love a traditional museum of natural history or art museum, there are so many different types of museums that there is sure to be one that your friend group will enjoy.
I’ve visited car museums, flight museums, torture museums, sex museums, and various other quirky museums worldwide. Explore these bizarre museums with your friends; it’s a guaranteed good time!
Host a BBQ
There is nothing like firing up a grill and cooking out for all of your favorite people. A BBQ is a perfect way to get together with friends on a warm spring or summer day.
Grab your hot dogs, hamburgers, and beer cooler, and make a day of it! Ask your friends to bring some side dishes, so you don’t have to do all the prep work, and enjoy some time cooking out in the nice weather.
Grab your favorite films and some buttery popcorn for a night in with your best pals. A movie night is one of the best things to do with friends because it’s cozy, relaxing, and allows you to bond over the feelings the movie elicited.
If your friends feel sad, a drama cryfest is a great way to help get it all out. A scary movie can help you feel closer to the people you’re watching it with (there’s a reason horror is the go-to genre for dates!), and funny movies can give you all a good relaxing time. Pick a few different genres for a well-rounded evening of fun.
A book club is a quintessential thing to do with friends, especially for women. It’s often made fun of as an excuse to gossip and drink wine, but I’ve never been a member of a book club that wasn’t actually about the book.
Reading is fun, and it’s also fun to share your thoughts and feelings about the book you are reading. A book club is a great excuse to get together and allows you to read books you wouldn’t have considered and learn about your friends’ more profound opinions on things.
If you need to go to the store for new clothes or home décor, why not bring your friends along? It’s always good to have a second or third opinion on how something looks or whether that adorable little vase you randomly found is worth the twenty bucks.
Shopping is a fun, relaxing activity that often gets a bad rap, especially in the personal finance world. Clearly, we shouldn’t be spending all our money on things we want. However, spending some money on things that make you happy is not bad, and enjoying the experience with friends makes it even better.
Play Dress Up
Sometimes you don’t need to buy things to get the thrill of trying stuff on and getting your friends’ opinions. Often, we have a ton of fancy clothes right in our own closets!
Invite your friends over to try some of your old stuff on. See if the formal dresses and dated Halloween costumes still fit. Find matching jewelry and pretend you’re getting ready for a night of glamour!
A bonus to doing this is that you might find it’s time to downsize. After trying your old stuff on, you can decide what you want to keep and what you’d rather donate. Enjoy a silly evening with your friends while decluttering!
Paint and Sip
Paint and sips have been popping up all over the country lately, and it’s easy to see why. What other activity allows you to indulge in tasty drinks and explore your creativity without worrying about buying all the materials or cleaning everything up?
Paint and sip nights are great ways to explore painting as a hobby if you’re unsure what to buy or how to start. The coordinator provides all the materials and instructions. Bring yourself and a willingness to create, and let the magic unfold!
The Six Flags, Universals, and Disneys all over the country are the top places for thrilling adventures. What better way to spend a day with your friends than waiting in outrageously long lines for twenty seconds of fun?
I kid. I love rides and roller coasters and don’t mind the wait. Long lines provide ample opportunity to engage with your friends verbally. The thrill at the end is sometimes just a bonus.
If the wait is unbearable, grab a front-of-the-line pass to skip the lines and go straight to the ride.
Do you want to relax with your friends? Why not try a spa day? Grab your group of besties and hit the spa for a day of pampering and relaxation.
The great thing about a spa day is that each person can pick the specific services that are right for them. Some may enjoy a relaxing massage, while others may be more interested in a scrub.
Take notes and compare the services while enjoying a luxurious day together.
Go Fruit Picking
Have you ever hand-picked your own fruit? Orchards and fruit farms all over the country allow you to wander around and pick produce straight from the source.
Head to an apple orchard in the fall for farm-fresh apples or a strawberry patch in late for the juicy off-the-vine strawberries. Farms abound with opportunities to pick blueberries, pumpkins, grapes, and various fruits throughout the seasons.
Bring your friends and make a game of who can find the best piece. Make a day of getting the freshest produce, supporting local farms, and having fun with your friends.
Try paintballing if you’re looking for fun and adventurous things to do with friends. Running through the woods playing hide & seek with a tactical perspective is an exhilarating way to enjoy the outdoors with your best friends.
Paintballing is great because you get to be outside, be active, and do stuff that you usually wouldn’t (like climbing trees, trying out some military maneuvers, and getting shot with paint). It’s an epic way to spend a free Saturday with your best friends.
Laser tag is a cross between paintballing and hide & go seek. Get the blood flowing while staying indoors with a wild game of laser tag! As a bonus, lasers leave fewer bruises than paintballs do!
Another advantage to laser tag is that it’s much cleaner. Lasers don’t leave giant paint stains on anything, and since it’s indoors, you are less likely to get muddy. It’s also an ideal option in the winter when it’s too cold to play paintball outside.
Want to know your future? Well, that’s not what card readings do, but they are still a lot of fun! You can find a card reader at a local psychic or most fairs and festivals. Although they don’t read your future, they can give you insights into a problem you’re facing.
If you don’t want to go to someone to get your cards read, you and your friends can take turns reading each other’s cards. All you need is a tarot deck and a how-to book, and you can spend hours pretending to read each other’s fortunes.
Remember – even though it’s all in good fun, you might learn something interesting about yourself.
Smores, hot dogs, bonfires, and scary stories! Doesn’t that sound like a great time? Relaxing around a fire with a group of friends is so iconic that it’s a scene in pretty much every movie about growing up. But it’s fun for adults too.
There are options for local camping in every state. Find a park near you and get your friends together for a weekend of hiking, fishing, campfires, and fun.
Helping others is immensely satisfying. If you and your friends are looking for something fun and rewarding, why not try doing some volunteer work?
There are thousands of charities in every state that need help. You could join a Habitat for Humanity crew to help build homes or volunteer at the local animal shelter to walk dogs and socialize cats.
There are tons of options for giving back. Sharing the experience with those closest to you is a fantastic and rewarding way to bond.
Take a Class
It’s also rewarding to learn something new. Grab your crew and sign up for a random class near you. You can find a course in any niche, from fitness to cooking, learning to draw to learning a new language. You can even take a class together online!
I took a sushi-making class with my gals when I lived in Long Beach, and not only was it fun, but it was delicious as well!
We got a little messy with the rice, but we all had a blast learning how to roll sushi.
Wine Tasting or Brewery Hopping
Let’s face it. When we get together with friends, we often end up at the bar. So let’s embrace that and plan out an adventurous day of drinking!
Instead of defaulting to the regular place, find some new local breweries or wineries in your area. Check out their brewing styles and sample their wares. You may even find a hidden gem of a pub that you never knew existed!
Please be safe about it, though. Before you plan a fun drinking outing, designate a driver or have an alternate plan (like uber) for getting home. Be sure to eat throughout the day and pace yourself, so you don’t get sick.
Want to have a friendly competition with friends? Head to the local family fun center and hit the greens!
Put-put is a silly little outdoor game, but it’s always enjoyable. Try to get below par on all the courses, and see who has the best skills!
For a different type of mini-golf experience, try disc golf. It’s basically the same as mini-golf, but instead of getting a ball in a hole, you have to get a frisbee in a basket. The only limitation is you have to bring your own discs!
Speaking of the family fun center, why not check out the games at the local arcade? Travel back in time to your teenage years and try out the new pinball machines and first-person shooters. Challenge your friends to an air hockey tournament.
If you want a more adult arcade experience, head to a Dave and Busters. They are a little overpriced, but you can grab a drink and play your favorite game in one place.
Do you remember bowling alleys? The smokey air, the harsh clanging bangs as ball hits pin, and the disgusting old shoes sprayed with questionable disinfectant. Don’t sell me on a good time!
Seriously though, bowling may have hit peak popularity in the 1980s, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun anymore. It’s an excellent way for a group of friends to get together and play a fun game, eat some horrible bar food, and have an overall fantastic time.
The roller rink is a blast from an even more distant past – the 70s. But even though they’ve been around for fifty years, they are still a lot of fun.
I’ll bet that most of you haven’t been to a roller rink since a fifth-grade field trip, so add to the amusement and reminisce about favorite childhood activities. Besides, it’s a great leg workout, so it’s a wonderful opportunity to get fit while hanging out with your friends.
What better way to make new memories with your friends than by looking through old memories? Scrapbooking is an excellent way to reflect on all the fun adventures you’ve had, and doing it with a friend makes it much better.
Perhaps you can create BFF friendship books. You can each include photos and mementos of the favorite times you shared and decide together how to design the books.
Alternatively, you can make each other’s book, adding in-jokes and mementos that your friend will cherish for the rest of their lives. Scrapbooking is a sentimental way to bond with your friends.
Have you ever tried inventing a signature cocktail? Think about the ingredients that best describe you, and try putting them together in a tasty adult drink!
For even more fun, make it a competition amongst friends. See who can create the tastiest cocktail, and vote on who created the drink that represents themselves best. To ensure everyone’s safety, make it a sleepover and host a movie night with your tasty new beverages!
Fishing is a pleasurable bonding activity, and although it’s generally thought of as a men’s hobby, it’s fun for all genders.
Nothing beats relaxing in a boat with a few beers and some great friends while trying to provide dinner. The truly adventurous among you, and those who live near the coast, may want to try deep sea fishing. It’s a full-day excursion out to sea to catch the monsters of the deep. It’s a guaranteed good time regardless of whether you catch any fish.
Book your deep sea adventure with fishing booker.
Karaoke is one of my favorite things to do with friends. You’ve got a cozy bar, tasty drinks, and terrible singing; how can you not love it?
If you’re afraid of your singing skills (Don’t be! No one is good at karaoke, that’s half the fun!), choose a song everyone knows. My go-to is Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” because everyone in the bar will know it and start singing along. An iconic song masks my horrible singing voice and transforms me into a karaoke goddess!
Make a Vision Board
If you have a goal that you are making a vision board for, why not ask a friend to help you out? Our best friends know us best and can help us figure out the key things we might miss when mapping out our goals.
Grab your closest friends for a vision board brainstorming session. Help each other create life goals and dreams, and motivate each other to follow through on the things you discussed. The best friendships are those that help each other accomplish their goals.
Take a Day Trip
Think about where you live, and then think about everything within a 2-3 hour car ride from home. More than likely, there’s a ton of stuff to do within that radius. Pick something that you’ve always wanted to do, and make a trip out of it!
Grab your best pals and plan a semi-trip to someplace you wouldn’t usually go. Stop at a random small town for lunch. Explore the world a little bit beyond your hometown.
If you have even more time, why not plan a weekend getaway? My best memories of living in California include the delightful weekend trips I took with my best friends. During my ten years in the state, I hit all the best places in California by taking random weekend trips with my best friends.
Wherever you live, fabulous destinations are bound to be close enough for a weekend trip. Arranging one or two trips per year will keep your friendships blooming and allow you to visit enthralling places you wouldn’t have gone to on your own.
Open Mic Night
Whether you take the stage or not, open mic nights are always a good time. If you want to perform, it’s even better knowing that your friends are there cheering you on. If not, it’s just fun to watch folks develop their crafts and improv their ways into good sets.
I love the variety of performers you see at an open mic night. You may watch poets, comedians, songwriters, and various other amateur artists work up the courage to perform for an audience. Their bravery is inspiring, and it’s a great way to get your own creative juices flowing.
Hit the Festivals
Fairs and festivals are the best parts of summer. There is a fair for everyone – from Renaissance fairs for those who love history to craft beer festivals for those who enjoy brewing. Most small towns even have their own little carnival with small rides and great fair food for the locals.
Head to a fair with your group of friends to get the most out of the experience. Challenge each other to an epic ring toss battle, or ride the tilt-a-whirl together and try not to vomit.
Eat fried everything and enjoy a freshly-squeezed lemonade. Watch a local band perform at the fairgrounds for a free concert. Fairs and festivals embody the best of summer and are fantastic things to do with friends.
Try to Escape a Room
Want your friendship to grow through problem-solving and teamwork? Try an escape room. Work together to solve puzzles and clues to beat the timer and emerge victorious!
Don’t let the simplicity of the idea fool you. Escape rooms aren’t easy. I’ve attempted many escape rooms and only beat it once (though my team was only 30 seconds late a different time – I’m glad they let us finish!).
But it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose. The fun part is working together and solving the clues. It’s a great time and a fabulous way to spend a day with friends.
Geocaching is a giant treasure hunt that millions of people participate in. Someone will hide the cache, or treasure, somewhere in public and add clues to the location on the geocache app. When someone finds it, they get to take the prize (usually a small toy or a dollar) and replace it with something different. There’s also usually a tiny scroll that lists all the people who have found it.
Take your friends on a treasure hunt through your local area and dig up some old caches! Be sure to bring some fun little items to leave for others as well.
If you want to be even more adventurous, arrange a scavenger hunt for your friends. Those who are hard-core can make their own using an app like Goose Chase, but you can also find ready-made scavenger hunts online.
Some cities have pre-built scavenger hunts that you can purchase online. I did one of these when I lived in LA. It took me through the city from landmark to landmark, and I had to answer questions about the place I found to move on. It was a great way to explore my adopted home in a new way. I saw neighborhoods and landmarks I would never have even considered visiting through a silly scavenger hunt.
Cheering for a team gets the blood flowing. Catching your favorite team live is a great way to bond with your friends. It’s even more fun when you like opposite teams; there’s nothing like a friendly rivalry to keep the crowd engaged!
Unfortunately, professional sporting events can get pricey. However, minor league games are just as fun! If your budget is tight, show some support to your local minor league team. They will appreciate it far more than the professionals.
Girls (or Boys!) Trip
We’ve talked about weekend and day trips, but sometimes a full-fledged vacation with your best friends is just the ticket for extraordinary fun and lasting memories. I’ve taken several European trips with my girls, and it’s always been a great time.
One advantage of traveling with a group like this is that you can see and do things you would never have thought to do alone. Trier would never have been on my list of cities to visit, and guess what? The best restaurant I’ve ever eaten at in my life is there.
Check out a Comedy Club
Laughter is the best medicine. So instead of going to the same old stale dive bar, why not mix things up and go to a comedy club instead?
I prefer going to the smaller clubs with amateur comedians. These entertainers are at the beginning of their careers and trying incredibly hard to make a name for themselves. Who knows, that performer you saw at amateur night may turn out to be the next Chris Rock!
Hit the Beach
If you live near the coast, you should plan a beach day with your best buds. Laying out in the sun, watching the waves crash to shore, and relaxing in serenity is a perfect way to spend the day. If you get bored of that, you can always dip in for a swim or take a walk along the coast looking for fun seashells.
If you aren’t near a coast, you can still enjoy most of the fun that a beach offers. Many lakes have beaches that are just as enjoyable as the ocean ones. Find a lake near your area and see if they have any sandy beaches. You probably won’t be able to surf, but you will be able to enjoy everything else about beach life.
Thrift shops, flea markets, and garage sales are great places to shop for amazing deals. You never know what treasures you will find lurking in someone’s garage!
And who better to hunt treasures with than your best friends? You can even make a game out of it. See who can find the best item for under five dollars. Or make a competition to find the quirkiest object. You never know; you might need that wooden statue of a dog holding a teapot someday.
Check Out Old Bookstores
If you and your friends are voracious readers, plan a day around visiting local bookshops. Old, used bookstores often have incredible selections of books that you’d never find at a Barnes & Noble. You don’t know what you miss when you only shop at new bookstores.
There are used bookstores in nearly every city. Map out the ones you want to visit and spend a day bookshop hopping with your crew. Find some inspiring books to read and learn more about your friends’ literary tastes in one fantastic day!
Visit Historical Sites
Did you know that the first casualty of the civil war was from Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania? Or that there are hundreds of ancient Native American pueblos in Southwestern Utah and Southeastern Colorado?
My point is that history has happened everywhere. No matter where you live, there’s probably an interesting historical tidbit somewhere near you. So why not go with your friends to check it out? Learn about the history of your town and the surrounding areas. Take turns picking which sites to visit, and explore your area not just through distance but through time as well.
Prepare a Meal Together
Amongst a giant list of things to do with friends, preparing a meal together is one of the most wholesome. Cooking together is an intimate experience; it helps build bonds and solidify friendships in a way that other things don’t.
Cooking together is about working together to complete a goal and then sharing in the bounties of that accomplishment. It’s a fun, low-cost activity that any friend group can organize. We all have to eat, right?
Be a Kid Again
Remember the thrill of seeing how high you could swing or checking out the giant new slide? That thrill doesn’t have to be gone just because you’re an adult.
Take a walk to the local playground and monkey around on the equipment (Obviously, let children play in peace first!), organize a game of tag or hide and go seek, and embrace your inner child. The fun doesn’t have to end when you grow up.
Find Out What is in Walking Distance
Whether you live in a small town or bustling city, there has to be something interesting within walking distance of your home. So grab your friends and head out on forwalk. See what there is to see in your neighborhood.
You may be surprised to find a quaint little creek with a walking trail beside it, or a local bakery tucked in with homes down the street.
You may find that there’s not much worthwhile within walking distance, but you still got to do some physical activity with good company, and that’s worthwhile, isn’t it?
Create Something Together
Whether painting, woodworking, knitting, or anything else, getting together with your friends to make something unique is always a good time.
When I lived in Georgia, I’d regularly get together with a group of friends for a “craft night.” Usually, we’d just make jewelry with beads and lines we got at Michaels, but sometimes the girls would want to work on other things, like needlepoint or cross-stitching.
We even made a day of it by shopping for supplies together beforehand.
Visit a Zoo or Aquarium
People watching is great and all, but have you tried animal watching? Your local zoo or aquarium will have tons of animals to watch in their natural environments. My favorites are the sea otters and polar bears because they always seem to have a good time, but it’s fun to check out all the different animals.
Some folks don’t like zoos because animals shouldn’t be in captivity. Still, in my opinion, zoos do fantastic work with conservation and education and are greatly needed to showcase the importance of taking care of our planet.
I didn’t think I’d enjoy botanical gardens -I mean, who wants to walk around looking at a bunch of plants? My friends convinced me to go to one, and I was hooked.
There are so many gorgeous plant species with a wide variety of colorful and aromatic flowers. Learn a little about the native species that populate our environment and how they work symbiotically with local pollinators.
Take time to smell the flowers – it’s worth it.
If you don’t want to figure out what to do on your own, why not book a walking tour through your city? I’ve gone on walking tours in numerous cities that I visited, but you can get just as much fun out of one in your own backyard.
Perhaps the tour guide knows hidden gems about your city that you and your friends didn’t. Or they might have a unique story about a local hotspot that isn’t widely known. Either way, taking a walking tour of your own backyard is a fun way to spend the day with your best friends.
If you loved the walking tour idea, you might want to take it a step further and book a food tour. Not only will you get to walk around your city, but you will also check out some small, local restaurants that you probably didn’t even know existed.
Who knows, maybe you and your friends will find a brand-new go-to brunch spot, or maybe you’ll remember why your favorite was your favorite all along. Either way, the path to discovery is part of the fun.
More Ideas of Epic Adventures to Have with Your Friends
If that list of epic things to do with your friends wasn’t enough, consider any of these fun-filled activities instead:
- Horseback riding
- Rock Climbing
- Indoor-activity center
- Bike ride
- Play a sport
- Enjoy live music
- Learn to surf
- Dance Club
- Science experiments
- Talk Philosophy
- Play Truth or Dare
- Collect Rocks
- Work Out
- Visit Seasonal Markets
- Play a lawn game
- Make a movie
- Co-write a book
- Have a brunch date
- Sunday Funday
- Shoot pool
- Cuddle kittens at a cat cafe
- Ice skate
- Sample a local candy shop
- Have an epic game of Hide & Go Seek
- Look through old photos
- Crash a college lecture
- Sample a coffee flight
- Visit a wax museum
- Go through a fun house
- Enjoy a hay ride
- Have a pumpkin carving contest
- Get silly at a mystery spot
- Binge watch your favorite shows
- Walk the dogs
- Hunt for ghosts
- Have a nurf fight
- Play hackey sack
- Have an epic water gun battle
- Build a snow fort
- Play Jackbox party pack games
- Host a dungeons & Dragons quest
- Live action role playing
- Hang out at the pool
- Star gaze
- Give each other makeovers
- Check out the local Ripley’s Believe it or Not/dime store museum
- Have a seance
Have a Great Time with your Friends!
This epic list of things to do with friends is only the beginning. Hopefully, you will find some inspiration for thrilling experiences and use it as a starting point to find even more ideas.
And if you have an activity that you do with your friends regularly that didn’t make the list – share it with us! We’re always looking for more fun things to try with our friends!
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.