Like many of you, I spent the last year-plus of quarantine dying to hang out with friends. However, when it finally came time to socialize again, I quickly realized I was a little out of practice. Simply “hanging out” didn’t come quite as easily as it used to! There are those times when you’re full of fun ideas of things to do and there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get through your list. But there are other times when boredom can get the better of you. When that happens, it can be easy to end up sitting around, scrolling through social media “together” without being present. Tempted to resort to the same old coffee shop or watering hole that you always do? Keep reading. To help inspire my own creative hangouts, I put together this list of things to do with your friends when you’re bored.
After a year of not being able to spend quality time with my friends, my goal is to be more intentional in every minute that I get to be in their presence. If you’re gathering again and need some ideas, you’ve come to the right place. Use the ideas below for inspiration or as a bucket list. Boredom, buh-bye.
Things to Do With Friends When Bored:
1. Create a spa experience. It can be as simple as propping your feet up and throwing on a face mask, or as involved as foot soaks or massage trains, and hair masks.
2. Go for a walk. Get some exercise in a pretty park or neighborhood while talking and staring at houses (my favorite part).
3. Play a game. Whether it’s cards, a board game, beer pong, or old-fashioned hide and seek, games are a great boredom buster for friends.
4. Have a movie marathon. It’s okay if you don’t have the energy to be active. Watch every Harry Potter movie in order with a hot bag of popcorn and a glass of wine. Or use this best 90s movies list as inspiration.
5. Do a cardio-dance workout video. Because dance parties are always better with friends.
6. Make seasonal cocktails. Get fancy with this one and use your nicest glasses and most fresh ingredients. Then toast to your friendship.
7. Find the nearest beach or pool. You’re never too old to splash around in the water with your best friends. Just don’t forget to pack everything you need—this list of things to pack for the beach will help!
8. Try a new restaurant in town. Get out of your comfort zone and experience something new together. Everyone orders something different on the menu.
9. Do an at-home wine tasting. Buy three bottles of wine: one over $20, one around $15, and one less than $10. Cover the bottles in foil, pour each person a sip, and guess which wine is which. Or try a natural wine like a pèt nat and open up your palette!
10. Make something creative. Go to the art supply store and pick out a fun project or go to town on old jeans or t-shirts with some scissors and an embroidery kit.
11. Start a book club. Plans always seem to come together better in person, so take advantage of your time and finally start that book club. Plan the order of the books you want to read (everyone adds one to the list). Get inspired by the most talked-about books on TikTok.
12. Make a mood board. Create a communal mood board or make one individually. Compare afterward.
13. Have an international dinner party. Create and enjoy a menu with delicious food items from different around the world. My ideal international dinner: a spicy tuna crispy rice appetizer, pizza for the table, tacos for dinner, and a side of truffle fries. Oh, and gelato for dessert.
14. Binge a TV show. This is one of my favorite things to do when bored with friends. Pick a short series and watch the whole thing in one day.
15. Set a pretty table and order takeout. Make setting the table the involved part of the dinner, not the cooking. Use those plates that sit in the back of your pantry collecting dust and the linen napkins you’ve been too lazy to use.
16. Try a new recipe. Because trial and error is more fun to laugh at with a friend.
17. Bake something. I prefer baking with friends mostly so I don’t eat the entire dozen cookies alone.
19. Practice your yoga. Watch a video or walk each other through some of your favorite flows.
20. Do a puzzle. Call me crazy, but puzzles are thrilling. Does anyone else get competitive about putting in the last puzzle piece?
21. Build a new playlist together. Add songs that remind you of your memories together and listen to them when you’re apart.
22. Purge your closet with a style show. You know that scene from Sex & The City when Carrie Bradshaw moves out of her apartment and tries on all of her outfits for her friends to vote on? Yeah, do that. Productive and fun.
23. Have your own CS taste-off. Go to the grocery store and buy every kind of vanilla ice cream and rank them, or get creative and test out something else.
24. Give each other a makeover. Don’t let the other person look in the mirror and do their makeup and/or hair for them. If the results are good, go out and show it off!
25. Go shopping for each other. Online or in-person, pick out an outfit for each other that the other person has to wear out. Be nice on this one, girls.
26. Write each other letters. Sure we send each other heartfelt texts, but texts are temporary. Hand-written letters are a dying art I’m determined to keep alive.
27. Create and compare bucket lists. Give each other time to individually write down things they want to do/accomplish, then compare and make a “master list” of similar things. Then go do them together.
28. Give each other compliments. Go around a circle and tell everyone what you love about them. Take the time to build your friends up and remind them how great they are.
29. Make gourmet coffee. Add a new ingredient, froth your milk, or simply enjoy it as an afternoon pick-me-up. Tip: make note of how your friend takes his/her coffee so you can surprise them with a cup of joe another time.
30. Sing karaoke. Traditional karaoke is fun enough, but if you’re looking for a good laugh, try Cowboy Karaoke. The person singing has headphones on with the song on a high volume, is blindfolded, and can’t hear themselves sing. For everyone else, you get an awkwardly hilarious A Cappella performance.
31. Learn a new skill. Personal growth is always a good thing, but learning a new skill with friends lets everyone feel supported. Try a virtual cooking class together (MasterClass and Sur La Table both offer plenty of options) or dive into a new creative medium through Skillshare. Cheer each other on and acknowledge each other’s wins.
32. Get deep. Playing games together is always a good time. You can bring a little more intention to your friends-only game night and pick a few options that let you learn new things about each other. We’re Not Really Strangers and The Hygge Game are both favorites!
33. Uncover your enneagram. Speaking of getting to know each other better, the enneagram is a great way to learn more about yourself and your friends. Dive into the nine different Enneagram types and take a quiz to figure out which one you are. Once you know your type, do an activity together that lets you share and reflect on what you’ve learned. This guide leads you through an intentional conversation based on your Enneagram type. Bonus: If you’re starting a book club with your friends (see idea #11), read The Road Back To You so you can become Enneagram experts together.
33. Explore your city. Even if you’ve lived in your town for years, there are always new spots to discover. Brainstorm a list together of museums, galleries, shops, and more that you’ve always wanted to check out. Spend the day walking around and seeing your surroundings from a new perspective.
34. Shibori dye. One of the oldest indigo dye techniques in Japan, shibori dye is a time-honored tradition. This kit has everything you need to get started. Gather up a few pieces to dye (white tees, reusable totes, and tea towels are all great options) and get ready to make your masterpieces.
35. Dive into an unfamiliar topic. Sometimes, the best way to break the cycle of boredom can be going down a random rabbit hole. Pick a topic you’ve always wanted to learn more about. This can literally be anything and you can get as specific as you’d like. Choose a subject together, research, and share all the fascinating facts you’re bound to learn.
36. Try a viral TikTok recipe. Whether you belong to Gen Z or not, it can’t be denied: TikTok is a great place for recipe inspiration. Make Emily Mariko’s salmon rice bowl (promise you’ll be craving it for every meal afterward) or try this hack for perfectly round and identical cookies.
37. Have fun with flowers. Take a trip to the store and buy a variety of your favorite flowers. Set yourselves up with vases and all the tools you need to craft your own DIY bouquets.
38. Visit a virtual museum. A benefit of the mass shift to virtual life is that many museums worldwide have made their collections available online. The Louvre offers curated tours and The Getty gives you a peek into their exhibits. Check out this list for more museums you can discover through your computer together.
39. Braid your hearts out. There are plenty of step-by-step tutorials online for how to do any braid you can dream up. Fishtail braids, French braids, Dutch braids, you name it. Practice what you’ve learned on each other—you just might find your new favorite hairstyle.
40. Paint your nails. DIY a mani-pedi or take a trip to a local salon together. Whether you’re doing it at home or getting your nails professionally done, shake things up and try a color or style you wouldn’t normally get.
Save this post for the next time you need things to do when bored with friends and drop your ideas below!
This post was originally published on June 11, 2021, and has since been updated.
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