Whether you’re making plans with a new friend or reuniting with a best friend you’ve known for ages, you might be tempted to throw a “Happy hour tonight?” or “Let’s go to dinner soon!” text without a second thought. But we are emerging from a pandemic and 36% of all Americans, including 61% young adults and 51% mothers with young children,feel a “series of loneliness”.
So we’re here to talk about other things to do with friends that can help you reconnect on a more personal level.
The park: get that Vitamin D while asking the inevitable, “So how did you really been?”
Get out into nature: Whether it’s a hike, the beach or your own backyard. Here are some ideas to help you get started.
Shopping: Sometimes the easiest way to achieve that “comfortable doing anything together” level of friendship is to just… do anything together. And that includes not-so-sexy things like dropping stuff off at the post office, picking up groceries, picking up dry cleaning, or shopping at Target.
Self-care: Treat yourself…together. Book a day at the spa, a nail appointment, or hit the gym as part of your catch-up routine. Sweat together can be a great way to bond.
Join a team: Prefer a more competitive form of exercise? Consider joining a hobby league together. You could soon be teammates playing kickball, softball, soccer, disc golf, tennis, disc golf, racquetball…
Galleries: Maybe you and your friend are just as passionate about Picasso. Or maybe you’re just there for the free wine and beer that’s usually offered at a screening. Either way, it looks like a win.
Museums: We love an educational excursion with friends. Be a tourist in your own city and soak up the culture.
Live music: To verify upcoming concerts in your area, find a band or artist you both like and make it a date. Singing and dancing together are encouraged.
Karaoke: Grab the mic and let your monster flag fly.
Saving : Because fast fashion is so last season.
The library/bookstore: Nothing says “let’s catch up” like helping your friend pick out a book by its cover. In case you need a few recs before browsing through the stacks, here are the 25 Books Every Millennial Should Read At Least Once In Their Lifetime.
Go to a game: Check out the pros or support your local minor leagues. And don’t sleep on the snacks at the concession stand.
Plastic arts class: Choose to express yourself through painting, pottery, collage, glass blowing, hand lettering, photography, candle making…
Cooking lessons: Put on your aprons and learn how to make something delicious. You will feel like a Chopped competitor in no time.
An amusement park: Ride roller coasters, get soaked in water rides and more at your local amusement park. Pro tip: take anti-nausea medication first.
Bowling: No judgment if you still have to use bumpers. And don’t forget BYOS: bring your own socks.
Skating: Roller or ice cream, retailer’s choice.
Anecdote: Test your knowledge together at a local quiz night. Start thinking about your team name now – some locations will give you extra points if yours is particularly entertaining.
Bingo: It’s not just for grandmas anymore. And besides having a lot of fun, you could earn some serious money. Prepare your dabbers.
A Drag Show: queens serving face, cracking jokes, dancing and lip-syncing while dressed to perfection? Here we are, dollar bills in hand.
Volunteering: Because nothing brings you closer to each other and your community than give back. Start by picking a cause you care about – think animal welfare, the arts, education, gender equality – then do a quick Google search to find volunteer opportunities in your area. .
A movie night: Queue your movie. Or discover the latest TV trend: fraudulent documents.
Pastry shop: On your marks, get set, cook. Whether it’s salty bread, a sweet pastry, or anything else you might see on Great British Bake-Off.
Board games: Who doesn’t love a little friendly competition? There are a surprising number of two-player games to choose from, whether you prefer a classic (like Chess or Scrabble) or something more modern (like Patchwork or Klask).
A date : Put them on a leash and head to your local dog park, or go on an off-leash adventure on a nearby nature trail – or in your backyard.
Spa day: Because we could all use a little sweetness. Pick up some leaf masks, pour cucumber in your water glasses and put on some zen music. Bonus points if you do it all in bathrobes and slippers.
DIY paint and sip: No need to go to a studio. You can pull up an image on Pinterest to work, follow a Bob Ross Video, or just paint from your mind’s eye. Just grab some canvases and acrylic paints, grab a bottle of whatever you fancy, and voila: a DIY paint and a sip.
A plant festival: Give your baby plants some TLC by giving them fertilizer, refreshing their soil, and moving them to new pots if they have outgrown their current homes. Or consider a plant swap instead of repotting if you have propagations to spare.
DIY at home: You know that project you’re dying to do at home, but you haven’t had the motivation to work on it? Lean on your friend to motivate you. Think: wallpapering, painting furniture or hanging things on the wall.
Reading Club: Use a free book club app do all the organizing for you.
Tarot : Whether any of you have been reading tarot cards for a while or you are totally beginners tarotyou’re almost sure to learn something new about yourself (and others) after reading at home.
Brain teaser : A great way to work together towards a common goal without being too intense. Here are some of our favorites.
Emptying the closet: Help each other let go of objects that no longer spark joy. And if you want a little more help organizing your closet, check out this listing. Your freshly tidy wardrobe will thank you.
Clothing exchange: Gather the clothes you’re willing to get rid of, then get together and trade anything the other would like to keep. Donate whatever is left over to charity. New clothes (for you) and a good deed – win-win.
“Dinner and Drinks” does not have to be the default friend date. Go for some of these alternatives with your friends and see if you can make new connections that help maintain good relationships.
Skimmed by Alicia Valenski, Karell Roxas, Niven McCall-Mazza and Sagine Corrielus