50 Things to Do With Friends That Isn’t Going Out for Drinks

Being an adult is hard. Full stop. Countless things make us wish we could time-travel back to childhood. Taxes (ugh, top of mind), work blunders, insurance—life stressors in general. Everything feels like a lot when you have no one but yourself to hold you accountable. And yes, friendships—making and maintaining them—count, too.

But why? We love our friends. They’re the people we gossip to, confide in, and share everything with. (Plus, they offer endless entertainment when we’re bored.) Friends make us laugh and remind us that we’re not alone in our feelings, struggles, and challenges. Life, however, has a way of complicating things. So trust: we’re all looking for things to do with friends to keep us consistent and continuously pouring into these important relationships.

Featured image from our interview with Jessie and Brian De Lowe.

Camille Styles Mary Ralph Friends

50 Creative Things to Do With Friends to Strengthen Your Relationships

It’s easy to take our friendships for granted, because there’s a certain level of trust that makes relationships work. I constantly find myself texting friends after a week of silence with the usual: “Omg, so sorry! Been so busy.” (Who isn’t?) But this year, I want to align my actions with my intentions, ensuring that I’m pouring time, effort, and love into my relationships. The easiest way to start? By checking off all the ideas below. Let’s get into it.

  1. People watch. One of my (many) not-so-guilty pleasures. Go to a park together, get coffee, or just take a walk. Make up scenarios for all the people you pass. It’s so fun and a great creative exercise, too.

2. Visit the farmer’s market. An easy way to romanticize your life, together. Grab your market baskets, reusable bags, and set out with an open mind. Bonus points if you make lunch with your findings.

3. Arrange flowers. Is there anything more joy-inducing? Head to the local flower market or Trader Joe’s. Steal these ideas for making gorgeous bouquets.

4. Go for a bike ride. Pick a pretty day and go for a cycle. I love mapping out a route and ending up at a cute café for coffee or lunch.

5. Explore a botanical garden. Most cities and even some towns often have botanical gardens. They’re a beautiful place to find a little quiet and let the natural beauty inspire you.

6. Have a picnic. With the weather warming up, there’s no better time for an al fresco meal. We’ve done the heavy lifting and curated all the best picnic recipes for you. All that’s left is to pick a wine, pack your basket, and soak up a sun-dappled evening.

7. Make pizza from scratch. It’s delicious, it’s aesthetic, and it’s easier than you think. Camille shows how it’s done.

8. Have a beach day. If you live nearby the ocean or a lake, take advantage! Pack your swim gear, a good beach read, and all the SPF.

9. Plan a weekend getaway. PSA: Weekend trips don’t have to be dedicated to your romantic relationships. Choose a getaway nearby (I find that within a two-hour radius by car is perfect). Pick a date, book a cute hotel or inn, and look forward to your weekend away.

10. Have a closet clean-out party. Cleaning out your closet is a process and one that many of us dread. Invite your friends over for moral support—you can trust them to tell you if you really want to keep that dress you’ve never worn.

11. Host a potluck dinner. Not only is this easier on the host, but you’ll all be able to bring over your favorite dishes and show off your culinary skills. You can center the meal around a theme or specific cuisine. Assign everyone a course and get ready to indulge.

12. Go out for high tea. Tea parties? Always a good idea. Many cities have spots you can go to for tea or you can host one at home. And while I love the tea, I’m really there for the aesthetic snacks.

13. Make vision boards. And manifest your dream lives, together. Get started with our complete guide to vision boarding.

14. Have a bake-off. Alternative naming: taste-off. Select a type of baked good (carrot cake, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, etc). Then, everyone picks their favorite recipe and brings their sweets for the group to taste. Fun and delicious—a perfect pairing.

15. Learn a new skill. Knitting, sewing, calligraphy, drawing—there’s no end to all the many ways you can learn and expand. Attend a class together or watch videos on YouTube and practice being beginners together.

16. Visit a museum. Look up the offerings in your city and pick a topic—art, history, science—that everyone wants to do a deep-dive of. Going to museums with friends is great, because you can discuss the things you found interesting or loved learning more about.

17. Schedule a recurring coffee date. We’ve all done it: gotten coffee with a friend and finished the date with “We should do this again soon!” And… you never do. Pick a cadence and a day of the week and commit to grabbing coffee together. It’s a low-stakes way to check in with your friends on a regular basis. And hey, we all need coffee regardless.

18. Start a book club. Once a month, pick a book you’re both dying to read and get together to discuss. Yes: you’re on the hook for *actually* talking about the book.

19. Write letters to your future selves. This is a deeply therapeutic and inspiring activity to do solo, but it’s even better with friends. Reflect on what you want to achieve and how you want to grow in five, ten, or fifteen years. Write out your dreams and hopes for yourself—and what feels important and relevant to you now. Seal it up until you’re ready to open.

20. Plan a photoshoot. And make it extra. Curate your outfits, get inspiration on Pinterest, pick a location and get all the content.

21. Go camping. Engage with your outdoorsy side. Pick a site nearby or head out to your backyard. Totally counts.

22. Visit an animal shelter. Whether you volunteer, just visit the puppies, or leave with a kitten in hand, this is the perfect way to spend a couple hours with friends.

23. Write cards together. Who doesn’t love receiving a handwritten note? Load up on cute cards, brew some tea or coffee, and sit down for a few hours of card-writing.

24. Exchange care packages. We all have that long-distance friend we wish we could see more often. Curate a thoughtful care package with all their favorite things—snacks, treats, and trinkets—and a sweet note that you’re thinking of them.

25. Attend a lecture. Your college self might think this is ridiculous, but the beautiful thing about being an adult is that you can audit classes for fun. Browse your local college’s or university’s website for more information about their auditing options. It’s so much easier to lean into your love of learning without the pressure of acing a test.

26. Day trip to a small town. Get out of the city for a day and set out to explore. Visit local coffee shops, small boutiques, and restaurants.

27. Spend the afternoon flipping through magazines. My teenage self would spend hours pouring over my mom’s stacks of magazines—and I have the sort of friends who love indulging in the same. Create a communal pile of all your favorite reads and get to browsing.

28. Start a podcast. Probably the biggest commitment and endeavor on this list, but many of my favorite podcasts are hosted by bestie duos. Pick a topic you both could chat for hours about (wellness, true crime, current events, etc.) and start planning.

29. Go thrift shopping. An easy way to satisfy your shopping habit without spending tons of money.

30. Hike your local trails. Lace up your sneaks and get outside for a few hours together. Exercise and socializing—it’s a win-win.

31. Binge-watch the shows you loved as a kid. Because Disney Channel will never die. Plenty of streaming platforms still offer many of the best shows from the 90s and aughts. Settle in for a few hours of guilt-free watching.

32. Host a writing club. As a writer, I get it: it can be so helpful to have someone to hold you accountable to your craft and who you can bounce ideas off of. Meet for two hours: one hour dedicated to writing and the other for reviewing and commentary.

33. Make a playlist together. Does your music need a little shake-up? Spotify makes it easy to create a collaborative playlist. Share your favorite songs and artists and get ready to feel inspired. Curating a playlist makes for easy-flowing conversation, too.

34. Rent a Getaway cabin. Not sponsored, but I’ve loved every Getaway trip I’ve taken. The tiny cabins are situated within a two-hour drive from most cities and come with all the amenities you need for a weekend outdoors. I consider it glamping-lite. Just bring a bottle of wine and get ready ready to enjoy the quiet.

35. Make a scrapbook. Further proof that all the things we loved doing as kids still resonate. You can work on your personal scrapbook or create one together. It’s such a fun, creative and sentimental activity.

36. Cook each other’s favorite meals. Is there a better way to tell someone you love them? Invite your friend over for their favorite comfort-food meal. Because food is everyone’s love language.

37. Train for a race together. Find a 5K in your area that’s taking place in a couple of months and build a training routine together. It’s a great way not only to feel personally accomplished, but running together on a weekly basis means you’ll see lots of your friends for the weeks to come.

38. Plan a cookie swap. They’re not just for the holidays! Follow this guide for seamless planning.

39. Host a garden party. My favorite kind of gathering when the weather allows. Curate a seasonally-inspired menu with colorful fare. Dress code: your brightest and best.

40. Make positive affirmation jars. Get a Mason jar, cut out strips of paper, and write down the positive affirmations that resonate most. I love making affirmations a part of my morning routine, and you’ll think of your friends every time you do it.

41. See a comedy show. I won’t lie, I’ve actually never done this. But! My friends have been begging me to go with them for months, and I’ve heard that it’s the best way to spend a Friday or Saturday night. Laughing with your friends—what’s not fun about that?

42. Take on a baking project. Meringue, macarons, an ornate and over-the-top-cake—there are plenty of baking challenges you can spend hours on. Pick a recipe and get ready to make a beautiful and delicious mess.

43. Take a workout class together. This has been my recent go-to with friends. I love going to yoga or my local barre3 studio and grabbing coffee afterward. What’s more motivating than moving your body with friends?

44. Create a travel bucket list. Together, brainstorm all the places you’d want to visit with friends. Dream big and plan out an annual trip to start checking off your list.

45. Take a pottery class. Everyone’s doing it. You can go small with a paint-your-own pottery class or sign up for a weeks-long ceramics course. You’ll leave with something beautiful and entirely your own.

46. Visit a u-pick farm. Fresh fruits and veggies that you picked yourself? Sign me up. Apples, berries, peaches—the list goes on. My favorite is visiting a flower farm, soaking up the fresh air, and heading home with a gorgeous bouquet.

47. Spend the day on the water. Go to a local park or lake and rent a kayak or canoe. Both activities are beginner-friendly and fun ways to enjoy the water without getting wet.

48. Skim your local stacks. I’ll forever stand by the truth that libraries are one of the most beautiful things we get to experience in life. Browse the shelves together and leave with a hefty stack of reads.

49. Get your garden on. Connecting with earth isn’t just fun—it’s also a deeply calming and relaxing activity. Do some planting, trimming, or even weeding. Seriously, nothing is more stress-relieving than pulling out a few hefty weeds.

50. Make jewelry. DIY your hearts out. Pour some wine or coffee and get crafting. The process is fun and you’ll get to wear all the shiny things when you’re done.

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