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FriendsFun With Friends

30 Ideas for an Unforgettable Guys’ Night Out

guys-night-outPhoto credit—Matheus Ferrero

Looking for a few legendary guys’ night out ideas? To say the information out there is limited is a massive understatement! While there are millions of articles for girls’ night out, the fellas are lacking in number and creativity. Let’s see if we can do better. Here are our votes for the best guys’ night out options.


50+ Ideas in One Adventure Book

When is the next guys’ night out? If you’re thinking about cooking up some fun, bring us with you! Did you know that Adventures From Scratch has created a friend version of our popular adventure book? Our edition for friends is loaded with more than 50 on-the-go challenges and in-home ideas, so whether you want a weekend away with the guys or a Friday night at home, we got ya covered. Have fun getting to know the bros!


The Best Guys’ Night Out Ideas

Seriously, the options for guys’ night out articles are slim, and the ones out there aren’t very creative. This is partly due to the nature of most guys. In general, less thought and planning goes into the typical guys’ event when compared to their female counterparts. We’re all busy people here—work, family, marriages, and community responsibilities—they all add up! We know you don’t have much time to go out with the guys and certainly don’t have tons of time for planning. With these facts in mind, we’ve collected a list of ideas that is varied and unique, but no event on the list should take an inordinate amount of planning. Here we go!

1. Let’s Roam Bar Crawl

For a fun GNO that requires no planning, download our Let’s Roam scavenger hunt app and check out the options in your city. Our bar crawls are easy and fun. Buy a ticket for each guy in your group and follow along. We’ll take you to several of the best bars in your area and test your crew to a few hilarious challenges along the way.

2. Night Museum Tour

If your crew loves a little art from time to time, check out an interesting museum at night. Night tours are great because there are no groups of schoolchildren. There are fewer people, and there are often special events featuring artists or guest speakers. A museum followed by a few drinks in a chill whiskey bar makes for the perfect Friday night cap to a busy week.

3. Axe-Throwing Expedition

Axe-throwing venues have popped up all over the country in recent years, and they’re awesome. Throwing a sharp object at a target is the perfect way to blow off some steam after a stressful work week. It takes no planning. It’s pretty budget-friendly, and you get to throw axes. What more do you want?

If you want to go even more budget-friendly and reproducible, go to your local home improvement store and buy a few cheap hatchets of your own. This only works if you have a safe outdoor space in which to throw hatchets. Otherwise, your neighbors probably won’t approve of your guys’ night endeavor.

4. At-Home Bonfire

Some nights, you just want to stay home. Invite the guys. Build a fire in the backyard or just use a firepit. Have somebody bring hot dogs; someone else gets the stuff for s’mores. Crack open some beers. Put on a great playlist. Done and done.

Make sure you comply with the fire regulations in your neighborhood. In some places, you must notify the fire department ahead of time. In others, you’ll have to stick to the firepit, as burning would be illegal. Don’t let your fun guys’ night turn into a night in jail or a big fine.

5. Urban Art Walk

If you live in a city with a walkable night scene and great street art, take some time to truly appreciate it. Our art walks take you to the best spots in the city and give interesting background information on the works. It’s a unique way to re-see the city you walk through daily. Check out all our art walk options!

6. Local Ale Trail

If your area is famous for craft beer, chances are you have an organized ale trail in the region. Pick up your passport, choose your stops and your designated driver, and hit the trail. You’ll stop at breweries and bars along the route, try out the designated ale trail flight, get your stamp, and then move on to the next stop. Not only is it a good time, but you might find a new favorite brew or hangout spot that you can incorporate into your next guys’ night out. Some ale trails even have a shuttle service between breweries, so check the details before you leave.

7. Virtual Whiskey Tasting

If you have a fine whiskey bar in your area, set up a tasting event. They’ll handle all the details. If not, the online cuisine company Cozymeals offers a virtual whiskey-tasting event. Just hop on the website and sign up. In your confirmation email, they’ll send you a recipe list, so you can grab any items you need beforehand. Invite the dudes over and enjoy!

8. Cabaret Show

Cabaret is one of those things that you forget exists but is kinda perfect. The shows are typically budget-friendly, sexy, and sometimes super funny. If you and the guys are looking for something different this weekend, skip the video games and sip drinks in a cabaret lounge instead.

9. Connecting at a Comedy Club

Don’t know about you, but on Friday night, we often just need a good laugh. While comedy nights are not a sure thing, given that it all depends on who takes the stage that night, there’s a good chance that you will at least chuckle a few times. We find they get funnier the more whiskey you have, so let loose. Have a few and get some good laughs in with the guys.

10. Live Music Night

How long has it been since you saw a good concert? You could score tickets to a big show, but if massive event spaces stress you out, gather the guys at a local restaurant or bar with a good band. Grab a burger and spend the evening in a comfy booth with good tunes.

11. Ping-Pong Tournament

Anybody got a ping-pong table? If not, you can actually rent them at a party/event store. Set it up in the basement or backyard and let the trash talk begin. It’s a fun idea for a boys’ night out, and it’s easy to pull off. Just beware: This game is really addictive, and you might end up buying a ping-pong table.

12. Arcade Night

Does your crew love video games? Well, branch out with your gameplay this week. Get off the headphones and actually go out for games. Head to the nearest arcade. Challenge the guys to an old-school Pac-Man game, air hockey, or shooting hoops. The only downside is you might be surrounded by teens or kiddos, but you’re bigger than them.

13. Games on the Lawn

If the arcade sounds too stressful, trade in electronic games for yard games. Horseshoes, ladder ball, bocce ball, cornhole… all great options. Most of these are available, albeit in cheap versions, at your local big box store. If you find one that you and the guys really love, you can invest in a more sturdy set later. Order some pizza. Have the guys bring beer, and you’re good to go.

14. Traditional Cookout

If you have a little more time for planning, set up a traditional cookout. Either provide the food yourself or have everyone bring their own meat. Fire up the barbecue grill. Fill up the ice chests. Put out some lawn chairs and spend an evening outside. You can also include the lawn games from the last idea or fire up the hot tub!

15. Tacos and Tequila

Winter weather got ya down? Trade in steaks on the grill for tacos and tequila inside the warmth of the house. Everyone loves tacos. They’re easy to make and affordable when it comes to feeding lots of people. You make the meat (or make a stop at your favorite restaurant) and have everyone else bring toppings. You can also choose to just buy it all and have the guys bring some cash to pitch in. Beware of the strong side effects of tequila! You might end up with half-naked dudes doing karaoke in sombreros. There are no guarantees here.

16. Nostalgic Night

Head for the nearest fun park and let out your inner children. Challenge the guys to laser tag. Slam into each other with go-karts. Bust out that old homerun swing in the batting cages. Gorge yourself on corndogs and soda. You probably have fond memories of a place like this from your childhood. It’s time to revisit! This would also be a great last night out for a simple bachelor who doesn’t really do the whole party scene.

17. Lending a Hand

For some guys, taking time out of the weekend to just hang out feels like a waste of precious time. We get it; houses don’t repair themselves, and grass certainly doesn’t mow itself. If you need to get some work done but also haven’t seen your best friends in months, invite them over to lend a helping hand. Roofs get repaired faster with an extra set of hands.

Whether you have something to build, something big to move, or a repair to make, more muscle makes the job faster. It may not sound fun, but it’s kind of a win-win situation. You get time with your friend, and you still get stuff done. Just make sure you volunteer to go to their place next week!

18. Podcast Production

If you and the guys are feeling creative, spend some time creating a podcast about a subject you love. You really don’t need much, just a good camera and microphone. You could even do it on your phone. If you love the outcome, schedule to do it regularly and find a platform for your creation! Alternative creations could be a how-to YouTube video, music video, or any creative endeavor you’re all passionate about.

19. Dive Bar Quest

Forego the normal sports bar this week and go looking for the grungiest dive bars in your city. You know the ones where the burgers are dripping with grease and as big as your head? The decorations are probably covered in dust, and there are tons of truckers at the bar. It might not be your normal vibe, but that’s the fun of it!

If the dive bar is your typical vibe, change it up. Put on a jacket and head for a nice rooftop cocktail bar instead. The point is to get a change of venue and experience the other side of a guys’ night out.

20. Late Night B-Ball

If you and your crew are the athletic bunch, a fun idea for a free night is to head to the local city park and challenge the guys to a few pickup games. You get good exercise. You get to trash-talk your friends, and it’s good stress relief. Plus, it’s totally free. You’ll definitely work up an appetite, so plan on burgers afterward. Just choose a restaurant with an outdoor space please and spare the rest of us your post-game stench.

21. Mixology Night

Grab a good mixology book and invite the guys over to test your skills. Put on some jazz. Have each guy create a cocktail from the book or invent their own, and have a little contest. Loser buys the booze for next week. Alternatively, you could do an online cocktail-making class with a professional mixologist. Rockoly provides professional happy hour classes, and they will even send you a drink kit in advance; all the ingredients arrive at your door like magic!

22. Culture Night

Whether you cook yourself or hit up a great international restaurant, set a theme for your GNO. Explore the food, music, and customs of a different culture. Learn the history with a YouTube video or set up your own trivia game and test your knowledge about your own heritage.

23. Food Tour Friday

Rediscover your own city with an organized food tour. You’ll get a knowledgeable guide, try tons of great foods, and maybe even find a new favorite restaurant. Food tours are generally pretty budget-friendly, available in most larger cities, and a really good way to try new things without having to spend money on an entire meal you might not like.

24. Vintage Video Game Extravaganza

Donkey Kong, Mario, and Duck Hunt… if you’re looking for nostalgia, you got it! These games (or whatever games were the jam when you were in your childhood) bring back fond memories and an intense spirit of competition. Set up the gaming system. Make a playlist of songs from the era and invite the guys. Hopefully, you’ll still be friends by the end of the night.

25. Brazilian BBQ

There’s no place on earth that produces the meat sweats like a Brazilian BBQ restaurant. Giant, heaping trays of roasted meat that just keep coming… it’s heavenly! Hopefully, your city has a great Brazilian steakhouse, but if it doesn’t, you could always throw a DIY meat-fest!

26. City Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are a fun way to spend an evening in your own city. You’ll compete with other crews for the top spot in your city on a journey through town filled with trivia tests and hilarious photo challenges. With the right group of guys, these hunts are a riot, and you will definitely see a new side of your city.

We even have custom hunts for birthdays. We’ll work with you to create a hunt that honors the birthday boy with personalized photo challenges and trivia!

27. Poker and Cigars

Go old-school with a night of Texas Hold’em, Cuban cigars, and a good Scotch. Load up on finger foods like sandwiches, chips, and snack cakes and let the bids begin!

28. Shooting Range Romp

Another great stress reliever for you and the guys is a night at the shooting range. Load up your pistols or rent one from the facility. Make it a challenge or just work on your form; either way, this guys’ night out provides a little adrenaline and might give you the chance to learn a new skill.

29. Fight Night

If you have a boxing arena or UFC league near you, spend the evening watching a live fight. If you don’t have that option, you could host a pay-per-view event or join the guys at the local sports bar to watch the fight. Place some bets. Loser buys rounds.

30. Disc Golf Picnic

Head to your local disk golf course. They’re often located in city parks. Challenge the guys to a game or two, then when darkness hits, head for the provided bbq grills and bust out the coolers. Grill up some meat. Throw out the lawn chairs, have a few beers, and get in some good conversation while stargazing.


Getting the Guys Together

The hardest part about planning a guy’s night is not thinking of what to do. It’s just finding the determination to make it happen. We’ve provided you with 30 great guys’ night out ideas. Choose one of ours or come up with your own plan, but do it this weekend. Connecting with friends and having a strong social circle is a key aspect of stable mental and physical health. So, quit slacking on the guys’ night!

Let us know which night out you chose in the comments! Was it fun?

Planning on having a game night? Check out “40 Fun Board Games to Play With Friends.”

If you struggle to make friends and you can’t say you really have a strong circle, take a look at “How to Make Friends as an Adult (And Why You Should).”


Frequently Asked Questions

What do guys do on a night out?

Popular guys’ night out activities include poker nights, comedy clubs, and ale trails. But honestly, as long as you’re all having fun together, you can’t go wrong.

What do guys do together for fun?

Guys’ night out should be catered to the interest of your crew. Try your hand at disc golf, mix it up with a mixology night, or take an app-guided scavenger hunt of your city!

What are some unique ideas for a guys’ night out?

If you’re looking for something a little different for guys’ night, how about gathering the guys at the shooting range, joining a fight night, or seeing a cabaret show?

How do you plan a guys’ night out?

Planning a guys’ night doesn’t have to be hard. Consider activities with little to no planning, like an organized bar crawl, food tour, or a night tour of a museum or art gallery.

What’s a cheap guys’ night out?

For a budget-friendly guys’ night out, bust out the lawn games! You can host a taco and tequila night and have fun making the food yourselves, or go on an urban art tour.

FriendsFun With Friends

38 Funtabulous Girls’ Night Out Ideas

girls-night-out-ideasPhoto taken by Levi Guzman

There’s nothing more refreshing for the soul than a night of laughter with your best friends. If your normal outings are getting stale, you have come to the right place! We’ve gathered all the best girls’ night out ideas for you and your gal pals. From low-key wine tastings to full-on booze cruises, we have something for everyone (including non-boozy outings too). Let’s find your perfect night out!


Unique Adventure With Adventures From Scratch

Did you know that Adventures From Scratch has a new friend edition? Well, you know now! We’ve created a new scratch-off adventure book full of excursions for you and your crew. Our books feature on-the-go challenges, tear-out extras, and in-home adventures to help you build stronger friendships while having an absolute blast! Out of fun ideas to get you laughing? Wanting to deepen your connection? Try our girls’ night out ideas the next time you get together!


Funtabulous Girls’ Night Out Ideas

Finding time to spend with the girls is not always easy. After a long week of work, plus mom-ing, wife-ing, or serving in the community, everybody is tired. Even with the best of intentions, our well-laid plans with the girls often get canceled or overlooked. However, hanging with close friends has been proven by multiple studies to be beneficial for our mental and physical health, so it’s important that we all make time for belly laughing with the besties! You might find that when you do get time to hang out, nobody really planned anything, and you end up doing the same old local bar or dinner spot, which doesn’t offer much excitement or spontaneity. You deserve something better to look forward to.

Next time girls’ night rolls around, you’re going to be prepared! Read through this list. Pick your favorites and jot them down, or better yet, save the list to refer to in the future. We know how it is on Friday night. Your brain is fried, and you can’t think of good ideas. Keep this list handy and try a few of these amazing girls’ night out ideas instead of resorting to the same old same.

1. Wild out on a Let’s Roam bar crawl.

For your next girls’ night, let off a little steam by visiting the best bars in your city. Our app-led bar crawls escort you to four of the top bars and include a few fun challenges along the way to keep it interesting. Our bar crawls are the easiest night out to plan because they take no planning at all. You just download the app. Choose the crawl in your city, and follow along! It’s a budget-friendly and fun way to spend an evening with the gals.

2. Explore your local urban art.

In the summer months, when you have extra daylight and warm weather, take the time to explore your city’s urban art on a Let’s Roam urban art walk. Our experts have gathered all the best street art pieces in the world for our hunts and designed easy walking tours complete with pertinent info on all the works. If you want to see a different side of your city or just learn something about the fantastic murals you pass every day, an art walk is the perfect girls’ night out idea.

3. Hop on a food tour.

It’s Friday night. You’re hungry, right? Instead of a boring dinner at the same old chain restaurant, take the girls out on a city food tour. Most major cities have a food tour option, and they’re usually awesome. You’ll be paired with a knowledgeable guide, you’ll hit up the best restaurants in town, and often, you learn quite a lot about the traditional foods of your city. Check the tourism website for your city (usually “visit____”) or search food tours on Instagram or Google to see what your city offers.

4. Take a group cooking class.

Staying on the food theme, take your girls’ night as an opportunity to learn to cook a new meal. For some, cooking is a chore that sounds like an awful option, but when you do it together with your besties, it becomes a really fun night. You could take a virtual class on Cozymeal or Masterclass or book an in-person class at a local cooking school. If you know a private chef, hire them to come to your home so that you can cook in your pajamas.

5. Book a spa evening.

Spa days are nice, but spa nights are even better. If your town has a spa that is open late, set up a joint appointment. Get a lush facemask, a massage, or mani/pedis. You’ve likely had a long, stressful week; what could be better than a little stress relief with your bestie? After you’re feeling refreshed, retreat to one of your homes and finish the evening off with a little wine on the porch.

6. Take in a comedy show.

Most of us don’t laugh enough, not that deep down, really good belly laugh, at least. While you aren’t guaranteed to get that at a comedy show, you might. After a drink or two, they usually get funnier, so let loose a little and enjoy a night of drinks and giggles.

7. Take your gal pals on a scavenger hunt.

Group scavenger hunts are the perfect way to spend an evening with your gal pals. Our hunts are designed to provide easy fun with minimal planning and maximum bonding. We will escort you on a short trek around your city filled with funny photo challenges and tough trivia. You’ll choose the challenges that sound fun to you, learn a ton about your city, and, most importantly, get in some good quality time with the gals. We have hunts in more than 400 cities worldwide; check out all the options!

We also do custom hunts for bachelorette parties or birthday parties. You’ll be set up with one of our hunt coordinators to add in personal trivia and make the game all your own!

8. Start a book club.

If partying all night isn’t your vibe, gather the girls and start a weekly (or monthly) book club. This ladies’ night is awesome because, if we’re all honest here, the most likely deterrent to going out on the weekend is the fact that you have to put on real pants. With a book club option, you can all wear your comfy pants, messy buns, and real face. Have everyone bring an appetizer or just order takeout, and you’re good to go. It’s no muss, no fuss, and it forces you to read a little. It’s a win-win!

9. Plan an old-school sleepover.

Another fun night for the no-pants crew is to swap your girls’ night out for a girls’ night in. Do you remember how excited you were when you got to stay at a friend’s house? There would be unhealthy snacks, party games, dance parties, and juicy secrets. They’re just as fun as an adult. Binge-watch chick flicks, sing karaoke, or have a night of pampering with some DIY spa treatments. The options are endless; just choose a few activities your crew will love. If you guys have spouses and kiddos at home, you might have to get this one on the schedule pretty far in advance, but with enough determination, it’s totally doable.

10. Bust out the board games.

An old-school game night can be a lot of fun. Invite the girls over. Have each person bring their favorite game and just veg out with a few drinks and snacks. If you need a little inspiration for girls’ night games, check out “40 Fun Board Games to Play With Friends.”

11. Build a bonfire.

Weather permitting, there’s nothing more relaxing than sharing stories around a flame. Whether you use a firepit or build a giant bonfire, have the girls bring a lawn chair and some stuff for s’mores, and that’s all you need for a fun girls’ night, except maybe a perfect playlist! Just make sure you check the burn rules in your area if you’re planning on building a real fire!

12. Attempt an escape room.

Escape rooms have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years. While the trend is fading a bit, that can be a good thing, as you can get in easily without much planning. The good ones are constantly changing their themes, so there’s always a new challenge. If you find that you have any brain cells left on your Friday night, an escape room can be a fun way to bond with your besties.

13. Throw axes… not at each other.

Okay, don’t actually throw them at each other. Throw them at a target. If your town has an axe-throwing facility, go there. If not, head to Lowe’s, grab some small hatchets, and head to whichever friend has the biggest (and safest) backyard. Please don’t throw axes if you have close neighbors… unless you don’t like them (obviously kidding).

14. Get crafty.

A fun idea for old friends is to have a scrapbook night. Plan it in advance and give everyone enough time to go through old photos. Get a cute scrapbook and then spend the evening working on it together. It’s a great way to reminisce over your years as friends, and you’ll no doubt end up laughing about things you didn’t even remember until you saw the pics.

15. Throw a favorite food party.

Another DIY party idea that is super easy and budget-friendly is to have each of your girlfriends bring their all-time favorite food or a favorite family recipe. Each person can make their food item ahead of time or open some wine and have a cooking party. It’s a fun way to spend time together, and you get a new favorite recipe out of the deal.

16. Plan a dinner parade.

Progressive dinners are a nice way to spend an evening, and it takes some of the cost and pressure off of the host. The problem is, it only works if you live in close proximity to each other. Ideally, you have appetizers at one person’s house, the main course at another, and then desserts and coffee or drinks at the last.

17. Visit a cabaret.

Cabaret shows are just a good time. While many would put a cabaret show in the romantic date category, others actually find them less awkward to see with friends. The costumes are beautiful. The performers are talented, and the drinks are free-flowing. Not sure what more a girls’ night needs!

18. Have a chore party.

Bear with us here. Nobody, I repeat, nobody wants to do chores, but they do have to be done. One of the many reasons that adult women don’t get together is that they just have too much to do at home. Make your necessaries way more fun by throwing on a killer dance playlist, inviting over your bestie, and tackling the chores. It’s actually way less boring to do someone else’s chores than your own, strangely. Help each other clean the blinds, weed the flower beds, or clean out the pantry. Then make your favorite cocktails and sit back and enjoy the fruit of your labor.

19. Paint each other.

Do you have any art skills? No? Great! Your paint night will be even more fun. Set up a few easels and a canvas for everyone. Draw names out of a hat and keep your name secret. Each person attempts to paint a portrait of the name they drew. Most of them will be hilarious failures, and they make for a good laugh and funny post-painting group photo.

20. Celebrate mojitos and memories.

If you have a group of friends that have been together for many years, spend the evening discussing old times. Make a dessert and coffee or your favorite cocktails and find a comfy spot around the fireplace or the dining table to reminisce. Laughing about old memories is a great way to make new ones!

21. Repeat your first hangout.

Do you remember the first time you hung out with your best friend? If you do, recreate it! Go to the same places and try sitting at the same table. See if you can fit in the same outfit if you still have it. The longer you’ve been friends, the harder this one will be!

22. Host a cultural night.

For a special evening, plan a themed party from a different culture. Have everyone bring an Indian dish or a Thai dish. Go all out with traditional clothing or just chow down on tasty international treats in your pajamas. The choice is yours. Don’t forget the appropriate playlist, and you might even do some research to see if there are any popular party or board games from the culture you chose.

23. Have a mixology contest.

Take an in-person mixology class at your local bartending school or invite the girls over to make your own cocktails. Send out a list of ingredients and have everyone chip in. You might have to have a short list of possible cocktails… unless you already have a good-sized liquor collection. Each person can choose a cocktail to make from a mixology book, or you can draw from a hat. Better yet, make it a competition and have each person create their own signature cocktail and vote for the winner!

24. Tour an art gallery or museum.

Night time in museums and art galleries is a whole different vibe. The art hits differently in the night light. They’re less crowded, and they often have special events featuring wine tastings, chats with local artists, or interactive classes. There are no herds of school children, no overloaded group tours, just a relaxing evening full of fine art.

25. Catch a ballgame.

If action is more your thing, gather your gal pals and head for the nearest major or minor league sporting venue. Live sporting events are a blast, even if you don’t really like sports. The comradery of the fans, the tasty concession stand food, and the general excitement that fills the air is intoxicating. If you don’t have anything like that in your town, get some nachos at your local high school football game and enjoy a simple evening under the lights.

26. Ride bumper cars.

Sometimes, all you need to shake off a stressful week is to ram your best friends with a car. The only way that is acceptable in polite society is in a bumper car. Head to the nearest adventure park and let out your inner child. Race go-carts. Smash in bumper cars or bumper boats. Take a few swings in the batting cage. It’s a great way to blow off steam.

27. Challenge your gals to a climbing wall.

If you’re part of an athletic clan (actually it might be funnier if you aren’t), challenge your besties to a race up a rock climbing wall. Almost all moderate-sized cities have one now, so there’s likely one within driving distance of your hometown. Loser buys drinks!

28. Take in the night skies.

There’s nothing more beautiful or relaxing than a deep conversation under a clear sky. Gather for stargazing at your local park or one of your backyards. Throw out some blankets, or if you’re brave and nimble, head up to the roof for a closer view. Maybe leave the cocktails out of this one.

Writer note: This one is a personal fave. My friends and I have had some of our most intense and meaningful conversations while stargazing at our local park. We just take a blanket and lay it out in the back of the truck or on the hillside. We take snacks and drinks and let the night unfurl. It’s simple, free, and always so enjoyable!

29. Plan a guilty pleasure night.

We all have a guilty pleasure, and if you have a really tight set of friends, you can feel safe sharing your weirdness. Whether it’s face masks and trash magazines, cleaning out your pores and binging reality TV, or whatever grossness you partake in, do it together. Sure, it’s private and might make you feel vulnerable, but we guarantee your friends are likely just as weird as you.

30. Compete in a thrift store challenge.

Set a budget that your group is comfortable with and carpool to your nearest thrift store. Challenge each other to complete the “most outrageous outfit,” a “1970s look,” or “the best man’s outfit.” No cheating; you only get to spend the max budget. Take the items back to one of your houses and have a fashion photoshoot.

31. Volunteer together.

Volunteering for a cause you love is a very rewarding experience, and it’s only more so when you share it with someone you love. Serve food at a local soup kitchen, serve in the concession stand at a community event, or bathe puppies at the homeless shelter. Most non-profits are always looking for help!

32. Create your own cupcake war.

Get creative in the kitchen with a cupcake competition. Grab a few decorating kits from your local craft or grocery store. If you’re short on time, you can prebake the cupcakes and let them cool the night before. The best part about this craft night is that the masterpieces are edible!

33. Walk your pooches.

One of the first things most tourists do when arriving at their vacation destination is get out and take a stroll, but when was the last time you took a walk around your own city? For a totally free Friday night activity, put on your best sneakers, leash up the pooches, and take a stroll around your city. We recommend you do it with an ice cream!

34. Host a backyard barbecue.

For a laid-back girls’ night out idea, fire up the grill. Bust out the pool chairs and whip up some margaritas or fresh lemonade. Put on a playlist of the Beach Boys and enjoy an evening with the girls in the backyard. Throw a white sheet on the fence and have an outdoor movie night if you have the ability.

35. Plan your next girls’ getaway.

One of the best parts of any getaway is the excitement of the research and planning phase. Set a date in your calendar for your next girls’ trip. Use your weekend nights to get together and plan. Get on Etsy and order those matching swimsuits and beach hats. Pick your hotel. Peruse the local restaurants and put them on a trip map. It will only increase the excitement and make everyone more likely to actually go through with the trip.

36. Swap sexy secrets.

Are you a guru in the bedroom, or do you need a little help? Maybe your relationship has just gotten a little boring, and you need some new trick. That’s what good girlfriends are for. Have everyone throw their favorite position or trick in the pot and draw them out. When your strip is drawn, you have to explain how to do it to all your curious gal pals.

37. Set up a book swap.

Maybe you and your crew aren’t organized or dedicated enough to have a real book club, but you can gather for an easy book swap. Everybody bring a book that you’ve finished and loved and trade them. It’s even more fun if each friend writes their thoughts or a little note in the back for the next friend to enjoy.

38. Take turns teaching a skill.

Everybody is an expert at something! Take turns on your girls’ nights, each friend leading a night and teaching the others their special skill. It could be sewing, painting, cooking, crafting, an exercise routine, or a stupid human trick. Allowing your friends to teach you something they’re passionate about allows you to see a whole new side of them and makes your bond even stronger.


Making It Happen

It doesn’t really matter what you do with your besties for girls’ night. There are a million little girls’ night out ideas you could put into action. The key is to choose one and be adamant about making it happen! Call the girls. Get it on the schedule, and resist the urge to cancel when you inevitably don’t want to wear pants that day. Some excuse will always come up, but push past it because, once you’re out with the girls, you’ll have a blast, and it will be worth the couch time you sacrificed.

What are your favorite girls’ night out ideas? Please, do share them with us in the comments!

If your bestie is unfortunately in a different time zone, you can still have frequent girls’ nights. Find out the secret to success in “How to Stay Connected to Your Long-Distance Best Friend.

Friendship in adulthood is hard! It takes real determination and planning to make friendships work. If you find yourself struggling in this arena, take a few tips from “Keys to Maintaining Adult Friendships.”


Frequently Asked Questions

What to do for a girls’ night out?

If you’re with friends you love, you can’t go wrong! But some popular girls’ night out ideas are group cooking classes, adult sleepovers, or a city scavenger hunt!

What can you do on a girls’ night in?

Sometimes, you just want to hang with your besties in your PJs. They do, too! How about having a cupcake war, competing in a mixology contest, or having a cultural dinner?

How can I make a night out more fun?

To turn up the fun on girls’ night out, add some spontaneity with a surprise scratch-off outing from Adventures From Scratch: Friends Edition. Laugh and connect all night!

How do I plan a girls’ night out?

To plan a fun girls’ night out, choose a unique, budget-friendly activity that doesn’t take much planning, like a Let’s Roam bar crawl, a bonfire night, or a book swap!

What are some unique ideas for girls’ night?

If you want a truly unique girls’ night out, have a stargazing night with deep conversation, teach each other your most impressive skill, or go axe-throwing (be careful!).

Friends

How to Stay Connected to Your Long-Distance Best Friend

long-distance-best-friend

Adult friendships are hard to maintain in the best of circumstances. When demanding jobs, spouses, and kiddos enter the mix, friendships tend to take a backseat, even if unintentionally. When you’re separated by physical distance, staying connected to your long-distance best friend is a whole new basket of challenges. You and your BFF have to work extra hard at communication and bonding since you can’t just show up on each other’s porches for wine dates on Friday night.

Thankfully, there are some handy technological advancements in the communication arena, and with a little creativity, you can keep your close friendship strong despite the distance. In this article, we take a look at some unique ways to spend quality time with your long-distance best friend and ensure that your relationship stays healthy. While none of these solutions are the same as an in-person hangout, they will do the trick to keep you in the loop until your next hug!

Writer Note: Not to toot my own horn here, but long-distance friendships are kind of my thing. Since I started traveling the world full-time, pretty much all my important relationships are long-distance at this point, and I can verify that it takes an immense amount of work to make these friendships last! “Out of sight, out of mind” is a real thing. I say all that to make a very pointed truth: If you want your friendship to last, you’ll have to put in a lot of effort. Show up for big things, even if you can only be there virtually. Schedule your friend into your life and stay up to date on all the little things going on in their world, or you’ll find that you’ve become disconnected quite quickly.


Adventures From Scratch for Your In-Person Meetups

There’s going to be that rare chance for an IRL hangout with your long-distance best friend. Make the most of it with a few outings from Adventures From Scratch: Friends Edition! Our innovative friendship activity book is loaded with unique and creative ways to bond with your besties. Just consult the key, scratch off an adventure, and commit! We’ve even included relevant conversation starters and a scrapbooking spot to document your journey together. This handy book has everything you need to make incredible memories during your way-too-short time together!


How to Make This List Work For You

We realize every friendship is different. Some are perfectly sound without talking for months. You just pick right back up where you left off. Others are bordering on codependent. We’ve attempted to take into account the nature of multiple types of friendships and collect activities for every personality. Whether you’re a couple of bookworms, athletes, or intrepid travelers, we have something on the list for you!

However, you might have to play with the list a little bit. Sometimes, the best solution is the last one you would have thought of. Try out a few things, even if they don’t sound appealing at first. You never know what might work best for your busy schedules, communication styles, and personalities. Pick a few and give them a fair shot. If they aren’t working out like you thought, circle back to the list and try again. Remember: Maintaining a long-distance friendship takes work!

Ways to Stay Connected With Your Long-Distance Best Friend

1. Make communication your responsibility.

It might sound a little bit one-sided, but if you value a relationship, take on the responsibility of keeping in contact. True friends will eventually jump on board and return the initiative. It could be hard or awkward at first, and you might have the tendency to believe that your loved one doesn’t appreciate the contact or that they don’t miss you as much as you miss them. Fight off the urge to give in to that emotion. It’s most likely untrue. Your good friend is likely missing you too, and someone just needs to make the first call.

2. Set up a weekly phone call.

Make a choice to set up regular contact! Work together with your friend to find a time that works for you both, especially if you’re in different time zones. Don’t make it too difficult. Just say, “Hey, I love you, and you’re an important part of my life. I don’t want our relationship to suffer now that we live far apart. Let’s set up a time to talk each week that works for both of us. I don’t want to miss out on your life.” Be direct. Don’t be afraid to be a little intimate or vulnerable and ask for what you want.

If your intended friend values your friendship, they will respond favorably. If they show no interest or make an excuse, you could suggest a different method of communication. If you still don’t get a favorable response, perhaps this friendship isn’t worth your effort. Consider letting it go or becoming more of a casual acquaintance.

3. Schedule on a shared calendar.

If you’re new to this whole long-distance relationship thing, you might be thinking that your amazing friendship will just naturally work despite the changes. That’s very unlikely. You’ll have to schedule time for your friendship and make it a priority. You kind of have to take a “no matter what” approach. We will speak once a week, no matter what. I will make sure that I’m there when you need me, no matter what, etc.

The best way to do this is to make a habit of your communication. We know; “habit” doesn’t feel like a very friendly or loving word. You’ll feel really dumb, at first, texting your friend and making an appointment for a video call on next Friday at 2 p.m. or whatever. It will feel silly, but it’s the only way to make sure that other responsibilities don’t creep in and take over your friend time. If you don’t have a set time, it’s inevitable that you either won’t call because you just want to watch TV, or they won’t answer because they weren’t expecting a call and are busy. Though it feels weird, just schedule it and do everything you can to show up for your appointments.

We recommend creating a shared calendar on Google or Apple and putting important events on the calendar. Schedule your video calls as events and set reminders. You can include notes and even photos to your calendar, keeping you and your bestie on the same page all the time. It’s just nice to be able to see all the little things and be a part of your friend’s life, even when you’re far away.

4. Have a weekly virtual game night with Let’s Roam.

If you love games, hop on our innovative platform and play pop culture trivia games, Pictionary, or our fun geography challenge game with your bestie over video chat! You can keep it between the two of you or invite mutual friends along. It’s an easy and fun way to get some quality time without having to focus all your mental energy on the conversation.

5. Set up a Wi-Fi-friendly chat.

If you’re living in a different country than your long-distance BFF, you may have to find a form of daily communication that is Wi-Fi-friendly. Switch from your text feed to WhatsApp, GroupMe, Telegram, or Signal so that you can communicate worldwide. This will avoid any nasty international texting fees.

6. Ask pointed questions regularly.

True friendships are based, at least partially, on intimate conversations. Instead of texting, “I miss you” or “how are you doing?”, go with something more pointed. Vague statements and questions get hard to answer after a while, and your communication will just dwindle. Try something like, “Hey friend, what are you doing today?” or “What’s on your schedule for the week, anything important?”

These are just a couple of examples, but you could also ask a direct follow-up question from your last conversation. If they were having a problem, ask if they found a solution. If they had a big project at work, ask how it went. In order to do this successfully, you have to become a good listener and pay attention during your conversations. This pointed conversation lets your friend know that you really do care about the events of their life, that you are there no matter what, and that you’re putting in the effort to maintain your relationship. When people feel valued by another person, they tend to return the favor.

7. Send care packages for special occasions.

Who doesn’t love a birthday gift? We don’t know anyone who doesn’t love getting a thoughtful present. It’s even better when it comes in the mail. Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or celebration of some amazing milestone, send your buddy a commemorative gift. Heck, send one on a random Tuesday. Random gifts are more thrilling than expected ones.

A good long-distance friendship gift can be anything (as long as it will pack and send well). Small gift ideas are certainly cheaper to send. Keychains, picture frames, or friendship bracelets might work for younger penpals. Adult friends might consider having a bottle of beloved wine sent to their home. A gift basket of tasty treats from Harry and David or a piece from one of their collections is also great.

Some of the best gifts are things that you know they want. If your friendship love language is gift giving, set up an Amazon list where you can both put things you love. When a special occasion comes up, you can hop on your friend’s list, snag a great gift, and have it delivered right to their home!

8. Set reasonable expectations.

Long-distance relationships come with emotional hardship. It’s not something any of us like to admit, but feeling left behind or overlooked by a close friend is hurtful. Often, operating long-distance means that one or both people in the relationship will get caught up in the belief that the other person is too busy to talk, no longer interested in the friendship, or has moved on to new friends. This usually is not true! While some friendships do end because of these reasons, a vast majority end because of a lack of vulnerability and the initiative to have conversations around the topic.

However, you do need to set reasonable expectations. Your best friend is not going to be able to devote two hours a day to long-distance phone calls. They might not text back immediately, especially if there is a time difference. Be prepared for them to be busy when you call and expect that they may have to call you back tomorrow. They might get new friends, and you’ll have to navigate that space with grace. While you should never pour all your effort into a one-sided friendship, do give your friend some wiggle room and protect your own feelings by not putting high demands on them.

9. Respect your friend’s personal space.

Going along with the last one, try not to be clingy. Keeping contact and showing interest in their life is different than being a friend stalker. This generally happens when one person in the relationship moves away for a new job and doesn’t have a community in the new city yet. They rely on their old friend to stave their boredom and fill that loneliness gap. The problem is that the other friend still has all of their normal life responsibilities, and they don’t have that much extra time to devote.

It’s important for you to make friends in the area where you live. They won’t take the place of your best friend, but you have to remember that their life is going on as normal since you left. Don’t make outrageous demands on their time.

10. Watch the same series on Netflix.

An easy way to spend time together is to watch the same TV shows. You can hang out via WhatsApp while you watch and discuss it together. Try out Teleparty, which allows you to watch the same show on Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and many more while having a group chat in the chat box. You could also consider listening to the same podcast and discussing it on Friday night over a video chat!

11. Read a book together.

Join an online book club or just do a DIY book reading together. Set up a schedule for reading the same chapters each week and make time to call and discuss what you read. Not only do you get quality time with your friend and easy conversation fodder, but you also rack up your book quota. It’s a win-win.

12. Do a spiritual study together.

If you and your friend have the same religious preferences, consider doing a study together. You can use an app like the Bible Recap or one that fits your personal preferences to read the same scriptures daily and have a chat about what resonates with you.

13. Make sure you see their face regularly.

Most days, you’ll just text or communicate on social media, but at an agreed-upon interval, set up a video call to actually see your friend’s face. Use Zoom, Facetime, or WhatsApp. There are tons of video conference platforms. It’s just nice to have an actual conversation, and it’s healthier, especially if the topic is important. Being able to hear your friend’s tone and see their body language can help you dodge unnecessary friction in your relationship that is often associated with text-only conversations.

14. Take a virtual tour together.

Since the pandemic, many great tourist attractions have moved online. You can now take a guided tour of the Louvre, many of the Smithsonian museums, and other attractions all over the world through their websites. Make a list of places you want to see together. Set up a time to meet virtually with your bestie and choose an adventure for the night. Enter the website together and enjoy!

15. Have a laugh together each day.

One of the things you most likely love about your best friend is that they make you laugh like nobody else. Just because you aren’t together physically doesn’t mean you still can’t share inside jokes on the daily. Social media is great for a laugh if nothing else. Send your bestie that hilarious reel you saw on Instagram or a pertinent meme you saw on Twitter. Perhaps they’ll reply, and if they’re busy, they might not, but either way, you will put a smile on their face for a moment. Goodness knows that by Wednesday each week, we can all use a good chuckle.

16. Start a shared photo album.

Online photo album sites like Canva, Shutterfly, or Snapfish allow you to easily create awesome photo albums. You can include text, find adorable themes, and document your memories in a fun way. When you have a good album put together, print it and give it as a Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or birthday gift to your bestie.

Even if you never print it, having a shared album is fun and gives you a way to keep up with each other’s daily lives. You could just as easily set up a shared Google Photos album and both upload a picture of the day. It only takes a few seconds, and it’s a great way to keep in touch.

17. Write a letter or postcard.

There’s something nostalgic and heartwarming about a handwritten letter. It just harkens back to the time of childhood penpals, and handwritten notes tend to be more intimate, thoughtful, and personal. Plus, they make great scrapbook pieces! Sit down once a year and write your best friend a heartfelt note.

18. Make the most of your short conversations.

You likely don’t have tons of time for your conversations with your long-distance friend. In fact, we recommend that you don’t make your conversations long. Often, good friends don’t call each other because they know that their conversations can last for hours. Since they don’t have hours to spend today, they just don’t call. Try to keep your conversations meaningful and fairly short.

A short conversation can be just as fruitful as a long one. Come to the table with a few important things you want to discuss. Ask important questions. Discuss this week’s stuff and then set up your next call and do it again next week. This doesn’t bar having long conversations, of course, but it doesn’t set the expectation of being on the phone for hours. It respects both parties’ time.

19. Follow a mutually interesting influencer.

Do you and your bestie love fashion? Are you both avid chefs? Do you have a mutual love for a sport? Find an influencer or social media account that focuses on your shared interest and follow along. You can send trending posts to each other and discuss your thoughts on the matter. This can lead to more meaningful conversations more often. Share your quick thoughts in the moment! Just be careful not to get too swept up in online drama. You want to uplift and encourage your bestie, not encourage bad vibes.

20. Send short videos to each other.

If you don’t have time for a video chat, apps like Snapchat and Marco Polo will allow you to send short videos to one another in a text-like manner. These are the quickest and easiest Wi-Fi-friendly options for getting some facetime with your BFF. You can quickly post a snippet of your kiddo’s basketball game, ask for an opinion on a new pair of pants, or share a funny moment that happened at work in real time. It’s one of our favorite ways to communicate with long-distance friends.

21. Schedule a real-life hangout.

The truth is there is no substitute for side-by-side adventures with your closest friends. At least once a year, schedule a trip to visit your best friend. Even better, take a joint vacation! Plan to meet for a week in Barcelona, the Maldives, or Paris. Pick a city or state that is halfway between your current locations and make it your next vacation destination.

Plan it early and get it on the calendar at the beginning of the year. It takes top priority, and nothing else goes on the schedule that week. In between your meetups, spend your time planning together. It will increase your devotion to actually making the trip happen and build anticipation for the trip!

Create a joint Pinterest board where you can each add activities to try at your intended destination. Open a shared Google Sheet where you can list possible itinerary items and include links to fun activities. Include beautiful hotels, fun tourist attractions, and locally recommended restaurants. Add them to a shared Google Map for the trip. By the time it comes, you’ll be prepared for the ultimate adventure! Take your copy of Adventures From Scratch: Friends Edition with you on the trip to add some spontaneity to your friend-cation!


Going the Distance

Maintaining a long-distance friendship isn’t easy. It will require a certain level of vulnerability, a fierce devotion to your friendship, and several tweaks to your norm. Your friendship will have to look different than it did when you lived in the same location, but that doesn’t mean it has to be less enjoyable. Don’t let the distance flush your friendships down the drain. Employ a few of these long-distance friendship tips to ensure that you stay connected until your next in-person meetup.

Have you been in a successful long-distance friendship? Do you have tips of your own? By all means, drop your knowledge on us in the comments!

For tips on adult friendship, check out our article “Keys to Maintaining Adult Friendships.” We discuss, in-depth, why adult friendships are so hard and give valuable tips on how to maintain healthy friendships despite a busy schedule.

If you’ve recently moved to a new place, you’ll need to start building a new social circle. Here are a few tips on “How to Make Friends as an Adult (And Why You Should!)


Frequently Asked Questions

How do long-distance friendships work?

Long-distance friendships take a lot of work by both parties. Schedule a weekly phone call, set up a Wi-fi-friendly text feed, and get together IRL with an adventure from Adventures From Scratch!

Are long-distance friendships hard?

Yes. Long-distance friendships come with a specific set of complications, but with a few creative tips and a strong devotion to your people, you can have successful long-distance relationships!

Why do long-distance friendships fail?

Most long-distance friendships fail due to a lack of communication, busy schedules, and failure to make in-person meetups. Protect your friendship. Schedule in-person events and have virtual hangouts!

FriendsFun With Friends

19 Things to Do on Spring Break With Friends

things-to-do-on-spring-break-with-friends

Spring break is coming up fast, and if you’re looking for unique things to do on spring break with friends, you’re in the right place. While a week away from the grind is awesome, even if you don’t do anything special, we know that you want this week to be extra amazing, so we’ve scoured the internet and dove deep into personal experience to create the ultimate list of the most unique spring break ideas. Obviously, partying on Florida’s South Beach is a fun way to blow off some steam, but there are so many more great spring break destinations out there. We’ve included something for every kind of traveler, ranging from volunteer trips for high school students to family-friendly destinations and trips for college students too. Let’s roam!


Devoting Time to Your Friends With Adventures From Scratch

Did you know that Adventures From Scratch has an entire adventure book solely devoted to friend activities? Well, now you do! Want some awesome ideas for things to do on spring break with friends? Grab Adventures From Scratch: Friend Edition today and begin scratching off your next adventures. Our books have more than 50 excursions specially crafted to nurture your friendship while you have a blast in the process. We’ve included hilarious conversation starters and a scrapbooking space too, so you can document all your adventures together!


Spring Break Activities for Teens

High school can be really stressful, especially that last year or two, so whether you’re a teenager or the parent of one, consider one of these amazing options to let loose on spring break. Decide to give back and pad that college resume with a volunteer trip. Hang out with friends on a day trip, or invite a friend along on your family vacation.

1. Volunteer Trip to Guatemala

Discover International Volunteer Headquarters offers an awesome trip to Guatemala over spring break that would be perfect for any teen who is looking to dip their feet into the volunteer world. It includes volunteer projects in childcare, teaching, construction, animal welfare, and medical shadowing. It’s the perfect trip to test the waters. Volunteers get to participate in several arenas of serving and see what they like best. Students will be housed in Antigua Guatemala, a lovely and historic Spanish Colonial city in a stunning landscape of towering volcanoes and sparkling lakes. Antigua is a foodie paradise, features wonderful traditional markets, and has fun tourist activities. Take a visit to a chocolate lab, try coffee plantation tours, and go volcano trekking.

The trip is very affordable at just $360 for the week, which includes airport transfer, accommodation, two meals a day, and 24/7 in-person support. If you’re interested in giving back this spring break, this Guatemala trip is the perfect option with a reputable company.

Not interested in Guatemala? That’s ok! There are plenty of amazing options out there. Here’s a list of “The Top 12 Service Trips for Teens.”

2. Camping Trip in Your State Park

If the parents give you the okay and you can drive, pack up the tent and a couple of friends and head for your local state park. Hit hiking trails. Build a bonfire and tell ghost stories. Roast s’mores. Go fishing. Enjoy nature. Relax and recuperate. Being in nature is good for the soul! You might need someone above the age of 18 to rent the campsite and be present, so invite an older sibling or a parent along.

3. Themed Party

If you can’t get away for spring break, it doesn’t mean you can’t do something special and fun. Invite a few friends over and plan an epic party for Friday night. Choose a theme. Design the decorations. Pick out the food, and work together to plan the party activities. Send out invites through your social media and enjoy! Go all out with this DIY party. Planning it is half the fun!

If your area has warm weather in March, have it outside. Build a fire in the fire pit. Play yard games. Set up a photo booth for themed pics and TikTok vids. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, move to the living room and whip out the board games, have a dance party, or play traditional party games.

Check out this list of “25 Fantastic Party Games to Play With Friends.”

4. Road Trip Adventure

If you can drive, take a short road trip to an interesting place in your state. You could consider going snowboarding at the nearest ski park, taking a chilly swimming trip to a nearby lake, visiting an ancient Native American site, or taking a walking tour of a nearby city. For a unique trip, consider visiting several of the small towns in your area and seeing what quirky tourist attractions they have to offer. You might be really surprised at the awesome stuff hidden in these relatively unknown places. While every state is different, there is certainly something in your home area that you didn’t know about, so get out there and explore. The options are endless!

5. Theme Park Extravaganza

Take a few days and hit up all the theme parks in your vicinity. If the waterparks are open, spend a day there. Then, head for the amusement park the next day. On day three, find the closest aerial adventure park where you can enjoy ropes courses, zip lines, and rope swings. Take your friends along for the ride. Enjoying a little adrenaline with good company is the perfect way to let loose and produce those feel-good hormones!

6. Concert or Festival

Have a favorite band? See if they’re playing in a nearby city, or join a spring festival and catch several live shows over the week. Check out the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, the Portland Rose Festival, or Miami’s Calle Ocho. If you can’t get to one of these amazing spots, Google spring concerts near you.

Spring is also a very popular time for lots of other weird and wonderful local events. Consider the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., Frozen Dead Guy Festival in Colorado, or the Nenana Ice Classic in Alaska, which are just a few among the many weird events taking place in the U.S. in March.

Spring Break Ideas for College Students

This section focuses on spring break trips for college students who want to get away from the stress of the semester. These trips offer epic outdoor adventures, laidback beach time, and a chance to plan for the future in a fun way!

7. Road Trip to Arizona

Arizona is an outdoor adventurist’s playground. The dramatic red rock cliffs, iconic national parks, and free vibe of the state make it the perfect spot for a spring break getaway with friends. Rent a mountain bike and hit the trails of Monument Valley. Enjoy a sunset picnic at Cathedral Rock in Sedona. Take part in watersports on Lake Powell, or hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. If you love the great outdoors, Native American history, desert landscapes, and freedom, you can’t do better than an Arizona road trip.

8. Wine Trails of California

Consider yourself a budding oenophile? Then head for Napa Valley and book a trip on the Wine Train. You might need the parents to chip in a few dollars for this one, as it’s not a super cheap trip. You’ll enjoy a window seat on a luxurious train that travels throughout the region, stopping at multiple wineries for tours and tastings.

If you can’t swing the cost of the Wine Train, no big deal. Look on WorkAway and see if you can find a winery or vineyard to work at for your spring break. You and a friend can tuck some vines for an hour a day in exchange for a nice place to stay and an education in the entire process of winemaking.

9. Local Ale Trails

Most major cities have a host of craft breweries these days. Take a few friends. Get your (ale) passport and hop along your local ale trail. Generally, you will visit several breweries and sometimes distilleries along a marked road trip. At every stop, you’ll get a passport stamp, and often, you receive a little something once you complete the entire ale trail. Just make sure you have a designated driver.

10. Bucket List Checkoff

What is that one thing you’ve been meaning to do for months (or years)? Perhaps you have a few things on the list? Now is a great time to check them off. Whether it’s skydiving, trying fresh calamari, or reading War and Peace, utilize your spring break free time to accomplish it. If you don’t have a bucket list, now is kind of the perfect time to make one. After college, you will hopefully have some more free time and a little money of your own to spend as you wish, so you might as well get ahead of the game and start adding fun things to your to-do list!

11. Costa Rica Adventure

March is the dry season in Costa Rica and the perfect time to visit. This little Central American nation is one of the most biodiverse environments on earth for both flora and fauna. It’s the cleanest and safest country in Central America, and it’s very easy to navigate. There are hundreds of English-speaking tours spanning a wide range of wildlife river floats, volcano ATV adventures, hanging bridges in the Cloud Forest, bungee jumping from jungle platforms, and night walks in the jungle. Whether you go as a tourist or a volunteer in one of the nature centers, you will see incredible wildlife, hang on some of the most laidback beaches in the world, and enjoy some of the earth’s best scenery. The list of fun things to do here is neverending, and the food is pretty tasty too!

12. Lounge Days in Puerto Rico

If you’re looking for carefree days on the beach, adventures in the jungle, fabulous seafood, a vibrant culture, and an easy trip, look no further than Puerto Rico. This little Caribbean island is an unincorporated territory of the United States, and citizens don’t need a passport to visit. You can enjoy a tram tour through historic Old San Juan and its mega forts, eat delicious Spanish-inspired food, hang out at the popular beach clubs of Carolina, try out those crazy water jets, go kitesurfing, or zipline and chase waterfalls in the only tropical rainforest on U.S. territory. It’s a beautiful island, and flights are generally pretty cheap from the mainland.

13. Scoping a Future Job City

Believe it or not, your college years will go by fast, and soon, it will be time to get a real job and figure out where you want to live. If you have a few options in mind, take the free time you have on spring break to check out one of the possible cities. Tour apartments and find out what’s going to be available in your price range. Visit your possible future company and shadow a staff member for the day. Take a walking tour and get a working knowledge of the history and layout of the city. Join a food tour to find all the best restaurants. Hop on a Let’s Roam bar crawl and explore the city’s nightlife options. Meet a few locals and start working on connections.

While thinking about the rigors of adult life might be the last thing you want to do on your spring break, touring a possible future home is actually a wise call. Not only will you have an awesome time in a new city, but you’re getting valuable research done and making connections too!

14. Spa Trip With the Besties

There’s nothing more relaxing than a spa day… except maybe a spa week! If your semester has been really stressful, consider packing your bags, inviting a few friends, and heading for the nearest spa city. Hop over to Jimez, Nex Mexico, and lounge in the natural hot springs. Visit the historic bathhouses of Hot Springs, Arkansas, or hang in boutique spas of Sedona, Arizona. Enjoy a long soak in a salted tub and paint yourself with one of those green face masks. Get a massage, a manicure, and a few glasses of champagne. Relax and recuperate with your best buds on spring break!

15. First Timer’s Trip to Italy

Italy in March is divine! The tourist season hasn’t started yet, but the weather is generally nice enough to walk around town with a good jacket. The lines are not so long. The prices are a bit cheaper, and it’s just much more enjoyable.

If you can convince the parents or grandparents to chip in on your grand adventure, grab a friend and take a backpacking trip. If you plan early and spend your money wisely, you can do it for less than $1500 and still get to see everything on your bucket list. For a first-timer’s trip, we recommend visiting Venice, Florence, Rome, and Naples or Sorrento, with day trips to the Isle of Capri, Pisa, and Pompeii. This itinerary gives you a good taste of what Italy has to offer, and if you leave a day early, you can spend two nights in each city, which is a whirlwind, but it works!

Family-Friendly Trips With Friends

If you have tweens or teens at home, the idea of a spring break trip with the whole family might sound like more of a nightmare to them than a retreat. If your kiddos seem a little less than thrilled about your spring break plans, consider allowing each of them to bring along a friend or plan a joint trip with another family who has kids their age. Having friends present at this age can totally change the behavior of teens and make the trip more enjoyable for the whole clan. Here are a few trip ideas that are easy to bring extras along.

16. Cruise With a Friend

Cruise lines have really upped their game in the last decade to make their trips more kid-friendly, especially in the tween and teen areas. Major cruise lines now have teen-only arcades, swimming areas, nightclubs, and excursions, giving them some freedom with their friends in a controlled and safe environment. It’s the best of both worlds. You can enjoy a cocktail in a deck chair and know that they’re having fun in a zone made just for them.

17. Staycation in the Backyard

Not every parent can get away for spring break. Unfortunately, that season of life doesn’t transfer into the working world. If you can’t plan a vacation in March, you can still make it a special week for your kids and their friends. Plan a fun staycation camping trip. Let your kids invite some friends for a sleepover in a backyard tent or a living room fort. Bring out the board games, giant yard games, or hire a bounce house. Set up an obstacle course or allow the kids to make a tasty treat in the kitchen. No matter how much or how little you do, your kiddos will love having their friends over for a day or two of staycation, so don’t stress over it. Movie marathons with popcorn are totally acceptable!

18. Scavenger Hunt of Your Hometown

Let’s Roam offers fun-filled scavenger hunts in more than 400 cities worldwide, and the list is growing every day. They’re the perfect day trip for a group of young friends. They’ll explore a limited area on a walking adventure filled with challenging trivia and hilarious video and photo scenarios. They can compete with other groups in a city-wide challenge and share their adventures on social media. The hunts are generally contained within a 1-2-mile radius. Older kids may be able to do them on their own, while younger ones will need a chaperone. Check out all our hunts and choose one or two in your area!

19. Museums of Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., is a great option for spring break. Grab a friend or two and head for the nation’s capital for a little education under the guise of fun. Kids can peruse the quirky National Museum of American History, visit the National Air and Space Museum, and the International Spy Museum. The great things about Washington, D.C., for kids are that everything is very contained and walkable, and all the fabulous Smithsonian museums are free to visit!


Spring Breaking With Friends

There you have it, the top 19 things to do on spring break with friends! Whether you’re planning a week away from home or need ideas for a fun staycation, we hope you found something fun on this list. Let us know in the comments where you’re heading!

Planning Note: Spring break is coming fast, you guys! To get the best deals, you need to be booking your trip now. So, don’t wait a second more. Choose one of these great spring break ideas and start planning with your friend group today!

Have you taken a spring break trip in the past that you loved? Don’t keep it to yourself. Share your awesome experience with the rest of us! Just drop it in the comments. We always love hearing from you!


Frequently Asked Questions

What are some fun spring break ideas for friends?

Looking for something unique to do with your friends this spring break? Grab a copy of Adventures From Scratch: Friend Edition and choose one of our 50+ adventures!

What can you do with friends on spring break?

Spring break is a great time to get away with friends! Consider taking a whirlwind backpacking trip to Italy, volunteering in Costa Rica, or exploring the great outdoors in Arizona!

What to do when you’re bored on spring break?

If spring break is proving more boring than thrilling, grab some friends and plan a themed party, visit your local amusement parks, or take a camping trip to your nearest state park!

What to do if you can’t get away for spring break?

If you can’t get away for spring break, don’t worry; you can still have plenty of fun! Get creative and pull off a party in your backyard. Get out and see the city on a scavenger hunt tour!

Friends

Keys to Maintaining Adult Friendships

adult-friendships

Making and maintaining adult friendships comes with a series of hurdles to jump. Several years ago, I left my very stable community, sold everything I owned, and set out on an adventure of full-time travel with my husband. It was only then that I realized just how important my best friends were to my mental health and sense of self. While naturally an independent person, I don’t rely on anyone else for much, but being away from the people who I had done life with for years made me realize I had drastically taken for granted their influence in my life.

While my experience is different than most, it boils down to the same simple truth…adult life is busy, and adult friendships take major work to maintain. If you are blessed to have a couple of good friends in your life, you have probably noticed that as you age, get deep into your careers, and build families, your friendships move to the back burner. Multiple research studies show that having a supportive social circle is a pertinent part of good physical and mental health, so losing contact with friends isn’t something we should just accept. Let’s take a look at a few simple ways to nurture your close friendships during the busy years.


Do something unexpected with your besties!

To maintain healthy friendships, you have to spend at least a little time together. Finding adventures for adults can be difficult; that’s why we created Adventures From Scratch: Friends Edition. Our adventure book includes over 50 friend outings! We’ve included a variety of excursions, from nights at home in your comfy pants to fun day trips. Just grab the book, call your bestie, scratch off an adventure, and enjoy! We’ve also included conversation starters and scrapbooking space for you to document your time together. If your adult friendships are lacking a bit lately, grab your copy now.


How to Maintain Adult Friendships

What the last few years of long-distance friendships have taught me is that real relationships, romantic or platonic, take work. If you want your social network to be a strong and stable one, you have to put in the effort. And trust us: You do want health-boosting friendships in your life. Here are a few tried and true tips to help you protect your relationships with your true friends.

1. Keep your expectations realistic.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already come to the realization that your concept of friendship as an adult has to be tweaked a little bit. Your friendships aren’t going to look like they did in high school. That doesn’t mean they can’t be mutually beneficial and healthy, but you need to be realistic. Not every person you attempt to connect with is going to be a good friend match. Not all of your friends are in a place where they can devote time and energy to friendships.

While pouring more intention into your closest friends, just remember that they might not be in the same headspace as you right now. It doesn’t mean they don’t love you and appreciate the effort. No busy adult is going to be able to drop their schedule and meet up every time you get the inkling. You will need to plan ahead more than you did when you were young, and you need to expect a “no” or “maybe some other time.”

Try not to get insulted or frustrated. The best way to avoid hurt feelings is to avoid planning or dreaming about meetups before you consult your friend. Don’t spend two days planning this amazing night out in your head and then contact your bestie. That’s a recipe for disappointment.

On the flip side, if a friend is consistently not interested in setting aside time for you, it might be time to move on from that friendship. You’re not a doormat. You’re valuable. Your time is of worth, and your friendship is valuable. Don’t waste it on those who aren’t interested.

2. Make friendship a priority.

The harsh truth that nobody wants to admit is that having no time for friendship is pretty rare. Most people have time to pick up the phone; they just don’t. Case in point, my best friend works a full-time job running her own farm. Her husband has a separate business that she does all the finances for. She has four children ranging from an infant to two tweens, and they’re all involved in multiple sports and extracurriculars (aside from the infant). Her life is the epitome of busy. We still speak multiple times a week, and we make time for game nights and shopping together. How? Well, we make it a non-negotiable priority.

Yes, there are times when we can’t get together as much as we want. There are weeks (or months) when it just can’t happen. However, there are also weeks that I go watch her son’s basketball game just so I can spend an hour with her. There are times when I pick up her favorite Sonic drink and take it to her on lunch break so I can hug and show her that she is seen and important. Close friendships, like romantic relationships, must be made a priority in order to be successful.

3. Don’t ask for more than you’re willing to give.

Friendship is a two-way street. Sometimes you give more than you get, and sometimes it’s the opposite. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as one person isn’t doing all the giving, all the time. Friendship, like most of life, is a “you get what you give” kind of thing. If you never pick up the phone, don’t expect them to. If you never put aside other activities to make time for them, don’t expect them to either.

4. Choose your circle of friends carefully.

If your intention is to build healthy relationships, you need to choose wisely, especially when trying to make new friends. You don’t need a large group of friends. You have less time now to devote to friendship, and you need to focus on the ones that enhance your life. Think about the people who encourage you, give you honest feedback, make you laugh from the depths of your belly, and show up at 3 am when your house is on fire. These are the people you dedicate your time and effort to. Let everyone else be a casual acquaintance. Remember: You can’t devote the necessary time and effort needed for a strong friendship to more than a few people.

5. Schedule the time on your calendar.

Unfortunately, in the adult world, you often have to schedule your hangouts around youth soccer games, work trips, and community responsibilities. Spoiler alert: If you aren’t married, you might find the same applies to your date nights. In order to prioritize friendships, whip out a calendar, call your besties, and schedule time to spend together. Once it’s on the calendar, move heaven and earth to keep the appointment.

6. Be the kind of friend you want to have.

Think about the aspects of friendship that you value and the things that you expect your close friends to deliver. Then, deliver on those things for them. If you want friends that are there through thick and thin, you have to be that kind of friend, plain and simple.

7. Take ownership of the communication.

It stinks to always be the one who makes the call, but if your friend’s life is busier than yours, you may have to. You’re probably not interrupting anything. You’re not a pain in the butt, and you’re not a burden. They likely appreciate the effort, even if they don’t have much time to talk at the moment. Make the call. Send the text just to let them know you’re thinking of them. The more you communicate with your old friends, the more you both crave that conversation, and the more likely it is to happen again soon. When your friendships are “out of sight, out of mind,” it’s easy to forget how important they are. Keep communication at the forefront.

8. Think outside the box.

Hanging out with adult friends takes some creativity! Perhaps you offer to go get their grocery pick-up, arrange a joint babysitter so you can have dinner out, or utilize kid’s night at your local church so you can head to the coffee shop for an hour. The point is, it doesn’t have to be a full girl’s weekend for you to have meaningful time with your friend. Your get-togethers may have to look different than they used to. They might be short and occur at a weird time of day, but the effort is worth it!

9. Utilize technology.

While there are certainly downfalls to everyone being glued to their phone and spending hours scrolling through social media, technology does make communication easier in some ways. If you know that you can’t get together with your friends for a while, make a point to send them some funny memes, a relateable TikTok, or a blog article you think they will love. These little gestures keep you connected even when you aren’t together.

10. Be open and honest.

While vulnerability is a hard trait to master, most people are intensely drawn to those who are open and honest about their feelings. There’s just something refreshing and enviable about a person who is confident enough in themselves to be open. You don’t have time for phony, and you don’t have time for surface-level relationships. Be open to difficult and meaningful conversations, and be honest about what you expect from a friendship. Be honest in your opinions and your friendship advice. Present it lovingly, of course. Nobody wants to be beaten over the head with the truth. It might put you out of your comfort zone at first, but when you find a trustworthy friend, strive to be open with them.

11. Don’t let one failure lead to more.

Just because you missed one opportunity doesn’t mean you have to call it a failure. So you meant to plan a day trip for your bestie’s birthday, and you let the time get away from you. These kinds of things happen in real life. That doesn’t mean you can’t snag a quick gift they’ll love and take it over. Remember, you aren’t perfect, and your friendships aren’t going to be either. Just because you failed at communication last week doesn’t mean you give up on this week. Just pick back up and try again.

12. Do the little things.

Adult friendships are often based on little loving gestures. It might be all you have time for. A text message, a birthday card in the mail, or an offering to babysit so they can go on a date make all the difference. These little things show your friend that you care, and they are vitally important.

13. Strive for safety and reliability.

A good friend is a person that you can trust with your deepest feelings and your most intimate thoughts. Be a wall, not a gate. Any information that comes to you should stay inside your walls and not be passed on. Be a safe place for your friends, a place where they know they can come for advice and encouragement, not judgment or gossip.

People value reliability. When you make plans, try everything not to cancel. When your friend is in need, drop what you’re doing and make them a priority. Basically, show up for the people you love.

14. Give a little encouragement.

We all have enough judging eyes on us every day. Whether it’s demanding spouses, overbearing bosses, or needy children, most adults are burdened with the expectations of others in one way or another. Be the kind of person your friends can come to for a positive word. Don’t lie or be phony with empty compliments or faulty advice, but be the kind of friend that points out your people’s strengths and speaks positivity into those areas. Your close friends should know that you are a place where they will be accepted and pushed to be better. True friendships should encourage and challenge us to be the best versions of ourselves.

15. Get good at meaningful conversation.

If we’re honest, most of us could use a little help in the conversation department, especially in the days of smartphones and pandemic isolation. When you get a rare moment to spend with your adult friends, make the conversation meaningful by not shying away from tough questions. When your friend is talking, position yourself facing them with an open body posture and good eye contact. Practice active listening, meaning that you repeat important things they say, never interrupt them, and ask open-ended questions to clarify what your friend is saying.

Don’t shy away from difficult subjects. Don’t try to dominate the conversation, and take mental notes of your friend’s likes and dislikes as you speak. These little notes come in handy later on when you want to give a gift or make a special gesture.

16. Respect their personal space.

Be confident in yourself and in the nature of your true friendships. With demanding jobs, families, and responsibilities, no responsible adult needs a codependent friend. Make contact, keep up communication, and make an effort to spend time together, but if your friend just can’t right now, then respect their personal space. You and your closest friends are likely opposites in a lot of ways. Try to respect their personality, their boundaries, and their time.

Fun Ideas for Spending Time With Friends

Need a few ideas for spending time with adult friends? Get creative and look for activities that don’t take much time, a big budget, or too much planning. Small meetups are better than nothing!

Early Coffee Shop Date

The only time you have might be early in the morning before work. Take advantage of it and meet your bestie for coffee.

Quick Lunch at Their Workplace

If you have families and busy jobs, then your 30-minute lunch break might be the only chance you have to hang out. Take advantage of it.

Day Trip

While small activities are great, you should try to schedule some real quality time away from the normal, everyday stresses every once in a while. Once a year or so, try to schedule a spa day or road trip to your closest national park together.

Friends Weekend

This one probably won’t happen much, but if you get a long weekend, try to get away together. Spend the weekend in a nice hotel. Watch movies that make you laugh or schedule activities that you both love. Doing this just once a year can make a huge difference, not just in your friendship but in your overall well-being.

Double Date

Sometimes it’s easier to get together if you bring the whole clan along. Hiring a sitter for both sets of kiddos is cheaper, and you won’t have to deal with any whining from the spouses. Choose something that allows for a good conversation, like dinner and a game of mini-golf.

Dog Walking Outing

Everybody has to walk the dog. Plan to meet your bestie in the local dog park or at the end of their driveway and do it together. It’s an easy way to get in some good quality time while doing a daily chore you have to do anyway.

Cooperative Chores

When I had a home, my best friend and I used to spend time together doing chores. I would go to her house, and we would knock out her cleaning, and then she would come help me weed my flower beds. Good conversation makes yucky chores more enjoyable.

Playdates

If you can’t get away from the kiddos realistically, just schedule your hangouts with friends at the local playground. The kids can run and laugh and climb, and you can enjoy a few adult minutes.

Alternating Dinner Nights

This Friday, I will cook, and we can play games at our house while the kids watch a movie. Next week, we do it at your house.

Special Event Celebrations

Birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays are the perfect time to show your friends some love. Whether you plan a surprise party, throw a dinner soiree, or just show up at their job with a present, don’t let the big days go by without acknowledgment.


Closing Thoughts

We hope this article has given you some ideas and encouragement on pursuing adult friendships. They certainly come with a whole new set of challenges, but solid, life-giving adult friendships are possible with a little work. Choose your friends wisely. Be realistic about what you expect to get and what you can give, and enjoy the little moments! Adult friendships do look different, but their benefits actually make the rest of your life more fruitful and enjoyable. Good friendships decrease social isolation, let you know that you aren’t alone in this stage of life, and give you the encouragement and support you need to thrive in tough times. A true friend is worth their weight in gold!

How do you and your friends keep your relationships healthy? Share your wisdom with us in the comments!

Are you struggling to make friends as an adult? Try some tips from “How to Make Friends as an Adult (And Why You Should!)

Still not convinced that friendships are that important in this stage of life? Check out “The Benefits of Having a Best Friend.”


Frequently Asked Questions

How do you maintain friendships over time?

Maintaining adult friendships requires work and devotion. Plan ahead and schedule activities in advance, get creative and utilize small time slots, and commit to open, honest communication.

Why is maintaining friendships so difficult?

Maintaining adult friendships is difficult due to the increase in other responsibilities, a social fallacy that adult friendships aren’t important, and a lack of prioritizing friendships.

How do you spend time with adult friends?

Devoting time to adult friendships takes understanding, effort, and creativity. Check out Adventures From Scratch: Friends Edition for some fun and simple hangout ideas!

Friends

How to Make Friends as an Adult (And Why You Should!)

how-to-make-friends-as-an-adult

Making friends as an adult is daunting for many. First of all, who has the time to devote to cultivating new relationships? Secondly, where do you even start? It just seems overwhelming emotionally and physically, and is it even necessary? As children, our parents and mentors are concerned about our development, and they stress the importance of making friends, but once the days of Hide and Go Seek are over, are friends really that necessary?

Experts say, exuberantly, yes! Close friendships and a supportive social network have been linked to improved physical and mental health in adults. That being said, let’s take a hard look at how to make friends as an adult and bust down some of the barriers holding you back!


Make Friends With Adventures From Scratch

Here at Adventures From Scratch, we know it can be hard to make friends as an adult! That’s why we created our scratch-off adventure book totally devoted to strengthening your friendships. It has over 50 fun challenges specially designed to help you connect on a meaningful level. The challenges range from laid-back days in to wild nights out, and we’ve even included helpful conversation starters and a scrapbook feature so you can relive your favorite memories. Sometimes, all you need to spark a new friendship is something fun to do. Snag a copy today!


The Importance of Making Friends as an Adult

As mentioned, research shows that healthy friendships can lead to improved physical health. A study by Mayo Clinic has shown that adults with a supportive social network have lower levels of depression, healthier weight, and healthier blood pressure levels. Obviously, these parallels are general and don’t take into account the outliers of bad genetics, but the correlation still stands.

A stable network of close friends has multiple mental health benefits as well. According to an article by Psych Central, having close friendships decreases isolation, lowers stress levels, and improves self-esteem. True friends are there during times of trouble, offer a sounding board for when you need to vent, and provide comradery that improves your overall well-being. They also might babysit your kids so you can actually go out on a date… perk!

For a more detailed synopsis of the importance of a stable social circle, check out “The Benefits of Having a Best Friend.”

How to Make Friends as an Adult

1. Seek those with common interests.

People tend to gravitate to friendships based on similar interests. If you’re going to spend time together, it’s good to enjoy the same activities, after all. One of the best places to look for new friends is while you’re out doing what you already love. Introduce yourself to people at the gym. Join a hiking group while you’re out on the trails. Join a book club and invite someone from it to the coffee shop afterward. If you have a spiritual home, join a group at your church or place of worship, or sign up to play on an intramural sports team. Whatever you love, use it as a place to meet potential friends. Being in a group of people makes it easier to scope out others. You can get a feel for someone before you decide if you want to pursue a friendship.

2. Chill out on the phone obsession.

It seems the whole world is glued to a screen these days, and the social distancing of the pandemic has only made it worse. A growing number of people don’t even know how to have a conversation without a keyboard anymore. In order to make new friendships, stop scrolling and appear open to conversation when you’re in public. Just presenting yourself as approachable can make all the difference in how people interact with you.

3. Make the first move.

The hardest part of meeting new friends is overcoming the barrier of introduction. Someone has to wave, smile, or initiate conversation, and that takes many people out of their comfort zone. We envision we’ll look awkward or insane and that the person on the other end will ignore us. It’s like we all have collective social anxiety. However, rejection like this rarely happens. People are generally in the same boat as you. They would love to receive an invitation; they’re just uncomfortable being the initiator.

Don’t make it more difficult than it is. Just say hello. Ask their name and introduce yourself, or start with a compliment: “I really love your coat” or “you make that look easy.” Don’t be inauthentic, but when you truly admire something about a person, let them know. It opens the conversation on a positive note and makes them more likely to trust you.

If you have a nice conversation with someone, don’t close it out and walk away. Instead, pay attention during the conversation for hints about what they like, and then ask if they would like to join you in that activity sometime. It’s very common to leave a great conversation and then second-guess yourself on how it went. By making it known that you would love to hang out, you put the other person at ease and make future connections more likely.

4. Be yourself.

There’s no use in pretending. Healthy friendships are based on honesty and trust. We’re all busy, and nobody has time to get to know someone and invest in a relationship only to find out months later that they’re not who they said they were. Don’t waste your time or the time of others. The goal is to find a person or two whom you have a true connection with and can be yourself around.

5. Utilize a friendship app.

There are several great apps out there that help you meet people. They work similarly to dating apps, only for platonic relationships. The purpose is to connect people with similar interests and locations. They’ll also often suggest activities, host get-togethers, etc. BFF, Bumble, and Wink are all popular friend-making apps.

These apps are great for whittling down the massive pool of people to a few good options. You can converse through the app for a while and then decide if you want to meet in person. For introverts, this method works well. By the time you meet in real life, you’ll already have several conversations under your belt, making it much easier!

6. Accept invitations… even when you don’t feel like it.

The other most common hurdle to forming adult friendships is overcoming the busyness and tiredness that our crazy schedules impose on us. We all make excuses for why we can’t go to drinks after work, see that basketball game on the weekend, or join that fun cooking class. While not wanting to wear real pants on Saturday is valid, before you know it, years have gone by, and you’ve missed out on all the fun parts of adult life.

There’s so much more to life than Netflix and couch days, and almost every time you agree to go out with friends, you’ll have a good time. So, accept the invitation! Show up, and 99.9% of the time, it will be well worth the effort. You can’t find a life partner without going on a date, and you can’t find a best friend without spending time with people.

7. Join a group activity.

For some introverts, the idea of a large group is very intimidating, and you might do better one-on-one, but for others, being in a group setting takes some of the pressure off. You don’t have to hold the conversation on your own, and there is more than one person to talk to if you don’t mesh well with your first attempt.

If you have met someone new that you think could be a future friend, invite them to hang out with you and an already established friend. In a similar manner to double dating, having a mutual friend or a person you already know in the mix can make things less awkward for everyone. While we are on that topic, friends of friends often make the best matches. So, next time your coworker or best friend invites you to go somewhere with a group, go! You’ll likely have something in common with their crowd, and it will make it easier to bond.

8. Don’t overdo it.

In reality, while you may or may not have a wide social circle, true friends are few and far between. Having one or two close friends is normal. Everyone else is generally just an added bonus. Focus on the quality of your friendship rather than the quantity. Adult friendships have to work around marriages, jobs, children, and community responsibilities. You can’t devote the necessary time and effort that meaningful friendship requires to much more than a couple of people.

9. Keep your expectations reasonable.

Adult friendships often look very different than your high school ones did. Again, this comes down to busyness. If you’re truly looking to form deeper relationships, take the schedule of your intended friend and your own into account. Don’t pour your emotions and efforts into a friendship with someone who just doesn’t really have time right now. You’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, set realistic expectations, and let the relationship develop naturally. Be open and make the effort, but know that not every person you meet and initiate a conversation with is going to become your new best friend.

10. Volunteer with a cause you love.

What better way to find a compatible friend than to meet others who share the same passion as you? The things we choose to volunteer our precious time to usually have an important place in our hearts, so it makes sense that hooking up with those who have that same passion is likely to work out well. If nothing else, you’ll have shared experiences to base your first couple of conversations on, which makes the initial hangouts easier. While you’re volunteering, pay attention to others in your group, and ask someone to hang out one-on-one afterward.

11. Schedule meetups and follow through.

Once you have met someone at work or in a group event and you hit it off, don’t hesitate to plan your next meetup. Don’t just say, “We should hang out sometime.” Instead, be specific and proactive. Go with something like, “So, a coworker and myself are having drinks tomorrow night at 6; would you like to join us? I think you two would really hit it off.” If they say yes, get their phone number and text them the location and details immediately. The next day, text them to let them know you’re looking forward to hanging out with them.

If you make plans with someone, give every effort to follow through on them. Nobody likes to be stood up. It never fails that when we put a hangout on the calendar, something will come up, or you’ll not feel like going. Hop the hurdle and make it happen. Integrity and showing up for the other person are important parts of any relationship.

12. Make good friends by being a good friend.

While we are discussing integrity, let’s hit a few more important aspects of friendship. It’s important to remember that a relationship is a two-way street. You aren’t the only one in the scenario that is searching.

When you’re conversing with a new potential friend, practice active listening. Be engaged in the conversation. Ask questions about their lives, and pay attention to the answers. Make mental notes on their likes and dislikes. Try your best to be available when they need you. Initiate contact regularly, and strive to be the kind of friend that people feel safe around. Be the friend that offers encouragement, seeks to see others succeed, and offers a helping hand.

13. Reconnect with old friends.

There’s no written rule that your childhood friends can’t carry over into adult ones. While the early 20s are a common time to lose track of old friends, that doesn’t mean it has to stay so. Childhood friends know us in a way that’s hard to reproduce in adulthood. You share a common heritage and the memories of your formative years, and you likely know each other’s families and have many mutual friends. Those bonds are hard to replicate. If you once had a healthy childhood friendship, why not reach out and try to rekindle it?

For a few tips on pursuing relationships with former friends, check out “15 Ways to Reconnect With Old Friends.”

14. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.

Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to form stable and trusting relationships without putting yourself out there emotionally. Taking a small risk of rejection is often necessary to form lasting relationships. If you really like someone, don’t be afraid to tell them so. Don’t be weird about it. You don’t need to declare your undying love from the rooftops or anything, but people love to be appreciated and know they are valued.

If you love spending time with a coworker, tell them so, and then ask if they want to go for drinks. If your partner in your cooking class has you rolling every week, tell her that she always makes you smile, and ask if she wants to hang out on Friday night. It will feel awkward in the moment, but the payoffs are worth it. We are all drawn to open and honest people. They tend to make us feel safe, so putting yourself out there for a minute might just be the moment that leads to your next great friendship.

15. Use social media interest groups.

Perhaps you don’t have a lot of time to devote to an in-person group, or maybe there aren’t that many options in your hometown. Try a special interest group on Facebook. There are groups for gardeners, travelers, fans of certain sports teams, book clubs, parenting groups, and just about everything else under the sun. Join in. It’s easy. It doesn’t take much time, and you can start conversations with people that at least share one common passion with you. Who knows where it will go from there?

16. Join a senior citizen’s center.

If you’re a mature adult looking for new companions, you aren’t alone. If the loss of a spouse or friend has left you feeling lonely or you no longer have the company of coworkers to keep you socialized, consider joining a senior citizen’s center. The good ones arrange group tours to nearby tourist attractions, gaming days, and much more. Senior citizen’s centers are the perfect place to meet others who are in the same life stage as you, and they present a great opportunity to get out of the house to do something fun. Retirement doesn’t have to equal isolation and boredom. Some retired adults also find friends by picking up a part-time, post-retirement job doing something they enjoy.

17. Don’t downplay your worth.

You are an individual with amazing gifts and talents, and you have something to offer that other people need. If life events have in some way made you feel that you aren’t valued or that your companionship is unwanted, know that that isn’t true. There are millions of people just like you who are looking for a good friend. Put yourself out there as the awesome person you are, and surround yourself with people who appreciate you for being that person. Drop the rest. If they don’t get how cool you are, that’s their loss.

You might not be the life of the party. You might be awkward in conversation, or maybe you have never been popular. These are not prerequisites to having meaningful friendships. People just want to be seen, encouraged, and appreciated. If you can provide that for a friend, you have everything you need.


Closing Thoughts

It’s common to lose sight of the importance of friendship as careers, families, and adult responsibilities set in. You aren’t the only one. Making new friends in adulthood feels overwhelming for most people. However, don’t make it harder than it is. Put yourself in situations where you have the greatest chance of meeting like-minded people, and be open-minded. Not everyone you approach is going to turn into a pal, but no harm no foul.

With realistic expectations, a positive attitude, and a little effort, we’re sure you can build a fruitful social circle with people you love and who make you laugh. The biggest hurdle is just making the first move, so don’t delay any longer. Hop on social media and connect with an old friend today. Ask a coworker over to watch the game this weekend or join a group. The best time to start is now.

What’s your favorite way to make friends as an adult? Share your wisdom in the comments!

Looking for a fun activity to do with friends? Check out one of our amazing city scavenger hunts! We have hunts in more than 400 cities, and they’re perfect for a team of two buds or a whole clan of friends.

Resources

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, January 12). The health benefits of good friends. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved January 22, 2023, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/friendships/art-20044860

Barkley, S. (2022, December 9). Why are friendships important? 9 health benefits. Psych Central. Retrieved January 22, 2023, from https://psychcentral.com/relationships/benefits-of-friendship#maintaining-friendships


Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make friends as an adult?

It’s common to feel overwhelmed at the thought of making new friends. Put yourself in situations where you’ll meet like-minded people. Join a sports team, church group, or volunteer group!

What are some things to do with a new friend?

Looking for fun friend adventures? Check out Adventures From Scratch: Friend Edition. It’s loaded with fun scratch-off challenges, conversation starters, and much more!

Why is it so hard to make friends as an adult?

Many adults feel they lack solid friendships. This is mostly due to past hurts leading to a lack of trust, busy schedules, and the flawed assumption that adults don’t really need friends.

Friends

The Benefits of Having a Best Friend

benefits-of-having-a-best-friend

Best friends are the ones who make us laugh from that deep place in our souls. They’re our ride-or-die compadres and our solace in hard times. The benefits of having a best friend in your life are numerous, but not all friends are created equal. A healthy support network contains various levels of social connections. These social connections can include casual work acquaintances, family members, church groups, community organizations, and close friends, with each providing a different level of social support. They all have a place in your life. But having a best friend is infinitely more valuable. That relationship provides a level of intimacy and honesty that contributes to healthy self-esteem, increased physical health, and overall improved well-being. That’s only if your bestie is a good friend. Let’s take a look at what attributes are necessary for a healthy friendship and a few reasons why you need a good best friend!


Nurturing Your Closest Friendship With Adventures From Scratch

Before you can reap the benefits of having a best friend, you need to spend quality time together. That’s why we created our new adventure book solely focused on friendship! Adventures From Scratch: Friends Edition highlights over 50 amazing adventures! Enjoy in-home crafts and weekend getaways that you can experience with your friend group. Just gather your besties, scratch off an adventure, and let the fun ensue!


What to Look For in a Great Friend

Whether you’re the life of the party with a huge social circle or a total introvert hell-bent on making it on your own, if you’re honest with yourself, there are times when you really need a trusted confidant to share life with. However, not just anyone will do. While there are scores of benefits to healthy friendships that we will get to later, an abusive or neglectful friendship can do equal amounts of damage to self-worth and, in some cases, even cause health problems due to the increase in stress. So, what should you look for in a healthy friendship? We obviously all have different preferences in our friends, but here are a few universal tenants to bear in mind.

Good friends listen well.

Your best friend should be someone who provides a listening ear, allowing you to vent and speak before offering solutions or judgment. In tough times, we often just need someone to sit in supportive silence with us. A healthy friend relationship provides a safe space for you to get it out.

They will encourage you.

A good best friend brings out the best in you. They encourage your passions and reinforce your self-worth by pointing out your talents and encouraging you to pursue your dreams.

Even if it’s hard, they tell the truth.

Honesty is integral in a best-friend relationship. You may have several close friends who just tend to agree and go along with you, but you need at least one friend who will tell you the hard truth when you’re off track. A best friend should be someone who loves you enough to confront you when you’re wrong, but it should be done out of love and a true desire to see you succeed, not out of malice or superiority.

Good friends help carry your burdens.

A good friend is willing to get in the muck with you. Life is dirty and difficult sometimes, and a true friend shows up in those moments, ready to offer emotional support. They don’t shy away from the difficult stuff. If need be, they’ll spend time outside their comfort zone, just for your benefit.

They will defend you.

Close friendships are based on mutual respect and love. If your best friend participates in gossip about you when you aren’t around or they refuse to defend you when others attack, this is a big red flag! It can break down your sense of belonging and cause immense pain.

They make you laugh.

Laughter is an important ingredient to overall health and well-being. A good best friend is someone who makes you laugh regularly! We aren’t saying you need to gravitate toward comedians or the life of the party. But generally, a best friend has inside jokes and a way about them that just makes you smile.

Good friends are trustworthy.

You should be able to tell your best friend anything and trust that it will not leave the circle… unless that bit of information is dangerous to you or to someone else. Is your friend repeatedly sharing intimate information about you with your friend group? Be careful about how intimate you get with them in the future.

They allow you to be yourself.

You shouldn’t feel the need to change yourself in any way when in the presence of your best friend. Your bestie should be one of the few people on earth that you can be 100% authentic with.

Good friends bring peace, not drama.

If you find that you have high blood pressure after every meet-up with a certain friend, check yourself. Time with your best friend should leave you feeling rejuvenated, not stressed out. Evaluate your friendship often. Does it bring encouragement, peace, and refreshment to your inner being? Or does it increase your stress level? If you find yourself feeling drained after every meeting, you’re probably dealing with a friendship that isn’t mutually beneficial.

A good friendship should be mutually beneficial.

Lastly, as we just hinted at, a strong friendship should be beneficial to both parties. If one side of the friendship is always in crisis and the other side is always on emotional support duty, that’s an unfair relationship. It might even be bordering on abusive. You’re looking for an equal exchange of ideas, support, and time.

The Benefits of Having a Best Friend

1. Decreases Social Isolation

Having a large number of friends does not equate to feeling accepted and known. Some of the loneliest people on earth are the life of the party. If you go home from a hangout feeling lonely, the social ties you have are not fulfilling your need for connectedness. Having just one best friend who shares the ins and outs of your life, in an authentic way, offers a sense of comfort and connectedness. We all need that. Having that one person who just gets you makes you feel valued. The feeling of loneliness just melts away.

2. Increases Your Sense of Purpose

A best friend who relies on you increases your sense of purpose. Remember that friendships should be mutually beneficial. And while you’re providing emotional support for your friend, you’re also meeting your desire to feel needed and consulted. Being someone’s best friend affords you the opportunity to encourage, care for, and help someone else through the difficulties of life.

3. Increases Self-Confidence

An encouraging best friend naturally increases your self-worth. You have a loved one who knows you inside and out, and that person thinks you are capable and of value. Having a few people in your life who reinforce your capabilities when you’re doubting yourself is invaluable to one’s self-esteem.

4. Supports Your Mental Health

When a person must wade through all their emotions and difficulties alone, it can lead to major mental stress, not to mention one-sided solutions. Having a stable best friend to bounce ideas off of and offer solid advice is a major relief. Not only do best friends help relieve stress and loneliness, which affect mental health, but they also offer different perspectives that can help you make better life decisions.

5. Maintains Physical Health

According to Mayo Clinic, adults who have strong social relationships don’t experience as many health problems as those who are isolated. A stable social network can help prevent depression, control high blood pressure, and even lead to a healthier weight. Most of these physical benefits occur due to the decreased stress levels experienced by people who feel socially accepted and loved.

6. Helps You Deal With Trauma

Whether it’s bringing ice cream after a breakup or sitting in silence as you mourn the death of a loved one, best friends see you at your worst, and they rise to the occasion. They offer emotional support, physical help, and a consistent presence in times of need.

7. May Keep You Out of Trouble

A wise best friend can actually help you stay out of trouble. Best friends are often the ones who encourage us to go to the gym, stop drinking so much, or get spiritually healthy. They love you, and they want what is best for you. So it’s natural they would encourage you to better yourself. You probably do the same for them.

8. Encourages Personal Development

A good friend encourages you to apply for that new position at work, ask that amazing guy out to dinner, or stick to those New Year’s resolutions. They provide accountability, support, and sometimes tough love that encourages you to develop as a person. Having a close friend also hones your listening ability, develops your sense of compassion and understanding, and encourages you to be more trustworthy and devoted as you seek to be a good friend.

9. Expands Your Perspective

Your best friend likely has a very different life than you in a lot of ways. You probably work in different jobs, have different histories, and definitely don’t agree on all things. Having someone with whom you are close enough to share ideas and who you respect enough to value their opinion can really change and expand your perspectives. We tend to view the world through the lens in which we were raised and the life experiences we have. Having a best friend that comes from a different cultural, religious, or environmental landscape helps us to expand our view of the world.

10. Encourages Loyalty

When someone has been there for you through thick and thin, most people will have a strong desire to respond in kind. Having a close friend produces an intense loyalty within your heart that makes you a better friend, and that concept of loyalty often overflows into other relationships as well.

How to Cultivate Healthy Friendships

1. Always be yourself.

Building friendships on falsities only leads to future disappointment. If you have to change your behavior, beliefs, or interests in order to spend time with a person, that’s not your people. A best friend is a person you can be totally yourself with.

2. Create healthy expectations.

Check your friendship expectations. There are seasons of life, especially during early adulthood when people are building careers, marriages, and families, when your friends may not be able to devote vast amounts of time to the friendship. It doesn’t mean they don’t care. It’s just a normal stage of life. Make sure you evaluate your expectations when looking to make new friends and be fair. A good friend should devote time to cultivating the relationship, but they might not be at your disposal every second of every day.

On the flip side, if a new friend seems to need your attention a little too much, that’s a red flag too. Attentive friends are great, but friends that rely on you for their every need are codependent, and that isn’t a relationship you want to nurture.

3. Keep your eyes open as you do your own thing.

The best way to find like-minded friends is to go about your business as usual, looking for people who are doing the same thing. While you’re at the gym, in your favorite bookstore, or hiking your favorite trail, introduce yourself to people who are doing the same. It’s likely you will at least have common interests, even if they don’t lead to a close friendship. Don’t be afraid to approach people as you go about your daily life.

4. Hold up your end of the bargain.

Friendships are a mutual thing, so if you’re looking for companionship, be sure you’re ready to put in the time and effort of cultivating a strong relationship. You want to make sure that you’re emotionally available, have time to devote to your new friend, and are interested in pursuing a friendship before you make any commitments.

5. Be picky.

While we have touted the benefits of healthy friendships, unhealthy ones are not worth the effort. It’s perfectly healthy to have a large and varied social network, but be selective about who you let into the intimate zone. Most people only have one or two friends who are truly intimate companions. Choose wisely.

6. It won’t always work.

Knowing when to let a friendship go is a difficult task. However, it might be time to cut ties if you notice some red flags. Is the relationship causing you added stress or drama? Are there signs of codependence? Is your friend consistently untrustworthy, negligent, or negative? If yes, they might not be the best friend you’re looking for. They can still be an acquaintance, but don’t pour your heart and soul into a relationship that doesn’t foster peace and bring you some happiness. Follow your gut and get a second opinion from a trusted loved one. If something doesn’t feel right, let it go.


Closing Thoughts

Let’s close on a positive truth. You have a unique set of talents, gifts, and experiences that make you a valuable asset in the lives of others. You deserve a friend group that appreciates you for who you are. They should notice your gifts and encourage you to be the best version of yourself. This means telling you the truth when you’re acting a little crazy! But they’ll also want to be by your side in difficult situations and be respectful of your boundaries. Seek out those people! It’s a rare thing to find a truly good friend, so don’t be disappointed if you haven’t found your person yet. You’ll find them if you keep your eyes peeled. Be open to opportunities and be okay with being yourself!

Do you have an awesome best friend? What do you think the benefits of having a best friend are? Tell us how you met in the comments, and give us your favorite tip for creating and maintaining healthy friendships.

If you’re looking to focus on strengthening your friendships this year, take a few tips from “Friendship Goals for the New Year.” It’s filled with fun ideas to help you cultivate better friendships this year!

If you’re part of a dynamic duo, double dates can be a great way to meet new friends. Check out “The Ultimate List of Double Date Ideas” to find your next adventure.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top three qualities of a best friend?

Sometimes, when you have a best friend, you just know. A truly great friend is lovingly honest, dependable even in hard times, and someone who makes you feel comfortable and accepted.

What are the benefits of a best friend?

Having a true friend can reduce stress levels, improve mental health, and encourage personal development by providing a sense of belonging, encouragement, and purpose.

How do you make strong friendships?

Cultivating lasting friendships takes effort. Devote time for adventures with your bestie, make sure you’re available in their time of need, and foster a relationship based on trust and honesty.

FriendsFun With Friends

15 Ways to Reconnect With Old Friends

how-to-reconnect-with-old-friends

Losing touch with friends after high school or college is a pretty common occurrence, even with the best of intentions. You get a new job, in a new city. They do too. You get married, have kiddos, or decide to travel, and before you know it, you haven’t talked to your bestie in years.

When you start to reconnect with old friends, it can feel awkward at first. Both parties have no doubt gone through significant life changes, and the thought of rekindling the relationship comes with some serious concerns. Will they have the same fond memories you do? Do you even have anything in common anymore? These are pretty common thought processes, but if you find yourself repeatedly thinking of an old friend, it’s likely they’re doing the same, and everyone is just leery of making the first move. Let’s dive into some quick and easy ways to jump that fence of doubt and rebuild those lost friendships.


Reconnect With an Adventure Book

At Adventures From Scratch, we’re pretty passionate about friendships, and that’s why our newest scratch-off adventure book is loaded with exciting excursions specifically geared toward deepening your relationships with friends. Just consult the key, pick an adventure, scratch off the details, and enjoy! On top of excellent adventures, our books include tear-out challenges, conversation starters, and journal space to document the fun. Now you have the perfect way to reconnect with old friends!


Benefits of Reconnecting With Former Friends

For some of you, life is going great, and reconnecting with old friends may seem like a futile endeavor. You’ve moved on with new friends. So have they. Why bother? However, old friends are the only people in the world who experienced the same childhood as you. They’re the only ones who share the memories of some of your most formative moments. Keeping a few old friends around can help you build a healthy connectedness with your past and keep you grounded as you move forward. Here are just a few of the benefits of reconnecting with your childhood buds.

Takes You Back to a Simpler Time

Life starts to get crazy in your late twenties, often keeping the chaos up into your thirties. Jobs are getting serious. You might be buying a home or growing a family, and it can all get very stressful. Taking some time, even if you feel like you don’t have much to devote, to talk about old times with a good friend can really be a boost to your mental health. You’ll laugh about silly antics, pull out memories you didn’t even know you had, and revel in the simple times of your youth.

Reminds You of Your Roots

While your current friends might know you better than anyone from high school did, they don’t share the same roots and heritage as you do. Like it or not, the way in which you were raised (and even the area you were raised in, to some extent) helps shape your worldview. There’s something special about sitting down with an old friend and discussing the intricacies of your past. While you may have chosen to move on from the negative aspects of your childhood, there are likely some very positive bits that make you who you are today. Exploring old memories is one of the best ways to connect to your roots and stay grounded in the good parts of your upbringing.

Expands Your Community

While you may have one or two best friends that live a similar lifestyle to you, it never hurts to have a larger community of friends to bounce ideas off of. They might be surface-level buds, and that’s fine, but a wide community of friends keeps you connected with many spheres. This gives you access to information and resources that you may not have within your closest friend group. It pays to know and have cordial relationships with a vast group of people.

Reshapes Your Perspectives

When talking with an old friend, you may quickly find out that their perspective of your joint past is very different than your own. They’ll remember things through their own personal filter, their feelings about the event. Reminiscing with an old friend can be hard in this area, as you might find out things about yourself or your friend group that you didn’t previously perceive. Learning to view your past through someone else’s lens has the potential to change the way you approach others in the future.

Allows You to Heal Old Wounds

If you’ve had a falling out with an old friend or you just have difficult memories in your past pertaining to that person, reconnecting is a way to heal old wounds. You have changed and matured. They most likely have too. Harboring bitterness and unforgiveness is not good for your overall well-being. According to an article by Harley Therapy, bitterness can have the same effects on the body as serious trauma, resulting in fatigue, decreased libido, and interrupted sleep patterns. In the long haul, it can affect self-confidence and the ability to formulate new healthy relationships.

Provides a Healthy Dose of Laughter

We’ve all heard that laughter is the best medicine, and you don’t need any fancy medical research to prove that. We’ve all had one of those laugh-until-we-cry sessions. You know there’s nothing that relieves stress better or busts through awkward or difficult circumstances more effectively than a hearty laugh. Reminiscing with old friends is bound to produce some funny moments as you remind each other of your teenage antics.

How to Reconnect With an Old Friend

1. Assess your motivation.

An important aspect of rekindling an old relationship is to first take a deep dive into why you feel compelled to do so. Are you just curious about how their life is going? Do you miss them? Are you just feeling lonely, longing for companionship? Is there an unsolved conflict between the two of you that is weighing on you?

There are many reasons you may choose to reach out to an old friend, but make sure your reasons are healthy ones. If you’re just lonely, you might be setting yourself up for more disappointment when you reach out for companionship and they don’t have the time or will to meet your expectations. You also don’t want to reenter unhealthy relationships just because you’re desperate for companionship. If you’re suffering from extreme loneliness, it’s probably time to touch base with a counselor and begin doing some inner work to find the cause.

2. Assess the nature of the friendship.

Is this person someone who adds value to your life, or are your memories of them loaded with hurt and baggage? While a nagging conflict with an old friend may need to be resolved for you to move forward, there are other friendships that may not be worth pursuing. Maybe you didn’t have a falling out or a major conflict but that person fell away from your life for normal reasons. You need to decide if rekindling this relationship would add positive companionship and mutual benefit to you both or if entering into a relationship with this person would likely bring stress. While a large friend group can be extremely rewarding, choose who you let in your inner circle wisely. A person who brings drama and toxicity is better left alone.

3. Set reasonable expectations.

Don’t go into your first conversation with someone you haven’t seen in years expecting to pick up right where you left off and be best friends forever. That could happen, but it also is not guaranteed. Set reasonable expectations for your first conversation. The goal is to make contact, possibly set up an in-person meeting, and explore surface-level info about their current situation. It’s better to be pleasantly surprised by a wonderful encounter than to be let down if it’s just so-so.

4. Start easy with social media.

The easiest way to initiate contact is via text message or social media. If you don’t have their phone number, you can likely find them on Linkedin, Facebook, or Instagram. Send a simple message or bring up a funny memory. It doesn’t have to be a well-thought-out dissertation, just something like, “Hey, was just thinking of you today and laughing about that time we ran your mom’s car off in the ditch. How are you doing?” Something easy like this will start the flow of conversation.

Making contact in the first place is generally the hardest part. It gets easier from there. So, jump the hurdle, and send the text.

5. Pick up the phone.

If it was a close friend, pick up the phone and hear their voice. Don’t wait for a time when you have hours to talk. That won’t happen. Just call. They might pick up, or they might be busy, but they’ll likely call back when they get a minute. If you’re nervous, have a few notes of things to talk about, including some of your favorite memories.

A phone call might feel too formal or old-fashioned for you, but remember that emotions are difficult to display over text messages. They can easily be read with the wrong inflection, and your words may be misconstrued. Sometimes, hearing the tone of voice is necessary for proper communication, and actually talking to the person is best!

6. Meet up for a short while.

Once you’ve made initial contact, arrange to meet for coffee, grocery shopping, or a dog walk in the park. Make sure it isn’t too formal and doesn’t require a lot of time or planning. Make it casual and easy. Any of these activities will give you the perfect backdrop for conversation and a relaxed vibe.

When you decide to meet up, don’t just say, “We should get together sometime.” Again, that will never happen. Instead, say something like, “I have some time next Saturday morning, would you like to meet at Joe’s for a coffee at 9?” Set a date and a time that works for both of you, and get it on the calendar.

7. Bring along a mutual friend.

If you had a falling out with a friend or you have reason to believe that the meetup might be awkward, bring in a moderator. Group hangouts are easier than one-on-ones, and you might find that bringing along mutual friends eases the tension for everyone.

8. Plan an outing with your families.

If you got married or had children since the last time you saw your friend, suggest a meetup that includes your families. Your spouses can get to know one another, and they will glean insight about you that they never knew before, which can be fun for everyone… if a little embarrassing. Having the people you’re closest to and most proud of around for the meetup can help ease any nerves, as long as they’re on their best behavior, of course.

9. Show interest in their life and passions.

Once you meet up, direct the conversation to their new passions and the current events of their life. Make sure you take time to really listen and ask pertinent questions. Try not to monopolize the conversation with all things going on in your own life, but also be vulnerable and willing to talk about your life when it is your turn. Try to find a time when you don’t have other distractions and you can devote your attention to your friend.

10. Bring up funny memories.

You might consider having a few notes and points of conversation thought out before arriving. Think of a couple of your favorite memories together and bust out a funny one within the first few minutes of conversation. It’ll break the ice and get the conversation moving. After a good laugh, things will flow more freely, and you’ll easily glide into current-day conversations.

11. Don’t be afraid to address the hard stuff.

In-person communication with an old friend isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. There may be old slights that you need to address in order to move forward with a healthy friendship. After some time, don’t be afraid to just address the elephant in the room. Do it with grace, and try to avoid placing blame, but don’t just avoid it.

Talking through these situations is difficult, but you might find your old friend has a totally different perspective on the situation than you do. There may be information you didn’t know, or it’s possible they’ve been carrying the burden and want to apologize for their part in the hurt. Be willing to apologize for yours as well. Remember that you are not the same person you were at 16, and it’s likely they’re not either.

12. Look for positive changes.

As stated, you have changed, and your friend has too, but that doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Often, people change for the better as they age and mature. Instead of focusing on the fact that your friend isn’t the person you remember, look for fun new things about them that you can relate to. Good friendships are always evolving, and you might find that you love them even more now than you did then.

13. Seek a shared passion.

Look for one thing in your conversation that you can move forward with! Do you both love rock climbing, work in accounting, or have a child with a disability? You may have several shared interests but focus on one thing you have in common that can be fuel for your next meetup.

14. Make future plans.

Once you’ve gotten through the initial meeting and you’re sure that pursuing a relationship is a good idea, go ahead and make plans! Maybe you schedule a hike in the nearest national park, take your son to see their son play baseball, or meet up at a local winery for a wine tasting. Whatever your shared passion is, focus on that as you rebuild your relationship.

Go ahead and get out your calendars and schedule it before you leave. You may still have to change it later, but you’re both much more likely to make it happen if it’s in writing, with a date and time. Once you’ve set a date, be faithful to it. Integrity is important in any friendship but especially in one that is in the rebuilding phase.

15. Consult your partner or closest friends.

As you reconnect with your old friend, ask your besties or your spouse to help watch for red flags, especially if you have a history of turbulence with this person. They know you well, and they’ll be able to spot areas where you’re feeling stressed or letting negativity slip in on you. It never hurts to have a few people you trust help keep you accountable for your own well-being.


Closing Thoughts

If you’re considering seeking out an old friend, take the necessary precautions to protect your mental health and your current relationship. But if there’s no risk in those arenas, go for it! Take the chance and make the move to initiate contact. Just remember to control your expectations.

The goal initially is to check in on your friend, see how their life is going, and let them know you have fond memories of your friendship. Let it move naturally from there. It might be that you retain a friendship through social media only, or it might progress to weekly in-person hangouts; who knows? Either way, keep it light at first and wade the waters gently as you reconnect with old friends. It probably won’t be as awkward as you imagine.

Have you had success reconnecting with a childhood friend? Tell us how you did it in the comments!

For more ideas to nurture your friendships, check out “Friendship Goals for the New Year.” It’s full of fantastic ideas to ensure that 2023 has plenty of healthy moments with your crew.

Have you decided to have your old friends over for dinner and a few games? Great idea! Busting out our nostalgic games is a wonderful way to reminisce. Check out our list of “40 Fun Board Games to Play With Friends” for a little inspiration.

Sources

Jacobson, S. (2022, October 26). 12 steps to overcome feeling bitter. Harley Therapy™ Blog. Retrieved January 16, 2023, from https://www.harleytherapy.co.uk/counselling/12-steps-to-overcoming-bitterness.htm#:~:text=Bitterness%20not%20only%20causes%20symptoms,to%20have%20a%20healthy%20relationship.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is it a good idea to reconnect with old friends?

Reconnecting with old friends can be a wonderful way to remember your fondest memories, connect to your past, and boost your mental health and theirs too. If it feels right, give it a try!

Is it awkward to connect with old friends?

While the initial contact can be a bit awkward, friendships that were healthy often pick right back up where they left off, and reuniting with an old friend can have many mutual benefits!

How do you reunite with an old friend?

First, make contact through social media or a phone call. Then, set up an informal in-person hangout. Adventures From Scratch: Friends Edition is loaded with fun adventures perfect for the occasion!

Friends

Friendship Goals for the New Year

friendship-goals

New Year’s resolutions or goals tend to focus on yourself, or maybe your romantic relationship, but when it comes to our overall well-being and level of joy in life, our best friends are primary contributors. Shouldn’t our most important friendships be tended to as well as our self-care and our romances? Setting friendship goals for the New Year is one surefire way to deepen your bonds with your besties and ensure that these important relationships get the due attention they deserve!


Explore together with Adventures From Scratch!

Looking for new adventures for your crew? Check out Adventures From Scratch: Friend Edition! It’s loaded with scratch-off challenges, tear-out surprise adventures, and interactive elements. Take a look at the key for a hint about which category you want to scratch, then scratch away to reveal your challenge for the day. There are quick outdoor adventures, in-home activities, and much more! Grab your copy today and spice up your next year with a new adventure every weekend!


Why set friendship goals?

At first mention, the idea of setting goals for your friendship may seem unnecessary, forced, or too clingy, but hang with us for a minute! Your BFF has likely been by your side through it all! They have picked your drunk butt up out of the hallway, held your hair, put your heart back together after you know who, and much more. Sometimes they make you laugh until you cry. They know all your intimate secrets, and they will show up in the hard times, at 3 am, no questions asked, shovel in hand, if need be.

True friendship doesn’t come along very often, and these ride-or-die relationships are gold that should be treasured. However, life often gets in the way, especially as you get older and serious careers, spouses, and kiddos move into your timelines. To have lasting friendships when all these other responsibilities pile up, you have to put some forethought into spending time with good friends. It might take a calendar, some planning, and a list of achievable relationship goals to make it happen.

Let’s be honest. We have all done it. You say you’ll go out for drinks, or a Saturday shop fest next week, but life gets in the way, and before you know it, you haven’t seen your old friend in months. Now, true friends will usually pick up right where they left off as soon as they reunite. You may have that kind of bond with some of your closest buds, but it’s a fact that relationships that are given proper care are stronger. Period.

Friendship Goals for the New Year

Be realistic.

The list is coming, but first, a few tips are to make your goals stick. Before you bombard your buddies with your curated list of best friend goals, let’s lay down some guidelines. New Year’s goals should be achievable, realistic, and agreed upon by both parties (if it requires their time). You can’t just slap your list of lofty goals on your buds and expect them to run off to Greece with you every other month, and then be hurt when they can’t follow through on your plans. That’s not realistic. Consider the lives and schedules of your friends when you make goals. Goals shouldn’t require huge amounts of time, money, or travel. In this list of friendship goals, we have focused on resolutions that are easy to achieve and don’t take too much time out of either of your schedules.

Put forth the effort.

Your list should mostly consist of goals that you can achieve on your own (or at least initiate). For instance, marking in your calendar to share a quick video chat with your long-distance bestie, once a month, is something you can do on your own. They’ll either send back a quick video or they won’t. Either way, you initiated contact and let them know you were thinking of them. Goal achieved!

Goals are varied by relationship.

Remember that you have many different types of friends, so your goal-setting will differ based on the personality, level of intimacy, and availability of your friends. Your ideas for getting to know a coworker better are going to differ from your goals to keep in contact with your lifelong bestie, so bear that in mind.

“A good friend is like a four-leaf clover; hard to find and lucky to have.”

— Irish Proverb

Ultimate List of New Year’s Friendship Goals

We also want to get the most bang for your buck, so this list of goals focuses on easily achievable goals that deepen your relationships, produce new experiences, and form lasting memories. Let’s go!

1. I will listen mindfully.

Communication is the most important aspect of any relationship. Your close friends need to know that they can come to you with any problem, big or small and that you’ll show concern and listen. Don’t offer unsolicited advice. Don’t judge or be critical. While constructive criticism is sometimes necessary, during a crisis is probably not the right time. Listen to their words. Acknowledge their right to be excited, hurt, or angry, and then ask what you can do to help.

2. I will make contact regularly.

“Regular” contact is a wishy-washy term, but in this case, that is on purpose. What constitutes “regularly” will depend on the nature of your friendship. If we are talking about a casual acquaintance from high school that you keep in contact with, then you may set a goal to call them once or twice a year to catch up. If we are talking about your lifelong bestie, then perhaps once a week is more reasonable.

Contact can be a meet-up, but it could also be something as easy as sending them a funny social media video or a quick text to let them know you were thinking of them. Video chats are a great way to stay in contact. It’s more personal than text messaging and allows for better communication. If you can’t make time to have a sit down over Zoom, you can still use an app like Marco Polo or Snapchat to swap videos. Plus, you get to see their face, which is nice if your friendship is long-distance, and you don’t see them much. Whatever form of communication you choose, the important part is that you do it. Put it on the calendar, and follow through!

3. I will show gratitude.

We all tend to take our besties for granted, at least a little. In essence, we know how important they are to us, but it rarely gets stated. Find a way to show gratitude that is appropriate for your relationship. This may be a small gift with a sweet card, a hug, and “thanks for hanging with me tonight,” or a text thanking them for something specific they did. Displaying gratitude not only shows your friend that you appreciate them, but it also reminds you of just how lucky you’re to have strong friendships in your life. Grateful people are altogether happier people.

According to Harvard Health Beat, multiple research studies show that people who actively perform gratitude exercises, like consciously thanking those around them for specific acts or keeping a gratitude journal, have lower levels of depression and anxiety, feel overall better about life, have fewer visits to the doctor for physical illness, and can even lead to a healthier relationship with exercise.

4. I will be trustworthy.

If you want to be a good friend, then you have to keep your word. In our busy worlds, it’s so easy to forget an engagement, let laziness in, or allow your fatigue to convince you not to attend that dinner. It happens, but if you consistently back out on time with your friends, they will inevitably feel that you don’t value their friendship and will move on. While you don’t owe any allegiance to most acquaintances, protect your truly important friends by honoring your word. If you say you’ll be there, then be there. If your friend drops a bombshell secret on you, you keep it silent! The first people you go to when you have a problem are the ones that you can count on to show up, listen, and uphold your trust. Be one of those people for your friends.

5. I will initiate important conversations.

Some friendships are just meant to be surface level, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but with your life-longers make sure that as your friendship grows in years that it also grows in depth. It’s not too hard to do, check out our list of “150 Riveting and Relateable Road Trip Conversation Starters.” Sometimes, a curated icebreaker question can lead you down a road you never expected, and you might learn all kinds of new things about even your oldest friend.

For new friends, take some cues from “Best Getting to Know You Questions: Make Friends With Anyone.”

6. I will learn a new fact.

Pairing with the last goal, this is measurable and concise. Resolve to learn one new thing about each of your close friends, work companions, and important acquaintances this year. You can then use that knowledge to drive conversations that interest them, buy gifts they will love, or plan activities that revolve around their interests.

7. I will prioritize encouragement.

Mindfully listening, digging for facts, and initiating more difficult conversations allow you to speak encouragement into your friends’ dreams and plans. Who doesn’t need a little more encouragement in their life? Set a goal to be the kind of friend that people can bank on for a positive and uplifting word of encouragement.

8. We will do something new together this year.

Take a cue from Adventures From Scratch: Friends Edition and plan a spontaneous new adventure with your best friend this year. Our books are filled with scratch-off adventures expertly curated to deepen relationships and provide hilarious moments, but any new activity will do. Maybe you hit up the new restaurant in town, go skydiving together, or start a new hobby you’re both interested in.

9. We will spend a weekend away together.

Schedule a weekend to spend some time away with your BFF, or close friend group, at least once a year. Put it on the calendar early and make it a priority. Know that other meetings, gatherings, and responsibilities will try to creep in on it. Friends will try to back out, and you might even try it, but set your mind to go. These little getaways are refreshing to the soul and reinforce your already good friendships with more fond memories!

10. We will read each other’s favorite books.

There is no better way to get to know someone than partaking in their favorite things. Find out your friend’s favorite book, movie, or hobby. Ask what it’s about that item that draws them to it, and then devote yourself to experiencing it too. You might find a new love for yourself. If nothing else, you’ll have new conversation fodder, and they will be honored that you cared enough to give it a good try.

11. We will meet for drinks once a month.

Set a goal to do drinks after work with some friends from the office or that neighbor that lives so close, but you never hang out. A glass of wine or a coffee date doesn’t cost much, and it can take no longer than an hour. Just choose a cafe or chill bar where you can talk about life. It’s the perfect way to do a quick check-in on your friend and catch up without killing the budget or demanding too much from either side.

12. I will do something practical for my friend.

Almost everyone has some chores around the house that they could use some help with. Everybody wants to come to the cookout, but nobody wants to help mow the lawn so it’s ready. Offer to be the friend that helps with the dirty work. That might showing up early to help with cooking, offering to help with spring cleaning, babysitting their kiddo so they can have a date night, or picking up their grocery order for them. Taking a little off the plate of a busy friend can be just what they need to make it through the week without snapping!

13. We will do something active together.

Stressful lives need endorphins. Whip up some happy hormones with your friends by training for a half-marathon together, taking a swim, or meeting up for a sunset hike. Active time with friends provides some exercise, plenty of laughs (especially if it’s a new or difficult activity), and time for important conversations. You’ll leave feeling slightly sore but with a heart full of love and a clear mind.

For a unique friend’s activity to do outdoors, check out our list of interactive scavenger hunts! Our hunts are hilarious and vary from urban art hunts to bar crawls, to historical city tours. You’ll roam from spot to spot answering difficult trivia questions, competing in video and photo challenges, and sometimes competing against other teams from the same city for a high score on the leaderboard. No matter where you live, or what your interests are, there’s a hunt for you on the Let’s Roam Scavenger Hunt App!

14. I will find out their love language.

The Five Love Languages is an oldie but a goodie. The book was written primarily for romantic partnerships, but the concepts can easily transfer to friendships. The basic premise is that every person feels love differently. We, in turn, tend to give love in the way that we feel it best, but that might not be the way our loved one best receives it.

For instance, let’s say your love language is physical touch. That means you feel the most loved when someone hugs you or holds your hand, rubs your feet, etc. You’ll probably try to show your love to others this way, but if your bestie’s love language is quality time, then they are not going to feel loved and appreciated by your constant hugs. They want quality conversations and time devoted to them to feel loved.

Find out what your friend’s love language is and try to show your appreciation in a way that will benefit them the most. You can take the quiz together online and find out your love language as well as that of your close friends. Showing love in this way may not be as gratifying for you at first, but seeing how much your friend appreciates your effort will swiftly change that.

15. I will gift thoughtfully.

Giving gifts is a common way to celebrate special occasions and show our love and affection. If you choose to give gifts to your friends, then give them thoughtfully. Surprise your buddy with their favorite coffee, for no reason, or send them an invite for a joint activity on you. Remember when you give to think about what your friend would want, not what you would like to have. Gifts don’t need to be large or expensive. Being thoughtful is much more important, especially if your BFF’s love language is receiving gifts.

16. I will host a game night twice a year.

Game nights are a simple way to gather your crew for a night of hilarious antics, good food, and easy fun. Plan a whole meal, or just grab some game-food snacks like chips and salsa and a few cookies. Buy some wine or beer, or make your favorite cocktails. Plan a few board games or classic party games to get the conversation and laughter started, and sit back and enjoy quality time with your besties. Put your event on the calendar early and encourage friends to mark off the day and stick to it. To help people remember, send out a reminder the week before. It also helps to have each attendee be responsible for a food item or bringing a game. This gives them a stake in the planning process and makes it more likely that they will follow through and show up.

Check out our list of “40 Fun Board Games to Play With Friends.” If you don’t have a game closet and don’t want to purchase a ton of activities, then take a cue from “25 Fantastic Party Games to Play With Friends.” This list has more DIY or simple card games that you or your besties probably already have the supplies for.


New Year—Better Relationships

Focusing on bettering your friendships is an honorable New Year’s resolution. By instituting a few of these goals, we do not doubt that you’ll notice a deepening in your friendships and a change in yourself. Thinking about others, and placing a high priority on their needs, is one of the fastest ways to learn about yourself and experience personal growth. Try it out this year, and let us know your experiences in the comments!

Have you ever created friendship goals before? If so, what have been some of your most successful goals?

Christmas is coming, and we know you want your bash to stand out! Take a few tips from “How to Host a Festive and Fun Family Holiday Gathering.”


Frequently Asked Questions

What are friendship goals and do I need them?

Friendship goals are actions that you set to deepen your relationship with friends. Setting achievable goals and formulating a plan helps you accomplish your goals for your social life.

What are five friendship goals?

For stronger friendships this year, make plans to actively show gratitude, host a game night, meet a friend’s practical needs, listen mindfully, and make regular contact.

Are there any resources for better friendships?

Check out Adventure From Scratch: Friends Edition. This handy book is filled with scratch-off adventures expertly created to deepen friendships, provide laughter, and add a little fun to your get-together!

Fun With Friends

40 Fun Board Games to Play With Friends

fun-board-games-to-play-with-friends

Playing board games is a time-tested bonding activity for friends and family. Board games encourage conversation, friendly competition, and creativity, and provide hours of laughter. With our screen-obsessed culture, taking an evening away from the virtual and having a good old-fashioned game night can be extremely refreshing! If you are looking for something easy and fun for you and your crew, here’s our list of the best board games to play with friends. From wholesome, classic games to card games specifically made for terrible humans, there is something on this list for every group of friends!


50+ Awesome Activities to Enjoy With Friends

Our scratch-off books are expertly crafted and full of exciting activities, designed to deepen bonds and add some adventure to your routine. If you and your crew are looking for something new to do, snag a copy of Adventures From Scratch: Friends Edition, and get scratching! Make this your go-to book when you want to get together with your besties.


The Best Classic Board Games

This section is full of oldies but goodies. Perhaps you haven’t played these since you were a kid, or maybe you missed out on their heyday altogether. It’s never too late to pick up a good thing though, and you will fall in love with the long-standing awesomeness of these classics!

1. Monopoly

Players: 2-8

This classic wheeling and dealing business game challenges players to buy, sell, and scheme to build their personal fortunes. Become a railroad tycoon, a landlord, or a hotel owner. Oh, by the way, you might also end up in jail. When you play Monopoly, it’s all a roll of the dice!

2. Scrabble

Players: 2-4

Test your vocabulary against your buds with the board gamer’s original word game, Scrabble. Pick your random letters out of the bag and build upon previously laid words to collect points and prove your thesaurus mastery. It’s an easy game that you can play all night, with simple rules, and plenty of arguments over whether that is or is not a real word!

3. Taboo

Players: 4 or more

Taboo is a great game for large groups, as you can have as many players as you want in this cooperative game. Break up into teams and draw a card. Your job is to get your teammates to guess the word on the card without using any of the forbidden words. There are over 640 guess words in the stack so you can play for a long time without repeating words. Race against the timer to add some suspense, or use the Game-changer dice to change up the rules a little. It’s the game that keeps on giving! You get a point for each guess word you get within the timer, and you lose a point if you accidentally say any of the forbidden words. The team with the most points wins.

4. The Game of Life

Players: 2-4

Spin to win in The Game of Life. From Start to retirement, your spin and choose to determine your fate. Will head to the workforce or take on major debt to go to college? Will you get married? Have kids? What risks are you willing to take? At the end of the game, the person with the most money in the bank wins. The Game of Life allows you to take risks you probably wouldn’t or didn’t in real life and find your wealth, even if it is just on the board. With a four-player limit, it is the perfect game for a low-key night with your besties or a double date night.

5. CATAN (Formally Known as Settlers of Catan)

Players: 3-4

CATAN is a classic game of trade, build, and settle. You will set out on a quest, guiding your settlers on an epic adventure of building your future while avoiding attempted monopolies by other players and robbers on the trail. It’s a strategy board game where you will have to be smart about how you use or hoard your grain, wood, and lumber. The game is simple to learn, and playtime generally is about an hour. However, every game is different, so you can play it several times in one party if you like.

6. Ticket to Ride

Players: 2-5

Another classic small group game, Ticket to Ride has trains, and who doesn’t love trains? Hop on the train and head across the country as you collect train cards and enable them to buy up railroads, connecting your way across America (or Europe if you get that version). In what seems contradictory to efficient public transit, the goal is to build the longest railroad. The longer the route, the more points you earn. You can even launch Ticket to Ride through Alexa, with sound effects and music. It’s actually a pretty fast-paced game and can be tackled in 30 minutes. There are many different versions of the game, so if you get sick of America, move on to a new location, or add boats!

7. Yahtzee!

Players: 2 and up

Yahtzee is a classic party game that can be played with two or more players. There is no board for this one, so it’s really a tabletop game. You just need a place to roll the five dice. The point is to roll high-scoring combinations, and the person with the highest score after 13 turns wins. It’s easy, and with 100 scorecards, you can pretty much play with any number of players. Yahtzee has stood the test of time because it is just a fun game!

8. Pictionary

Players: 4 and up

Pictionary is a classic and one of the funniest games around. Players use the given markers to draw their best version of the clue on the card. Their team members are tasked with the sometimes difficult job of guessing what the first player is drawing. It’s been a classic since 1985, and it is still one of the best games for large groups. It’s even more fun if you have had a few drinks.

9. Balderdash

Players: 2-6

It’s time to call out your friends on their BS. That’s basically the gist of Balderdash. Definitions have never been so fun. In this multiplayer game, you will choose a word from one of five categories. Each player will then make up an answer to the question or definition of the word on the card. The Balderdasher will write down the correct answer. Then, they will read off all the answers and players will vote for the answer they think is true. You earn points when your answer gets the most votes. There are a few more ways to earn points, but that’s the gist. The fun comes in when you realize how hilarious and creative (or dirty!) your friends are. The answer to these simple questions give you a lot of insight into your friends and are sure to keep you laughing all night long.

10. Trivial Pursuit

Players: 2-6

The iconic trivia game allows friends to show off their brilliance and dominate in a little competition of smarts. The Classic Edition of Trivial Pursuit includes a retro player board and the time-tested gameplay you know and love. With 2,400 questions in six categories, you roll the die, land on a category, and if you can answer the question for that category correctly, you collect the colored wedge for it. The first player to collect all six wedges and answer the final question correctly wins the game and the title of trivia master. Once you have conquered the classic, Trivial Pursuit also has Harry Potter, Friends, Sports, Decades, and many more versions, all available on Amazon. You might as well get them all!

11. Clue

Players: 6

The original murder mystery game, Clue is the ultimate whodunit. There is one murderer and six suspects. Gather in the Tudor mansion and decipher the clues to find who did it, where they did it, and what weapon they used. The first player to correctly deduce all three aspects of the murder wins. Clue has evolved with the times, with new versions of the game including the ghost of Mrs. White, played by Alexa.

The Best Board Games for College Friends (or the young at heart!)

This section gets a little silly and sometimes a bit raunchy too, depending on your friend group. While they may be appropriate for older teens, these games are the most fun with a few drinks and a few weird and rowdy friends.

12. Cards Against Humanity

Players: 4 and up

This insane card game made playing cards fun again. Cards Against Humanity is certainly not your traditional family board game, but it is hilarious and perfect for a group of adults who are feeling a bit saucy. It is self-described as a party game for horrible people. The concept is simple, player one asks a question by laying down a black card. The rest of the group answers the questions with a white card from their hand, picking the card that they think is the funniest answer to the question. Player one votes on whose answer wins, and that player gets to keep the cards. The player with the most sets at the end of the game wins. At least that is the original game, but there are plenty of ridiculous alternative rules to spice it up. Buy the expansion packs for more preposterous cards when your originals get old. The questions are absurd. The answers are even more ridiculous, but the game is legendary!

13. Exploding Kittens

Players: 2-5

Exploding Kittens is basically Uno but with exploding cats, goats, laser beams, and all manner of other preposterous playing cards. Draw from the deck. Sabotage your opponents, and try to stay away from the Exploding Kittens which you make you dead, and out of the game. It’s easy. It’s weird. It’s super fun with a few beers, and if you have somewhere never played it, we are sure it will be your next favorite!

14. Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza

Players: 3-8

No, it’s not just a list of the most awesome things on earth—Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza is a fabulously funny and addictive game! It’s a basic slapjack-like matching game. When you think you see a match… SLAP! But, be careful, your mind might just trick you!

15. Telestrations After Dark

Players: 4-8

This adult-only version of Telestrations is all about miscommunication. It’s basically the old telephone game where you pass something through your friend group and see how it changes over time except with drawings instead of words. These 1200 prompts in this version are adult only, so be prepared for hilarious and inappropriate.

16. What Do You Meme?

Players: 3-20

What Do You Meme? is great fun! Compete against your crowd to create the funniest memes. Pick a photo card from the deck. Each player answers it with a caption card from their hand. The judge chooses the funniest meme, and the winner keeps the card. The player with the most cards wins the whole shebang. Mature content plus funny friends lead to some wild combinations and lots of hearty laughs.

17. Escape Room: The Game

Players: 3-5

Escape Room: The Game works just like the coordinated escape room that you probably have in your city except it can all be done in your own home. Set the timer to 60 minutes, bust open the game, and use your teamwork skills and creativity to make your exit from the designated room by solving the clues given. It’s full of clever riddles and puzzles

18. Unstable Unicorns

Players: 2-8

Ever wanted an army of sparkly unicorns? Well, today is your day! Unstable Unicorns is a strategic card game where you collect unicorns in your stable instead of points. Use Magic and strategically played cards to trip up your opponents. It won the People’s Choice Award for Toy of the Year in 2019, and it’s still a magical blast for any group of friends who love a little game of betrayal… and unicorn armies

19. Beat That!

Players: 2-8

Dare your crew to 240 whacky challenges. Wager a bet on a personal skill, or challenge a friend to a duel. Beat That! is a true competition with all players attempting the same challenges for the ultimate bragging rights. It’s easy to learn and provides hours of hilarious fun!

20. Apples to Apples

Players: 4-10

Apples to Apples is a pretty popular party game that is easy to play with a medium to a large group. Deal the cards, and select one from your hand that you think best describes the card played by the judge. If the judge likes your answer the best, you win the rounds. It’s kind of the same premise as Cards Against Humanity, except for slightly better people.

The Best Board Games for Couples’ Game Nights

21. Spouse-ology

Players: 2-4 couples

A new turn on The Newlywed Game, Spouse-ology is the ultimate test of your relationship. How well do you know your spouse? Roll the die to pick a category. Match your spouse’s answers, and earn points. You’ll either go home a winner or argue all the way home then make up when you get there. With 240 hilarious questions, win or lose, you will leave with some new insight into your spouse and your buds.

22. Monikers

Players: 4-16+

Voted “the be-all-end-all of party games” by IGN, Monikers is really funny! Monikers is played in rounds. Round one, you can say anything to get your team to guess who is on your dealt card. In round two, you can only use one word. Round three is charades only, with no words. With a few good friends and a little wine, this one will keep you giggling all night long.

23. 7 Wonders: Duel

Players: 3-7

7 Wonders comes in several versions, including the two-person duel and architects, but the original is still great for a small group of friends. You’ll travel back in time to one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. You are the city’s leader, and it is your job to gather the resources to build not only the wonder itself but the city around it. It’s a strategic expansion game like many others on the list, but with an ancient twist!

24. Fog of Love

Players: 2-6

Fog of Love is your second chance at a new beginning with your partner. Create your characters. Meet and fall in love, and then tackle some serious relationship challenges. You’ll have plenty of awkward conversations along the way and lots of tough decisions along the way. Choose wisely!

25. Blank Slate

Players: 3-8

Blank Slate is all about your ability to predict your friends and their thought processes. Pick a cue card, then write in the word that you think best fills in the blank. You also want to match another player’s answer, so you have to think strategically. It’s an easy game to learn and works great for large groups as you can pair off and add more players pretty easily.

26. Taco vs. Burrito

Players: 2-4

The basic gameplay is easy, but this simple game is surprisingly strategic. Taco vs. Burrito was created by a young man (when he was just seven years old!) and turned out to be one of the most successful gaming endeavors on Kickstarter. While it sounds a bit childish, the game is actually quite strategic, as you fight to build the most valuable meal (taco or burrito) and sabotage your friends along the way. You may even start a food fight.

27. Forbidden Island

Players: 2-4

Forbidden Island will have you working together as a couple to race against disaster. Your island is sinking, and you and your teammate must take risks and find all the hidden treasures. You must also make some very brave decisions to make it out in time, as the island is sinking. It’s an intimate game for a double date, but it gets intense!

The Best Virtual Board Games

While in-person games are always better, sometimes you just need a game night with your besties across the world, and thanks to technology, you can now do it with some of your favorite classic games.

28. Let’s Roam’s Virtual Game Night

Players: 2-20+

Did you know that Let’s Roam hosts epic virtual game nights? Log onto our amazing virtual platform, and pick your poison. We have geography games, general trivia, drawing games like Pictionary, emoji decoders, and much more, so you can host a different game every weekend of the month! Also, check out our huge list of in-home scavenger hunts!

29. Scattergories

Players: 2-6

Scattegories challenges players to create words that fit within a set of categories and begin with a chosen letter. The game is great for distance relationships because it can easily be played over Zoom or other video chat platforms. One player will pull up the game on scattergoriesonline.net and share the screen with everyone else. The site will choose a letter and issue the prompts, as well as keep the timer.

30. Mysterium

Players: up to 7

Warwick Manor is home to a haunting, the ghost of a murdered servant from 30 years ago, and you must get to the bottom of the crime. One player will be the ghost, and the rest are psychic investigators looking for answers. Work together to solve the mystery and get answers from the deceased. The suspects, victims, and weapons change every time you play, so there is always new excitement. Play Mysterium online through their website or app

31. Boggle

Players: 2+

Boggle is a simple word scramble game. Shake the letter cubes, lift the lid, and flip the timer. Players compete to write down as many words as they can from the shaken cubes in 90 seconds. The player with the highest number of unique words wins. Boggle can easily be played online too! Choose your format and send the pin code to as many players as you want. It’s free to play!

32. Risk

Players: 2-5

Risk is a classic strategic conquest game where players compete to conquer enemy territory by building an army and battling it out. The first player to complete their secret mission wins. The gaming platform, Steam, offers a digital version of the game called RISK: Global Domination and the original version is free to play online. Just choose the multiplayer mode. Call up your besties on your favorite video share app, and begin the battle.

33. Pandemic

Players: 2-4

The popular board game Pandemic has more variants than the COVID virus itself. The original Pandemic Legacy 0 Cold War era game is fraught with CIA and soviet spies, but you can also choose from European Hot Zone, Experimental Labs, and Contagion, among many many more! The game requires teamwork, as the object is to work together to conquer the worldwide epidemic. Pandemic is available online on several platforms and is adapted to video game consoles and smartphones.

A Few More Fun Board Games to Play With Friends

34. Say Anything

Players: 3-8

Say Anything is a hilarious game for a group of close friends. Grab a question card and choose a question to ask the group. Each player will write down their answer, trying to be as witty or heartfelt as possible. Player one secretly chooses their favorite, and then everyone else places their bets with tokens on which answer Player 1 chose. Gameplay lasts 12 rounds and usually takes around 35 minutes.

35. The Game of Things

Players: 4+

The Game of Things is a hilarious party game that gives you major insight into the warped thinking of your friends. Read a topic card and everyone writes down whatever response comes to mind. There are no right or wrong answers, you just pop off your first thought. All responses are read aloud and players try to guess who said what. As you can imagine, things get pretty crazy with this simple little game, and plenty of laughter usually ensues.

36. Chinese Checkers

Players: 2-6

Chinese Checkers is a classic, originating from Germany in the late 1800s. There are various ways to play the strategic marble game, but basically, the gist is to get all your marbles across the board and onto the opposing triangle by following the moving rules and blocking your opponent. It’s a quieter game for when you are feeling like a chill evening of conversation.

37. Codenames

Players: 2-8+

Codenames has a simple premise, but it can pose a real challenge! Two rival players take on the role of spymasters. They hold the identity to 25 hidden identities of other undercover agents. Teammates only know the agents by their codenames. The spymaster will give one-word clues to their teammates as they try to decipher the hidden identities and avoid the assassin.

38. Carcassonne

Players: 2-5

Celebrate the 20th anniversary of this class tile-laying game with a new and updated edition! Carcassonne is a strategic building game. Players compete to medieval fortresses while blocking others from completing their tasks. It’s a cunning game of creativity and sabotage that features a beautiful landscape and well-crafted tiles.

39. Trekking: The National Park Board Game

Players: 2-5

This ingenious game is a combination of exploration and trivia that outdoor lovers and travelers will fall in love with. The concept came from an adventurous couple who achieved their goal of visiting all the U.S. national parks. They then worked with their grown son to build a board game representing their challenge. It’s still a family-run business that gives part of all profits back to nonprofit organizations and environmental endeavors, so it is a game you can feel good about purchasing!

40. Poetry for Neanderthals

Players: 2+

Poetry for Neanderthals comes to you from the makers of Exploding Kittens and has a similar structure to Taboo. Because you are neanderthals, you may only use one-syllable words to get your point across. Give clues to your team to help them guess the phrase on your card, but keep it simple. For instance, if your word is television, you might say “big box you watch for fun.” This is an easy one, but many of the concepts are extremely complicated to explain with the simplest of terms. If you break the rules and bust out multiple syllables, the other team gets to whack you with a giant inflatable club, and you lose points.

Game Time!

Alright friends! That’s a wrap. We hope you found the perfect board game for you and your crew. Let us know in the comments which one you are going to try, or fill us in on a great game that we missed! We are always looking for new games to play with friends. Make sure to check out our Scavenger Hunt App for hundreds of in-home and city hunts all over the world. Our hunts include bar crawls, urban art walks, and customizable hunts for bachelorette trips or birthdays!

For more excellent party ideas, check out “25 Fantastic Party Games to Play With Friends.”

Need a good date night at home? Forget the phones. Turn off Netflix and bust out one of our recommendations from The Best Board Games for Couples Looking for Fun.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are some fun board games to play with friends?

Add some laughter to your party with hilarious board games like Poetry for Neanderthals, Blank Slate, or What do you Meme?

What are the best things to do with friends?

If you are looking for fresh ideas on hanging with friends, check out Adventures From Scratch: Friends Edition, a complete book of adventures focused on friendship!

What are the best party games for adults?

Popular party games for adults include Codenames, Cards Against Humanity, and classics like Scattergories.