After a certain age, many of us go from planning endless adventures with our friends to meeting up for a ‘quick drink’ in between the million and one other things on our busy schedules.
Whether it’s organizing a babysitter or juggling our jobs, a lot of us find it hard to commit to plans.
So, rather than agreeing to ‘the usual’ meet-up, why not plan something more exciting with your best friend?
You’re more likely to stick to plans if they’re interesting, and we’ve got some great ideas for bestie activities…
1. Take A Road Trip
Planning a trip together doesn’t have to involve hours of research and flight-scanning to find the best round-the-world tickets!
Why not plan a road-trip over a long weekend, or just take a day to explore somewhere new?
You can take it in turns to choose where you visit. Why not take your friend to your favorite childhood city, or discover a new town that neither of you have ever been to before?
With the internet at your disposal, you can easily find fun things to do once you’re there, or just enjoy doing normal things (like grabbing a coffee) in an exciting, new environment.
2. Or A City break
On the note of booking trips, plan a short getaway.
There are so many fantastic deals available for last-minute weekends away across Europe or around America (or wherever you may live). You don’t need to go too wild, but a weekend far from home is always good fun.
Being with someone you love in a foreign place is a great bonding experience, and a short break can be affordable and easy to plan.
Decide what kind of mood you’re both in to find your ideal break – relaxing, packed with adventure, or super touristy sightseeing…
3. Do A Museum Day
If you’re after something fun and free, why not take a trip to a local museum?
Playing tourist in your hometown is surprisingly interesting, and there’s bound to be an exhibition on at some point in the next few months that you and your friend would both enjoy.
Get a culture boost, enjoy a huge slice of cake in the museum café, and enjoy some old-school fun with your closest friend.
4. Volunteer Together
Now, volunteering with a friend may sound like something your parents made you do as a teen, but it’s way more exciting these days.
There are some great volunteering options that are more suited to adults! Why not look into SUP (stand-up paddle boarding) sessions that encourage you to collect rubbish from the water at the same time? Beach cleanups are becoming increasingly popular now too.
Find an activity that appeals to you both and enjoy catching up while doing some good for the community and/or planet.
If you’re not sure where to look, check out local community Facebook pages or get in touch with your council. Local stores may have flyers up and any community cafes or colleges are bound to know of an exciting volunteering program in the area.
5. Get Busy In The Kitchen
If you’re a bit of a whizz in the kitchen, invite your friend over to cook together.
Dinner with a friend can often revolve around grabbing an easy takeaway or going out to a restaurant. While both lovely options, cooking at home can be a nicer, more chilled way to hang out than your existing eating routine.
Instead of rushing around and stressing over reservations, cook at one of your homes and make the most of this time to chat and bond.
Browse Instagram together for meal inspiration and enjoy some good music (and a glass of wine!) while you cook. Easy.
6. Take A Wine Tasting Class
Food leads us perfectly onto wine, of course. Rather than heading out for a glass of Sauvignon once a week, consider booking onto a wine tasting class. They’re normally affordable and full of other people who want to try something a little bit different.
If you’re a foodie, look for a food and wine pairing evening and you’ll learn all about matching flavors. If you’re on a liquid diet, choose a class that teaches you about the origins of each wine and find a variety you like best.
Either way, you’ll get a chance to try something new and have a giggle.
7. Or A Cocktail Masterclass
On the note of tasting sessions, cocktail masterclasses are a great option!
Many chain bars and restaurants offer affordable classes, so take along your bestie or get the whole gang there.
You’ll learn about alcohol pairings, measuring, and – the fun bit – shaking. You’ll have a cocktail bartender with you going through classic cocktails as well as any in-house specials, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to learn something new.
It tends to be pretty fun and silly, and there are plenty of opportunities for taste-testing.
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8. Head To Group Yoga
If you’re after something more holistic, book yourselves into a yoga class. Most gyms offer at least one yoga class a week, or you can find a local yoga studio for something more tailored to your needs.
It doesn’t matter if neither of you have practiced before, or if you can barely touch your toes, as most classes are open to total beginners as well as human elastic bands!
Yoga can be a great way to unwind and relax or can offer a high-power workout depending on the style you go for. Decide what you want to get from the class and grab your leggings…
9. Learn A New Skill Together
Learning a new skill is a great way to bond with someone, however close you may already be. Check out any local Facebook pages for the area you live in or look for community classes online.
If there’s an arts college where you live, they’re likely to run classes and courses. Life drawing can be fun, ceramics classes are a great way to unwind and express yourself, and there’ll be some kind of dance class if that takes your fancy.
You don’t need to commit to weekly classes, but learning something new together is a great way to enjoy each other’s company while meeting other people.
10. Book An Experience Day
Websites like Groupon have deals on ‘experiences’ all the time. These are normally activities you’d never really think of doing when you’re planning on meeting up with a friend.
Swap your coffee and cake for an afternoon of zorbing (bouncing around in huge, springy domes), try out go-karting, or test your balance on high-ropes.
Sure, it might be a little bit pricier than your usual hangouts, but it’s worth the money for a one-off adventure!
11. Head To The Great Outdoors
Depending on the weather, getting outdoors and into nature is a great way to spend your time. Long country walks with a friend are a great way to de-stress and you’re likely to wind up feeling very inspired.
There’s something about being in nature that helps us feel more open and we often find ourselves sharing more.
Getting out and about is perfect if you or your friend have been feeling a bit down recently. It’s good to get your body moving and remind your friend, and yourself, that you’re alive!
If you’re in need of some quality time with your bestie, hit the trail and enjoy a day of fresh air, resetting, and getting those endorphins going.
12. Possibly On Bikes
While you’re thinking of heading outdoors, consider grabbing your bike.
If you fancy going slightly further afield than hiking trails can take you, cycling is a fantastic way to explore more of the great outdoors. Get some exercise in for the week and have fun with your friend while you pedal.
Cycling is great as it’s really easy to choose a route for whatever fitness level you’re working at. For the adventurous, mountain trails can be thrilling. If you’re after something slightly easier that allows you to actually talk to your friend while you cycle, look for something road-based or less hilly.
You can pack a picnic to enjoy at half-time or plan to stop off at a country pub along the way. Planning your little adventure is half the fun, so spend some time looking at maps and routes before you hit the road.
13. Arrange A Sleepover
Sleepovers in your 20s and 30s probably involve a lot more wine, SATC, and gossiping than they did in your teens, which is why they can be so much more fun.
You don’t need trash TV and alcohol to have fun, of course. Cozy up with a hot chocolate, a classic movie or interesting documentary, and spend some quality time with your closest friend.
Order pizza and snuggle up! This kind of activity can really help strengthen any friendships that are struggling slightly. Make a rule about not checking your phones every 2 minutes and get comfortable being around each other again.
It’s easy to drift apart sometimes, so nights where the only distraction is a silly movie or deciding what ice cream you fancy are a great way to reconnect.
14. Throw A Dinner Party
For more sophisticated nights in, why not throw a dinner party? Invite your other friends along and have a real mash-up of friendship groups. If you like everyone there, they’re bound to have something in common with each other!
Between you and your friend, spend time deciding who’ll shop, who’ll cook, and who’ll scour Pinterest for place-card inspiration and DIY table decorations.
Get dressed up and have fun making an effort. Half the fun is the planning and the other half is sitting in a room full of friends you love and just enjoying their laughter, stories, and company.
15. Get Pampered
Spa days are the best, let’s be honest. Being slathered in oils, mud masks, and lavender-scented lotion is pretty high on a lot of people’s wishlists.
Check online for deals in your local area – some gyms have great in-house spas, and hotels often allow day visitors to access their spas.
If you don’t want to splash out, but want something a bit fancier than an at-home face mask, you can visit a lot of spas and just use their pool areas. You might not get treatments included with the offer, but you get to sit around in a fluffy robe and slippers feeling like royalty.
Of course, home spas can be pretty fun with your close friends too – grab nail varnishes, coconut oil, and anything else that smells amazing and have fun.
16. Help Each Other With Life Admin
This one doesn’t really fit in with the general vibe we were going for, but we felt it was important to include anyway.
One of the most important, and most rewarding, parts of being best friends is being there for each other.
It might not be the ‘funnest’ of activities, but it’s one of the best things you can do for someone you care about – life admin.
Although cocktail parties and skydiving are wild and exciting, sometimes you just need to be there. If your friend is searching for a job, take time out to help them with their CV. If they’re going through a break-up, be the shoulder they cry on.
If they’re moving house, take a bottle of wine round and help them pack up. Turning simple, but often challenging, tasks into fun activities with a friend is what it’s all about.
So, there we have it – our 16 favorite ways to hang out with your best friend. Some of them are free and some of them require a little bit of saving up.
Whatever you decide to do with your closest friends, remember that the aim is to enjoy spending time with them. We’re all so busy that it can be easy to rush through that dinner you’ve been planning for months.
Take the time to be present, to really listen, and to just be there. At the end of the day, just hanging out with your friend is enough, whether it’s while you’re dangling from a bungee rope together or curling up on the sofa…