backlit dawn foggy friendship

50 Ideas for Affordable Fun With Friends

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Spending time with friends is one of the greatest joys that life has to offer. Whether you’re seeing someone you live next door to or hosting a party for out-of-town visitors, having fun and affordable (or free) things to do will make you a more elegant and successful host!

Here are some great ideas to help you plan an incredible time with your loved ones – without emptying your wallets.

three friends walking together on road between tall trees

Fun At Home:

  1. DIY Face Mask Bar – There are hundreds of DIY Face Mask Recipes & Guides out there, and it’s easy to set up a station of supplies right in your kitchen (full of ingredients from your kitchen)!
  2. Board Game Night & Exchange – Get into the spirit of friendly competition with monopoly, card games, & more! At the end, you can exchange your games to keep the fun going.
  3. Vision Boarding – Pull out some paper, scissors, and glue, and go to town on magazines or printed images to create a vision board for all of your life goals!
  4. Upcycling Clutter – Dig around your house a bit, and you’re bound to find all sorts of things you have no real use for. Go online and find out ways to transform them using the (eco-friendly) magic of Upcycling!
  5. Book Exchange – Become your own library by gathering all of your old books and swapping them with a friend. You both get new books without spending any money!
  6. Clothes Swap – Go through your closet to find all of your underused clothing and switch it out with a friend! It’s all the fun of shopping with none of the cost.
  7. Adult Coloring Books – Get a set of adult coloring books for cheap or print out your own pages online, then gather any colored pens, pencils, or markers you have for a night of fun! A bottle of merlot is an added bonus.
  8. DIY Cocktail Competition – Find all of your cocktail or mocktail ingredients and lay them out on your counter with a bowl of ice, some garnishes, and a shaker. Then find out who can concoct the best (or worst) DIY cocktail!
  9. Bad Movie Competition – Find the absolute worst, most hilarious movies or shows you can and watch them (or try to) and decide who deserves the B movie crown!
  10. Dream-Trip Planning – Sit down and write out everything about the vacation, road trip, or retreat of your dreams! You can also print out pictures and maps to add to the experience (and hopefully for a manifestation boost).
  11. Goal-Setting Session – Bring your planners, journals, and your best pens for an evening or afternoon of goal setting and strategizing.
  12. Makeup Exchange – Look through your makeup collections and find the items that don’t work for you (such as palettes whose colors are too light or dark for you, etc), then exchange for a vanity revamp that costs you nothing!
  13. Home Makeovers – Visualize the perfect looks for each other and then try to make that vision a reality! If you accidentally create a disaster, you can have a great time posting before and after pics to your social media feeds for everyone to see.
  14. At-Home Spa Day – Gather some towels, large bowls, face masks, and anything else you have for a rejuvenating (and cheap) day of rest and beauty.
  15. Redecorating Party – Pick a room and let your friend(s) help you to transform it using whatever you have on hand. The change will be great for your mental health, and you’ll have new memories to cherish.
  16. De-Clutter Club – Form a team to tackle each other’s clutter (you can switch between homes to make it fair). Take it one room at a time, and see what you can accomplish in an afternoon!
  17. Astrology Charting – Use one of the hundreds of free astrology websites online to chart your signs together. See if anything surprises you!
  18. Dance Tutorials – Youtube is filled with (good and bad) dance tutorials. You can each pick a song and see if you can learn the steps without cracking up…or falling on your behinds.
  19. Making DIY Beauty Products – You can make scrubs, lotions, and even DIY makeup using ingredients from your own kitchen! See what you can whip up together using any of the great DIY beauty guides out there.
  20. Wine & Paint-By-Numbers РInstead of spending a ton of money on one of the wine & paint studios that have popped up all over the country, make your own version by buying or printing out paint-by-number templates and drinking some delicious (and affordable) ros̩!
  21. Bullet Journaling – Learn the art of BuJo together and transform your lives! All you need is a notebook, some pens, and a good BuJo guide for beginners to get started.
  22. Around-The-House Recipe Competition – Put your heads together and sort through pantries, freezers, fridges, and drawers to find as many ingredients as you can. Then, see what each of you can make out of them! There are several great ingredient-to-recipe guides out there that will help you plan.
  23. Jewelry Exchange – Similar to the clothes and makeup swap, see if you have jewelry you don’t wear anymore and exchange it with friends for a mental and physical boost.
  24. Making Wishlists – Set an imaginary budget or pretend money is no option, and list everything you’ve ever wished for together. Compare your lists and get to know each other better!
  25. Online Window Shopping – Instead of going out and poking in and out of stores (especially during this pandemic), enjoy the at-home version by opening up as many store sites as you want and favoriting all the things that catch your eye!
  26. Doing Makeup Tutorials – Find the worst and best online makeup tutorials you can, and then see if you can recreate them together with what you have!
  27. At-Home Fashion Show – You might be surprised at how many outfits you can put together from your existing wardrobe when you have some new eyes on it. See what you can create, and take pictures to remember the outfits with!
  28. At-Home Hair Appointment – You can buy some decent drugstore dye and change up your hair colors, or just try some tutorials from Pinterest and see what styles you can recreate with friends, all without spending more than a few bucks (at most)! For the braver among you, you can try to learn how to give a haircut…
  29. At-Home Mani-Pedis – Bring all of your tools and polishes, some bowls of hot water and homemade scrubs, and go to town!
two friends doing face masks at home together

Beyond The Home:

  1. Backyard Camping – If the weather is nice and the season is right, you may not even need a tent for this. Sleeping outside is a great way to shift your mindset and get some much-needed change into your lives!
  2. Skywatching – Use a chart or one of the great astronomy apps out there to find constellations, comets, meteors, and more together. If you’re lucky (or unlucky), maybe you’ll even see a UFO…
  3. Country Drive – Even if you live in the heart of a metropolitan supercity, most of us live just a short drive away from rural roads and farmland. Put the windows down and listen to music as you take in the sights of the country!
  4. Nature Walk – Whether you’re wandering around a suburban street or going deep into the heart of a National Park, nature is everywhere. You never know what you’ll find if you go and spend an hour in the great outdoors!
  5. Backyard Photo Shoot – Dress in your best sundresses, outdoor gear, or loungewear for a photoshoot! You can edit the pictures together using any number of free mobile or desktop apps and post them on social media.
  6. Mini Gardening Club – Pick a small and simple DIY gardening project and see if you can accomplish it together. There are lots of great guides and lists about DIY gardening to choose from!
  7. Finding Free Stuff From Craigslist – This activity should be undertaken with caution, so be smart about safety before you go to any home or business for pickup. Craigslist’s free section has lots of random stuff you can repurpose or fix up together, from old furniture to electronics!
  8. Wood Pallet Projects – Wood pallets can often be found or gotten for free from local farms and businesses, and there are hundreds of amazing DIY pallet projects you can do with them!
  9. DIY Furniture Rehab – Do you have any old furniture that’s seen better days? See if the two of you can find a way to repair or refurbish it!
  10. Make A Bird Station – Use supplies from the local craft or hardware store, or pick up the sticks and other materials left by nature herself to create a place for native birds to eat, drink, rest, and nest in your own backyard! You can also make a DIY hummingbird feeder very easily.
  11. Visit A Historical Site – Most towns and cities have a historical society and various sites relating to battles, archeology, or old settlements. Find out more about the place you live and support the local culture by visiting a site!
  12. Car-Trunk Picnic – Skip the itchy grass and just lay out a blanket right in your car for a lovely and affordable picnic. Pack some snacks and drinks and enjoy the day together!
  13. Nature’s Treasure-Hunting – Remember when you were a kid and had to pick up every pretty rock or feather you saw? Well, that part of you is still inside…so go release your inner child and see what you can find outdoors for crafting or simple admiring!
  14. Learning An Outdoor Skill – There are many levels to outdoorsmanship, whether you’re a beginner or a pro. Pick a skill from an outdoor survival book or a youtube video and see what you can do! Plus, the skills could come in handy one day…
  15. Make A Fire-Pit – With some stones, dirt, and wood, you can make an aesthetic and welcoming DIY fire pit in your yard! Just make sure you put safety (and legality) first by looking up local ordinances and tips on how to minimize fire risk.
  16. S’Mores Party – Whether you’ve got a fire pit or just some unscented candles, s’mores are an easy and delicious way to have fun and fill up together. You can also use the oven to bake your s’mores…but where’s the fun in that?
  17. Build An Outdoor Kitchen – This is a more ambitious activity, but it’s also easier than you might think. There are a lot of instructions and DIY outdoor kitchen guides available for free, and you can use recycled or reclaimed materials to make nearly anything!
  18. Redo Your Home’s Front Door – Does your house or apartment lack luster? Add some fun art, homemade decorations, and flowers to your outdoor entry to add a touch of class and fun to your space while bonding with a friend!
  19. DIY Flower Box-MakingFlower boxes can be made for indoor or outdoor use very easily. These simple items add a lot of color and joy to life, and working on them teaches you basic crafting skills!
  20. Upcycling Junk Into Outdoor Decor – This is related to some of the other ideas, but upcycling is truly a versatile skill to learn. Choose a guide and see what you can create from junk or forgotten materials near your home!
  21. Make A Bonfire – If you live in a place where this is possible, a simple bonfire is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors with loved ones. Spend a Summer or Autumn evening beside the crackling flames, and just enjoy each other’s company for a while!
woman in blue dress and a hat reaching for a fruit in a garden
Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva on

As we continue to largely self-isolate due to the pandemic, the time has never been better to think of safe, affordable, and fun activities to do at or near your home.

Life is best when you embrace the simple things, and beauty can be found in the most unexpected places. Get creative and share the love!

Do you have any ideas to add to this list? Let us know in the comments! Until next time, darlings.

two women sitting on vehicle roofs together out in rural place

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