Being a parent is one of the most amazing parts of life. However, that doesn’t mean it is completely fulfilling. Spending your time outside of work with only your kids will leave you craving some recreational adult interactions.
Maintaining your friendships is every bit as important as raising your children. It doesn’t matter if you are returning to an old activity or trying something new, your friendships may be the only thing maintaining your mental health.
What can you do with friends without spending money?
With a little creativity and some good friends you can have so much fun, and not spend any money! I know, I know these days it’s hard to do anything without spending money but you can do things like:
- Game nights
- Movie Nights
- Trip to the park
- In home spa day
Keep scrolling for a full list of free activities!
Just Simply Mom’s Top Free Things to Do With Friends Ideas
The need for this adult interaction is a fundamental part of keeping ourselves healthy and happy. That is why I put together a list of fun activities you and your friends can do together without breaking the bank!
Game night is a classic activity to do with your friends. There is just something so relaxing about having fun with your friends in the comfort of your home. If you are wanting to try some new games, check these out:
While spending time outdoors isn’t everybody’s idea of a relaxing time, I personally can’t think of a better way to recharge my batteries!
The beach is such a relaxing place for a lot of people. If you and your friends are of this mindset, why not embrace it?
Going for a bike ride is a great way to get some exercise as well as enjoy some amazing weather. Going out with your friends on these rides is a great way to enjoy some beautiful weather as well as spend a lot of quality time together.
Nothing says friendship like a little competition. Having a cookoff is a great way to have a night full of laughs while enjoying some amazing home-cooked food!
Tackling your spring cleaning is never a fun task. If you want to make it more enjoyable, why not involve your friends?
Taking turns tackling each other’s house gives you a few weeks of laughs while still being productive.
Getting together is not always easy. Different work schedules mean different free time. That’s what makes late-night bonfires the best compromise for hanging out with your friends!
The simplest ideas are sometimes the best. Getting together with your friends at someone’s house is often one of the easiest places to get together.
Movie night is a classic friends’ night activity. There is no better way to spend time together than lounging together with one of your favorite movies!
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Snow may not be everyone’s favorite thing, but if you do enjoy it, it provides a fantastic form of entertainment. Going out with your friends and playing in the snow for a day can be one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get together and spend time with your friends.
Free Things to Do with Friends with Young Kids
If you and your friends have young kids, don’t fret! There are still plenty of ways to have fun with kiddos in tow.
I Spy is one of the best games you can play with your friends and their kids. It provides an opportunity to work on color, shape, and object recognition.
It also gives you the perfect way to keep little ones entertained without costing a cent!
Playing in the sprinkler at my grandmother’s house provided some of my favorite childhood memories.
Such a simple activity is guaranteed to keep kids entertained while keeping them cool in the summer heat. You and your friends can join in on the fun too!
Playing catch is such a great way to help little ones refine their gross motor skills. Throwing a frisbee, a ball, or even a balloon will definitely keep little ones happy and enjoying the outdoors.
Grab a mit with your friends and get outdoors!
Parades can be such a fun time! The excitement and variety can lead to some great memories, plus everyone gets to show off all of their cool toys!
Invite your friends and their kids to join in on the fun!
My son is obsessed with collecting rocks. If there was ever a free activity to keep future geologists happy, this would be it.
Go on a walk in a wilderness area, or even on a gravel road, and you’re definitely going to find something everyone wants to keep. Just make sure to take a bag with you!
Blanket forts are some of the best ways to entertain children, and who says you can’t have fun too? You can also let them try to design the fort themselves to help them learn about structural integrity to give them some unnoticed learning!
If you need help remembering how to make a good blanket fort, check out these blogs!
As a pro tip – build the fort and then enjoy some quiet time with friends while the kids enjoy! Ha!
Picnic at the playground
Pack lunch or snacks and head to a nearby playground for a fun and free picnic. Kids can enjoy playing on the swings, slides, and climbing structures while adults relax and chat.
It’s a great opportunity for kids to socialize and burn off some energy.
Storytime at the library
Many libraries offer free storytime sessions for young children. Check your local library’s schedule and attend a session with your friends and their kids.
Storytime often includes reading books, singing songs, and engaging in interactive activities that promote early literacy skills.
DIY art and crafts
Set up a craft station at home or in a local park and let the kids unleash their creativity. Provide materials like paper, markers, crayons, glue, and scissors.
Encourage them to create artwork, make collages, or even build their own sculptures using natural materials like sticks and leaves.
Outdoor movie night
Organize a movie night under the stars for a memorable evening with friends and their kids. Set up a projector and screen in your backyard or a nearby park, bring blankets and snacks and enjoy a family-friendly movie together.
It’s a cozy and entertaining experience for everyone.
Community playground hop
Explore different playgrounds in your community with your friends and their kids. Each week, choose a new playground to visit and let the kids have a blast trying out different equipment and making new friends.
DIY science experiments
Engage the little scientists in your group with fun and educational science experiments. There are numerous online resources that provide easy and inexpensive experiments using everyday household items.
From homemade volcanoes to exploring static electricity, these hands-on activities will spark curiosity and learning and are a great way to have fun with friends.
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Outdoor music and dance party
Choose a sunny day and set up an impromptu music and dance party in a park or your backyard. Bring along a portable speaker and create a playlist of everyone’s favorite songs. Let them show off their dance moves and enjoy some joyful and energetic moments together.
Cultural exploration day
Organize a cultural exploration day where each family brings a dish or snack representing their heritage. Set up a mini “food fair” where everyone can sample and learn about different cuisines.
You can also include cultural games, traditional music, and stories to make the experience more immersive and educational.
Free Things to Do with Friends with Older Kids
Spending time with your friends that have older kids can be fun and productive. There are lots of different options, plus the older kids have more stamina for adventures than littler ones!
Hiking is a great activity to do with older kids. Hiking gives them a chance to stretch their legs and maybe participate in a race!
You can choose a slightly more difficult trail to conquer which is fun for everyone!
Cookies are always a hit with kids. If you don’t know what to do to spend time when your friends have older children, pulling them into the kitchen to help bake some yummy cookies can be the perfect solution.
Tea parties are a great way to spend time together and do something different. With older kids, you might get to use that fancy China that’s gathering dust.
You can have everyone make some yummy desserts together and get dressed up which would be so fun! Whether you are simply pretending or drinking real tea, you have a great opportunity to let your friends and their kids try something new!
Free Things to Do With Friends That the Whole Family Can Enjoy
I think it is so much fun to get together with friends and their families. Some of my fondest memories as an adult is my family spending time with our friends and their families.
Time capsules are always neat. It’s the perfect way to remind yourself of what was important in your life at that time.
Everyone can add a little something to a time capsule and then when all the kids are graduated you can dig it up and reminisce.
Water Balloon Dodgeball
Playing dodgeball can be so much fun. Just swap out the balls for water balloons for some great summer fun.
This is a great way to keep everyone in the family nice and cool.
Scavenger hunts are such a great way to have fun with friends, and bonus(!) they are kid friendly! You can do an in-home hunt on bad weather days or an outdoor hunt when the weather is beautiful.
I love doing scavenger hunts with friends. If you have some kids that are older and some that are younger, you can pair up an older child with a younger one.
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Everyone has set up dominoes just to knock them down. Using dominoes or other objects can make for some great patterns!
You can make teams and have a friendly competition.
The wonders of the universe have always baffled humanity. If you are having a night outside, travel away from the city and glimpse at the innumerable stars in the night sky!
See if you can spot things like the big digger, little dipper, and Orion’s belt!
Clouds are nature’s kaleidoscope.
Just take a blanket to lay on to your local park and you have the perfect activity that the whole family will enjoy!
Working at the car wash! One way to make washing the car fun is to do it together. Getting everyone working together can make a task like washing cars fun.
Who knows, maybe it will turn into a family vs family water fight!
Make Wind Chimes
Wind chimes can be such a great gift or household accessory. Get the family and your friends together to make some beautiful wind chimes!
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Outdoor sports and games
Organize a friendly sports tournament or game day in a local park. Play games like soccer, basketball, frisbee, or volleyball.
It’s a great way to promote physical activity, teamwork, and friendly family competition with friends.
Outdoor cooking and BBQ party
Organize a potluck-style outdoor cooking and BBQ party. Each family can bring their favorite ingredients, and together you can prepare and grill delicious meals.
It’s a chance to bond over food, share recipes, and enjoy a tasty feast together.
DIY karaoke night
Host a DIY karaoke night at home. Set up a makeshift stage area, select a variety of songs, and take turns belting out your favorite tunes.
It’s a great opportunity for laughter, entertainment, and showcasing your hidden vocal talents.
Grab your smartphones or cameras and embark on a photography exploration adventure. Choose a theme or focus for the day, such as capturing architectural details, nature close-ups, or street scenes.
Walk around your neighborhood or a nearby picturesque location, capturing unique and beautiful shots along the way.
Board game extravaganza
Gather a collection of board games and host a board game extravaganza. Set up different game stations and let the kids and adults rotate between them.
From classic board games like Monopoly and Scrabble to modern strategy games, it’s a perfect opportunity for friendly competition, strategizing, and laughter.
Free Things to Do with Friends (Without Kids!)
We love our kids, but sometimes adult time is much needed. If you are on a strict budget or just want to challenge yourself to do free activities with friends, these are for you!
Learn A Language
Spending time with your friends without the kids around is always a blessing, but you may not know what to do with this time. If you want to do something that can be useful, why not learn a language together?
At Home Spa Day
Who doesn’t like to be pampered? Unfortunately, we may not have the ability or the financial stability to go to a spa. That is why having an at-home spa day with your friends is the perfect kid-free activity!
Sometimes you just get tired of the way your house looks. One way to remedy this problem is to get together with your friends and swap decorations. Bring everything together and spend some time redecorating everyone’s houses!
Most people don’t want to spend their time off doing more work. However, volunteering comes in many different forms. Just do an online search for some ways to volunteer in your area and decide what you and your friends want to do to help the community.
Brunch gets a bad reputation from a lot of people and influencers. Don’t let that stop you! If you and your friends want to get together and have brunch, host them at your house or maybe alternate houses and enjoy each other’s company over some great food!
Book clubs aren’t just for the elderly and empty nesters. Spending time together talking about a book everyone is reading through is a great way to spend time together. The best part is that the meeting location doesn’t have to be the same every time.
Some people love the look of older and antique items to decorate their homes. If this is you, looking through a bunch of antique shops is a great activity for you. If not, it is still interesting to look through these antique shops to see what your parents and grandparents used and played with when they were younger.
Sometimes your wardrobe needs a few new items. If you don’t want to go out and just buy some new clothes, get together with your friends and closet shop! This is a great way to change your look and wardrobe without having to spend any money!
Every now and again, you just need to have an excuse for enjoying some of your favorite appetizers. Having an appetizer party is the perfect chance for everyone to bring some of their favorite appetizers and just hang out!
Open House Visit
You don’t have to be in the market for a house to go to open houses. Sometimes it is just nice to get out and see something new. You can also use your visits for ideas on how to improve or change the feel of your own home!
Free Things to Do with Friends From Out of Town
When friends are visiting from out of town, it’s nice to show them around and make fun memories! See some fun and free ideas below!
If you have a friend from out of town visiting, showing them the sites is the perfect way to spend time together. Taking them on a tour of the city is a great way to spend the day together while seeing something new!
Poker doesn’t have to be about money. Just playing to play can be every bit as fun as any board game. The benefit of poker night is that you don’t have to “finish” the game to declare a winner if you want to declare a winner at all.
Taking someone from out of town to the local shops to window shop can be such a fun experience! There may not be much difference in styles between your cities, or there may be a huge difference. Just getting out there and spending that time together will be a great way to catch up.
The digital era has made sharing pictures much easier. However, you just can’t beat an old fashion photo album. Get together with a bunch of pictures and compile a photo album of the past year so you can look at how everyone’s families have grown side by side!
You don’t have to stay home when your friends come to visit. Sometimes a visit to nature is the perfect way to catch up. Hitting the camp grounds can be such a fun and rewarding experience for everyone involved!
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You don’t have to be in the same city to do an activity together. Some activities, such as a reading contest or race, can be just as enjoyable as going out and getting lunch.
Not everyone has the money to spend on concert tickets. Luckily, some cities host free concerts for the public. Just check online before your friend comes to your city and see what is happening in your area.
At Home Karaoke
Karaoke is always a fun way to spend time with your friends. Having an at-home karaoke night give you the enjoyment of great food/drinks as well as the fun of karaoke without leaving the comfort of your home or dealing with the potential “weird” people in public.
The local wildlife can be a great source of entertainment for you and your friends. If they are from out of town, their local wildlife may be vastly different than you own.
People Watching (Not Stalking)
People watching is a very esoteric form of amusement. It isn’t for everyone, but sitting in a mall or park and watching everyone around you can give your mind the creative outlet you need to relax. Take turns naming and describing everyone you see and you’ll have hours of fun!
Frequently Asked Questions about Free Things to Do With Friends
In this day and age, things are rarely free. It takes a lot of creativity to find something free to do. Here are answers to some burning questions you may have.
What can you do with friends that are bored?
There are lots of options of things that can be done with friends that are board. When my friends are bored I like to go outside, explore our city, take a walk or hike..things like that!
How Can I just have fun with Friends?
One of my favorite things to do with friends is sit outside and chat. This is great because you just get to be with friends, laughing, telling stories and having a good time.
How Can I Get Free Fun?
With a little creativity and determination, you can do so many free things for fun. Whether it’s a movie night or exploring the city, you can have free fun!
All in all, there are tons of ways to have fun with friends that are completely free! Did I miss any of your favorite ideas? Let me know in the comments below!