Do you want to make friends and strengthen relationships? In this blog post, you’ll learn how to build relationships and spend quality time with your friends.
Simply pick one or more of the activities, invite your friends and acquaintances and watch your friendships grow. Then rinse and repeat with another activity!
Remember that building friendships takes time and effort. While some friendships effortlessly flow, you may find yourself wanting to take initiative and plan something fun to do. If you’d like to invite someone to hang out but aren’t sure where to start, then the list below can help!
- Grab a tea or coffee.
Yeah, it might seem cliché but it works. It’s so easy to spend quality time with your friends by going to a café. Conversation flows freely as you talk about what drinks you should get, your beverage preferences, and friendly judgments as you realize your friend ordered a pumpkin spice latte with extra whip. This is a great activity to do with a new friend to strengthen your relationship because if the conversation comes to a lull, there’s no pressure to linger after your drinks are done and there’s always interesting people to watch! If the conversation is great, you can order a refill and chat some more.
If you’re a coffee or tea connoisseur, then you could invite your friends over to your home for coffee or tea.
P.S. Maybe you’re really good at procrastinating when it comes to planning something with friends? You’ll find this blog post extremely helpful if you’re a master procrastinator like I once was. Hopefully, it will help you just pick up the phone and make plans!
- Find a new restaurant.
If both of you are worried about what to do, and neither wants to make a decision, then make a decision to find a new place together! A great way is to figure out what kind of food you feel like having, then Google places in your area that serve that kind of food. People often pick restaurants for first dates because it’s so easy to find things to talk about over dinner. The décor, the food, ethical views on meat production…anything is possible. Going out for breakfast, dinner, or lunch is wonderful because the conversation flows naturally. Plus, you can invite many friends if you’re looking to do something with a group of friends.
- Find a walking trail.
I’m fairly certain that no matter where you live that you can find somewhere to walk. If you live in area with lots of greenery, try to take advantage of that and find a hiking trail. Going for a walk with your friends gives you the freedom to talk while exercising. Many people are hesitant to spend one on one time with new friends or old friends that they need to reconnect with, but I can assure you that if both of you are in good health that you’ll end up enjoying the light exercise and conversation. You can invite more than 1 friend for a walk, but just be aware of the fact that sometimes sidewalks and paths only accommodate for 2 people. That awkward third person walking behind their friends on a sidewalk often gets left out of the conversation.
- Try a new fitness class.
Unless your friend loves some friendly competition, you might not want to invite them to play squash with you if they suck at squash and you’re a champion squash player. Try something you can both find equally challenging and bond together over your inability to touch your toes or keep up with the Zumba instructor. Feel free to invite your friends to fitness classes you’re a regular in though! Especially if you get referral deals. Just make sure not to make them feel inadequate or incompetent if it’s their first time.
- Have a potluck.
If you’d like to connect with a lot of friends or acquaintances, it can get pricey to host them all. Try asking everyone to bring some food. You’ll get to try tasting new dishes and take some of the pressure off of hosting. For a potluck, the more the merrier, so invite lots of people! This is a great way to connect with people you aren’t super close to yet but would like to be.
- Find a local festival.
There are always cool festivals going on in my city. I’m not talking Coachella or a rave festival (unless you’re into that sort of thing). Generally, a festival is an awesome way to have a lot of fun in a low commitment atmosphere. If you or your friend(s) feel you’re running out of things to talk about or get bored, it’s perfectly acceptable to leave and go home if you’re at a festival.
Try keeping an eye out for food festivals. I find these always spark great conversations and are extremely memorable. You’ll probably find food at a food festival that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else!
- Go to the park.
Okay, maybe I’m a bit biased because I’m a die-hard nature lover, but going to the park with friends is seriously underrated. It seems like a typical romantic date, but I promise you it can be a platonic date as well. You might be surprised to see lots of friends at the park. Some are having a picnic (potluck in the park, anyone?), playing ultimate frisbee, or simply walking around. I would highly recommend going to the park if you and your friend have something to talk about, but you don’t want to sit inside and discuss it. Most of us sit inside anyway (here’s a great article from Lifehacker on why sitting all day is dangerous). So use this tip to get you and your friends motivated to move around!
- Take some personality tests.
It might be a little weird to ask the person you just to take a personality test, so use this activity for people that you already have established a friendship with. I love taking personality tests with my friends when we’re just chilling at home and trying to kill time. Buzzfeed has random and silly tests/quizzes, but if you’re looking for something more serious you can try the MBTI personality tests. You can learn about the MBTI and take the test here.
Have fun learning more about each other and throwing around some harmless banter about how your personality type is better than theirs. Just be sure not to take the tests too seriously. While some tests are more accurate than others, they are never a substitute for a licensed psychologist’s evaluation.
- Just sit and chat.
How many of you can say you regularly just sit and talk with your friends with no distractions? I hope all of you can say yes! However, the reality is we get uncomfortable with nothing else to distract us from the thought of awkward silences. Granted, escape plans and distractions are needed sometimes. However, try to just sit and talk with your friends. I think you’ll find yourself closer afterwards and be pleasantly surprised that any awkward silences weren’t so awful after all.
Speaking of which, do you know how beneficial it can be to tune out and just relax in the silence? If you’re stressed out, you should try our Silent Day. Try it with your friends too and hold each other accountable!
- Make dinner together.
Unless you’re super comfortable in a friendship, making a dinner for two can get a little too intimate for most people in a normal friendship. So invite a few people to make the mood casual and fun.
Here’s what I do with my friends:
Decide on a dish that’s easy to make (e.g. chili). Then ask everyone to bring a lot of one or two ingredients (e.g. Kelly, you bring 10 cans of beans). Get together and make massive amounts of one dish and you’ll all have extra servings to take home and freeze or eat up for a week or so.
- Run errands together.
I used to think this was really lame until I did it. So don’t knock it until you try it. If you have a friend that you really enjoy just chilling out with, why not invite them out with you to run some errands if they live nearby?
I often find that my friend needs to run errands as well and genuinely enjoys having company while doing so. The conversation during these errand runs tends to flow naturally as you’ll be busy most of the time.
This works well if a friend asks to hang out but you don’t necessarily have extra time to hang out. Simply say something along the lines of: “Hey, I’m really busy today but why don’t you come with me to the mall? I have to pick up a new shirt for an event this weekend (insert your preferred emojis)”
- Watch a movie (or movies).
Most people are down for a movie and will happily oblige if you take the initiative to plan everything. Invite a few friends out to the theatre or host them in your home, it’s really up to you!
If you decide to host the movie party, don’t forget to prepare some simple snacks or ask your friends to bring their own.
- Game night!
Game nights don’t stop when you graduate high school. Adults love games too. Try witty games like Cards Against Humanity or Apples to Apples. Maybe go with a card game tournament (Dutch Blitz, Poker, Go Fish, etc.) Make sure to have music and snacks going! You can also ask people to bring snacks as well.
Many people will enjoy some alcohol as they play games, either to take their competitive edge off or to increase it! But feel free to keep it non-alcoholic if it makes you more comfortable.
Tip for hosting friends: Remember that as the host, you can control how much alcohol people drink. Unless you state it’s a BYOB party, people generally will not bring their own alcohol. If you don’t want anyone getting plastered at your house, then simply buy a couple bottles of wine or 1 or 2 cases of beer for 3-5 people. When that runs out, then it’s out!
- Have a yard sale together!
Pool your unwanted items and host a yard/garage sale. While gathering up your old junk may not be fun, you’ll probably have fun on the day of the sale as you get some cash for your stuff!
You can either keep the money or donate it to your local food bank (or charity of your choice).
Never done a yard sale? Find out some tips and tricks on how to host a great yard sale in this article by Moneycrashers.
- Find a charity you love and volunteer.
This doesn’t have to be a charity, it could just be your local soup kitchen or poverty initiative. For example, I met a lot of friends through simple volunteer nights hosted by local schools or religious organizations. Volunteers are always needed! You and your friends will make lots of memories, a positive impact, and hopefully strengthen your friendships!
- Go thrift shopping.
I find thrift shopping always sparks a lot of great conversation as you and your friends can chat about the random things you find the store. You also don’t have to spend too much money for this one. You can set a budget of $10, $20, $30, or more and see who can find the best bargains. I don’t know about you, but the things I find thrift shopping always hold a special place in my heart and I definitely remember the shopping trips with my friends.
- Go to a concert.
The only prerequisite to this is to invite friends with similar music tastes. Don’t invite your friend who hates rap to a rap concert. Even if they’re nice enough to say yes, they probably won’t enjoy it.
Concert tickets can get pricey, so if you’re strapped for cash, then try to find some free outdoor concerts (weather permitting) in your area.
- Go belt out some Karaoke.
The memories made at karaoke night are timeless. Check out your local bars or pubs for any days they have an open mic or karaoke.
If you and your friends are open minded and fun-loving, you’ll have a fun time at karaoke night. Even if you don’t participate, there’s something satisfying about watching random strangers get up on stage and sing their heart out.
- Go to a winery and taste some wine.
Only do this if you and your friends are of legal age and enjoy wine! There will be beautiful scenery, plenty of photo ops to prove your friendship to the social media world, and lots of wine to discuss. Enough said!
- Go to an arcade.
Much like game night, this is one that doesn’t really get old. I find that even the most apprehensive of friends end up having an amazing time by the end of the night. Channel your inner childhood with the help of your friends and go play some old-school games.
Chances are they will thank you for organizing such a fun time and want to do it again!
- YouTube marathon.
YouTube is huge. So I suggest starting with an agreed upon category and then searching and watching to your heart’s content.
Some suggested categories are:
- Funny Videos/Fails (Animals, Kids, Etc.)
- The Classics (think “Charlie Bit My Finger” or “David After Dentist”)
- Music Videos (Auditions, Covers, Official Videos)
- Self-Improvement Videos (Why Not 3 videos, TED Talks)
- Whatever else you can think of!
- Go geocaching.
Honestly, I thought geocaching was really dumb (sorry, geocaching lovers) until I tried it. If you don’t know what geocaching is, it’s basically walking/hiking to a predetermined coordinate via a GPS and finding a little treasure box that’s there. In other words, it’s a real life treasure hunt for grown-ups. You are free to take something from the treasure box provided you put something of your own in its place for the next person!
It was surprisingly fun and slightly addictive. It’s safer to go with a group of people, so invite your friends! It’s really easy to learn more about geocaching, if you’re interested!
As you were reading these tips, did you find yourself thinking that some of these tips sounded too time-consuming? Were you maybe thinking, “Who has time for this stuff?”
If you struggle with time-management or being stressed out because you procrastinated too much, then Why Not 3 can help you. We believe a work-life balance that allows you to spend ample time with loved ones is absolutely necessary, and we want to help you get it. Why Not 3 gives you practical advice to help you get your life balanced for free. Simply sign up for some super cool emails where Lova Kremer (founder of Why Not 3) shares the tools that helped him grow and balance his own life to become happier, healthier, and wealthier.
Share this blog with your friends using the buttons blow to get some mutual planning going on! Or simply share it anyway if you liked the post! Happy friendship building!
Let us know in the comments below if you tried out any of these tips. We’d love to hear from you!