Everyone needs some rest and relaxation time, and even better if done with friends. However, it can be challenging to figure out the best location for your excursion with so many possible spots. Here are ten engaging places to hang out with friends.
10 Engaging Places to Hang Out with Friends
1) The Park
The perfect hang-out spot on a tight budget is the local park. From playing ball to classic playground activities and picnics, there are many free activities for all interests. Additionally, it’s ideal for those that need to bring and watch their children.
With the current difficulties of social distancing in light of the pandemic, the park is also a great outdoor solution to maintain distance between parties. When it’s harder to spend time outside, most parks even have a great sledding hill or even an ice skating rink during the winter months.
2) The Movies
The movies are a classic hang-out option, with most towns hosting at least one theater house. You may want to check out specialty theaters that serve cocktails or show limited screenings like local film festivals. Some theatres even offer membership clubs if you and your friend group are true cinephiles. Or, if you’re on a budget, try a dollar-saver cinema. A great socially distanced option is to go to a local drive-in instead.
3) An Amusement Park
An excellent option for any group of thrill-seekers, there are at least a couple of amusement parks in most states. Amusement parks are great for full-day getaways as most have arcades, eateries, carnival games, shops, live entertainment, costume character stops, and even firework shows in addition to rides.
Some amusement parks even hold special adult nights or events like “Scare Nights” for Halloween. While on the pricier side of this list, many amusement parks offer season passes or special coupons and deals. Not the best on this list for social distancing, but another good option with lots of outdoor attractions.
4) The Zoo
Our next place, the zoo, is fantastic for animal lovers and photography hobbyists alike. Another all-day getaway, most zoos have gardens, IMAX theatres, live shows, and eateries in addition to animal exhibits.
Similar to Amusement parks, zoos often have membership options with special after-hours events, and in the wintertime, most zoos have a lights festival. Due to being outdoors, the zoo is another excellent social distancing option.
5) Specialized Classes
There are always new skills to learn, so taking a class together at a specialized shop is another fantastic place to hang out. Often local shops will offer adult classes on subjects like art or cooking. Explore your downtown area to see what classes and types of shops are around you.
For those looking to save money, coupon providers like Groupon usually offer deals. Check out online classes on sites like Skillshare and Masterclass for a socially distanced alternative. Some reputable sites even offer free online lecture streamings, such as Harvard Science and Cooking.
6) Community Events
No matter how small, every community hosts seasonal festivals or weekly block parties, providing great hang-out spots. College towns typically have even more programs, with many significant college events open to the townspeople as well as the students. Better yet, these events are usually free or only charge a small entry fee.
Sometimes local community buildings such as libraries or pool complexes host special events. Check out your local newspaper or community website to learn about the events near you. Again, with many outdoor events, such as the annual county fair, there are plenty of opportunities to remain spaced out and distanced.
7) Escape Rooms
Great team-building activities, escape rooms are fun for all friend groups seeking a challenge. Due to being on a timed schedule, escape rooms are also a perfect activity and place for those without a lot of spare time.
If escape rooms give you anxiety, check out a similar alternative, such as trivia and bingo. For a socially distanced option, check out Mystery Escape Room Online or Evenchilada for a wide array of other equally entertaining but less stressful activities.
8) The Great Outdoors
Perfect for nature lovers, the hang-out spots and activities at state and national parks are endless. Possible outdoor pursuits include hiking, swimming, ziplining, backpacking, geocaching, horseback riding, mountain biking, and whitewater rafting. Parks also have special events such as bat watching or educational camps for all ages.
Check out your local park’s website for more information about offerings in your area. For those interested in maintaining social distancing, a state or national park is the best option on this list.
9) The Local Arts Scene
From college art shows to community theatre performances, every town has local artists needing an audience. Investigate the arts community in your location to find unique, unforgettable experiences to share as a friend group. If your group is adventurous with an artistic itch, you can even participate in the art scene. For social distancing, check out streamable musicals or virtual art shows.
Museums are another fabulous educational place to hang out with friends. From art to natural history exhibits, there are museums to pique anyone’s interests. If you’re looking for something a bit more unique, seek out a specialized museum, like the ventriloquism museum in Kentucky.
And don’t forget living museums like pioneer villages and museums connected to prominent outdoor historical spots like earthworks. For a social distancing option, check out one of the many famous museums offering virtual tours.
Tips for Determining the Best Places
Research your local area. There are so many great hang-out spots that it can be tricky to know where to begin. Try collectively answering some questions and setting parameters as a group to determine the best location for you:
1. Figure out the amount of time you have and if a particular time of the day works best.
2. Set a price range and determine if you have any other significant factors, such as having children with you.
Keep in mind that some places have free or discounted entry days, and consider the time of year.