Spending time with your friends is an essential way of relaxing and unwinding. Sure, we can all go to the movies, to a bar, or out to dinner, but if you put a little thought into arranging something then you can all have a truly memorable experience. The best part is, with some creativity, the costs can be kept to a minimum and the shared experience will bring your gang closer together.
10. Decorating Party!
When you or one of your friends is remodeling or has moved to a new place, one of the first chores is molding it to the new occupants taste. A fun way to get it done is to have your friends over to pitch in. Obviously, some incentive is required, so maybe order in Chinese or pizza and beer afterwards.
For everyone to enjoy it, though, it is important to keep it light, so the host needs to avoid being painting fascist. Your friends can take pride in helping out and everyone accomplishes something as a team.
9. Artistic Pursuits
Okay, this one requires a bit of homework and prep, but your group of friends all get assigned a medium (sculpting, watercolors, pencil, etc.) in order to come up with their own masterpiece to be displayed at a nice sophisticated soiree a few weeks hence. The difference is that there are no names on the objects d’art, so the guests get to guess the creator, with the winner being the person with the most correct guesses.
After a suitably pretentious dinner, then the guests get to vote on the most impressive piece, again with a small themed prize. For added social conscience you could also incorporate an auction with proceeds going to a local charity.
8. YouTube Crucifixion
A nice cheap way to get everyone together laughing and possibly humiliated. Get YouTube on screen, and go to the Karaoke channel on there. Even if there are only a few of you it can be equally hilarious or horrendous. If you have a larger group, nominate a small panel of judges to turn it into a talent show ala America’s Got Talent. Try not to be too cutting in your judgment if you want to keep the performer as a friend, though.
Find a time when all your friends can get together and spend the whole weekend together. At a precursor meeting, bring along a map of your state and a pin. Shut your eyes and stab. The nearest city to that pin is where you are going for that weekend. It hopefully won’t involve air travel, but a cool road trip.
The easiest way to get your friends to buy in is to let everyone pick an activity to do. Someone picks a restaurant, another person an attraction, and so on. It will be a great weekend in an unfamiliar city and a new experience you all share.
6. Potluck Perfection
We have all been to potluck dinners at work or in social situations, and while it’s always nice to share your specialties, it’s not very inspired if you just make the same thing over and over, then pop it on the table and move on.
Chances are, you have already sampled your friends cooking. So, to mix it up, draw lots to pair off with another of your friends. You each teach the other your specialty, and then everyone gets together to sample. It allows one-on-one bonding inside of the whole group experience. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but should provide plenty of laughs along the way.
5. Gonna Shoot You Down!
In every group of friends there is a wide variety of personalities, and a great way to expose them is through the ancient art of shooting at each other. Be it laserquest, paintball, or water balloons soon enough the meekest of your friends will be acting like a trained mercenary. The important part is that when choosing teams, no one gets a choice. The fun wanes if married couple Steve and Courtney band together for this. When she leaps out from a dark corner and peppers him with ammo the fun starts.
4. Themed Feed
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Blase. Boring old Italian night. Nope. The host should pick a favorite film or TV theme to emulate and prepare a feast based around that (Okay, so if it’s the Godfather it would be Italian night). You like Star Trek? Prepare the Klingon delicacy gagh (Serpent worms, except they aren’t really). How about a fan of Game of Thrones? Medieval banquet. Or if you have a big enough stove, go all Flintstones on the ribs. Its only really limited by your imagination, and dressing up for the evening adds an extra bit of fun/humiliation. Just be prepared for cries of “Oh my God! What is that?”
3. Casino Night
Time to swank about with the guys in tuxes and the gals in gowns, as you host a casino. The sets can be bought fairly inexpensively and you can set up roulette, blackjack, and poker tables. Kid’s one arm bandits are good fun, too. No money changes hands, everyone has a good time, there is no real need to make a sumptuous meal as appetizers will suffice, and everyone gets to mingle and be informal. Just make sure you trust the dealer!
2. The Sky’s the Limit
When there is to be an astral event, like a meteor shower or eclipse, a nice idea is to watch it all as a group. Unless you are lucky enough to live in the sticks, you will need to get out of town, so why not make an occasion of it? A cooler full of treats and drinks, campfire with smores, hokey scary stories, with a thrilling light show in the heavens. It’s a different take on the old campfire paradigm, which is a nice way to spend time with friends, and romantic for couples.
1. Random Christmas!
Oh, is it Christmas already? Everyone loves Christmas, so why not have an ersatz one? Even if it’s in June. Forget your tasteful tree and minimalist wreath, and think Clark W Griswold and National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. Festoon your abode in lights, get a nice artificial tree then cluster bomb it with ornaments, find presents for the guests (the tackier and more inappropriate, the better) and sit down to egg-nog, Bing Crosby, and a full Christmas dinner with your friends. People mostly spend the real Christmas with family, so taking the chance to enjoy it with friends is sure to be great.