How to Hang Out with Friends on a School Night
With homework, extracurriculars, and curfews, it can be difficult to hang out with your friends on a school night. Luckily, there are plenty of fun activities you can do together on a weeknight, like watching a TV show together, playing board games, visiting a local coffee shop, or even simply doing homework together.
Finding Things to Do for Free
Choose a TV show to watch together on a weekly basis.This could be a show that is currently airing, or it could be an older series that you can access through a streaming network. Set a date for the same day and time every week to get together at someone’s house to watch the next episode (or 2 or 3) of your show!
- Picking a show to watch that is half an hour to an hour long is more manageable on a school night than trying to watch an entire movie together, though you may be able to fit that in, too!
Break out the board games and cards.Monopoly, Clue, Risk, Settlers of Catan, Rummy—there are tons of different games you can choose from for a few hours of fun in the afternoon with your friends. You could even keep a running score from week to week to see who the ultimate winner is at the end of a semester or the school year.
- It can be fun to get off your phone and focus on the game in front of you. Try making everyone put their phones into a basket for the duration of the game so everyone is present.
Make a movie together using your phones.You could remake a favorite scene from a movie, or even do a parody of something you’ve seen on TV recently. Or, try writing an original script and directing your friends in a movie of your own design. You can do this at someone’s home, at a local park, or around town.
- If you own a Mac, try using iMovie to edit your video and add music. Alternately, if you own a PC, download free movie editing apps like Story Remix or Blender.
Start a club based on common interests that meets every week.You could start a book club, a sports fan club, or any club based on unique interests. Set a date for the same day and time every week to get together with your friends to specifically talk about or do this thing.
- For example, if you wanted to start a book club, you and your friends could vote on a new book to read every month. You could meet every week to discuss the progress you’ve made in the book, or just meet once a month.
Volunteer together after school to give back to your community.Look into different programs, like tutoring, walking dogs, visiting the elderly, or cleaning up the local park. Ask your friends to go with you—this is a fun way to spend time together while also doing something good.
- If you need a ride and don’t drive yet, make sure to ask your parents or a sibling ahead of time if they can drop you off.
Host a “Iron Chef” night.This is something you could do on any given weekday. Ask your parents to make sure they are okay with you raiding the cupboards, and then have a few friends over to cook. The key is that you have to make a meal based off of just the ingredients you can find in the house. Ask your family (or other friends) to be taste-testers and vote for their favorite meal.
- Make sure to help clean up the kitchen afterwards!
Watch YouTube tutorials to teach yourself to dance.You can learn classic dance moves or imitate the steps to a famous music video, like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” You can also search for party dance moves and have fun practicing together with your friends.
- Try choreographing your own moves to a favorite song and make a music video of your own!
Going Out with Your Friends
Visit a museum or art gallery together.Look up local museums online to find out when they offer free admission. Most museums aren’t open past 5 or 6 pm, so you will need to plan to go right after school. Coordinate rides with your friends or a family member.
- A nice thing about going to a museum is that you can still have the evening free to do homework and take care of any other responsibilities you may have.
Take a trip to the mall to window-shop and eat at the food court.Pick out clothes for your friends to try on and host mini “fashion shows.” Stop at a pet store to pet the cats and dogs and rabbits. Visit the food court to try different foods (and maybe even get some free samples!).
- You can even play games at the mall: try playing “I Spy,” but with people. Maybe you are looking for someone with pink or blue hair, or someone with a child, or a person who is wearing high heels. Come up with different categories and keep score of who spots a certain person first.
- Be respectful of workers at the stores. If you try on clothes and aren’t going to buy anything, make sure to hang things back up neatly rather than leaving them strewn about the dressing room.
- Stay close to your friends and don’t go off by yourself when you’re at the mall.
Visit a local coffee shop or bookstore for a few hours after school.You can chat with your friends, enjoy a beverage, and browse books together. You could even do homework together at the coffee shop! Bring a little bit of money with you (- should be enough).
- Remember to give the barista a tip if you go to a coffee shop, even if it is only 50 cents.
Play a sport together for fun.Go to your local park and bring a basketball, soccer ball, or baseball and spend an hour or 2 hanging out with your friends. You could play a more organized game where you keep score, or just hang out and toss or kick the ball back and forth.
- You could even start an informal league that meets once or twice a month!
Go to the beach at night to watch the sunset.Take your phones with you, and take photos together as the sun goes down. Bring a blanket or chairs to sit on, and bring some snacks. If the weather is nice, you could even wear your swimsuits and take a nighttime dive.
- Make sure your family knows where you are going, and ask for permission before going out on a school night.
- If you do go swimming at night, be careful to not go out to far or stray away from your friends.
Visit different murals around town and take pictures in front of them.You could also stop by different landmarks in your community, like statues or art structures, and get photos in front of those things, too. Be creative and have fun! Try imitating a statue’s pose or catching a mid-jump photo.
- If you can’t drive, you may need to ask a parent to drive you and your friends to different spots.
Accomplishing Things Together
Do your homework together.Set aside a few hours after school each week to get together at someone’s house, the library, or a local coffee shop and hit the books! You could even set a timer for 1 or 2 hours, and once the timer goes off you could go out and do something fun.
- If you aren’t able to concentrate with other people around or if you’ll be tempted to not complete your homework, this might not be the best option for you.
Exercise together to establish healthy hobbies while being social.If you’re on a sports team, you may already be doing this, but if not, join a gym with a friend or simply start taking long walks or jogs around your neighborhood together.
- Working out with a friend also keeps you accountable to exercising regularly.
- If you have a dog, make a habit of walking it after school with a friend.
Make dinner for your family together.If you’re responsible for helping to make dinner, you could invite a friend over and cook a meal to spend time together while at the same time getting a task done. Or vice versa, you could go to a friend’s house and help them make dinner.
- Make sure your family is okay with a guest coming over for dinner before making plans.
Plan a reading date with snacks.Choose 1 day, like the fourth Thursday of each month, to get together with friends to concentrate on reading assignments. You could also make this a homework party, or a “just for fun” reading party. You’ll be spending time together while also making progress on a goal. Prepare or buy some snacks for everyone to enjoy, and make an afternoon of it!
- Doing common activities together, even if you aren’t directly interacting, is still a great way to spend some time with your friends.
Help your friends organize their bedrooms.Choose an afternoon to go to your friend’s house and help them organize their bedroom or closet. If you have a group of friends, you could rotate which house you go to every week so everyone gets some help.
- Donate things that are still in good shape but no longer wanted, like outgrown clothes.
To hang out with your friends on a school night, find a show that you all like and get together once a week to watch an episode or two. You could also host a game night with your friends and ask everyone to bring over a game for you all to try. If you don't want to be cooped up inside, go to the mall with your friends and window shop or eat at the food court. Even just hanging out at a coffee shop or bookstore with your friends can be a fun after-school activity!
- If your parents have rules or chores you need to complete before hanging out with friends, try to get those things done right after school so you can have free time in the evening.
- Always make sure to let your family know where you are going if you’ll be away from the home.
Video: Wanna Hangout?
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