15 Inexpensive Things To Do With Your BFFs This Summer


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When summer hits, college students are excited at first. “Look at all this free time!” they exclaim. Within the first few weeks, though, doing nothing all day every day can start to get boring. “Look at all this free time!” suddenly turns from an exciting exclamation into a terrifying realization and even if you’ve got a part-time job or internship for the summer, you’re bound to have plenty of hours where there just isn’t anything going on.

Summer is a great time to catch up with hometown friends, or even college friends if they live in the same area as you. Sometimes we run out of ideas of what to do together, though, and that’s where this list comes in!

Enjoy these 15 ideas on how to have inexpensive or free summer fun with your besties.


Picnic in the park.

Things to Do on Sunday Funday

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This one is super easy–just find a nearby park (or even someone’s grassy backyard), put down some comfy blankets and have a nice lunch together. Pack sandwiches, some chips and a little cooler full of drinks and you’ll be all set for the afternoon.


Get in shape together.

Running on campus date ideas college

Shutterstock

These people look very happy to be running. If your group of friends is motivated enough to go on jogs together or train for marathons together, then all the power to ya. However, there are other ways to get in shape! Get a group of friends together and go for long walks or play some sports. Being athletic with friends who have similar goals will make you more likely to follow through with your exercise regimen, and you’ll all have super hot bodies to show off at the beach. (Not that you didn’t already!)

—-ADVERTISEMENT—-


Go on a photo shoot.

photography

If you’re into photography (or just maintaining your perfectly tailored social media presence), get together a group of friends to go on a photoshoot. No matter where you live, you’ll find interesting stuff to photograph and cool backdrops to pose against. If you’re in a city, there will be unique buildings and funky street art to stand beside. If you’re somewhere more rural, you can pose amongst trees or flowers and appreciate their natural beauty.


Walk shelter dogs together.

Puppies

Shutterstock

This is one of my favorites on the list, to be honest. If your group of friends is bored one afternoon, a lot of animal shelters will let people volunteer to take the dogs on walks. It’s a win-win for everyone involved: the shelter workers have less to do, the dogs get their nice long walks, and you get to spend time with cute animals! There is literally no downside to this (unless you’re allergic to dogs).


Visit an art museum or gallery.

Wikimedia Commons

Art galleries and museums should not be difficult to find if you are somewhere urban and even if you’re in a smaller town, there may be local galleries that you can check out. Whether you know about all of the classic paintings or you just like to look at the colors (me), spending the day amongst great art can be relaxing and inspirational. Plenty of museums are either free or have significant student discounts, so do some research to find options near you.

—-ADVERTISEMENT—-


Watch all the movies.

There is no shame in spending some time in front of the silver screen, but there are ways to make it even more fun than your typical Netflix binge. Host a movie night and rather than just going with random picks, give it a theme: horror movies, ’80s movies, rom-coms… You get the idea. Or have your friends collectively decide on a show to watch and then meet up for a viewing of the most recent season finale.

If you can find drive-in movies or outdoor public movies in your area, I would highly recommend trying one out–these are super cool experiences, and you get to not only enjoy the nice weather but also potentially meet new people who have similar film tastes. Many towns and cities host free movie nights, so it’s worth looking into.


Paint your nails summery colors.

Shutterstock

If you really want to treat yourself, round up a group of friends and get your nails done at the salon. If you’re looking to save some money and/or get a little more creative than the typical manicure, get together at someone’s house and paint each others’ nails. (Or paint your own nails in the company of each other.)

Looking for some color inspiration? Check out these summer colors.


Hit up the local farmer’s market.

couple dates

shutterstock

If you and your friends browse around at a local farmers market, you may find some things that aren’t in your grocery store. This is a great one for foodies who have run out of places to brunch and are looking to expand their horizons. With fresh fruit, delicious vegetables, plant-based products and more, you’re all sure to find something that you like.


Learn new recipes together.

leslie knope, parks and recreation, waffles

Take all of those beautiful ingredients from your farmer’s market adventure (or from Stop & Shop if you don’t have that kind of time), gather in somebody’s kitchen and learn how to make something together. This is something that you can do over and over again because there are so many recipes out there, especially for beginners. Cooking is a skill that will actually come in handy one day when you’re living off-campus and actually have to fend for yourself instead of popping by the dining hall to a ready-made meal.

—-ADVERTISEMENT—-


People watch.

Shutterstock

I’m a big fan of the people watching. I find people so fascinating to watch, and I always find myself wondering what their lives are like, why they’re dressed the way they are, what their relationships are to each other, the whole nine yards. Sit on a bench or at a bar with a couple of your friends and make up stories about the strangers around you. Honestly, this can be entertaining for hours if you get a group of creative people together.


Find a local trivia night.

 

Shutterstock

Many restaurants and bars will designate one night of the week to be “trivia night,” and you can’t take on all of those hard questions alone. Gather a group of friends–the more, the merrier–and join forces to become the winning team. I once went to a school-sanctioned trivia night with some friends, and although we didn’t come in first place, we did win a giant chocolate chip pancake, so I’d say the evening was a success.


Go for a drive.

If you and a few friends don’t have anywhere in particular to be, it can be really nice to just drive around, enjoy the scenery and catch up. Some of my fondest high school and home-from-college-for-breaks memories have been doing just this. When you find people that you really connect with, the conversations will flow naturally, and it doesn’t even really matter where you are, so drive all around.

—-ADVERTISEMENT—-


Support a cause that’s important to you.

Gay Pride Flag

Shutterstock

If your friends are particularly dedicated to a cause, such as supporting LGBT+ rights or protesting against animal cruelty, there are always plenty of protests and fundraising events taking place in and around major cities. If there isn’t one coming up for the cause that you care about, all of you can organize an event together to raise awareness within your community.


Volunteer together.

last minute spring break ideas college

Shutterstock

Volunteering for a local organization can be a great way to spend your free time this summer and volunteer organizations are generally looking for as many people to help out as possible so it can make a great group activity as long as you’re all capable of staying focused while you work. If you want to find volunteer opportunities in your area but don’t know where to start, click here for some inspiration.

—-ADVERTISEMENT—-


Go thrift shopping.

gossip girl, gif

Who are we kidding? Shopping is so much fun, and everyone needs a day to feel fabulous every now and then. Buying new clothes doesn’t have to break the bank, though. Do some research on thrift stores in your area and plan a day of thrift shopping with your most fashionable friends. Not only will you find clothing at lower prices, but you’ll also find things that are unique instead of wearing the same crop top that eight other girls at your school also own.


Shutterstock

When summer hits, college students are excited at first. “Look at all this free time!” they exclaim. Within the first few weeks, though, doing nothing all day every day can start to get boring. “Look at all this free time!” suddenly turns from an exciting exclamation into a terrifying realization and even if you’ve got a part-time job or internship for the summer, you’re bound to have plenty of hours where there just isn’t anything going on.

Summer is a great time to catch up with hometown friends, or even college friends if they live in the same area as you. Sometimes we run out of ideas of what to do together, though, and that’s where this list comes in!

Enjoy these 15 ideas on how to have inexpensive or free summer fun with your besties.


Picnic in the park.

Things to Do on Sunday Funday

Shutterstock

This one is super easy–just find a nearby park (or even someone’s grassy backyard), put down some comfy blankets and have a nice lunch together. Pack sandwiches, some chips and a little cooler full of drinks and you’ll be all set for the afternoon.


Get in shape together.

Running on campus date ideas college

Shutterstock

These people look very happy running. If your group of friends is motivated enough to go on jogs together or train for marathons together, then all the power to ya. However, there are other ways to get in shape! Get a group of friends together and go for long walks or play some sports. Being athletic with friends who have similar goals will make you more likely to follow through with your exercise regimen and you’ll all have super hot bodies to show off at the beach. (Not that you didn’t already!)

—-ADVERTISEMENT—-


Go on a photo shoot.

photography

If you’re into photography (or just maintaining your perfectly tailored social media presence), get together a group of friends to go on a photoshoot. No matter where you live, you’ll find interesting stuff to photograph and cool backdrops to pose against. If you’re in a city, there will be unique buildings and funky street art to stand beside. If you’re somewhere more rural, you can pose amongst trees or flowers and appreciate their natural beauty.


Walk shelter dogs together.

Puppies

Shutterstock

This is one of my favorites on the list, to be honest. If your group of friends is bored one afternoon, a lot of animal shelters will let people volunteer to take the dogs on walks. It’s a win-win for everyone involved: the shelter workers have less to do, the dogs get their nice long walks and you get to spend time with cute animals! There is literally no downside to this (unless you’re allergic to dogs).


Visit an art museum or gallery.

Wikimedia Commons

Art galleries and museums should not be difficult to find if you are somewhere urban and even if you’re in a smaller town, there may be local galleries that you can check out. Whether you know about all of the classic paintings or you just like to look at the colors (me), spending the day amongst great art can be relaxing and inspirational. Plenty of museums are either free or have significant student discounts, so do some research to find options near you.

—-ADVERTISEMENT—-


Watch all the movies.

There is no shame in spending some time in front of the silver screen, but there are ways to make it even more fun than your typical Netflix binge. Host a movie night and rather than just going with random picks, give it a theme: horror movies, ’80s movies, rom-coms… You get the idea. Or have your friends collectively decide on a show to watch and then meet up for a viewing of the most recent season finale.

If you can find drive-in movies or outdoor public movies in your area, I would highly recommend trying one out–these are super cool experiences and you get to not only enjoy the nice weather but also potentially meet new people who have similar film tastes. Many towns and cities host free movie nights, so it’s worth looking into.


Paint your nails summery colors.

Shutterstock

If you really want to treat yourself, round up a group of friends and get your nails done at the salon. If you’re looking to save some money and/or get a little more creative than the typical manicure, get together at someone’s house and paint each others’ nails. (Or paint your own nails in the company of each other.)

Looking for some color inspiration? Check out these summer colors.


Hit up the local farmer’s market.

couple dates

shutterstock

If you and your friends browse around at a local farmers market, you may find some things that aren’t in your grocery store. This is a great one for foodies who have run out of places to brunch and are looking to expand their horizons. With fresh fruit, delicious vegetables, plant-based products and more, you’re all sure to find something that you like.


Learn new recipes together.

leslie knope, parks and recreation, waffles

Take all of those fine ingredients from your farmers market adventure (or from Stop & Shop if you don’t have that kind of time), gather in somebody’s kitchen and learn how to make something together. This is something that you can do over and over again because there are so many recipes out there, especially for beginners. Cooking is a skill that will actually come in handy one day when you’re living off-campus and actually have to fend for yourself instead of popping by the dining hall to a ready-made meal.

—-ADVERTISEMENT—-


People watch.

Shutterstock

I’m a big fan of the people watching. I find people so fascinating to watch and I always find myself wondering what their lives are like, why they’re dressed the way they are, what their relationships are to each other, the whole nine yards. Sit on a bench or at a bar with a couple of your friends and make up stories about the strangers around you. Honestly, this can be entertaining for hours if you get a group of creative people together.


Find a local trivia night.

 

Shutterstock

Many restaurants and bars will designate one night of the week to be “trivia night” and you can’t take on all of those hard questions alone. Gather a group of friends–the more, the merrier–and join forces to become the winning team. I once went to a school-sanctioned trivia night with some friends and although we didn’t come in first place, we did win a giant chocolate chip pancake, so I’d say the evening was a success.


Go for a drive.

If you and a few friends don’t have anywhere in particular to be, it can be really nice to just drive around, enjoy the scenery and catch up. Some of my fondest high school and home-from-college-for-breaks memories have been doing just this. When you find people that you really connect with, the conversations will flow naturally and it doesn’t even really matter where you are, so drive all around.

—-ADVERTISEMENT—-


Support a cause that’s important to you.

Gay Pride Flag

Shutterstock

If your friends are particularly dedicated to a cause, such as supporting LGBT+ rights or protesting against animal cruelty, there are always plenty of protests and fundraising events taking place in and around major cities. If there isn’t one coming up for the cause that you care about, all of you can organize an event together to raise awareness within your community.


Volunteer together.

last minute spring break ideas college

Shutterstock

Volunteering for a local organization can be a great way to spend your free time this summer and volunteer organizations are generally looking for as many people to help out as possible so it can make a great group activity as long as you’re all capable of staying focused while you work. If you want to find volunteer opportunities in your area but don’t know where to start, click here for some inspiration.

—-ADVERTISEMENT—-


Go thrift shopping.

gossip girl, gif

Who are we kidding? Shopping is so much fun and everyone needs a day to feel fabulous every now and then. Buying new clothes doesn’t have to break the bank, though. Do some research on thrift stores in your area and plan a day of thrift shopping with your most fashionable friends. Not only will you find clothing at lower prices, but you’ll also find things that are unique instead of wearing the same crop top that eight other girls at your school also own.






15 Inexpensive Things To Do With Your BFFs This Summer