When picking things to do with your squad over the weekend, bar hopping always seems to be the number one choice, however, it can get old and expensive really fast. If you’re bored of going out or a little broke, here are 12 things to do with your squad instead of bar hopping!
1. Board Game Night
This may sound lame, but I’ve had more fun playing sequence or pandemic with friends than a night out on the town. This is a chance to spark your competitive side and show up your friends at their strategy skills. What’s so great about this, is it’s a way to bond with your friends without having to spend money on Ubers and expensive bar drinks because board games are free. If you don’t like typical strategy games get someone to bring Cards Against Humanity or something like that. Board games are great if you want a more low-key inside inexpensive night, but they’re just as fun as going out!
2. Paint and Sip
If you live in a city or suburb, there’s definitely one of those places where you can paint and drink wine. Not only is it a fun night with the squad, but you also get to bring home something. Even if you’re not good at painting, you can still have fun and laugh to your friends about what you’ve made. If painting isn’t your thing, there are also pottery making places where you can do the same thing so tap into your artistic side and try this out!
3. Wine and Cheese Night
Instead of going out, tell your squad to come over and bring some wine and cheese! Having a night in allows you to really connect with your friends and you can actually hear what they’re saying instead of screaming over the blaring music in a bar. A wine and cheese night is the perfect opportunity to play fancy and try some new snacks. If you want to up the fancy factor, tell everyone to dress nice and you can simulate your own wine tasting with the bottles that everyone brought!
4. Go Camping For a Night
Nothing is as anti-bar as being in the woods, but it’s just as fun. Camping for a night takes out the commitment stress factor and is great for people who aren’t super into the outdoors. Most state or national parks have campsites that you can rent so you’re bound to meet other people at the campsite. You can rent tents too, and if you split the cost between the members of your squad, it could even cost less than you would spend on a night out!
5. Clothing Swap
This is the best way to get new clothes without buying them! Get a bag of clothes you don’t wear anymore together and meet up with your besties to trade. You could get your friend’s top that you’ve always wanted or a new going out look for the next time that you do decide to barhop. It’s the easiest way to clean out your closet and it’s a fun activity to do with your squad. At the end of the swap, get together all the rejects and leftovers, take them to goodwill or any other donation center, and know that you’re helping people too!
6. Cook Off
If your squad likes to get competitive, this is the perfect activity for you! I’ve hosted many of these cook offs and they’re so fun! Split your friends into two teams and assign judges, then decide what kind of food you’re going to make for the face off. Some good competition foods include chili, gumbo, burgers, and baked goods. In the end you get to eat great food and watch your friends battle it out in the kitchen. The only downside is cleaning but if you’re hosting you can totally take all the leftovers as payment.
7. Documentary and Discussion
While this sounds like a classroom activity, if you pick a documentary that everyone is taking about, it’s really entertaining and you can finally understand those memes. Discussing it afterwards is a great way to have an intellectual conversation with your friends and learn things from them. Also, you’ll feel like you’re boosting your knowledge a bit, which is more than you’ll get from barhopping. Documentaries don’t have to be lame, and I’m sure your squad will make it a really interesting night!
8. Be a Tourist in Your Own City
Even if you have lived somewhere your whole life, chances are there’s at least one attraction you haven’t been to yet. Even better, if members of your squad aren’t from the city you’re in, you can introduce them to your favorite spot! The cost may be similar to a night out, but you’ll be doing something different than what you normally do on a weekend night. It’s a great way to show off your city to your friends and you’ll surely have plenty of photo ops for your insta if you do this!
9. Go to an Escape Room
Escape rooms are insanely fun and they have locations in most decently sized cities. With so many different themes, these escape rooms are interesting and the pressure makes it really intense. It’s a great way to bond with your friends when you all have to work together to make it out of the room. Also, if you go with a smaller group you’ll be teamed up with other people and you can make new friends. If you make it out, often times these places have drinks so you can rewards yourselves for your brilliant escape!
10. Go See a Student Performance
If you’re a college student, there are lots of free or inexpensive performances happening all the time. You could see a play, a guest speaker, or an orchestra. It’s always a chance to try something new or support one of your friends if they’re performing. It’s also a great way to participate in the culture of your university, and trust me, you’ll miss once you’ve graduated.
11. Buy Tickets to a Wine of Beer Festival
With this activity, you still get to feel like you’re barhopping, but in a totally different setting. With most of these festivals, a ticket purchase gives you pretty much unlimited access to alcohol and you can try so many new things. It’s a different setting for your squad, but you’ll still have as much fun as a night out. Many times there are giveaways and lots of swag you can bring home so shelling out some cash for a ticket is totally worth it!
12. Go to a Nighttime Museum Event
So many museums have special nights after dark for college students and the tickets are usually at reduced prices. This is a great excuse to dress nice and go to a fancy museum that you normally wouldn’t go to. You’ll have a great night with your squad and you’ll definitely get to take a lot of pictures. This activity is so much more original than barhopping and even if museums aren’t your thing, it could still be really fun because you’re there with your friends.