70 Fun Things to Do With Friends for Cheap or Free

free fun things to do with friend, or for cheap

These fun activities and things to do are free or cheap with friends. Because spending time together doesn’t have to break the bank.

And yes, you can watch Netflix and chill. But there’s more to life too. The best memories come from ideas with a little creativity and imagination. You’ll find plenty below.

Fun Things to do With Friends for Cheap at Home

First, these cheap activities with friends can be done in your pajamas!

1. Try DIY Craft Night

Express your creativity with crafts. It’s fun and often requires materials you already have at home.

For a while, I had a wreath night with friends. Once a season, it was an excuse to get together and make something fun to hang on the front door.

You can also customize mugs, make homemade candles, or try soapmaking. The sky’s the limit! And what you make is often useful.

2. Do a Spice Night

fun activities to do with friends cheap or without spending money

One person buys the ingredients in bulk (it’s cheaper) and you split the cost. Make your favorite mixes, like taco seasoning.

3. Have a Movie Marathon

Grab the cozy blankets and snacks for a movie marathon of your favorites. You can make it themed, like Harry Potter or 90s chick flicks. Or just binge-watch old episodes of Friends and laugh together.

Can’t be with your friend in person? Watch the same movie at the same time. Then, jump on Facetime to discuss!

4. Cook Together

Turn meal preparation into a social event by cooking together. Pick out a new recipe, divide tasks, and cook your meal as a group.

Try a restaurant copycat recipe!

5. Try an At Home Painting Party

Grab blank canvases and basic paints. Mix your own colors and get creative. You can find many free tutorials on YouTube.

6. Host A Pinterest Potluck

Have everyone in the group choose a recipe from Pinterest. Then, friends bring their creations for everyone to try.

Pinterest potluck, fun activities and things to do with friends for cheap at home

Pro Tip: Write your recipe or save it to a board so that you can give your friends easy access if they like the recipe.

7. Host A Poker Night

Borrow some poker chips and cards and pull together a poker game.

8. Help a Friend Declutter

Complete a decluttering project that needs to be done. You’ll feel good for helping your friend. And your friend will feel relieved to have this clean-out done.

Related: Decluttering Fast Tips

9. Girls Night In at Home

If you haven’t seen friends in a while, you don’t necessarily have to “do something” to have a good time. Bring snacks and a bottle of wine, then talk into the wee hours of the night.

10. Make A New Cocktail

Gather the supplies you and your friends already have, and come up with a creative new drink.

I recently made dirty martinis for friends at home. I’d never had one, and I had no idea what I was doing. But it was a great time. And much cheaper than ordering at a restaurant.

11. Host a Joint Garage Sale

Clean out your living spaces and make money together! The great thing about a garage sale is that even when traffic is slow, you’ll have a good time hanging out with your friend.

7 Best Garage Sale Tips & Tricks >>

12. Do A Puzzle Together

Puzzles help keep your memory sharp. And they are a relaxing way to spend an evening with someone.

13. Do a House Project

Refresh a new room or restore an old piece of furniture together. It’s incredibly satisfying to turn junk into treasure.

14. Enjoy Game Night

Have your friends bring their favorite board games. This is a great free friends thing to do for small or large groups, and can accommodate lots of different personality types.

15. Have a Coffee Challenge

coffee challenge, fancy lattes held by hands

Have your friends bring over their fancy coffee and coffee machines. Then, spend the morning pretending that YOU own the coffee shop. What amazing creations will you come up with?

16. Host a Baking Competition

Who says people only get to do this on tv!? Pick something you’ll make beforehand, and have “judges” ready. Then, compete to make the best dessert you can!

17. At Home Mani & Pedis

This one is simple! Have your friends bring their favorite nail polish and spend the evening adding a splash of color to your life.

Free or Cheap Outdoor Activities for Friends

Outdoor fun promotes good physical and mental health. Plus, it’s an affordable way to spend quality time.

18. Run (or Walk) a 5K Together

Your friend can turn into your accountability partner if you’re training for a big race together. Or take it easy and enjoy a walk in the fresh air at a 5k. Either way, registration fees usually aren’t expensive, and (in many cases) the money goes to a good cause.

19. Take a Picnic to Your Local Park

What to do with friends with no money

Pack a blanket, some easy-to-transport food, and a few games. If you’re taking kids too, head to a park with a playground or pack a frisbee and ball.

20. Take a Beautiful Hike

Choose a trail that matches your group’s fitness level and explore nature.

21. Enjoy the Fire Pit

Host a fire pit night complete with s’mores. Have everyone bring chairs and a s’mores component to contribute.

22. Play a Sport

Lots of outdoor places offer free areas to play. You can:

  • Play tennis at a local court
  • Shoot hoops at an outside basketball court
  • Start a game of sand volleyball
  • Play frisbee golf

23. Watch a Sunrise or Sunset

I once got up before dawn to meet my friend at a park to watch the sunset. It was free. And sharing that beautiful moment is a memory I still cherish – 20 years later.

24. Do a Scavenger Hunt

Get creative and organize a scavenger hunt in your neighborhood. It encourages teamwork and offers a fun way to explore.

25. Go on a Bike Ride Together

Don’t forget the helmets!

26. Enjoy Epic Beach Days

For those who live near the coast, beach days are the perfect combination of relaxation and recreation. Swim, build sand castles, read a book, or throw a football around.

27. Star Gaze (Free Things to Do)

Check out the night sky together. Download SkyView Lite to identify constellations, stars, and satellites.

28. Try a Driveway Movie

Borrow a projector and set up a movie in the driveway. You can use your garage as the screen. Invite neighbors and friends over and have them bring chairs and snacks.

29. Go Camping

camping adventures, fun trips and places to go with friends for cheap or free

Camping is cheap, unplugs you, and is a great way to bond with friends. Try borrowing any equipment you need.


Cheap Places to Go With Friends Near Me

You can find cheap places to explore near you that are fun, educational, and cultural too. It’s a wonderfully enriching way to spend time with friends for cheap.

30. Cultural Events

Stay on the lookout for local cultural events happening at community centers or local colleges near you. Many of these events, like open mic nights, poetry readings, or concerts are free or dirt cheap.

31. Trivia Or Bingo Night

Check around to see what bars or wineries have free trivia or bingo nights.

32. Museum Free Days

Many museums have free admission days to promote art, science, and history. Check the museum’s official website or call ahead to confirm any possible restrictions.

Some zoos and other local cultural places do free days too!

33. Library Events

Your local library is a treasure trove of free events. You can attend author readings, book clubs, or workshops. My library also offers chess nights, lego programs, and other enrichment events.

Pro Tip: Most libraries will list their upcoming events on their website.

34. Try Karaoke Night

Check out a karaoke night at a local bar.

If you prefer to stay home, set up a karaoke night at home through a SMART TV app or karaoke machine.

35. Get a Free Day Pass At A Gym

Many gyms offer a free day pass for first-time guests. Or if you have a friend who already attends a gym, ask if they have any free passes and attend a class with them.

36. Visit Historical Landmarks

Find out about the historical landmarks in your area. Many of these sites offer free admission or ask for a nominal donation.

37. Browse A Farmer’s Market

farmer's market produce in a bag

On nice days, there’s nothing better to do than browse a local farmer’s market. You’ll often find musical entertainment and many vendors give out free samples too.

38. Visit An Arboretum

While our local arboretum typically has a small fee, they offer one free weekly day. This is a great place to take a picnic and go for a hike.

39. Attend School Plays Or Musicals

There may be a small cost for admission, but our local high schools put on amazing performances for much cheaper than larger productions. And the money supports your community.

40. Eat Cheap At Local Restaurants

You can still go out with friends when you’re trying to save money! Check on happy hour specials. And if you have kids, choose restaurants where kids eat free or cheap. Pay attention to specials and you can make your nights out count.

41. Try a Thrift Store Challenge

Have a budget-friendly shopping spree at a thrift store. Set a spending limit and see who can find the most interesting or unique items.

Pro Tip: Set a budget beforehand, and only bring the money you plan on using to make sure this stays cheap!

42. Enjoy a Fancy Progressive Dinner (For Cheap, Of Course)

Do your friends live close by? Have every friend host one portion of an epic meal. You can split any of these up between friends:

  • Drinks
  • Appetizers
  • Main entree
  • Dessert

You’ll have an amazing time trying unique things at different places.

Fun Free Digital Things to Do

Love technology? These ideas for friends to do cheap or free are perfect!

gaming with friends, fun activities to do with friends for cheap at home, things to do free

43. Have Online Gaming Sessions

Escape into exciting worlds and compete with your friends in online gaming sessions.

44. Try a Virtual Book Club

Create a virtual book club where you and your friends choose a book to read and discuss together.

45. Play Online Games

Have you tried Wordle yet? My husband, brother, and brother-in-law play Risk online too. Search for more free online games.

46. Learn Something Together

Whether it’s a documentary, a Ted Talk, or an online article. Embrace the fun of learning something new with a friend.


Volunteer Together

It’s a cost-free way to spend time with your friends. Plus, you are making a positive impact in your community.

47. Local Animal Shelters

Local animal and homeless shelters constantly seek extra hands. You could spend a day playing with pets, helping feed them, or keeping their spaces clean.

48. Homeless Shelters

Serve meals or organize donations at a local homeless shelter. Engaging in these acts of service with your friends can be fulfilling and strengthen your bonds.

49. Clean-Up Your Environment

volunteer, women walking with plants, what to do free

Join a local clean-up effort, such as beach or park clean-ups. These initiatives often occur on weekends and make a significant impact on local wildlife preservation. They’re also great light exercise and give you ample time to chat with friends.

50. Volunteer at a Charity Event

Charity events, like marathons and auctions, frequently need volunteers. Your group could help with set-up, registration, or handing out refreshments.

51. Build a Home

Join a mission trip or local charity to help build homes or do repairs for folks who need them.

Related: Great Retirement Bucket List Ideas

Seasonal Cheap Things to Do With Friends

52. Grow a Garden

With spring’s arrival, try gardening together. Whether it’s starting a community garden or planting flowers in your backyard, it’s both therapeutic and cost-effective.

53. Attend Summer Concerts in the Park

fun activities without spending money, concert in the park

Summer brings opportunities for free outdoor concerts in the park. Bring a blanket and snacks, and enjoy live music under the sun.

54. Explore a Fall Craft Festival

In the fall, enjoy the crisp air and colorful foliage at local autumn festivals. You can partake in apple picking, hayrides, and corn mazes without spending much.

55. Go on a Photography Adventure

Get out into nature when the seasons are changing (or in full bloom). Capture the beauty together.

56. Enjoy Holiday Lights

During the winter season, light shows and holiday displays illuminate the shorter days. Search for free or inexpensive light exhibitions near you.

57. Go Sledding (Free Things to Do With Friends)

Hit the hills with your pals and laugh as you go flying down!

58. Make a Seasonal Bucket List With Your Friend

There are so many cheap or free things to do with friends during each season. Make a seasonal bucket list to get your ideas flowing.


Fun Cheap Trips to Take With Friends

fun cheap trips to take with friends

59. Explore a Nearby City

Have you seen everything in your area?

60. Have Fun in a College Town

These towns often have great specials on food, lodging, and drinks because they cater to poor students!

61. Try a Hiking Day Trip

Check out a beautiful area nearby and make a day of it.

62. Explore Local Wineries and Breweries

63. Attend a Local Sports Game

Check out local sports schedules and attend a game. You don’t have to “go pro” to have fun! Whether it’s baseball, basketball, soccer, or another sport, cheering for the home team can be affordable.

64. Road Trip

65. Visit a National Park Together

Many national parks offer affordable entrance fees. Spend a day hiking and picnicking.

66. Check out a Farm or Orchard

Depending on the season, you can pick fruits, explore the farm, and enjoy fresh produce.

67. Have a Lake Day

Find a local lake or reservoir for a day of swimming, picnicking, and water activities. Many lakeside areas have public access points that are budget-friendly.

68. Do a Hot Springs Retreat

If there’s a hot springs or natural thermal baths nearby, plan a relaxing day trip to soak in the warm waters.

69. Do a Food Tour

Choose a specific cuisine and explore different restaurants or food trucks in your city. Share dishes with friends to save money. Street food festivals are also fun!

70. Grab A Discounted Ticket To An Amusement Park

Related: Important Benefits of Saving Money

How do I have fun with no money?

Hopefully, this list shows that there are lots of things to do without spending a dime. If I could only pick one, I’d say get out in nature. Not only is it cheap or free, but it’s proven to make you happier. Double win friend!

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