A few years ago, I got off work on Friday and was excited to hang out with my friends.
I ate dinner, showered, got dressed and headed over to my buddy’s house to meet everyone.
Once there, we all talked for a bit, then decided to figure out what we were going to do.
There was silence.
No one could come up with anything.
So we ended up at the local bar and had some drinks, like we usually did.
It was nice to hang out, but always doing the same thing gets old.
I got tired of the routine, so one night, I sat down and compiled a list of fun things to do near me.
I included things that were free and things that cost money. I tried to keep things on the cheap side because my one friend was saving for a house.
In the end, I came up with a list of over 53 fun things to do at night.
We did most of these things on Friday or Saturday nights, but you can do them on any night you choose.
This list covers everything, including:
- things near me to do
- fun things to do at night with friends
- fun things to do at night outside
- fun things to do at night at home
- fun family night activities
- things to do at night by yourself
- adventurous things to do at night
The bottom line is, once you go through this list, you should not be at a loss for something to do.
53 Free (And Cheap) Fun Things To Do At Night
I’m breaking out the ideas in this post by category so you can easily find the perfect activities to do.
But don’t skip any!
Some family fun ideas can also be used when you are with your friends. And some ideas with your friends can be done alone.
Fun Things To Do At Night With Friends
#1. Game Night
This is my favorite fun thing to do with friends.
We get together and play some board games all night long.
It saves us money by not going out and it let’s us laugh and catch up at the same time.
And on a regular basis, something in the game will remind us of an old memory that will we retell and laugh about.
Here are our favorites to play. The best prices on these games are on Amazon.
There are some others, but these are our go to choices.
#2. Movie Night
Going out to the movies is expensive!
The ticket alone will cost you close to $20 and if you dare buy popcorn and a soda, you are looking at spending a whole paycheck!
A more frugal option is to have movie night in.
Pick a house to meet up at and then pick a movie.
You can either search for a free movie on cable, or you can buy one on demand. Usually renting one will only cost a few bucks.
Alternatively, someone could hit up RedBox on their way or bring a movie they own.
When we do this, we sometimes just meet up and figure out a movie as a group.
Other times, one person is responsible for picking the movie.
This usually works out well, since I see movies I otherwise wouldn’t choose to see.
The only catch here is if you are picking the movie, change it up. Don’t always pick a sports movie or a horror movie.
Add some variety so everyone can have fun.
#3. Go On Pretend Shopping Spree
This creative way to have fun is one of my favorites.
Growing up, I loved to watch Supermarket Sweep.
It was a game show where contestants had a couple minutes to run through a grocery store and put items in their cart.
The team with the highest total got to compete for $5,000.
You can do the same thing, but just pretend.
Go to a grocery store or department store and divide into teams.
Then take 5 minutes to go through the store and take pictures of the price tag of items.
Meet back up at the end and total up your price tags to see who spent the most money.
You could even do this online.
Pick a website and scroll through for a few minutes putting items into your cart. The highest total wins.
Want to change it up?
Instead of the winner getting the highest total, have the person who saved the most by buying items on sale and clearance.
#4. Binge Watch With Friends
This is our newest fun thing to do at night.
Instead of picking a movie, we pick a TV series we all love and watch it.
Sometimes we will watch the episodes in order. Other times everyone will pick their favorites and we will only watch those.
With so many streaming options out there, finding some TV shows to watch should not be difficult.
#5. Local Community Calendar
If you are looking for free things to do, you have to check out your local community calendar.
There you will discover many options that cover all areas. From grand openings, to movies in the park and concerts, there is usually something happening.
In the past, you typically had to look through the local newspaper to learn about these events.
While you can still do this, local Facebook groups and your online community website should have all the details.
#6. Charity Event
Charity events are fun not only because you are supporting a great cause, but they usually have raffles and silent auctions.
The last one we went to, I bid on a gift basket of personal care items. Most people bid on the basket of scratch off lottery tickets.
I won my basket and didn’t have to spend any money on soap or shampoo for months!
#7. Drive Around
This is a fun thing to do that many people overlook.
Jump into a car and drive around town.
You may end up on roads you usually don’t drive down and discover a great restaurant or dive bar to check out.
Even better, if you and your friends are all from the same town, drive back there, assuming it is nearby.
You will have memories come flooding back as you drive around your hometown and see how it has changed over the years.
Bowling isn’t just for kids. It’s fun for everyone.
And it is especially something to do on Saturday night.
This is because many bowling alleys have Glow and Bowl.
It usually starts at 11pm or Midnight and for a few hours you bowl for a set price.
They turn down the lights and usually turn on black lights and play some fun music.
Some alleys even offer discounted food and drinks. And if you are lucky, the bowling alley near you serves beer!
I’m not talking about swimming here, but billiards.
Shooting pool, even if you never played, is a lot of fun.
Most billiard halls rent out a table by the hour, so if you have 4 friends, you can split the cost.
Just note that some do charge per person and not by the table. So be sure to ask!
We can go and get lost for a couple hours.
And none of us are any good.
I think that is what makes it so much fun. We miss easy shots and hit ones that look impossible.
Fun Things To Do At Night Outside
#10. Outdoor Concert
Communities have free outdoor concerts during the summer months.
Just go to your community’s website to see what concerts there are.
Many bars and venues also have outdoor concerts and don’t charge as much as a typical concert.
Finally, there might be free concerts during holiday festivals too, like July 4th.
#11. Carnivals And Fairs
A fun thing to do outside is go to carnivals and fairs.
In my area, local fire companies have carnivals to raise money.
In addition to rides and food, there are games as well as music.
The best part is you don’t have to buy anything if you don’t want.
You can just walk around.
But if you do feel like having more fun, try bingo. It’s usually $0.25 a game and if you get lucky, you could win a few dollars.
Geocaching is a blast.
If you aren’t familiar with it, people hide little treasures and you have to go find them.
It’s a modern day version of a scavenger hunt.
Just download the free app and create an account. You can then see the caches hiding around your area.
You will get a general idea where the treasure is, but you still have to find it.
Once you find everything in your area, you can expand the hunt to other towns.
#13. Laser Tag
Did you play laser tag as a kid?
I loved running around and shooting the other team.
They have newer laser tag guns where you can pair them so you can play with a large group of people.
Just divide into teams and start the game.
The great thing about this game is you can play outside during the summer and inside during the winter!
#14. Have A Water Balloon Fight
On a hot summer night there nothing more fun than a water balloon fight.
Just fill up some balloons with water and start the fight.
You can have a set area where you play or turn it into a game of tag.
Just use your imagination and you can turn a basic water balloon fight into something epic.
There is nothing like sitting around a bonfire at night, talking and having some drinks with friends.
Of course, you need to have the area to have a great bonfire.
If you live in a neighborhood and bonfires are not an option, hope is not lost.
You can build or even buy a firepit.
Set some folding chairs around it or even just lay down some blankets and you are set.
On a clear night, looking up at the stars is incredible.
To see the most stars, you want to get as far away from city lights as possible.
Then grab a chair and just start looking up.
If you are lucky, you might see some shooting stars or passing satellites.
You can even check out this site to see what planets might be visible in your sky.
While a telescope isn’t required to see the planet, having one will take the fun up a level.
Here is the one we use that we got from Amazon.
I loved camping when I was little.
I would set up my tent in my backyard in the summer and sleep out there most nights.
You can do the same or even visit a local campground to camp at.
I just recommend you leave your phone in the house or car so you can enjoy a technology free night.
And as a bonus, you could even star gaze while camping!
Fun Things To Do At Night At Home
#18. Put Together A Puzzle
Jigsaw puzzles are great. They make your mind work and you get to relax at the same time.
I like getting a beer and sitting down for a few hours on a Friday night and put a puzzle together.
It helps me to unwind from the week.
You can find puzzles everywhere to buy.
But I recommend you pick some that look like an image that doesn’t look too hard.
This is especially true for first timers.
It can get frustrating putting together a difficult puzzle for the first time.
And while you can put the puzzle together on your own, you can also do it with friends.
#19. Card Games
Playing cards is a classic way to have fun at home.
There are so many games you can play with a deck of cards:
- Go Fish
- Crazy Eights
Of course there others as well.
The best part is you can play many of them alone or with friends.
#20. Potluck Dinner
We starting doing a monthly potluck dinner and it’s a lot of fun.
We first decide whose house is hosting, then we each bring a dish.
Then we sit around talking and eating amazing food.
If there are leftovers, we dole them out to whomever wants them.
Many times the dinner will end and we will start playing board games for the rest of the night.
#21. International Dinner
This is a twist on the idea above.
Instead of everyone bringing a random dish, focus on a specific cuisine.
Maybe this weekend is Mexican night, so everyone brings a Mexican dish to eat.
This adds to the fun of the evening as many times you end up cooking something new and may even discover a new food you want to start eating.
#22. Have A Pillow Fight
Pillow fights are the best. Round up a handful of pillows and divide into teams.
Make sure you remove anything fragile from the room you plan to have the pillow fight in so nothing gets broken.
You could set it up as a free for all where everyone fights at the same time or have one on one battles with the other people judging the winner after a set amount of time.
#23. Play Dress Up
Dressing up is a lot of fun.
And you don’t need to fit in a box either.
You could have fancy dress up night, where the men wear suits and the women wear dresses.
Or you could make it funny dress up and wear a suit top with just athletic shorts.
Or you could switch it up and have the guys wear dresses and the women wear suits.
Maybe wear Halloween costumes?
The choices are endless and will be more fun as you let your mind go to think of some crazy ideas.
#24. Make Smores
Making smores is an easy thing to do that everyone will love.
And you don’t need a campfire for making smores.
You could use a toaster oven.
Just use it to heat up the marshmallow and chocolate and you are set.
Playing charades is a timeless way to have fun on the weekends.
Just have everyone write some ideas down on paper, and put them into a hat.
Then you could divide into teams or have every person compete on their own.
Fun Family Night Activities
#26. Visit Friends Or Family
Think of the last time you saw some of your friends or family. Now make it a point to schedule a night to see them.
You can catch up and reminisce with the ones you love.
And the good feelings you get doing this will carry forward into the days ahead as well.
#27. Play Your Childhood Favorites
Remember all those games you played as a kid?
Now is the time to pass those games down to your kids.
You can play outdoors or inside, just teach the rules and get to it.
And if your memory isn’t great, here are the ones I loved as a kid.
- Red Rover
- Red Light, Green Light
- Capture The Flag
- Freeze Tag
Hopefully this short list sparks your memory of the fun things you did as a kid.
#28. Cook For The Week
If you like cooking and want to save some money, you could spend your Saturday night cooking food for the week.
Shop the sales at the grocery store and come up with a meal prep list.
Then start making food and portion it out.
For things you plan on eating in the next few days, you can leave in the fridge. For everything else, put it into the freezer.
In one night, you could have a week’s worth of meals made, making dinner a lot less stressful.
To make it even more enjoyable, you can prep the meals while drinking a glass of wine and listening to music.
And if you have kids, be sure to include them in on the fun.
#29. Visit Flea Markets
As a kid, I loved going to flea markets.
I liked to look around at all of the different things for sale and just being out.
Of course, I also liked that we stopped at the one stand that sold licorice and got a few bags!
So find a flea market near you and experience something different.
#30. Scavenger Hunt
Having a scavenger hunt is a lot of fun with family or friends.
You can make up the clues to be around your house or around your town.
Then divide everyone into teams and give them the list of clues to find.
Just make sure you change up the players so the same person isn’t always the one creating the clues.
#31. Look At Old Photos
Another family night activity is to pull out the old photo albums you have or the photos you have on your phone and go through them.
As you scan through, you will be hit with memories and things to talk about.
You might even mark your favorites so you can create a photo book or album for future use.
#32. Mini Golf
Playing mini golf, of putt-putt to some, is a great idea for the family.
Young kids will have fun, as will adults.
You can even create teams to make it more competitive.
Afterwards, get a cone of ice cream to complete the fun.
#33. Go Karts
Riding go karts is a blast. We have both indoor and outdoor tracks around us.
And both have karts that allow for kids to sit with a parent to go around the track.
I’ll admit that even in my 20’s, my friends and I would go to the track on a Saturday night and race, it is that much fun.
Going to the arcade is another great fun thing to do. Most have newer video games to play as well as some old classics.
Add in pinball machines, skee-ball, and others and you have a night full of fun.
Things To Do At Night By Yourself
#35. Binge Watch
If you are alone on the weekend, you don’t have to mope around.
Find that TV show you always wanted to watch or come up with 2-3 movies you want to see and binge watch them.
Back in my single days, if I didn’t have plans on the weekend, I would order a pizza for dinner and start watching movies around 6pm.
I usually got through 2 and still was in bed at a decent hour.
#36. Earn Some Cash
Another option for something to do is to make some extra money.
Maybe you are trying to save up for a house, get out of debt, or you just want some more wiggle room in your monthly budget.
There are many things you can do to make some extra money.
- Drive for Uber
- Take Surveys
- Watch videos
- Play games
While you aren’t going to get rich doing these things, they will put some extra cash in your pocket that can be used to get you ahead financially.
#37. Get Your Finances In Order
Speaking of your finances, another great option is to start getting your finances in order.
For many people this means setting up a budget so you know where your money is going.
But this isn’t a requirement.
Maybe you just set up a monthly transfer to a savings account so have a cushion of money if you need it.
Or you could just review your spending and see where you are spending too much money.
For example, maybe when you look at your spending summary on your credit card website you see you spent a ton of money eating out.
Make it an effort to pack more lunches or make your dinner and save some money.
#38. Learn A New Hobby
What is something you’ve been wanting to do, but always put off?
Now is a great time to dive in and learn that new skill or hobby.
You can set aside one night or an entire weekend and educate yourself.
For me, it was photography. Astrophotagraphy to be exact.
I love looking at the night sky and taking amazing pictures always interested me.
So I set aside a few Saturday nights to learn how to take the pictures.
It’s been a blast and I am so thankful that I finally learned this new skill.
This is the most underrated item on the list.
Most readers will skip this idea thinking it isn’t a lot of fun.
And while you might think it won’t be fun, the reality is you will enjoy yourself and be a better person as a result.
This is because when we volunteer, we get something out of it.
We get a feeling of pride and accomplishment inside that carries through to many days ahead.
And this will help you to not only be a better person, but be better with money too.
Reading is something I love to do, but rarely seem to have the time.
So when I have a free night, and am looking for a low key activity, I enjoy reading a book.
It helps me to think and strengthens my mind.
To make reading fun, pick out books on topics you like.
Maybe you enjoy the Civil War. Pick books on this topic.
Maybe you enjoy mysteries. Pick out some mystery novels.
The more interested you are about the subject, the more likely you will read.
If you are like me, you probably have piles of stuff everywhere.
Make it a point to clear some of this one night. Put on your favorite music and tackle a pile.
Your goal isn’t to clear every pile in your house.
Your goal is to pick 1-2 piles and go through it completely.
With the things in the pile, you either throw it in the trash or recycle it, donate it, keep it, or sell it.
The last option for all your piles is to keep the items. Usually if the item is in a pile, it doesn’t mean that much to you.
So try to clear the space first before deciding to keep something.
Once you have your pile cleared, make sure you donate anything on that pile so you be free of it.
Make sure to keep the receipt for the donation as you can write it off on your taxes.
If you have things in good condition, consider selling them. You can sell on Craigslist, eBay, or Facebook to make a few dollars.
If you have old electronics, like cell phones, consider selling them to Decluttr. They pay the highest price for your old tech.
When I am bored on the weekend, I like to start dreaming.
I think of the things I want in life.
Then I start to figure out how I can achieve them.
Do I need to earn more money? Cut my expenses? Make it a point to save more money?
Maybe practice more at a new skill?
This usually gets me excited to challenge myself to try to make my dreams a reality.
#43. Put Together Photo Books
My wife has thousands of photos on her phone.
It’s a shame because there are some great photos that she rarely ever sees.
So we decided one night to start going through them and create photo books.
Now we have some great albums on our coffee table to scroll through whenever we want.
At the beginning, this activity can be more of a chore, but if you commit to having fun while doing it, it is really enjoyable.
Crazy Things To Do At Night
#44. Ghost Tour
If you are into the supernatural, see if there are any ghost tours near you.
These tours will stop at a few local haunted houses and tell you the story of why they are haunted.
It is a lot of fun, even if you don’t believe in ghosts.
#45. Play Hide And Seek In The Dark
This is one of my all time favorites.
My friends and I would get together right after sunset and play hide and seek.
All we needed was a flashlight and a set area to play.
Its spooky and fun to walk around in the night trying to find your friends.
#46. Play Truth Or Dare In The Dark
If hide and seek in the dark isn’t your thing, consider playing truth or dare at night.
I don’t know what it is about the night that makes this game so much more fun.
Maybe you can dare your friends to do wilder things because of the night and lower chance of being seen.
In any case, if you are looking for some crazy things to do at night, look no further than truth or dare.
#47. Drive And Get Lost
With GPS on our phones, it is nearly impossible to truly get lost.
But you can still experience the thrill of getting lost.
Just drive out to a place you never were and have friends guide you. When you get to an intersection, they can tell you whether to turn or go straight.
After a while, you will have no idea where you are. You might even stumble upon a new place to check out too.
When you are done, turn your GPS on to figure out how to back home.
Just make sure you have a full tank of gas in your car before getting lost.
And check the weather forecast too! You don’t want to get caught in a blizzard!
#48. Change Your Look
You can take this crazy thing to do as far as you want.
Maybe you just find some colors that you typically don’t wear and start wearing it.
Or maybe you change your hairstyle or the way you wear makeup.
The decision is yours.
Just research what you want to try out and then go for it.
For applying makeup, there are tons of YouTube videos to help you out.
If you are thinking of changing your hairstyle, I would find a couple you like and then book an appointment.
The last thing you want to try to cut your own hair and have it come out looking a mess!
#49. Take An Improv Class
Public speaking and getting up on the stage in front of people is our biggest fear.
So tackle this fear head on by taking an improv class.
You will come up with and rehearse a short skit and then perform it for the class.
It’s a great way to get over your fear and have fun at the same time.
#50. Go To A Shooting Range
Have you ever wanted to fire a gun but were too scared?
Set up a weekend to go to a shooting range with your friends.
You can rent out a booth for an hour, as well as the guns and ammo.
Have the instructor teach you the basics and stay with you as you learn how hard it is to fire a gun and be accurate at the same time!
#51. Skinny Dip
For the adventurous ones out there, there is skinny dipping.
You can do this in your own pool or even a lake or the ocean.
I don’t know what it is about this idea, but the trill of swimming in the nude gives you an endorphin rush.
#52. Break A Guinness World Record
There are thousands of world records out there. And I am certain there are some that you have a reasonable shot at breaking.
Run through them and find ones you think you can break.
Then sign up on the Guinness website and fill out the application.
#53. Dumpster Dive
Here is another crazy idea for you.
Go dumpster diving.
It is a lot of fun and you never know what treasures you might find.
Contrary to the belief of many, dumpster diving is not illegal everywhere.
As long as you follow the law, there are many places you can legally jump into a dumpster and take anything of value you find.
#54. Go Streaking
This one is along the same lines of skinny dipping.
There is a thrill that comes from streaking.
If you decide to do this, I recommend you have a plan and you do it at night.
By doing this, you will have a greater chance of not getting identified or caught by the authorities.
There are over 53 free and cheap things to do at night.
Run through the list and mark your favorites and then use them as a guide when you want to find something fun to do.
The best part is many of these can be done throughout the year and even during the week.
Don’t think that there is nothing to do.
There is plenty of things to do, you just needed this list to spark your imagination.