Think about Friday night. I bet you can feel the sweet hiss of beer fizz hitting your lips or the sharp burn of shots upon shots upon shots. You've memorized the hours of every local liquor store. But not every weekend has to be accompanied by that memory-erasing friend of ours, our liquid fun. Remember, we had a long time before we came of legal drinking age where we still managed to have fun on the weekends. Why not return to it? Alcohol may be a quick fix, but at the end of the night we mostly end up disappointed. Here are some great ways to leave the booze at home and still have the time of your life.
1. Get Outside
One of the most invigorating ways to spend a weekend is to breathe some fresh air. Take a break from the musty, grimy bar and spend some quality time with Mother Nature. In the nice weather, try a picnic. You don't need a lot of tools. Just a blanket, some snacks, and voila. Too cold? Try ice skating!
Sitting at bars or drinking in apartments involves a lot of sitting around and letting our brain cells go numb. Instead, you can challenge your brain and still have fun! Try art projects. Whether it's a collage, painting, sand art, jewelry-making, origami, or kites, the Internet is a great source to find fun DIY projects. Thinking of renovating your living space? It's a perfect way to spend a weekend over pizza with friends. Assemble that complex Ikea bookshelf. You can do it.
3. Get Cultured
Bar culture is one thing, but there are so many things to take advantage of in any place you may be. Check out the local scene. A lot of times, museums offer free rates on Friday nights and have special events, such as New York's Morgan Library or Met museum. You may also be able to get rush tickets for a show.
4. Pig Out
Rather than indulge your inhibitions, indulge your taste buds! Take a bunch of friends to a fun tapas restaurant and share a bunch of small plates. Also, there are always food festivals around that serve great food, cheaply.
5. Get Your Game On
Don't be afraid to harness your inner child. Card games, charades, and pictionary can be just as fun now as they were in the olden days.
Have a hot date with Pac Man and Pinball. We know you want to.
7. Story Time
Who doesn't like story time? Just because you're an adult doesn't mean you don't have an imagination anymore. If you have a whole bunch of people, try a 24-hour play festival. Divide your squad into playwrights, actors and directors and take the stage! Don't have 24 hours? You can modify this to any time period. Write and perform short skits!
8. Laugh Out Loud
Comedy clubs are lots of fun, and laughing releases powerful endorphins that make us feel good. We think laughter is always the best medicine. Some clubs have drink minimums, but you're never obligated to drink alcohol. You won't need it!
9. Check The News
It may seem archaic, but the news is a good source for free events around the area. Also, stop by a tourism office even in your own city. You might be surprised to find deals on things you never expected! It's fun to be a tourist even if you think you know everything. Trust us, there's always more to learn!
10. Poetry Readings
It's not all berets and snapping. Poetry readings span the spectrum of moods and topics. In New York? Try the Nuyorican Poet's Cafe, a staple historical landmark and a whole lot of fun! There's also an open-mic for those of you who are a bit adventurous.
If you're in a big city, chances are that concerts are happening all around you. You just have to keep your ears open. You don't have to go to a traditional concert to hear great music. Try the park, the subway, or make your own!
12. Make a Movie
Some of the wonders of modern technology involve the ability to broadcast almost everything we do. So throw on your director's hat and make a documentary about food trucks, or film street performers doing their thing. The world is your silver screen.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to be drunk to do karaoke. You also do not have to be able to sing. Give it your best belt.
14. Get Physical
Bowling, go-carts and roller rinks are severely underrated. Getting involved in a high energy activity is the perfect antidote to a sleepy time at a bar.
15. Step Right Up
And ride the rides. Carnivals and fairs are happening all over the globe. If you meet the height requirements, what's stopping you? (Don't forget your barf bag. But at least it won't be from alcohol poisoning….)
Reading is fundamental. Don't know what adventure to take? Or is the weather just not cooperating? Then don't be ashamed to curl up in a big chair and read. Read with friends or alone. It's always a good idea.
17. Go on a Historical Day Trip
There's history all around you. Check out your local historical society or library and see what's offered. From Boston's duck boat tours to D.C.'s monuments, to New York's Headless Horseman, you're sure to uncover a mystery of the past!
18. Escape the Room
Use your brain and have fun all at once! Follow a series of riddles and puzzles to break out of a room. It's even more fun than it sounds.
19. Host a Film Screening
Whether it's Oscar season or not, a film screening is a fun way to chill out. Make popcorn, distribute comment cards, and make sure to have plenty of pillows and blankets!
20. Play with Puppies
Check out your local pet store and ask if you can play with the puppies. Puppies make everything better.
21. People Watch
Wherever you are, unless you're in Antarctica, odds are there are some people around. Therefore, people watching is always appropriate. Maybe you'll even make new friends!
So will you think again before hitting the bar this weekend? We hope so. These tips are designed to keep you dry and still have a great time. Go enjoy that nice glass of water and paint the town!