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Finding a Different Kind of Happy Hour

I’m not much of a phone person — at least, not with people who I have the opportunity to see regularly. But I take the idea of catching up with friends in person quite seriously.

And that’s easy to do, right? Just meet at a coffee shop, bar or restaurant and catch up over snacks and sips.


Believe me, I do plenty of this, but going out for drinks and eats can get pricey (and isn’t always the healthiest option).


Plus, now that I’m all in on my anti-inflammation journey (no gluten, no dairy, no soy, etc.), eating or drinking out has become more of a challenge. And I’m often up for that challenge (because, hi, I love food) — but not all the time.


So, because of all the things, finding opportunities to hang out that aren’t restaurant- or bar-focused has become more of a priority for me. And I know I’m not alone! So, I’m sharing a few fun ideas below. Some are super chill, some are more active, and they’re all great ways to spend a little time with someone you dig. A few were inspired by this post, but, to be honest, a lot were inspired by things I do with my friends!

19 Fun Ways to Catch Up That Don’t Involve Happy Hour

  1. Try an escape room.
  2. Do either of you have a dog? Go to the dog park or take the pups for a walk in a new neighborhood together.
  3. Run a few errands together. This can make some mundane tasks a lot more fun!
  4. Meet somewhere outside, peaceful, and beautiful and just talk. The beach, a park, or a garden could be lovely, and don’t discount the idea of meeting before work to do this if both your schedules are jam-packed.
  5. Rent stand up paddleboards or kayaks and spend a couple of hours out on the water.
  6. Explore some local trails, either walking, running, or biking.
  7. Interested in learning a new language? Always wanted to know how to saber a bottle of champagne? Curious about watercolor? Sign up for a class together and guarantee a weekly gathering for at least the next few months.
  8. Invite them over to help you make a new recipe you’ll both enjoy.
  9. Start a new TV show together and set a weekly date to get together to watch a new episode.
  10. Ask your friend to assist you (or offer to assist a friend) with a home project, like hanging pictures or doing a little light painting.
  11. Work together. Even if you don’t actually *work* together, if you have the ability to work remotely, do so together for a couple of hours.
  12. Check out a new workout class. Bonus points if it’s something that takes you both well outside your comfort zones!
  13. Meet up to discuss current events — and maybe make plans to do something about the issues closest to your hearts.
  14. Volunteer together for a cause you care about.
  15. Go on a low-key bike ride somewhere scenic.
  16. Treat yourselves to an at-home spa day. You can do so much for so little when you go the DIY route!
  17. Visit a cool attraction in or near your home.
  18. Help each other purge your closets. (When she says, “I’ve known you for five years and I’ve NEVER seen you wear that,” you know it’s safe to donate it!)
  19. Sign up — and train — for a race together.

Anything you’d add? I’m sure there are loads of awesome ideas out there that haven’t ever crossed my mind! Kristen

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1 Comment
  1. Friendship is important, especially as adults where most of our lives is about our job and our family.

    In order to maintain the few precious friends who we can always count on, I agree that we have to take the time, make the time, and not just by exchanging a few text messages.

    Doing a project together, such as painting or decorating a room, cooking a meal together, etc. are good ideas.

    Of course the easy way is to just go have lunch or grab some drinks, but it’s not always an healty option.

    Sometimes just sitting on the porch for a few hours with a warm cup of coffee is all it takes, but most important is to never let our friendships fade out!

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