41 Friend Date Ideas That Will Actually Leave the Group Chat



Last Updated: Feb 13, 2023

Dating doesn’t have to be romantic — adult friendships often require the same amount of love and attention. It’s no wonder why friendship apps like Bumble BFF and Meetup are so popular. But are you supposed to always grab dinner and drinks on your platonic date? Hosting a brunch party or getting permanent bracelets with your friends are equally — if not more — exciting. 

Step outside your comfort zone and try one of these 41 friend date ideas worth leaving the group chat. Make sure to print out our friend date bucket list to keep track of all the ideas.

Table of contents:

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Outdoor date ideas

Enjoy a breath of fresh air with these outdoor friendship date ideas.

1. Explore your city

two friends exploring their city

It’s common to get stuck in a routine of the same few activities. Try to explore your city with a friend in a new way and enjoy what your home has to offer.

Tip: Search “best things to do in [city]” on TikTok to find curated and fun ideas related to your location.

2. Go on a hike

Regardless if you’re a seasoned hiker or just prefer to get the minimum number of steps required to close your Apple Watch exercise ring, grab your friends and head out onto the trails. The best part about this friend date idea is that it costs little to no money and you get to enjoy a breath of fresh air.

Tip: Pack some snacks to enjoy while you climb or once you’re at the top soaking in the view.

3. Find a workout class

Workout classes are a great way to spend time with friends while also accomplishing your fitness goals. Test out Pilates, hot yoga or even trampoline cardio to amplify the intensity of your exercises. Plus, as Elle Woods once famously said, “endorphins make you happy,” so your spirits will be especially lifted after you break a sweat with friends.

Tip: Let each friend pick a different workout class every time to switch things up.

4. Visit an art festival

There’s something refreshing about walking around an art festival and checking out all the local vendors. Text the location in your group chat and enjoy the outing with your friends.

Tip: Bring a reusable tote bag to carry all of your goodies from local vendors.

5. Sign up for a goat yoga class

Looking to take your yoga class to the next level? Try doing yoga while a baby goat is climbing on you. It’s impossible to complete this workout without full-on belly laughs!

Tip: Keep an open mind — this isn’t always the most effective workout class, but you will laugh a lot.

6. Go to the zoo

Channel your inner child by spending the day at your local zoo. You can also plan a getaway to one of the most famous zoos in the country for a friends trip — we recommend the San Diego Zoo or Cincinnati Zoo for ultimate fun.

Tip: Wear comfortable shoes to avoid blisters from all the walking you’ll be doing.

7. Attend an outdoor concert

Outdoor concerts are a great way to get some fresh air while listening to music. Oftentimes you can even listen to live music at your local park for free. Depending on where you live, these concerts might happen only in the spring or summer.

Tip: Check out your town’s website to check for upcoming concerts.

8. Visit an amusement park

Meet up with your friends at an amusement park and test out all the rides you’d usually be too scared to go on. Make sure to taste test all the carnival food, too — you can’t go wrong with a snow cone and funnel cake to complete your fun outing.

Tip: Eat after (not before!) going on the roller coasters or spinning rides. You’ll thank us later.

9. Go glamping

Glamping is a friend date idea that’s a mix between nature and luxury. While camping is fun, glamping is the more modern version with semi-indoor accommodations vs. tents and sleeping bags.

Tip: Bring disposable cameras to capture all the memories and create a film picture album.

10. Plan a picnic

picnic basket full of food

Embrace the great outdoors by planning a picnic with your pals. Pack sandwiches, snacks and a bottle of wine or prosecco to host the ultimate picnic — most importantly, don’t forget to bring a blanket to sit on.

Tip: Make sure you choose a scenic location to host your picnic.

11. Rent a boat for the day

If you’re looking for a platonic date idea, try renting a boat for the day to embrace the sweet sunshine. There’s something relaxing about a day out on the water, but make sure you’re staying hydrated!

Tip: Bring a portable speaker to listen to your favorite playlists while out on the water.

12. Go fishing

Fishing is a great way to get outside while also doing something active. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be an expert fisher! If you don’t live near a body of water, you can even create your own fishing day with a kiddie pool and fake fish for a light-hearted activity.

Tip: Go fishing in low-light conditions to catch the most fish.

13. Attend a sporting event

Sporting events have a way of bringing folks together regardless of your preferred team. Grab a soft pretzel and kick back with a cold one with your pals.

Tip: Check out your town’s website to find the sporting event schedule.

14. Have a beach or lake day

Looking for affordable friend date ideas? Have a relaxing beach or lake day as you soak up the sun.

Tip: Bring a hat and sunscreen to stay protected from the harsh rays.

Stay-at-home date ideas

You don’t have to leave your house to have a best friend date night! Check out these stay-at-home date ideas perfect for platonic relationships.

15. Create vision boards

vision boards created at home

‘Tis the season for manifestation! Tell the group chat to come over with magazines to create vision boards of your goals.

Tip: Lay out all your images before you stick them to your board to ensure you’re illustrating your vision to its full potential.

16. Host a game night

Invite your friends over for game night with plenty of snacks and cocktails. Pull out your favorite board games or put a fan-favorite Jackbox game on your TV for all to enjoy.

Tip: Just have fun and don’t focus on who wins or loses.

17. Throw a potluck

Forget going out to eat and invite everyone over for a potluck at home. Host a dinner party where your friends bring their favorite dish for munching and mingling.

Tip: Don’t make too much food — potlucks are more for tasting rather than eating full portions of each dish.

18. Arrange a wine tasting at home

Bring Napa Valley to your living room with your own wine tasting. Have your friends bring their favorite bottle of wine for everyone to taste.

Tip: Put out light snacks or build a charcuterie board to munch on while you conduct the tasting.

19. Create a DIY spa night

Text the group chat and plan a spa night at home for a fraction of the cost. You don’t have to break the bank to pamper yourself — paint each other’s nails, make your own face masks, test a heatless curls tutorial and enjoy a night of relaxation.

Tip: Put out fruit-infused water to create a spa-like feeling in your home.

20. Make your own pizza night

One of the best friend date ideas is a make your own pizza night — because who doesn’t love pizza? Buy prepared pizza dough and set up a topping bar for everyone to build their own pies.

Tip: Add a note card in front of all pizza toppings so everyone can pick and choose with ease.

21. Create mood boards

Grab all of your old magazines and create mood boards with your friends. After you create your collage, hang it in your bedroom to elevate your space.

Tip: Look on Pinterest for inspiration for your mood board.

22. Bake and decorate cookies

decorated cookies

Is there anything sweeter than decorating cookies with your friends? Bake classic sugar cookies and set up a decorating area full of all things decadent, including frosting, sprinkles and chocolate chips.

Tip: Host a cookie decorating competition and choose one friend to judge them all.

23. Spend the night under the stars

Grab lots of blankets, snacks and wine for a night under the stars in your backyard. Listen to the latest gossip as you catch up with friends.

Tip: Start a bonfire (depending on the weather) to stay warm.

24. Test out a new recipe

Host your very own cooking class at home if you’re in need of friend date ideas. Pick a recipe outside of your skill set to try out with your friends. We recommend testing out slow cooker recipes where you can substitute the meat and vegetables.

Tip: Don’t worry if you make a mess — there will be plenty of time to clean up while chatting over post-dinner cocktails.

25. Try a new TikTok dance

Scroll through your group chat and pick one of the many TikTok dances you’ve all sent each other recently. Transform your living room into a TikTok dance party — who knows, maybe you’ll end up going viral.

Tip: The more you mess up the dance moves, the more fun you’ll have.

26. Have a nostalgic movie marathon

Invite your friends over for a nostalgic movie marathon. From “Sixteen Candles” to “The Breakfast Club,” make sure everyone picks one movie from their childhood to watch.

Tip: Stock up on classic candies to elevate your old-school movie session.

27. Create a themed cocktail night

Bring the bar to your kitchen by hosting a themed cocktail night. Have everyone bring a different cocktail recipe inspired by their favorite movie, words or even colors.

Tip: Buy funky glassware to take your drinks to the next level.

28. Host a brunch

brunch friend date

Brunch is always a good idea, but going out to eat can get pretty pricey. Host your own brunch party at home, and test out one of these breakfast potluck ideas your friends will devour.

Tip: Set up a mimosa bar to complete the brunch aesthetic.

29. Start a book club

A book club is a great date idea for friends that is consistently on your calendar. Get together with your pals on a monthly basis to discuss a book.

Tip: Create a book club leader sheet to determine who picks the monthly book.

Other activities to do with friends

There are many friend date ideas aside from outdoor activities and things to do at home. Here are a few options to try any day of the week.

30. Go to a puppy yoga class

Take your downward dog to the next level at a puppy yoga class. Add the time and place in your group chat for everyone to sign up.

Tip: This class likely won’t provide the most effective workout, but it will be full of belly laughs and puppy kisses.

31. Attend a local comedy show

Local comedy shows are the perfect platonic date idea without having to talk the whole time. Regardless of the comedian, you are sure to have lots of laughs with new or old friends.

Tip: Search comedians on TikTok to see if they are touring nearby.

32. Go to a karaoke night

Belt out some tunes with your best pals at a local bar. Don’t worry if you’re not an “American Idol” singer — the right amount of support from friends might give you the confidence of a popstar. 

Tip: Choose a popular song so people are most likely to sing along with you.

33. Participate in a pottery class

Friend date ideas that force you to step outside your comfort zone (like an art class) are a great opportunity to grow together. Sign up for a pottery class to improve your art skills and try something new with a friend or two.

Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask for help from the instructor if you aren’t sure what to do.

34. Get permanent bracelets

Bond your friendship for life with permanent bracelets. This jewelry trend involves welding custom-fit bracelets that are zapped shut on your arm. Choose between different metals and sometimes gemstones or charms (depending on the store).

Tip: Don’t try this at home! Make sure you go to a professional jewelry store.

35. Spend the day at a bookstore

There is something so calming about spending an afternoon at a bookstore with a friend. Check out a new read or maybe even a different genre.

Tip: Find a cozy spot to bury your nose in a book for the afternoon.

36. Sign up for a cooking class

cooking class with friends

Are you and your friend looking to improve your culinary skills? Sign up for a cooking class for the ultimate friend date idea.

Tip: Sign up for different cuisines to impress your friends with your new expertise.

37. Play with animals at a shelter

An affordable friend date idea that doesn’t require much planning is to play with the animals at your local shelter. Spending a few hours at the shelter is good for the animals and will certainly boost your mood, too. 

Tip: Post pictures and videos of the animals on social media to improve their chances of adoption.

38. Go thrifting

Reduce waste by suggesting a platonic thrifting date. Not only are you helping save the planet, but you can find some stellar deals as you build your wardrobe.

Tip: Go on a day trip to as many thrift shops as you can fit in an afternoon to curate your perfect closet.

39. Tour a museum

Add a slice of history into your day by touring a museum with your best buds. The best part is that many museums offer free admission.

Tip: Look up upcoming exhibitions at your local museum.

40. Go to a coffee shop

Find a trendy coffee shop and add a pin in your group chat for a meetup. Instead of opting for your classic cup of java, put one of these different types of coffee to the test.

Tip: Ask the barista what their favorite beverage is and order it to see if it lives up to the hype.

41. Volunteer at a local charity

Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community while also spending time with your friends. Check out the animal shelter, soup kitchen or simply clean up trash at the beach.

Tip: Vlog your day on social media to promote the local charity.

Friend date bucket list [printable]

While they are limitless, BFF date options can be hard to remember on the fly. Keep track of your friend date ideas with this printable bucket list.

friend date bucket list

Friend date FAQ

It can be tough to find new friend date ideas to maintain your friendships. Here are a few common questions related to platonic dates.

Is a friend date a real thing?

Yes! Friend dates are a great way to spend time together and get to know someone better in a platonic way.

Why are best friend dates important?

Best friend dates are important because they help maintain and strengthen friendships. It’s common for relationships to dwindle, but platonic dates help keep your friendship alive.

Is it a friend hangout or a date?

Friend hangouts or dates can be used interchangeably, especially if it is a platonic relationship. BFF dates are the same thing as hanging out with friends — whatever you want to call it, spending time with friends is good for the soul.

What can you do on a friend date?

You can go thrift shopping, spend the afternoon at the lake or even host a cookie decorating party on a friend date. Visiting an amusement park, farmers market or sporting event are also great friend date ideas.

Final thoughts on friend date ideas

Now that you’re more familiar with friend date ideas, you’re ready to put them to the test. Start by choosing one outdoor BFF date idea and one at-home friend date. 

Choose a time, place and guest list, and send out your digital invitation via a group text chat. Try exploring your city or host make your own pizza night with your friends.

If you’re looking for party supplies including types of whiskey, tequila or vodka, paper goods or food items, you can count on Instacart. Order your groceries online today and receive your items without the hassle of going to the store. Leave the supplies to the professionals and focus your time on the date night logistics.



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