UPDATED: October 09, 2022

Do you want to hang out with friends (or spend time alone) but don't want to spend much?

We understand that regularly going out with friends can hurt your budget, and sometimes it's challenging to think of what to do with friends. In this article, we’ll show you that it’s possible to save money but still have fun spending time with friends.

We gathered a comprehensive list of tips for hanging out with friends at night for free or cheap and gave you suggestions on how to have great times with friends without spending so much money.

Keep on reading to know our favorite idea of fun things to do at night. Don’t miss out on opportunities to hang out with friends if you think you need money to have fun. You don’t need to be stuck with some boring activities!

1. Game night

If you want to save money but still enjoy the time with your friends, you can organize a game night. It lets you catch up with everyone without needing to go out and spend cash.

Plus, these games will most likely remind you of old memories you can share with everybody.

Here’s our top picks:

  • Monopoly
  • Uno
  • Trivial Pursuit
  • Pictionary

2. Movie night

What can you do at 12 AM with friends?

Buying a movie ticket can cost up to $20, but did you know you can watch films for free?

You can pick a house to meet up in and select new or classic movies. Instead of spending $20 for the ticket alone, you can rent a film for only $3.

You can check out the following sites for your next movie night:

3. Watch TED Talks

What activities can you do at night by yourself?

You can watch TED Talks to discover interesting viewpoints. There’s no need to subscribe to streaming sites because these videos are available on YouTube.

Here are some of the most popular TED Talks:

4. Listen to music

Listening to music won’t cost you even a single centavo. It’s also a fun or relaxing way to spend the evening, depending on your chosen songs.

You can check out these apps for your mini-concert at home:

Enjoy pop, hip hop, R&B, soul, classical, and funk music using our suggested apps.

5. Listen to podcasts

Do you want to hear stories about overcoming life’s challenges? Perhaps you’re into horror and crime stories?

Podcasts over a wide range of topics, so there’s never a dull time. Fortunately, you can listen to podcasts for free or a few dollars per month.

You can listen to millions of podcasts on these sites:

6. Make a playlist

Now that you’ve listened to songs and podcasts, you can make a playlist depending on your mood. If you’re feeling joyful, you can compile the latest pop music, or if you’re feeling a bit sentimental, you can add classical songs to your playlist.

But there are no rules here, so whatever songs you want to listen to, add them to your list.

7. Practice yoga

You can buy a yoga mat for less than $10. So with a little space and a mat, you can have a healthy and fun thing to do at night.

Yoga can help increase flexibility, improve respiration, reduce weight, and ensure cardio health. Also, there are hundreds of tutorial videos on YouTube, and they’re free, too!

8. Trace your family tree

Do you want to find your ancestors? You can start by visiting Ancestry.com. It offers a free trial, which you can take advantage of.

You can also talk to your parents or grandparents to learn more about your family history. Searching for old photos and documents at home is also fun, which may lead to surprising discoveries.

9. Put together photo books

This activity is related to tracing your genealogy. It’s fun to look at old photos and reminisce.

This checklist of fun things to do at night at home involves compiling old photos and creating a photo book to preserve them.

It won’t cost a dollar since you can recycle a used scrapbook or portfolio.

10. Hunt for coupons

Did you know your boredom can help you save money? Consider hunting for coupons if you’re looking for things to do at night.

You can check out these sites and extensions:

These sites offer cashback and discounts for every purchase. So if you’re saving for a new appliance or gadget, we recommend downloading such extensions to your browser or phone.

11. Start a blog

Share your thoughts with the world through these free blogging sites:

You can earn money from advertisements and affiliate links when you already have constant visitors. 

Plus, you can actually start a blog within ten minutes. After that, you can polish your website by adding photos and videos.

12. Attend local community events

Most communities post a calendar that lists free evening events. But if you can’t find the calendar, you can simply search for “local community events near me.”

Here are the usual events in localities:

  • Heritage celebration
  • Cultural food festival
  • Mega markets

It’s an excellent way to connect with your neighbors and share inspiring ideas.

13. Go to a charity event

Charity events can take different forms, but with the same goal: to support a great cause. Aside from helping people in need, you can also enjoy such events since they have raffles and silent auctions.

They also allow you to meet people with the same beliefs and encourage you to stay motivated.

14. Start a journal

Contrary to what most people say on the internet, you can start a journal without spending too much money.

You only need a notebook, pen, and some art materials, which are optional. The purpose of journaling is to express your thoughts and emotions, so as long as you’re able to do that, then you’re on the right track.

15. Drive around

Go on a driving trip and enjoy the scenery. You may end up in unfamiliar places, so grab the opportunity to visit parks and other tourist attractions.

It’s a great way to collect fun memories which you can look back on after a few years. Take nice pictures of the scenery and restaurants you'll visit.

16. Visit a bookstore

Most chain bookstores are open until 10 PM, so you have the chance to browse novels, biographies, and other types of books.

You can find fantasy, mystery, thriller, romance, contemporary, and classic resources all in one place. Perhaps you can also score discounted books if it’s your lucky day.

17. Play bowling

Bowling is for everyone, and it’s more fun to play at night. Many bowling alleys turn on black lights and play fun music starting at 11 PM. You can also enjoy discounted snacks and drinks during these hours.

What’s more, it’s a form of exercise that can help increase your metabolism.

18. Play billiards

Most billiard halls offer tables by the hour, so make sure to invite your friends to this activity. No one will judge you for missed shots, which makes it fun.

Plus, billiards can help improve your focus and train hand-eye coordination. It also relieves stress after a long day at work.

19. Listen to an outdoor concert

Most communities organize free concerts during the summer months and holidays. There’s no need to pay for anything. You only need to get ready with your singing voice and energy.

Make sure to chat with your friends about the upcoming concerts in your city for a fun-filled night. Who knows, you might also have free drinks and snacks.

20. Go to carnivals and fairs

Did you know you can play entertaining games for only $0.25? Carnivals and fairs usually have bingo and balloon pop games that you can enjoy for a few cents.

You can also listen to music and meet new people at these events. Plus, you can help others because organizers usually set up carnivals for a cause.

21. Go geocaching

Do you wish to go on a scavenger hunt, but only inside your home?

You can download geocaching apps, which is the modern version of a scavenger hunt. We discovered c:geo, a free app that lets you find hidden caches near you.

The app doesn’t collect subscription fees, so you can enjoy it for free.

22. Go on a scavenger hunt

We already mentioned geocaching, but here’s the real thing: organizing a scavenger hunt. It’s an exciting way to make memories with friends.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Divide the teams.
  • Hide objects.
  • Distribute a list of things to find.
  • Define the area to be searched.
  • Set up a time limit.

23. Play laser tag

Do you miss playing laser tag?

You can still enjoy it even if you’re an adult now. Call your friends, divide into teams, and unleash your competitive side.

Some establishments offer $5 for one game session and $10 for a three-game session. Search for a cheap laser tag near you, so you won’t empty your wallet.

24. Have a water balloon fight

Nothing’s more fun than a water balloon fight in your backyard. Fortunately, you can purchase 75 pieces of balloons for less than $10.

Simply fill the balloons with water and start the fight with your friends. This activity relieves stress and reminds you to take time off from your tasks.

25. Enjoy a bonfire

It's relaxing to sit around a bonfire and have some drinks with friends. It provides the perfect atmosphere to unwind and connect with your loved ones.

But what if your neighborhood doesn’t allow a bonfire?

You can build a fire pit. There are YouTube tutorials teachingYouTube tutorials are teaching how to build a fire pit using inexpensive but safe materials.

26. Stargazing

Everyone can enjoy stargazing, so it’s one of the fun things to do at night when you’re under 18. It reconnects you with nature and sparks your creative mind.

You can visit the EarthSky website to see what planets or stars may be visible. There’s no need to own a telescope, but it surely elevates the experience.

27. Camping

Who says you need to travel for several hours to enjoy nature?

You can set up a camping site in your backyard to feel the night breeze. It allows you to get less screen time and focus on the environment. Camping also helps reduce stress and pressure because you won’t be bombarded by massive information from the internet.

28. Walk the downtown streets

If you're in an urban area, consider walking downtown to enjoy the sights and music the city provides. But make sure to go only to safe locations, so you can prevent accidents.

Don’t forget to do some window shopping because you might score great deals and discounts on different items.

29. Solve puzzles

If you want to challenge yourself, you can put together a hundred pieces or more puzzles. But if you only wish to unwind, you can choose simple ones.

You can buy puzzles for $10 to $20 or less, which will already bring hours of enjoyment to friends and family members.

30. Host a potluck dinner

Potluck is an excellent way to develop camaraderie among your neighbors. You can even turn this into a regular event with varying themes.

Here are some themes for your next get-together:

  • Appetizers and desserts
  • Signature dish
  • Salad potluck
  • Comfort food
  • All one-color food
  • No cooking

You can also organize a potluck dinner with international dishes only.

31. Have a pillow fight

Is it Saturday already?

You can gather a handful of pillows and divide people into teams. Before starting, remove fragile items from your room to avoid broken decorations.

You can check out these simple rules:

  • 90 seconds for each round
  • A person must hit another on the head to secure a point
  • But if an opponent falls to the ground, the hitter takes three points

32. Play dress up

It’s fun to dress in whatever way you like, and you can do this with your friends. You can even switch everyone’s style and take pictures.

There are no limits because you can also wear Christmas or Halloween costumes, even in July. Think of unusual fashion ideas to make the most out of the evening.

33. Make s'mores

Spend the night making s’mores with your friends. It only has three ingredients: graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate.

Place marshmallow and chocolate in between two graham crackers, and microwave it. You can also microwave the ingredients first and then assemble them later on. It’s up to you to develop exciting ways to make s’mores.

34. Play charades

Charades bring out people’s competitive side. Tell everyone to write ideas on paper and place them into a hat.

You can divide into teams or compete individually. We also suggest having a theme, such as movies, television series, songs, or household items.

If you can’t think of any topics, you can visit Random Word Generator.

35. Visit friends or family

You can allot one or two nights to visit your family, especially if you haven’t seen them for several weeks or months.

It’s always fun to reminisce with your loved ones and share stories of failures and successes. Besides, they’re the ones who are willing to listen to your thoughts, no matter how mundane.

36. Play childhood games

Kids these days play online games and not traditional ones. It’s great to pass those games to your younger siblings or children.

But you can also play them with your friends for a nostalgic evening.

Here’s a list of some classic games:

  • Hide-and-seek
  • Foursquare
  • Dodgeball
  • Red-light, green-light
  • Marbles
  • King of the hill

37. Plan your meals

Have you seen Instagram and TikTok videos about meal planning?

So if you’re asking, “What should I do when I'm bored at night,” we suggest cooking for the week. You can find inexpensive ingredients in dollar stores and warehouse clubs.

Meal planning allows you to control your food for a healthier body.

38. Visit flea markets

Do you love window shopping?

Flea markets usually have several stores offering different items. So if you’re searching for things to do at night, you can simply type “flea markets near me” on Google or ask your friends.

Here’s a list of things you can find:

  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Jewelry
  • Artwork
  • Customized signs
  • Upcycled furniture

39. Go to the arcade

You can check out this list of games available in the arcade:

  • Pinball
  • Air Hockey
  • Driving
  • Shooting
  • Ball Drop Games
  • Electronic dartboards

Plus, you can win prizes for every point incurred. Those are only some of the things you can do at the arcade, but there are actually hundreds of games for you and your friends.

40. Earn some cash

Did you know you can earn money by doing micro tasks? This is our favorite activity on this list.

Here’s a list of survey sites and apps that allow you to make money.

You can make $10 plus commissions by answering surveys, playing online games, watching videos, clicking ads, and referring people.

These sites offer different cashout methods, such as PayPal, Venmo, and gift cards. So if you want extra income while easing your boredom, we recommend trying these websites.

41. Organize your finances

You can organize your finances if you don’t have anything to do at night. We compiled some tips you can try:

  • Download a budgeting app.
  • Track your expenses.
  • Monitor your bills and account statements.
  • Keep bills in one place.
  • Shred old financial documents.
  • Set short and long-term financial goals.

42. Learn a new language

Learning a new language can improve your verbal skills and enhance your multitasking ability. It’s also useful when traveling to foreign countries.

Fortunately, you don’t need to spend any amount to master another language.

You only need to sign up using your email and password. Also, these apps are often interactive, so you can connect with other learners.

43. Discover a new hobby

What can you do at night with no money?

You can discover a new hobby and search for free YouTube tutorials. We also suggest looking into other websites for free resources.

Here’s a table of hobbies you might want to try:

Vacation planningNail artDancing
Playing an instrumentScrapbookingBaking

44. Create a goals list

You can make this list on your own or also with your friends. Allot one evening to create a goals list.

Here are some of our tips:

  • Imagine the results you want to achieve.
  • Create specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.
  • Write your goals on a clean piece of paper.
  • Create a timeline and an action plan.

Indeed, it shouldn’t stop with writing your goals. What’s important is to decide and act in accordance with the things you wrote.

45. Read books

Reading reduces stress and improves brain connectivity. You can organize a reading group with your friends so you share book recommendations with each other. It also allows you to share your thoughts about the recent book you’ve read.

Consider reading these books at night:

  • 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows by Ai Weiwei
  • The Family Roe by Joshua Prager
  • Invisible Child by Andrea Elliott

46. Organize a room

If you have piles of stuff that need cleaning, it’s time to declutter and organize. Here are some tips to make it easier and more enjoyable:

  • Take inventory of your things, such as clothes, shoes, and books.
  • Put unwanted items away.
  • Clear your bedside table and dresser drawers.
  • Choose a closet organization system.
  • Play music while you’re cleaning.
  • Consider additional storage.

47. Ghost tour

This must be included in controversial and fun things to do at night with friends.

If you’re interested in psychic and mystical beings, you can search for ghost tours near you. You can also look for haunted houses around your neighborhood, but make sure to go with your friends.

48. Change your look

Do you want to change your hairstyle? Perhaps you want to learn how to apply makeup?

You can do all these with the help of a YouTube tutorial. There are hundreds of influencers who teach their followers about different fashion trends.

So if you want to spice up a boring night, you can change your look and surprise everyone the next day.

49. Take an improv class

An improv class challenges your creativity and brings out your playful side. It also allows you to become a team player.

But what’s improv? It’s a live theater in which everything is made up at the moment. The actors develop the plot, characters, and dialogues on the spot.

50. Skinny dip

Here’s a crazy idea: go skinny dipping. It’s one of the fun things to do at night outside because of the thrill it brings.

Here’s our tip: wear your swimsuit, then take it off when you’re neck-deep into the water. Most importantly, enjoy that moment with your friends.

Have a fun night with your friends

From game night to skinny dipping, we compiled 50 things you can do with your friends. So the next time you’re bored at night, look into this list and aim to do all of them.

Having an enjoyable night doesn’t have to be expensive. You can rent movies, read books, watch TED talks, solve puzzles, play childhood games, practice yoga, and learn a new language without spending a dollar.

The good news is, you can even earn extra money by completing micro-tasks on the internet. Try visiting TimeBucks, SurveyTime, AttaPoll, and Survey Junkie.