52 Free Things To Do When You’re Bored

It’s kind of embarrassing how often I respond with a noncommittal shrug and “I don’t know” when people ask what I want to do. Eat something is my go-to answer, followed swiftly by go to the movies or grab coffee, and while they’re all fine and fun to do, they can start feeling a little, well, stale.

No more boring weekends, I say! Here, with no explanation and in no particular order, are 52 ways for you to make the weekend matter. Comment to add your own — we’ll update this list with every new addition!


Happy Endings Rom Com Con
See Item #3. Photo: Facebook.com/happyendings


  1. Coordinate a scavenger hunt
  2. Chalk your hair
  3. Host a Rom-Com Con (a la ABC’s Happy Endings) — A movie marathon for cheesy romantic comedies. Bonus points if you dress up like characters from said films.
  4. Make up your own rules to New Girl‘s True American
  5. …Or play the version this Tumblr user came up with
  6. Get into a watercolor war — Put watercolor paints in water guns, wear clothes you don’t care about messing up (hello, free campus Welcome Week tees!), divide into teams, hide, and attack each other. You can also play Capture the Flag-style, if you like games with “objectives”…psssh.
  7. Iron Chef Cooking Challenge — Decide on a secret ingredient (or pick one out of a hat) and get cooking!
  8. Give yourself a henna tattoo
  9. Bake a cookie cake
  10. Have a worst outfit window shopping contest — Go to stores, compile the worst outfits the store has to offer, take photos, then compare with your friends to see who could create the most hideous ensemble at a store
  11. Random photo shoot
  12. Host a themed dance party (The ‘80s are always a hit)
  13. Go for a jog
  14. …Or, if you’re like me, take a brisk walk, because the mere thought of jogging disgusts me.
  15. Ask everyone you meet to tell you the best joke they’ve ever heard. Yes, even your RA. And the cashier at the grocery store. And the ticket-ripper at the movie theater.
  16. Splatter paint a posterboard
  17. Host a clothing swap
  18. Trawl the library for a no-brain-cells-required leisure read
  19. Create a meme for a day — Anything ridiculous that you can riff off of. I believe in the olden days they called these “inside jokes.”
  20. Write your own pep talk. (Yes, I’m obsessed with this video, and I don’t know when I’ll stop shamelessly promoting it.)
  21. Sign up to mystery shop a store. Then devise the perfect disguise and alter ego for said excursion.
  22. Volunteer from home. In your pajamas.
  23. Take a free mini course in pizza making, sewing your own tote bags, or mastering buttercream frosting from Craftsy
  24. Sketch your favorite place, be it a park, the neighborhood bakery, or your bedroom.
  25. Instant stress relief: revert to your 5-year-old self, build a sandcastle, then kick and stomp it down.
  26. Play an old-school game of Kick the Can
  27. Take part in a victimless prank: Scroll Buzzfeed for pictures of the most ridiculous animal you can find, print a few dozen pictures of it (thanks, free prints on campus!), cut ’em out, and hide them everywhere in your roommate’s stuff. Pockets, drawers, shoes, cups, textbooks — you name it. Sit back and wait for the nonstop “What the heck?!” moments to ensue.
  28. Take some toothpicks from the dining hall (or a local restaurant) and use ’em to do you own nail art
  29. Perfect a cartwheel
  30. Learn to play KanJam (use Frisbees/pie tins and trash cans) or ultimate Frisbee
  31. Go sledding down hills on cafeteria trays (No snow required, though fair warning — some schools laugh and look the other way; some consider “borrowing” trays to be akin to stealing)
  32. Refocus your life: Define 2 clear, specific goals (one attainable and one reach) for the next month, next 6 months, next year, and next 5 years. Break each one down into 3-5 easy, actionable steps so you can see at a glance what you truly want out of life and your road map for getting there.
  33. Attempt some fancy, grownup baking (that actually isn’t so challenging after all), like Baked Apple Empanadas
  34. Organize a Field Day: 3-legged races, crab walks, tug o’ war, running with an egg on a spoon (Enlist your artsiest friend to design the awards, and be prepared to be shocked by your friends’ totally random hidden talents)
  35. Blow up a balloon and see how many times you can hit it before it touches the ground…we can’t figure out why this is entertaining, but oddly enough, it is
  36. Give yourself a ’50s-inspired makeover for the day — winged liner, bold lips, pin-up girl curls for the ladies, or a greaser-style slickback for the guys
  37. Get in a Fun Noodle fight, lightsaber-style, because you’re awesomely shameless like that
  38. Play with your food. Make these Peanut Butter Banana Beasties.
  39. Hairbrush karaoke
  40. Try out Tracy Anderson’s 15-minute workout, or a YouTube yoga class (Hint: soup cans or textbooks can double as weights)
  41. Teach the world something new. We all have our talents, so figure out what it is you do that earns rave reviews or compliments, shoot a YouTube tutorial (or write one up) and share that skill with everyone on Facebook, inviting them to do the same. You might just find a new hobby, career or calling you never considered.
  42. Establish your favorites. Has anyone ever asked you what your favorite movie or book is, and you just stare black at them blankly? Jot down your current and all-time favorites for the following: book, movie, TV show, band/artist, song, poem, album, work of art, style of art, course in school, color, number, letter.
  43. Start a gratitude journal. Every day, list 2 things you’re thankful for and 2 contributions you made to the world, no matter how small or mundane. They’ll keep your perspective in check on blah days.
  44. Swing by Sephora and use the samples to give yourself a makeover
  45. Stroll a mall food court, collecting all the samples. Take photos and tweet your reviews of each place. Expect certain fame and notoriety for becoming the Twitter Mall Food Court Sample Critic, because that’s totally destined to become a thing.
  46. Create a collage, bunting, or some other form of wall art for your place
  47. Meditate — Gabby Bernstein offers some great guides
  48. Watch this ridiculously cute animated short called “Paperman,” then write a love note, fold it into a paper airplane, and try to fly it through an open window.
  49. Transform some kitchen leftovers into a crazy easy fried rice (or casserole)
  50. Repurpose old and broken board games into push pins, coasters, and other fun accessories
  51. Speaking of board games, host a game night (Pictionary, Catchphrase, Apples to Apples and Scattergories are perennial faves)
  52. Find your “Hey, watch this!” trick. You know, the crazy convo starter that never fails to entertain. Learn to juggle, perfectly pop champagne using a sword, tie a cherry stem with your tongue, whatever. Then gather a crowd and perform, monkey, perform!

1 Comment

  1. […] just because you can’t spend money one day, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! Tips on fun things to do for […]

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