43 Things to Do With Friends to Keep the Fun Going All Summer

From easy-on-your budget ideas to memory-making moments, these fun ideas can help you and your friends have an incredible summer.

Published July 13, 2023
friends at the lake

If you're just hoping to reconnect with your besties this summer, you might be looking for some fun things you can do together while you're catching up. There are tons of fun things you can do with your friends throughout the summer to help you enjoy the season.

These summer activities will help your friend group spend time together, stay cool, and even stay on budget.

Summer Activities to Do With Friends at Home

Maybe you're hoping to have your friends over for a summer day packed with fun activities instead of going out and searching for things to do. These ideas can help you enjoy one another's company from the comfort of your own home.

friends having fun at home

Lounge in Kiddie Pools

Small kiddie pools are pretty affordable. You can grab a few, fill them up with water, and spend the afternoon lounging around in your backyard while enjoying your favorite drinks and snacks with friends.

Host an Outdoor Movie Night

Comfy seating and a projector are all you need to make this summer movie night special. Oh, and all your favorite movie snacks, of course.

Make Your Own Ice Cream

Call up your friend with the ice cream maker and invite everyone over to make their own special flavors. Spend the afternoon digging in with all the best ice cream toppings included.

Catch Lightning Bugs

No matter how old you are, searching for lightning bugs is always fun. Grab your mason jars and set out to collect the most lightning bugs before the night ends.

Plan a Pool Party

Summer pool parties are a must during the warmer months. Plan one in your own home or call up a good friend who has a party-worthy pool.

Camp in Your Backyard

Camping close to home is one of the best ways to rough it in nature. This way, you're close to indoor plumbing (and all your extra snacks).

Host a Game Night

Have some good old-fashioned fun with your friends and plan a whole night of playing games. Set up a couple of tables with your best board games, and invite your friends to bring their own as well.

Make Summer Cocktails & Mocktails

Nothing says summer like a tropical drink. Spend an afternoon with friends and make all of the recipes you've saved on Pinterest for summery cocktails and mocktails.

Host a Summer Book Club

If finding a new book series to obsess over is on your summer bucket list, you may as well make it a group effort. Host weekly book club meetings with your friends to discuss your latest summer reads.

Break Out the Grill

Grilling out with friends is a must for the summer. Reach for your best grilling recipes and host an evening of outdoor dining fun.

Make Viral TikTok Recipes

With all the viral recipes circulating around TikTok this year, you'll have plenty to choose from. Invite friends over to test the most-viewed recipes and see if they're worth the hype.

Work on a Home Project

Your friends might be eager to help you makeover your bedroom, repaint your coffee table, or build a shelf for your office. Invite them over for a day of DIYs and laughter.

Plan an Elegant Garden Party

Brunch, afternoon tea, or pre-dinner cocktails. They're all a good enough reason to host a fancy garden party in your backyard with all your besties.

Budget Friendly & Free Summer Activities to Do With Friends

You want to have fun but you also want to save as much money as possible for that end of summer trip. These activities will keep you and your friends on budget all summer long.

friends hiking

Check Out Concerts in the Park

Your local park might host up and coming musical talents for summer nights of entertainment. Check them out; they're likely very cheap or even free to attend.

Go Stargazing

An evening under the stars with your dearest friends is something everyone should experience at least once. Grab your besties, some blankets, and take advantage of a night of clear skies.

Volunteer for Something You're Passionate About

If you and your friends have a shared interest in a particular cause or charity, dedicate some of your time to it this summer. Doing some good for the world with your friends will definitely keep the summertime blues away.

Pick Strawberries

Nothing beats a fresh-picked strawberry in the heat of summer. Find a local farm and get the gang together for a morning of strawberry picking so you can spend the afternoon making pies.

Take an Early Morning Stroll

The key to a successful summer walk is to beat the heat and get out there early. Plus, you might catch a beautiful sunrise.

Go Thrifting

Remember, going thrift shopping doesn't always mean you buy something. Sometimes it's just fun to shop around and discover the hilarious and mysterious items you might see in the thrift store.

Have a Karaoke Night

Whether you host it at home or check one out at your local coffee shop or bar, karaoke is a fun way to bond with your friends and usually doesn't cost anything. Remember, the potential for embarrassment is what makes karaoke fun.

Plan a Picnic

Pack up your favorite lunch and head off to the park with your friends. Bring comfy seating or some lawn games to help you enjoy an afternoon picnic in the park.

Go for a Hike

A hike is great exercise, gets you outside for some fresh air, and doesn't cost a thing. Plus, you get to have fun conversations with your hiking buddies throughout your journey.

Summer Activities With Friends to Help You Cool Down

During the hottest weeks of the year, you might be looking for some activities that keep you cool and help you spend quality time with your friends. These activities will keep you out of the heat while you're making memories.

friends kayaking

Have a Water Balloon Fight

Honestly, this one never truly gets old. Pelting your friends with bursting water balloons is a fun summer pastime, no matter how old you are.

Try Lunar Golf

If you don't know what lunar golf is, it's an indoor version of mini golf with glow-in-the-dark courses and equipment. It's a great way to get out with your friends and avoid the heat.

Run Through the Sprinkler

It cools you off and helps you feel like a kid again. Tell your pals to bring their swimsuits because sitting this one out isn't an option.

Go to the Movies

Is there anywhere colder than a movie theater? During the summer, the chilly theater is a great way to spend an afternoon.

Try Kayaking

If your friend group is pretty adventurous, kayaking might be a fun bonding activity for all of you. Round everyone up, rent some kayaks, and make some serious summer memories.

Make Your Own Water Slide

Did you know that you can DIY a backyard water slide? Make sure your friends come early enough to help you set up before diving into the fun.

Check Out a Museum

There's probably a museum near you that you haven't visited yet and it probably has a functioning air conditioning system. Stroll through exhibits or check out a guided tour on a hot afternoon.

Go Tubing on a River

Kayaking is invigorating, but tubing on a river is relaxing. Grab your friends, link up your tubes, and float down the river for the afternoon.

Plan a Day of Paddleboarding

If you've never tried paddleboarding, it's time you give it a shot. It's a lot easier than it looks - and so fun to do while laughing with friends.

Exciting Summer Activities to Make Memories With Friends

If you want to create a core memory with your best friends, these summer activities will help set the stage for your most cherished moments. They might also help you discover a new hobby or local spot in your area you'll return to time and time again.

summer road trip

Plan a Summer Road Trip

Nothing sets the stage for summer memories like a road trip with your group of friends. Even the planning process and packing can make for fun afternoons together.

Go to the Arcade

Your local area might have an arcade open to the public. Spend a day gaming with your pals and cheering each other on as you try to beat the high score.

See a Local Play

Your local theater might just inspire you to take up acting. Grab front row seats with your friends and enjoy some local culture and art.

Find a Drive-in Movie Theater

They aren't as popular as they used to be, but the drive in is an experience worth traveling for. Pack your own snacks and a cooler full of drinks for an unforgettable movie night.

Sign Up for a Marathon, Half-Marathon, or 5K

Training for and completing a marathon or half-marathon together is a bonding experience you'll never forget. If running isn't your thing, you can choose to walk the race together with a goal of just reaching the finish line. Or, consider walking or running a 5K.

Check Out a Local Festival

Maybe your town hosts a garlic festival, wine festival, or arts and crafts palooza every year. Check out the festivities with your group of friends and learn something you didn't know about your own town.

Chase Food Trucks Around Your Town

Have a favorite food truck or two? Make a list with your friends and spend the day finding their latest set up. All that searching will definitely work up an appetite.

Take a Fitness Class

Even if you've been into fitness for a long time, there's at least one thing out there you haven't tried yet. Sign up as a group for hot yoga, kickboxing, or spin class.

Attend a Local Sporting Event

Your city might have its own baseball, volleyball, or soccer team. Go show your support with your group of friends in tow.

Stroll Through the Farmer's Market

See some local creators, snag some fresh produce, and discover why people love going to the farmer's market. This is a great summer activity to enjoy before you go to brunch.

Hang Out Downtown

Many downtown city spots are full of art, culture, and unique experiences. Scope out some local art galleries, mom-and-pop restaurants, and new coffee shops in your downtown area.

Have a Beach Bonfire

Nothing says summer like a bonfire on the beach with friends. Don't forget to pack the s'mores fixins'.

Make It a Summer to Remember With Friends

When you look back over summers you remember most, they probably include tons of memories with your closest friends. These summer activities will help you add to those memories and give you stories to talk and laugh about for summers to come.

43 Things to Do With Friends to Keep the Fun Going All Summer