Whether you recently retired or watched all there is on Netflix, there may come a time in life when you find yourself bored with nothing to do. This extensive list of 90 affordable and fun things to do when bored should fill your time nicely.
When you come across a newly retired person, you typically hear them say one of two things:
- I’ve been so busy since I retired that I’m surprised I ever had time to work, or
- I’m so bored now that I’ve retired. I wish I had more things to do.
If the latter is the case, this comprehensive list of things to do when you’re bored will fill your days and weekends with many fun activities.
Perhaps you’re not retired yet but often find yourself with little to nothing to do in the evenings and on weekends. Being bored can quite quickly put a damper on your mood and your mental health.
While it’s perfectly fine to chill out now and then and do nothing, it’s essential also to note that having too much free time and not enough things to do to fill that time can lead to stagnation, low energy, no ambition to do anything, and much worse, depression.
According to Study.com, “Boredom is frequently an indicator of depression, but it can also be a precipitator or trigger.”
If you find yourself scrolling mindlessly for hours on your phone, filling in empty time, you’ll find something more enjoyable in this list. For ease of navigation, it’s broken up into three sections:
- Indoor Things to Do When You’re Bored
- Outdoor Things to Do When You’re Bored
- Things to Do When You’re Bored With Friends
30 Indoor Things To Do When You’re Bored
These 30 things to do when you’re bored indoors can be done alone or with friends. Keep in mind that these are mere suggestions. Take what you want; leave the rest!
- Rearrange furniture. You can do this one room at a time, and the best part of it is that it’s free. Depending on how many rooms you have in your house, this can fill many days quite quickly.
- Paint things. Do you have walls, doors, window frames, photo frames, or anything else that needs a touchup? A good coat of fresh paint can entirely change the look and feel of something.
- Plan your monthly budget. Do you have a good handle on where your money is going? It might be time to work on a monthly budget.
- Sudoku/Crossword puzzles. These are a great way to fill up a few hours of boredom. Careful, though; puzzles can be addictive.
- Have a spa day. When was the last time you pampered yourself? Doing a mani/pedi or even a facial is relaxing and fun.
- Read a book. Why not grab one of those paperbacks off the shelf, dust it off, and reread it? Lose yourself in a novel for a few hours.
- Fix broken things. We all have broken items that need repairing yet end up on our ‘do it tomorrow’ list. Take inventory of those things and start fixing them.
- Write a letter. You can write a love letter to yourself, a forgiveness letter to someone who hurt you, or a letter to an old friend. Writing is therapeutic and can quickly fill an hour or two.
- Go through your clothes. It might be time to do the ‘check and chuck’ with your wardrobe. What no longer fits can be donated to homeless/women’s shelters. It’s a win-win.
- Learn a new language. With so many free language apps, learning a new language has become easy.
- Clean up your desktop. When was the last time you wiped out your desktop or cleaned your computer? There are tons of dead files you don’t need anymore and are taking up precious space.
- Dust. I know you hate dusting, and it is borderline boring, but could your furniture, glasses, knick-knacks, and other things use a good wiping down? You’ll feel good once it’s all done.
- Declutter. Is there a room or closet in your house that desperately needs attention? Plan a few hours and tackle that space. You can donate any unwanted items or sell them in a garage sale.
- Watch a movie. Cartoon anyone? Maybe a good murder mystery? Make popcorn, grab a blanket, and curl up on the sofa.
- Find a new series. Are you watching Breaking Bad for the 5th time? Go through Netflix and add more series to your list. I suggest diving into some good documentaries.
- Make a new song playlist. Your playlist on Spotify hasn’t changed in over a year. Why not ask a friend or two to share some of their playlists? Diversify!
- Meditate. Meditation is for more than mornings, evenings, or calming your nerves. Check out Insight Timer or Headspace and find some good reflections for any time of day.
- Start an indoor garden. Be careful with this one. Once you get started, you may become addicted. An indoor garden is a beautiful way to grow your herbs and veggies.
- Bake. Nothing beats the delicious smell of cookies baking in the oven. Once done, you can share them with friends and neighbors.
- Plan your weekly meals. Take the guesswork out of cooking every day and plan your meals on Sundays. This way, you can ensure you get enough veggies, protein, and good fats in your diet.
- Make a bucket list. Do you have things you want to do and places to go? Write that all out. Make a bucket list and a plan to check those items off your list.
- Mind map short-term goals. Where do you see yourself in 6 months? What does your savings account look like? Why not mind-map some short-term goals and get ahead in life?
- Mind map long-term goals. What does the following year, two or five years, look like for you? Do you have a plan for the future? Take some time and think about what you want.
- Learn a new skill. YouTube is a gold mine of tutorials. Anything you want to learn, you can find it on YouTube for free.
- Take a nap. Naps are underrated. Next time you feel bored, lie down, close your eyes, and rest.
- Clean out your fridge or dishwasher. A chore no one ever wants to do, but is it time? When was the last time you reached way on the back shelf and cleaned it?
- Start a journal. It is cathartic to write/journal. When we release our emotions and feelings through words on paper, we detox negative and sad thoughts, which makes room for happier ones.
- Clean your windows. Not a fun way to fill your time when you’re bored, but you know this needs to be done. Get out the vinegar and coffee filters and make those windows shine.
- Start an online business. If you have lots of free time, why not start a business and make some money? It’s easier than you think.
- Find and text an old friend. Facebook is a great way to look up old friends from high school or your neighborhood and reconnect.
30 Outdoor Things To Do When You’re Bored
The list of outdoor things to do when you’re bored depends on where you live and the weather. Choose an indoor item from the list above if the weather could be more desirable.
- Go bird watching. Grab your backpack, some water, and a light snack, and head into nature to watch some birds.
- Go for a hike. Seek out some landscapes you still need to explore. If it’s not something you want to do alone, call a friend to join you. Make a small picnic and go.
- Visit a nursing/senior’s home. Many long-term care facilities have patients with no family or visitors. Be a bright light in someone’s dark lonely days.
- Volunteer. Find an organization that resonates with you and apply to be a volunteer.
- Take a road trip. Head over to that little island you’ve heard so much about, or check out the local market in the next town.
- Check out the local library. You may be amazed at the people you will encounter and the books just waiting for you to open.
- Head to the movies. When was the last time you went to the theater? Nothing quite like treating yourself to a 3D action adventure with buttery popcorn and treats!
- Have a bonfire. Any time is a good time for a bonfire unless it’s raining. Call up a friend or two, or not, and enjoy the ambiance of a glowing fire in your backyard.
- Go for a swim. Pack your swimsuit and a towel and head to the beach/lake or local pool—a great way to exercise and maybe make a new friend.
- Visit the dog park. If you don’t have a pet, this is a great way to get some cuddles and a few laughs. Most pet owners are happy to share their furry friends with others.
- Enjoy a picnic. Whether in your backyard or at a park, pack a little snack and your beverage of choice, and enjoy a picnic under a shady elm.
- Start an outdoor garden. Equally as addictive as an indoor garden and just as rewarding, you’ll have more room for more extensive plants.
- Go to a cafe. Alone. What a great way to spend time with yourself while meeting other people and enjoying a warm, spicy beverage.
- Go for a walk in a different part of town. Are there still parts of your city you have yet to explore? Grab a friend and go for a walk to see what’s on the other side of town.
- Go for a walk in nature. Remember to bring binoculars for this one. You can watch for rare and unique butterflies and other forest critters.
- Clean up your yard/front entrance. Do you have plants or trees in desperate need of some TLC? Your door may need a fresh look, such as adding a door wreath. Get outside and show your front yard some love.
- Wash your car. Inside and out. When was the last time your car got a good scrub down? Grab some rags and a garbage bag and get to it.
- Fly a kite. An excellent windy day activity, but take advantage of this fun thing to do when you’re bored. You’ll feel like a kid again and look forward to the next windy day.
- Take the neighbor’s dog for a walk. Don’t have a pet of your own? Grab your neighbor’s dog, go for a brisk walk, and get some fresh air and exercise.
- Join a tennis/pickleball/badminton club. Just about every town has a club for community events and games. Check out yours and sign up for things that interest you.
- Shop at the local farmers market. Most towns have markets set up every weekend, weather dependent. Grab your reusable shopping bag, head to the market, and help support local farmers.
- Go to a flea market. The flea market is a fantastic place to find treasures, old and new. When was the last time you visited the one close to you?
- Have a yard sale. Once you’ve finished decluttering stuff you don’t need anymore and cleaning out that garage, it’s time to make some fast cash. Plan for a weekend yard sale.
- Join an outdoor yoga class. Many towns host outdoor aerobics and yoga classes. Find out where there is a class close to you and attend.
- Make a bird feeder. It sounds challenging, but it can be fun and easy. You can find simple tutorials on YouTube.
- Check out a rooftop patio/restaurant. Grab your sunglasses and a light sweater and enjoy a glass of wine or soda on a rooftop patio.
- Go fishing. Dig out your old fishing rod and lures, head to the lake, and throw in your line—a relaxing way to spend a day.
- Take nature pics. You don’t need a fancy or expensive camera for this. Your cell phone will do just fine. Get outside and photograph trees, birds, leaves, and whatever else catches your eye.
- Pick berries. Many local farms allow you to pick baskets of berries or other fruit for a small price. Call up a farm and find out the costs and times to go.
- Stargazing. You don’t know what you’re missing if you’ve never watched the stars at night. Grab a blanket and download a sky map app to learn about the stars in the sky.
Related Read: Backyard Entertainment Ideas
30 Things To Do When You’re Bored With Friends
If you prefer to hang out with your friends, here are 30 things to do indoors and outdoors when you’re bored with your friends.
- Play board games. There’s nothing like a classic game of Monopoly to fill up a few hours of your night. Playing games is classic fun.
- Host a potluck dinner. A fun way to get all your friends together and try out new foods.
- Make seasonal crafts. Gather your besties and have a craft party. When everyone has completed their unique piece, exchange them with each other.
- Go paddleboarding/kayaking. Head to the waters and get some exercise, Vitamin D, and laughs.
- Do a monster puzzle. Finding one at a second-hand store is relatively easy if you don’t have one. Purchase the biggest one and spend the day putting it together.
- Join a community garden. These beautiful gardens are popping up everywhere. Ask at your local garden center where the community garden is for your area and get planting.
- Have a movie nite in your backyard. Bring the TV outside, set up some chairs, and voila! An outdoor mini theater.
- Help a neighbor. Is there a senior on your street who needs help with yard work, chores, or anything else? Get your friends together and organize a clean-up day.
- Host a karaoke party. The only things required for this are music, your living room, and an open mind. If someone has a microphone handy, all the better.
- Give each other massages or other spa treatments. Mani/pedi, anyone? Why not have a spa day at your house?
- Tye-dye t-shirts. Gather old t-shirts that need love, and go crazy with fabric dye and ties. When you’re all done, swap them with each other.
- Visit an amusement park. Find an amusement park close to you and be a kid again. Eat cotton candy and go on fun rides.
- Throw a theme party. Together you can decide what the theme will be. Make it a potluck party as well.
- Read some tarot cards. Someone knows someone with a deck of tarot cards tucked away that never gets used. Pull that deck out and have a tarot card party.
- Face painting. It’s not just for kids. Let your inner child out and have some fun with face paint.
- Make-up party. If face painting isn’t your thing, why not have a make-up party? Get out those false eyelashes and have fun.
- Play charades. For those who don’t have board games on hand, playing charades is a great alternative and fun.
- Create vision boards. Is it time to manifest your dream home and Mr. or Mrs. Right? Why not do it with your friends? Ask everyone to bring their favorite magazines, snacks, and beverage.
- Start a local sports/activities group. If you can’t find a group in your town that suits your needs, why not start one? Social media is a great place to spread the word.
- Try paintballing. Many cities offer paintballing on weekends. Paintballing is a high-energy, slightly aggressive sport, so it’s not for the faint of heart but a ton of fun.
- Make jewelry. If you and your girlfriends are artsy, crafty gals, making jewelry is a great way to spend a few hours together. When your pieces are complete, you can donate them, give them as gifts, keep them, or sell them.
- Hair party. If you’re up for a new style or hair color, why not have a hair party? Don’t go too crazy here. While hair parties can be fun, they may end up in disaster if you’re careless!
- Check out the new restaurant. You’ve all been dying to check out the new restaurant that just opened, so make a date and go.
- Play croquet. Croquet is a fun and relaxing way to spend a few hours with friends. You can pick up a set at your local hardware store for a reasonable price.
- Go bowling. Many bowling alleys also offer glow bowling! It is a great way to get in a bit of exercise.
- Road trip. Get together with your friends and find a place on the map that’s close to you that you would all like to visit. Then, pack a light picnic lunch, and away you go.
- Try your luck at Bingo. Even if you’re not much of a gambler, Bingo is still a fun way to spend a few hours, and the best part is that charities run most bingos, so your money goes to a good cause.
- Practice a new language together. Learning a new language is easier with friends. Pick a language you all want to learn and practice it.
- Have a pajama party. When was the last time you had a sleepover with your girlfriends? Pj parties are a fantastic way to have fun and bond with friends.
- Hold a neighborhood clean-up. Call up your friends and plan a neighborhood clean-up. Others will join in, too; you can make it a monthly activity.
The Things To Do When You’re Bored Is Limitless
While I only shared 90 things to do when you’re bored, the possibilities are endless and limitless. A quick Google or Yahoo search can bring up hundreds more things to do when you’re bored. Next time you find yourself restless or with nothing to do, return to this article of 90 things to do when you’re bored, and you’ll be busy in no time.
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.
Iva Ursano is a solo female traveler originally from Canada and currently residing in Guatemala. After hitting rock bottom in 2013, she completely reinvented her life at 52 years old, packed up two suitcases and bought a one way ticket to Central America. She runs a website for women over 50 to help them make the rest of their lives, the best of their lives while feeding street dogs and helping the less fortunate in the town she now calls home, Panajachel.