Things to Do

Nature’s Calling! 15 Things to Do Outside With Your Friends

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Friends getting ready to do kayaking in summer

When the weather is lovely, it’s basically a crime to not get outside and make the most of it. It’s great when that happens on your day off, but if it doesn’t, we’re not not telling you to play hooky (especially if you’ve spent a loooong time being cooped up inside). So, take this as a sign to round up your crew and head outside, because being together never felt so good!

And when it comes to options, we know it can be a little tricky pleasing everyone. That’s why we rounded up a master list of outdoor activities with friends:

Friends with disability playing tennis in summer

For the Competitive Group . . .

Do your friends enjoy a bit of friendly competition? Well, everybody wins when you spend a day taking on your pals outdoors (okay, some win more than others). If you and your friends love to compete, focus on these outdoor games for adults.

1. Hit the fairway for a round of golf

A round of golf on a nice day is the ideal activity. Pro tip: Make it interesting with a friendly bet, like whoever comes in last has to buy the first round of drinks.

2. Shoot paintballs in the woods

Careful, this could get ugly (in the best possible way)! Just don’t go in without a plan. Study up on paintball strategies beforehand so your friends won’t know what hit them.

3. Sign up for a sports league

Why not hit the courts and play some tennis? All games begin with a score of love-love, and really, what could be better for friends?

4. Keep it casual with a mini-golf showdown

But not so casual that you’re taking it easy. You’d be surprised at how seriously people take those 18 holes!

Man grabbing friend's hands while rock climbing in summer

For nature lovers . . .

Mother Nature is quite the event planner, and there are plenty of things to do with friends that take advantage of the great outdoors. Take a look at some of these ideas for nature-lovers.

5. Get active with a rock-climbing excursion

There’s a reason everyone loves this sport. If you’re a beginner, start here to learn how to get into it so it’s a safe and fun activity.

6. See the scenery on a horseback ride

Hop in the saddle for some horseback hijinks with friends. First-timers and expert riders welcome, there are many guided tours around the country that take you past some of the states’ best scenery.

7. Get your adrenaline pumping with a whitewater rafting trip

Nothing says adventure more than a couple of runs down a river. Just remember to smile for the action shots to show everyone on social media how outdoorsy and daring you are.

8. Go whale watching

If you’re in the right location to see some marine life, make a day of it. Try to catch a glimpse of some of nature’s most majestic mammals.

Beautiful black woman dancing with friends at festival

For the arty ones . . .

You don’t have to spend the day cooped up in a museum to get a dose of culture. Here’s how to take in the arts when the weather gets warm.

9. Celebrate food, wine and culture at a local festival

Though the Covid-19 pandemic may have temporarily placed them on ice, an outdoor festival never get old. No one says no to good food and drink, and if they do, we wouldn’t trust ’em. After the long wait, what could be sweeter?

10. Make your own music concerts

Concerts during a lovely evening are simply magic. Musical experiences let you bring the joy home for all – you can take online piano lessons, learn how to produce music or take a songwriting course with a melodic maestro. In the home theater, you’re sure to score some good seats.

11. Go sightseeing in your own city

It’s exciting to become a tourist in your own city for a day. Plus, most tours have an emphasis on food and culture that you most likely haven’t learned about or explored yet.

Woman's feet in pov looking at man in ocean

For the travelers . . .

12. Take a challenging, scenic hike in the mountains

With travel restrictions more relaxed this year, you might swap the couch for some of America’s most incredible landscapes. Hikes can be a lot of work but the views are worth every step. Check out some of our favorite national parks for hiking – there might be one close to home.

13. Marvel at the crashing waters of Niagara Falls

You might not be able to get to an international landmark up close this summer, so why not explore one closer to home? Take a trip to Niagara Falls and watch one fifth of the world’s fresh water cascade down the falls from the safety of a sightseeing deck.

14. Try scuba diving

Did you know there are hundreds of dive centers across the country? Even if you’re not close to one of them, you might get acquainted with the snorkels and tanks in a local swimming pool. Or load up the car with a friend and put your skills to the test in the open water.

15. Make the beach your sandbox

One of the most universally beloved things to do outside with friends: relaxing on a beach. Scout out some of the best beach scenes in Florida, San Diego, or perhaps even out in Hawaii. This year just got exciting.

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