If you're feeling at a loss for things to do, but don't have a plus-one to plan them with, never fear: Some of the best activities are perfect for a solo afternoon. There are so many fun things to do by yourself that you might be missing out on for fear that you need a companion in order to enjoy them. But you totally don't. It's time to step out of your comfort zone.
Whether you're single or in a relationship, you absolutely don't need a significant other or a group of friends to try new things. Some of the fun things to do alone outside might intimidate you, but they're well worth trying. Everyone needs some "me" time every now and then, whether that means relaxing poolside with a captivating book, exploring nature solo, cooking your favorite dish, or trying a new activity.
Be inspired to venture out (or stay in) sans significant other or troop of friends with these 32 things to do by yourself.
Have a Solo Picnic
Pack up a picnic and enjoy an afternoon at the park. Bring your favorite snacks, a good book, and a comfy blanket. Who says that you need a giant guest list to enjoy spending an afternoon outside? Doing so alone is a great way to clear your head and reset for the week ahead.
Go to a Museum
Head to a museum or a gallery that has been on your to-do list for weeks. Wander the halls and attempt to understand modern art with no one else around to impress.
Try a New Recipe
Pick out a new pasta recipe. Buy all the ingredients and do your best to replicate the dish at home. It will taste all the more delicious, knowing that you made it from scratch.
Take a Walk Around Your Neighborhood
Take a walk around a hood that you think you know so well but have never really focused on. You can put on a fun playlist or simply listen to the sounds around you.
Take a splurge-worthy shopping trip. And we mean actually shopping, not online shopping. Browse your favorite shops and take home something that tempts you to wear it right out of the store. And, instead of heading to larger department stores and chains, focus on smaller shops and boutiques. Shopping local will help support your community—you know—as you indulge in a little retail therapy.
Put Your Green Thumb to the Test
Invest in houseplants to brighten up your home, or try your hand at gardening. It's a great way to not only pass the time but also add a little life (quite literally) to your house.
Spend a Day in the Sun
Put on a swimsuit and head to the pool, the beach, or the lake. Flip through a magazine and soak up the sun (but don't forget the sunscreen).
Enroll in a Class
Whether you're interested in photography, ceramics, painting, writing, cooking, graphic design, or anything in between, there's likely a local class you can take to hone your craft and meet like-minded people. Perhaps you're dying to brush up on a skill you used to practice diligently, or maybe you want to branch out and try something new. Today is the day.
Even if you're not native to NYC, the 92Y has a slew of online classes in a wide range of subjects. You can attend a one-off lecture or sign up for a semester's worth of hands-on learning.
Head to the Farmer's Market
Instead of going grocery shopping at the corner store, head out to a farmer's market to shop fresh produce in an open-air setting. It's a great way to change up your grocery shopping routine, and you might even inspire your next meal based on what you see for sale!
Stay home and indulge in a few guilty pleasures. Walk around in your underwear, eat your favorite foods, read a book, catch up on your current TV obsession, write in your journal—do all the things you forget to do when you're too busy spending time with other people. You'll feel like a totally new person when you wake up in the morning.
Rent a Bike
Try a new mode of transportation, whether you have a specific destination in mind or simply want to go out exploring. Renting a bike will allow you to see your neighborhood from a new perspective while getting in a fun workout at the same time.
Organize Your Closet
It's time to Marie Kondo your life. Your wardrobe is just too overflowing with pieces that you never wear yet can't seem to get rid of. Hence, the piles of clothing on the floor and the doors that don't quite shut. Donate anything you haven't worn in the last six months, and find a place for any forgotten jewelry, shoes, and miscellaneous objects.
Try Out a New Sport
If your exercise routine is getting boring, it's time to switch it up. You might even want to join an adult league for just about anything from beach volleyball and tennis to kickball and soccer.
Take Yourself Out to Lunch
Do your best to forget about your phone and simply enjoy eating a good meal alone. It's a great opportunity to head to the new local spot and check it out for yourself.
Go See a Movie
Head to the theater and see a movie you've been dying to watch. Find a matinee and take pleasure in not having to share the popcorn with anyone else.
Make a List
Make a list of things you want to accomplish. Whether it be in the short- or long-term future, brainstorm how you can make some of those goals happen. Use the opportunity wisely, though. Really take the time to think through everything you're adding and commit yourself to practice what you preach.
Have a Staycation
Book a stay at a luxe hotel in your city and enjoy fluffy white robes, room service, and blackout shades. A change of scene might be just the thing you need to get out of your own head.
Try Out a New Workout Class
Whether it's digital or in person, try a new workout class to switch up your routine. Most yoga, Pilates, and spin studios offer a free trial to new members, so take advantage. You might just stumble upon your new favorite hobby.
Head to a flea market, thrift store, or swap meet and see what hidden treasures you come home with. It's fun to decorate both your home and closet with one-of-a-kind finds you know none of your other friends will have.
Volunteer for a cause that means something to you. It can be as simple as visiting dogs at an animal shelter or spending time with the elderly.
Learn a Foreign Language
Take a class, buy a book, or even download an app. When you've learned the basics, you can even treat yourself to a trip. If you feel like you're mastering your language of choice, it might even be time to rent a foreign film and test out your new skills.
Indulge in a Spa Treatment
Book a massage or a facial and spend the whole day being pampered. If that's not in the budget, take a bath, give yourself an at-home facial, and call it a day.
Do a Hair Mask
You're not going to be inclined to sit with wet, conditioner-slicked hair in front of a group of people, so seize the alone time to treat your tresses. While your hair is moisturizing under that towel, add everything from a face mask to a full-body treatment—all from the comfort of your own home.
Hit the Bookstore
You could download an e-book, but there's something special about perusing a bookstore's aisles and holding a paperback in your hands. You'll find books you never even knew existed.
Redecorate Your Living Room
Move things around in the most-used room in your house. Or hit up your bedroom, bathroom, or office. Whether you get inspired to do a full-on renovation or just want to rearrange your furniture, a new look will make your space (and you) feel fresh.
Head to a Coffee Shop
Bring your computer or book, and work or read outside of your home. A change of scene can help inspire you.
Catch Up on Your Favorite Magazines
You know that stack that been's piling up on your desk for months? Now's the time to tackle it.
Experiment With Makeup
You're not going to be inclined to try out a new, bold smoky eye before a date or dinner with your friends, so check out some YouTube videos and tutorials and play around with makeup when you have time for mistakes.
If you never turn your brain off, this one's for you. Create a space in your home to do a little meditation and clear your mind.
Write a book, write letters, write a blog—let your creativity flow when you have solitude and no one around to interrupt.
It sounds intimidating, but if you spend the time researching, we bet you can absolutely pull off that IKEA hack you've been eyeing on social media for months. It will instantly bring new life into your home with little effort—or money!
Whether your skills lean more toward painting, sewing, or pottery, get in touch with your inner artist. Try out something that you've been dying to for years—no one is judging.