You've made it! The endless work-week has ended and you've finally come upon the weekend. But now that it's here, you have no idea what to do to make the most of your time off. Don't waste it! Come up with creative ways to spend the time so that you feel refreshed, come Monday morning. After all, a weekend is only two days long and it will pass faster than you know it—it always does.
To ensure that we all get the most out of the glorious gift that is the weekend, we compiled a comprehensive list of what to do on a Saturday or Sunday, no matter where you are or what mood you're in. You might even want to go crazy and take a long weekend, spending three whole days basking in the fun that is below. In fact, we have ideas for things to do at night when you're feeling restless and energetic, low-key but social activities for the daytime, and solitary practices to help you recharge with no one but yourself to have to listen to.
Whether you want to hibernate or hit the dance floor, scroll through to discover 14 ways to maximize the weekend.
Go on an Impromptu Date Night
Get dressed and head out for an unplanned evening out. Whether that means logging onto a dating app to find a potential first date or going out with your long-term partner, make Saturday night a spontaneous one. Not into a romantic evening? Grab your best friend and make a besties date night of it.
Pick a New Neighborhood
Even though going out with friends may seem like an obvious, repetitive Saturday night activity, it doesn't have to feel monotonous. This weekend, make a list of places that you haven't been in a long time, have been hearing buzzing about, or somewhere that you just happen upon in a neighborhood you've never walked. Consider picking a funky dive bar, live music venue, or a swanky speakeasy you've been wanting to try in a part of town you don't typically frequent.
Your go-to might be a night out at a bar or club, but why not think of a way to have a cocktail and also do something at the same time. Alternatives to the bar scene might also include gallery openings (some even host events that include a live DJ and cocktails, like San Diego Museum of Art's Culture & Cocktails or Cocktails at Cooper Hewitt at the Smithsonian Design Museum in NYC), and karaoke bars with private rooms, dance halls, roller rinks, bowling alleys, and escape rooms.
Go for a Night Hike
Grab your significant other, pet, or a group of friends. A night hike is a great way to get outside in a unique setting, and an expansive view can look even more beautiful at night. You might even want to spend the night and take advantage of camping in the great outdoors. If you're in a city without any hiking options, check out a scenic view from a lookout point or skyrise building.
Attend a Concert
Even if you don't know the artist, you could end up having a great time listening to live music and dancing. Take a cue from your music-obsessed friend, record-hoarding partner, or simply head to a local concert hall and see what's on the docket. That goes for live shows at smaller, more intimate venues too. Your local alternative weekly (aka alt-weekly) paper likely has the scoop on upcoming musical acts and other artsy performances, from Denver's Westword to the Triad CityBeat, which covers Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point, North Carolina.
Host a Dinner Party
There are plenty of creative ways to host your friends for an evening in that feels like the most exciting event you've attended all year. You might want to show off some new culinary skills, cooking a meal from scratch, all on your own. Or maybe plan a creative take on a pot, luck, choosing a cookbook, like Indian-ish by Priya Krishna, and asking party-goers to bring a dish from the book. If that sounds too ambitious, simply round up some friends to help plan a bonfire or sunset potluck picnic at a park—just add snacks.
Face Mask and Chill
Just because you have the whole weekend spread out in front of you doesn't mean that you have to go wild. Have a tough past few days and just want to relax? We've all had those weekends. That's exactly when it's most important to take a little time for yourself. Treat yourself to a self-care night in, complete with a relaxing bubble bath, a face mask, and a few (and maybe new-to-you) activities to nurture your inner world.
Crack Open a Book
Sometimes all you want to do is curl up in bed and escape with a good book and a cup of tea without having to worry about going to work the next day—now's your chance! Set up a little nook for yourself so that you can truly immerse yourself in what you're reading without feeling uncomfortable or bothered. Light some candles, brew a hot beverage, grab a cozy blanket, and—yes—leave your phone in the other room. There's nothing less relaxing than hearing your text messages buzz every three minutes.
Try a New Recipe
We know the drill: Your weekends have lately been filled with a lot of ordering in, spending too much money, and—quite frankly—feeling pretty gross after you've devoured that burger or mac and cheese from your favorite corner spot. Dedicate the evening to learning a new recipe or whip up an old favorite you haven't made in a while. Whether you're alone or with friends, it will feel so worth it to just sit down with a glass of wine and enjoy the healthy fruits of your labor. In fact, you might even want to go ahead and enjoy it in bed—we won't tell.
Prune Your Closet
Getting dressed, be it for the office or a date night, seems like quite a feat...and you're not quite sure how that happened. It might, you suspect, have a little something to do with the fact that your wardrobe is exploding and you don't even like half the things you touch when you reach out to a stack of sweaters or grouping of dresses. It's time to Marie Kondo that closet of yours. Take a peek inside your closet to see what you need to get rid of—things that no longer fit or items you've only worn once and have been sitting in your wardrobe ever since.
Connect With Friends
When you aren't feeling up for a night out or you're feeling stuck in a rut and lonely, call or FaceTime a long-distance friend or relative—or write them a letter! Sometimes it's even better to be alone with your thoughts, a pen, and some paper. It's a cathartic experience that's not only great for your mental health, but it's also something that your friends or family members will love to receive. Though we're partial to the age-old hand-written note, e-mails will suffice as well because, as long as you're sitting down and carving out the mindful time to catch up with your loved ones, it doesn't matter if it arrives via snail mail or is instantly digital.
Plan a Trip
Just because you are sitting in your living room today doesn't mean that you have to tomorrow, or next week, or next month. It might just be time to get out of your routine and head out on a trip to clear your head. If you feel like snuggling up by yourself tonight, research your next group getaway or consider planning that solo trip you've been dreaming of. Take the time to research where you want to head so that you can walk the streets like a local once you're there.
Print Some Photos
You likely have thousands of photos on your phone, but what good are they doing when only you get to see them? Digital they might be, but consider printing a bunch to hang or frame around your house. It will make it warmer and more homey, nearly instantly.
Ok, this might very well be the most antisocial activity on the list, but sometimes you just need a little me time. Curl up in bed with your TV by your side or laptop on your stomach and really hunker down, devouring episode after episode of that new must-watch show. You might even want to take a giant bowl of popcorn into bed with you!