I hope you've been able to get some time to yourself lately, even if it's only 5 minutes or a half hour.
What's that you say? You've magically got an afternoon off, and you don't feel like spending it alone? Well, I can't blame you. When the planets align to give you some time to yourself, sometimes "to yourself" is best spent with a friend.
So how about some ideas to make the most of the time? And I'm going to assume you've already thought of meeting for lunch, getting manicures, and having coffee, so these are 30+ other ideas.
Note: you've seen a couple of these ideas on my afternoon to yourself list, but I figure it's worth noting which ones are especially good to try with company.
- I'm going to say "shoe shopping" right away. Even if you're not a shoe person, there's something spectacular about trying on outlandish shoes with friends. I bought my favorite date-night pair that way, and boy, are they a hit with my Kinder Half
- Tea at a local hotel makes for a very civilized way to sit and dish with a friend you haven't seen in a while
- Visit an off-beat museum and look for inspiration/humor/a new favorite artist
- Visit the art supply store and laugh about the crafts you could make if you had the time and energy
- Okay, go ahead and try one of those crafts your were laughing about. Please share photos with me (instagram: @smallcompanyartworks)
- Attend a lecture at a local museum, library, or art gallery. Have coffee afterwards and compare impressions
- Watch your favorite romantic comedy from high school. Wine enhances this experience. Just sayin'
- Help each other redecorate one room, without buying anything new (use-what-you-have decorating). Again with the wine.
- Speaking of decorating, visit thrift and antique stores in a nearby neighborhood
- Bake cookies together and have fun decorating them. This is especially useful around the holidays, of course, but aren't cookies delicious all year? I won't tell anyone if you decide to pair your cookies with the perfect drink
- Go to a high end department store and commit to finding a new signature perfume for each of you (I say "high end" store because they're usually less crowded, and therefore less stressful. Besides, perfume costs the same no matter where you buy it, so you might as well get it someplace pleasant)
- Or visit a makeup counter and get makeovers. When was the last time you updated your eyeshadow techniques? No purchase required, even if the makeup person gives you sad puppy eyes
- Volunteer. Check out volunteermatch.org, where you can browse by categories or search for for a specific cause in your area
- Visit a psychic, palm reader, or other "fortune teller"
- Shop for gifts for an upcoming event or holiday. Bonus points if you get ideas for your friend's birthday present while you're at it
- Those paint-your-own pottery places are still around, and you haven't finished your collection of creative dishware yet, have you?
- Meet at a local wine bar and find a new favorite grape. Doing this in the afternoon almost guarantees you the wine person's full attention, so you can ask all the questions you can think of
- Visit a used bookstore and find a new read for your book club
- Or buy each other a book to read. Agree to actually read whatever your friend picks out for you, then trade. This is like promising to have another date to discuss your books
- Stay home and develop a new cocktail recipe. Of course, this works best in a child-free zone, and when neither of you has to drive
- Help each other with that DIY project you've been wanting to try. Take pictures of your attempts, and consider uploading to FailBlog, if appropriate
- Take a cooking, baking, or cheese-making class together
- Pretend you're tourists and go on that Segway tour
- Or don't bother pretending, and go be tourists in a nearby town that you rarely visit
- Try a food tour, which usually includes walking, so this totally counts as exercise
- Pull out your old photos and help each other throw out (or delete) what needs to be thrown out/deleted. Your best friend is a good person to tell you that no, you don't need sixty-four shots of your cat sleeping on the couch
- Take an art workshop together. This works best if neither of you has any idea what you're doing to begin with. No judgment.
- Or make a series of dates and take a language class together and agree to at least try to practice whenever you talk to each other
- Visit a local botanical garden, arboretum, or park
- Get out your cameras and walk around town taking pictures of anything that catches your eye. If you're not on Instagram, consider whether you need another (and really fun/creative. No, really.) social media outlet in your life. Become each other's first followers.
- The list grows! Thanks to Anna over on our Facebook page: For "mom" friends - catching up while the kids are in a gym/trampoline/bounce house. (I think there should be a grown-up version of the bounce house, personally, but it's hard to chat while bouncing, I suppose.)