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Five Fun, Yet Frugal, Ways to Entertain Friends at Home
To keep stress at bay, you would need to relax, unwind and hang out with friends. But with restaurant meals, drinks and movie tickets getting more and more expensive every year, almost everyone can’t help but be mindful of their budget. And with the reality of paying off student loans or credit card debt, now forget about trips and vacations to exotic places.
But have you ever considered that probably the most overlooked place to hang out and have fun could be your home? You may be renting a humble apartment with a roommate, or your first home after college may boast just a few modest pieces of furniture.
However, you should not let that stop you from providing a comfortable atmosphere where your friends can relax and enjoy themselves. If you’re out of fun stuff, here are five thrifty activities:
(1.) Upgrade Your Parlor Games
Newspaper dance? Musical chairs? Pin the Tail on the Donkey? Do those games conjure up images of you and your buddies at your seventh birthday party? Well, it’s time to go through an “upgrade” and come up with creative ways to inject adult-appropriate fun into your party games.
Two of the most popular “ice breaker-type” games that tend to reveal a lot about individuals are I never ever___ and Would You Prefer___ or___? They require very little equipment and can be played by as many as two to four participants.
For I never ever ___, have a pack of 4″ x 6″ irregular index cards and several felt tips handy. Ask each participant to receive two cards, and print “NEVER” on one card and “I HAVE” on the second card.
As the host, come up with a dozen statements, and write them down on a piece of paper. You can make them as interesting or controversial, outrageous or unbelievable, or even mildly risky as possible.
And then, read each statement out loud, and if it rings true for a few particular players, they get to hold up their “I HAVE” card. If they have never done it, they must raise their “NEVER” card.
Here are some examples of disclosure statements:
I never ever ___
… pretended to be sick just to get out of a speeding ticket.
… snuck into an R-18 movie when I was underage.
… embellished my credentials on a resume just to get a job.
… pulled out of a first date.
The game ends as soon as the last item in your list is read. This game can garner a lot of laughs from players, and even mild expressions of surprise.
Do You Prefer ___ or ___? involves choosing between two options, which can be good and better, or bad and worse. Examples are:
would you prefer ___
… stranded on an island with your annoying boss, or your narcissistic ex?
… the tail of a lion, or the head of a mouse?
… giving up junk food for a month, or pizza for a year?
… spend $100 at a thrift store, or at Michael’s?
As a host, write a dozen two-choice statements on a piece of paper, and read them aloud one by one. Have fun seeing which friends will choose which.
(2.) Have a Theme Movie Marathon
You may have friends who are movie buffs, while others may be indifferent to movies and would just like to spend time with you and your group. Why not download several movies with similar themes, and enjoy a pleasant afternoon with your crew?
Prepare a box of microwavable popcorn, and serve a variety of beverages: cola, lemonade, iced tea, etc. You can also buy huge bags of chips or nachos, and look up recipes for dips.
Possible subjects could be works by acclaimed directors, chick flicks for the ladies, Marvel movies or some of Disney-Pixar’s best offerings.
(3.) Introduce a Couple of Card or Adult Board Games
Scrabble, Monopoly, Snakes ‘n’ Ladders, and Pictionary have remained popular among children for ages. But for adults who would like to get together, playing some of the latest card or board games can be great alternatives to going out for food and drinks.
While buying a card or set of board games can be expensive, there are now many games that can fit any budget. And according to the website boardgamegeek[dot]com, countless games are now marketed to specific niches and interests of gamers.
You and your friends don’t need to limit yourself to Cards Against Humanity and Settlers of Catan. For starters, millennials and today’s young professionals may want to try #Social Starwhile pop music and trivia enthusiasts will end up delighted with games like 300 Pop Questions, 70’s Music Trivia, and Game of the 80’s.
(4.) Turn it into Change
Some of your friends may want to declutter, get rid of their old stuff, and may be open to the possibility of getting used items that are still in good condition. If you have several bookworms in your group, you can trade paperbacks of books, magazines, and even comic books or graphic novels.
If they lean toward the athletic side, they might want to trade golf clubs for a pair of tennis or squash rackets, or resistance bands and dumbbells for a basketball or volleyball.
(5.) Make it an Art-Centered Activity
For this activity you may need to ask your friends to chip in with some money to stretch your budget for art supplies. Buy several sets of artist’s acrylics or watercolors (just get the basic set of 12 colors to keep costs down), acrylic canvas, or a few packs of watercolor paper.
First, search for painting tutorials on YouTube. Don’t worry too much about producing something aesthetic, but make sure everyone puts in some effort. When everyone has finished their masterpieces, get out your smartphones and take pictures.
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