eing an adult means having too many commitments. Between having a job, paying the bills, and maintaining a social life, it’s easy to get wrapped up in all of your agendas. It’s especially difficult when you want to make plans with your friends, and as an adult, everyone’s schedules are guaranteed to be more hectic.  

Thankfully, in this new day and age, making plans has become way easier with the help of technology and social media. But there are still several struggles that come with making plans with your friends, including different availability and budget constraints. To help you through the chaotic plan-making, this guide will help you step-by-step, as well as give you specific ideas of what activities to do with your friends.

How to make plans with your friends as an adult

A group of friends on a video call on a tablet
A video call with your friends is a convenient, efficient way to communicate with each other.

Initiate the Plans Yourself

If you haven’t seen your friends in a while and miss them dearly, then you should take the big step and ask to make plans yourself. That way, you can help recoup the group back to life after a hiatus and help maintain your connections with them. 

This method can also help for when you are trying to make plans with new friends. Even if you are scared of rejection, sometimes you have to be the push to get a friendship started. 

Create a group chat 

If there isn’t one already, create a group chat with all of your pals so that you can have more efficient communication. All messages can be kept in one place and you and your friends can easily share preferences and opinions about potential plans. It will also help everyone feel like they can participate in the conversation and speak their opinions. 

Create an organized routine for yourself

In order to find allotted time for you and your friends, a good tip is to set up a routine for yourself. That way, you have a better understanding of when you are available and plan-making can be easier on your end. 

This process could include creating a daily schedule to allow yourself more  free time and less stress with procrastination. 

Consider virtual methods

With the help of online communication, there are plenty of virtual methods you can use with your friends to connect with them when the group is unable to get together physically. You and the gang could set up weekly video calls on platforms like Zoom, Skype, or Facetime. 

But these video calls don’t have to be just chatting. You can play online games with your friends, games like Jackbox, Family Feud, or Jeopardy.

Or if you can coordinate a movie night through a virtual watch party service like Scener or Teleparty

Try to plan in advance

The sooner you coordinate plans, the better the plans will come together. There’s more of a chance that everyone is able to make it when the date is farther into the future. Plus, you can plan even more things to do just in one hangout.

When you make plans earlier, you have time to take care of the tasks like making reservations, purchasing tickets, or creating an itinerary. This way, you won’t have to stress out any possible inconveniences like when you can’t get a table or something is sold out. 

Be ready to compromise

Not everything will go as planned, so be prepared to accept a few things. First, there is a chance that not everyone in the group will be able to make it. Secondly, not everyone will be able to spend the entire hangout time together. Compromise is essential so that the group is still able to spend time together and maintain your friendships. 

Compromise may also arise even when planning what activity your group will be doing. Give each other a chance to situate different interests and preferences into the plan so that everyone is able to feel included. Dividing up the responsibilities of the plan-making is also a way of compromising with your friends, especially so that one person isn’t bombarded with doing everything. 

Split up the plan into different activities so that some people who weren't able to make it earlier can make it later. For example, if some friends can’t make it to dinner, have an activity planned afterwards to ensure they have a chance to come hang out. 

Brainstorm potential activities 

When thinking of things to do with your friends, there are plenty of ideas that could create lasting memories. During the brainstorming process, consider a few things:

  • Have you done this before? How fun was it?
  • How can you and your friends tap into being adventurous and create anticipation?
  • What is something unique you could do together?
  • Have you tried tapping into your inner child?

Create polls

To help fit the preferences and time of everyone in the group, try making a poll to decide on what activity or place you guys want to go. Some apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have a built-in poll feature in their app. But if your messaging app doesn’t have those features, Poll-Maker is a site where you can quickly make a poll and share it to your group via a link. 

There are also sites to help everyone efficiently share when they are available. When2Meet is a great way to easily show what everyone’s free time is, and those results can help you narrow down a date and time for your meet-up.

Communicate reminders beforehand

In the days prior to your adult playdate, make sure to check up with your gang to see if the plans are still on and that everyone is on the same page with the plan. 

Use this time to remind them of anything they need to bring or complete beforehand. Or you could use this to ask those who are still unsure whether they are able to go. Then, you should be thorough on specific details including addresses, times, prices, or any other instructions. 

In addition, it’s good to use an excited, friendly tone when you send reminders, and not a tone that is pushy and demanding. That way, your friends will also feel excited for this hangout. 

Set up short visits

A group of friends sitting in a lounge area
Planning short, casual hangouts with your friends can allow you to keep up with them and plan future hangouts as well.

When the time is crunched for all of your friends, try setting up short visits to allow yourself even the littlest bit of socializing. When consistently scheduling shorter visits, you are able to stay connected with your friends on a frequent basis with even less planning. These short visits or hangouts don’t have to be too extravagant, instead they are more flexible for those with other priorities. Plus, since these are casual hangouts, it will be easy for those that have to leave early or arrive late. 

These short hangouts could be small activities like:

  • Going on a coffee run
  • Going out for a meal
  • Hanging out at one of your friend’s places

You could also use these short hangouts to plan longer hangouts in the future!

Here are some popular options to do with your friends

A group of friends having dinner party outside
Having a themed-dinner party with your friends makes for an exciting and creative hangout.

Escape rooms

If you want to discover who your real friends are, taking them to an escape room is a great way to do so. These puzzling challenges will help you strengthen bonds, as well as create unforgettable, thrilling memories. This type of event is good for a diverse group of friends with a mix of personalities, it will help bring different valuable strengths to the game. 

Powerpoint night

An engaging, exciting night with your friends could be with a powerpoint night. Each friend comes to the party with their own powerpoint, based on a group theme. Whether it is a slideshow showing what cartoon character each friend is, or creating a detailed starter pack for each person, there are so many ideas to execute for a fun, memorable powerpoint night.  

Go to an open-mic night

Open-mic nights can be a fun, relaxing night to listen to other people perform things like acoustic songs, stand-up comedy, or even poetry readings. If you have a group of friends that is more extroverted or spontaneous, some of you could go up and perform a thing or two. It will be a memory guaranteed to last forever.   

Plan a themed-dinner party

This creative party idea has endless possibilities, all you have to do is pick a theme and coordinate a night dedicated to it. Themes could be:

  • Decade themed (70s, 80s, 90s)
  • Dedicated to a specific color
  • A TV show or movie premiere
  • A Hawaiian Luau theme

Go on a road trip

Be spontaneous with your friends by planning a road trip. Go visit a place your group has always wanted to go or create a road map of intriguing sites. They don’t have to be egregiously long, a day trip could even make for a fun getaway. 

Try a virtual getaway for when you and the gang aren’t able to hit the road. This can be exploring Google Maps together on a video call, or other VR tour maps of places like Yosemite National Park. 

Outdoor activities

From kayaking down rivers to sunny picnics in the park, there are so many things to do outdoors. It’s easy to make a day out of outdoor activities, especially with activities like going to an amusement park. 

Other ideas for your adult hangouts could be:

  • Going to concerts or local live performances
  • Going to a new restaurant
  • Arcade centers
  • Wine or beer tastings

Happy planning!

Making plans can oftentimes be incredibly frustrating, with our hectic adult commitments and priorities. But it’s important to stay positive and remind yourself of the end goal – spending fun, quality time with your friends. 

Aug 4, 2023