Alone on a Friday Night? 8 Things to Do with Your Evening

So you’ve found yourself alone on a Friday night wondering what to do. You’ve scrolled through Facebook and Instagram and everyone else is documenting their dinner, movie, concert tickets, or bowling with their singles group. Scrolling through Twitter makes you feel even worse because people you don’t know, all over the globe, are out having fun and you’re not. (Or so it seems.) You’ve run out of friends to call, and you’re flying solo.

Alone on a Friday Night?

Sure, you’d rather be spending the evening with people, but unless you’re due one good night of takeout and tv watching (limit 1 per month), put down the egg rolls and the remote control, consider these options, and dang it, live a little! Or, at least do some things you’ve not made time for.

1. Go on a date with yourself
Brandon is a self-professed expert in dating himself. Check out his advice, but maybe choose your cuisine a little more wisely than he does—unless you think it’s frugal to save some barbecue sauce for later. Or if going on a date with yourself doesn’t sound fun, here’s a little trick to test drive eHarmony for free any weekend of the year.

2. Check out a new-to-you podcast
In case you hadn’t heard, podcasts have made a big ol’ comeback. It seems everyone is either recording their own or listening to an awesome new podcast these days. If you’re alone on a Friday night and like storytelling, check out Serial, This American Life, A Prairie Home Companion, or The Moth podcast. If you’re the curious type, check out Freakonomics, Stuff You Should Know, Invisibilia, or RadioLab. If you’re into celebrities, listen to Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin or NPR’s Fresh Air. Or for a nice blend of funny, serious, and Christian culture, check out The RELEVANT Podcast from the producers of RELEVANT magazine.

3. Call/Hang out with family
Some of us don’t have an issue with keeping up with dear old Mom and Dad. Others of us have to be held at gunpoint. Consider this your threat. Call your mom. Just because. And while you’re at it, call your grandparents, siblings, and your aunts and uncles. Or, even better, go see a family member. Of course they drive you crazy, but you don’t have anywhere else to be tonight, so you can deal with your emotional upheaval later in the privacy of your own home.

4. Find a new coffee shop and people watch
Find a different coffee shop that you’ve never been to or a diner—some place that people gather to hang out. Bring a book to read or to pretend you’re reading. Note: If you’re not an expert at people watching, and you don’t know how to observe other humans on the sly, then don’t choose this option. Leering or making eye contact is not acceptable and is grounds for dismissal from all future people watching endeavors.

5. Dominate the Oregon Trail
Normally we wouldn’t recommend video games, but all of the classics from our childhood were recently released on the internet. Oregon Trail, anyone? And after you’ve dominated the Trail or succumbed to cholera–whichever comes first–there’s Pac-ManTetris, and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? Don’t pull an all nighter. You’re not a spring chicken anymore. Know when to say when, friend.

6. Hang out with your married friends
Some of us are bad about losing touch with our friends once they get married. Sure, they have a lot of obligations–a spouse, kids, work–but some of them would really love to see us more and would enjoy meeting us for dessert or coffee after they help their spouse put the kids to bed. So what if it’s 8 or 9 o’clock before you meet them? What else have you got to do? Go to bed early?

7. Browse a bookstore and don’t buy anything (or do)
Get a bunch of magazines you never have time to read or Steve Jobs’ biography that you have no intention of buying or conduct research in the travel section for your summer vacation. Take a stack of books to a table in the coffee shop and enjoy having time to do something you’ve been putting off for a while. There’s no coffee shop in your bookstore? Good for you for not contributing to the Monster, but that also means you’ll need to support a small business and buy something. At that point, you’re ready to refer back to #4.

8. Road trip
This idea is not for the faint of heart, those on a tight budget, nor those of who hate spontaneity. Choose a nearby city/town you enjoy visiting. If you’re in Dallas, go to Fort Worth; Minneapolis, go to St. Paul; Nashville, go to Chattanooga; London, go to Oxford. Take a risk and book a cheap hotel room on Hotwire, and go explore for the evening and morning.

Bonus: Spend time with Jesus
Yes, we totally just played the “Jesus card.” But come on, an entire evening alone? Don’t waste it.


What other ideas would you recommend for someone who finds themselves alone on a Friday night? Share them with us in the comments below!

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  • I may be in the minority here, but I LOVE alone time on Friday nights. Maybe it’s because I am truly an introvert who spends everyday living like an extrovert, but nothing beats a quiet Friday night with some delicious food and a good book (or movie, or catching up on blog reading or going to bed early!)

    • I’m with Jess. Friday nights are sometimes some of my only nights at home. I’ll take ’em as long as I can get ’em! 

    • Absolutely, Friday (or any) nights at home alone ARE good things—necessary times for rest and recuperation!

      But if someone finds themselves vegging on the sofa nearly every other night of the week, too, then these are some alternatives.

      Or, if someone really WANTED to do something, but was hesitant to do it because they were alone. Just a few ideas and a little encouragement. 🙂

      • I’m especially a fan of #8. Spontaneous road trips are always my favorite! 

    • John

      Since you’re a girl, would my girlfriend like to be alone on Fridays, or would she want me to be alone with her?

  • Lettie131

    Get on the underground/metro/bus and notice how few people smile. Smile at someone who catches your eye.
    Take a walk around your neighborhood. Find out what’s happening on your doorstep. Nod and say high to people as you pass, maybe even have a conversation.
    If you have a river near your home, take a walk by it. You never know what you might see, street entertainers, lost tourists, homeless folks, even long lost friends.

  • As an introvert, sometimes I do need a night in to recover after a long week. However, there are also plenty of times when I want to get out and do something. Even introverts get bored.

  • Nicole McLernon

    That list of podcasts just made my NPR-junkie heart go pitter-patter. Seriously. You named all the good ones!!

    • Ha! Awesome to hear, Nicole! I’m slowly making my way through trying each of them. I love Serial, Here’s the Thing, and the Relevant podcasts. I tried the first Invisibilia, but it didn’t hook me. Going to try another ep again soon.

  • I’ve actually been doing #3 a lot. Some find it strange but having dinner with my mom or sister is still 10x better than sulking at home by myself. Besides I like my family 🙂

  • Tiffany

    I enjoy a lot of Friday nights going out or staying in with my husband. When has plans with the guys I enjoy a lot of the ideas above – one other thing I’ll do is offer to spend the evening with my little cousins so their parents can have a date night which actually is a lot of fun and the parents really appreciate!

  • Richele

    I don’t how how residents of the other cities would feel, but going from St. Paul (where I live) to Minneapolis does NOT count as a road trip! It literally takes 5 minutes to go between them! It’s a nice suggestion in a general way, though 🙂

  • Nate Richey

    I feel as though I usually spend my time alone despite my age, and as much as I want to do things with people, it seems to drain more energy than it’s usually worth because of its chaos. People already have plans, or there’s a scheduling conflict with my own.
    Here’s the thing … when I pursue a hobby first, friends fall into place better than just looking for friends to hang out with. It works better that way. As far as tomorrow? I have a certain couple of places picked out depending what I feel like.