Many of us enjoy living by the motto, “Work Hard, Play Hard.” You work hard to make ends meet and have a little extra cash to enjoy the fruits of your labor. As you already know, going out can get expensive in a hurry. After browsing through this abundant list of ideas, you’ll be saying:
“There are plenty of things to do near me at night without breaking the bank!”
Clubbing, attending expensive concerts or sporting events are no longer your only evening options. You can still have fun while reducing your “fun” spending. This way, you can have more money for your other money goals like giving to charity and saving for large purchases.
We live in a culture where you’re not cool (you might say “lit”) if you don’t spend wads of cash to have fun. All of us can think back to a time we spent more than we should have to hang out with friends. I’m not saying you need to find a new friend circle, but you might try pitching these alternatives for next Friday night.
Making Money in the Evenings While Having Fun
Have you done everything possible in the evenings? What about getting paid to have fun?
Evenings are the perfect time to start a side hustle and generate some extra cash. Your efforts don’t have to take place every evening, and it’s a great way to have fun a make a little mad money.
And it may be a great idea to pursue these ideas on the nights you don’t hang out with your friends.
1.Drive for Uber and Lyft
You’ll make the most money driving on Friday and Saturday nights, but you can drive on weeknights or mid-day too.
If this is something you’ve been thinking about, check out Episode 22 of the Money Peach Podcast. Chris Peach interviews Harry the Rideshare guy for top ways to make money as a driver.
2. Teach a Class
If you have skills, you can also teach a class and charge admission. You can rent a room at your community center, a local business or your house. Teaching is an exciting way to help others develop their skills while refining your own in the process.
Another teaching idea is teaching online with VIPKid. You only need a webcam, microphone, and the passion to teach others.
3. Share Your Opinion in a Online Survey
Survey Junkie is one of our favorite choices here at Money Peach. They have a Trust Pilot rating of 8.7 out of 10 and over 3 million active users making good money!
The money you earn can help buy dinner or pay for your evening out.Maybe you’re downtown waiting for friends to arrive or you’re staying in tonight. When you only have a few minutes of free time, maximize your time by taking online surveys. Here is our full list of the best online surveys this year.
Most surveys take 15 minutes or less and the best part is that you get paid!
4. Sell Handmade Goods
Have you ever gone to a craft fair or festival and said “I can make that”? Then you should try making and selling your handmade items. You can sell your handmade items online, but you can also become a vendor at the various craft fairs too.
Oftentimes, hobbies can become expensive quickly. If you can monetize your hobby, you can help justify the cost while doing what you enjoy and excel at.
5. Sell Digital Items on SecondLife
Even if you live in the middle of nowhere, you can still have fun at night while making money. SecondLife is a popular game with international appeal. You can create digital items that other SecondLife users can purchase inside the game. For every in-game purchase, you earn real cash!
6. Design Your Own Clothes
DIY clothing is timeless and CafePress makes the design and selling process easy! You upload your designs and CafePress prints and ships the items to the buyer. A single evening’s work can generate recurring income.
CafePress lets you upload designs for these products:
- Clothing (Men, Women, Children and Baby)
- Fashion Accessories
- Home and Decor
- Stickers and Signs
If you have a class reunion or family gathering soon, you should use CafePress to design your gear for the reunion
7. Play a Musical Instrument
Street musicians can bring in a few extra dollars playing your favorite musical instrument. If your friends are willing, you can turn into your weekly basement jam session into a paid gig.
Are you ready for another tip to boost your earning potential? Leave a few dollar bills in the music case, this entices bystanders to leave tips more frequently. If your case is either empty or overflowing with money, people tend to leave fewer tips.
Save Money On These Evening Activities Too!
If you live in a major city or large area, you have plenty of options to find inexpensive fun. Even in smaller towns, you will be surprised at your options available to you.
8. Book an Airbnb Experience
Airbnb is exclusively for finding a place to stay when you travel. You can also use the site to enjoy local experiences. Some of the potential activities include:
- Private Concerts
- Bike Rides
- Dinner Parties
- Food Walks
- Paddle boarding
You might be surprised at what other locals offers for fun experiences. Don’t forget to browse Airbnb experiences when you travel for vacation too.
9. Have Dinner at Your Favorite Restaurant Followed by an Evening Stroll
Maybe it’s been a long time since you had a date night or you want to celebrate a special occasion. Schedule a reservation and see if you can grab a discounted gift card from Gift Card Granny to save some cash.
After your meal, take a walk downtown or through a city park. It’s a free way to enjoy the fresh air while being physically active.
Tip: Use Uber to enjoy downtown without the stress of finding parking.
Bonus Tip: Stun your date by picking your wardrobe from Rent the Runway.
10. Have Movie Night
I used to enjoy going to the movies each week. However, with the crazy ticket prices, I often stay home to save money and pop my own popcorn.
If you have a projector and a bare wall or bed sheet, you can create your very own home theater experience!
11. Look for Free or Low-Cost Events on Eventbrite
One of the hottest resources for affordable evening entertainment is Eventbrite. This website specializes in letting you book a seat for some of the following events:
- Weekend Retreats
- Hobby Meetups
- Sporting Events
In my local town, I found fun events including a social mixer and a couples retreat to name just a few.
Many of these events are free and others start at just $10 to $15 per person. Compare this with the $50 to $100 you pay for each person to attend a concert or sporting event and it’s steal.
Because these events are smaller, you might also have a more enjoyable experience. You will also see that there is plenty of great talent at these smaller events too.
12. Attend Free Music Nights
In the summertime, you can probably find free concerts at local parks. In the other three seasons, you can also find free music events at coffee shops.
My wife and I enjoy going out for ice cream as a cheap date night idea. On certain nights, local musicians play music that we can enjoy too.
Depending on your downtown district, you might be able to stroll the sidewalk and listen to various street musicians too.
13. Go to a Festival
Your city might also be hosting a free festival this weekend. Most festivals have free music and games to enjoy. The festival might be a summer concert series, movies on the lawn, or a cultural experience.
You can usually find a list of upcoming events online by just searching in Google for “events near me”. Many cities also have a free newspaper that lists the upcoming entertainment events.
14. Shop a Farmer’s Market
In the summer months, some farmer’s markets are in the evening. In fact, a great date night idea is shopping at the farmer’s market 🙂
My wife and I always enjoy it because we can buy local produce while also supporting local businesses!
Note: These markets are almost always in the downtown district, so plan accordingly.
15. Plant a Community Garden
Your community probably has a community garden plot where you can plant vegetables or flowers. We love community gardening because it’s a great inexpensive hobby that lets you enjoy the outdoors.
16. Attend a Classic Car Cruise-In
Many cities also sponsor classic car cruise-ins. They might be the held first Friday night of each month at a local shopping center. In one city where we used to live, they closed down historic Main Street for several hours so you could walk and marvel at the various vehicles. Just before sunset, they cruise down the highway and many fans pull up a chair along the road.
17. Play Sports
If you have a group of friends or co-workers, you can also organize a pickup game at a local park or somebody’s backyard. Pick a night that works best with each person and have fun while getting in shape.
Another fun way to have fun with others while being physically active is joining an adult sports league. These leagues can be cheaper than a gym membership and you play a variety of games like kickball, volleyball, basketball or flag football. Afterward, the group usually goes to a bar or restaurant to continue the fun while relaxing.
18. Have Dinner with Friends
One evening a month, we get together with two other families for dinner. Since we all have children, we either go to a local park or one of our houses. Regardless of the meeting location, we all bring a dish to pass potluck-style and enjoy adult conversation while the children play!
When you need some dinner party cooking inspiration, $5 Meal Plan offers practical ideas.
If you can find a sitter or have an adults-only dinner party, you can also meet at a restaurant when you don’t want to cook or need to leave your four walls.
Bonus: Have dinner delivered with UberEATS to make eating dinner easy!
19. Find a Trivia Night
Trivia night is a fun social activity where you can finally put your useless knowledge to work. You can also play SwagIQ for free on Swagbucks and win real cash! When you’re not answering trivia, you can also take surveys, surf the internet, sign up for offers to earn bonus points too. Redemption options include gift cards or PayPal cash.
20. Organize a Game Night
Between friends or with your family, game night is making a comeback! There are gaming conventions and tournaments that take place across the country. In some cities, you can even dine at restaurants and bars that offer more than 1,000 games you can play with friends.
Board games, card games, and strategy games are all popular. If it’s been a few years since you last played a game, you will be blown away by the possibilities.
21. Attend a Youth Sports Event
Too often, we only think about going to professional or college sports events. Don’t overlook youth sports events. Maybe you want to visit your old high school to watch your team take the field, or you want to go to the local park to watch a youth sports game for free entertainment. If your neighbor or relative has a child playing sports, see if they have an upcoming game.
22. Visit Your Local Park
City and county parks also have a lot of free activities to offer. You can go for a picnic and enjoy the other activities.
Several of our local parks offer the following activities:
- Disc Golf Course
- Walking and Biking Trails
- Exercise Equipment
- Playgrounds for the children
We enjoy going to our local park because our children love the playground. In the summertime, look for a splash pad. It’s also fun to go for walks in the evening when the temperature cools.
23. Find a Hiking, Biking, or Kayaking Tour
Your local outdoors group or state park might offer a group activity that involves hiking, biking, or kayaking. You can see the sunset and other exquisite scenes that you might not take the time to by yourself.
Night bike tours can also be a fun way to see the downtown area. Most large cities and tourist destinations offer these tours. In Washington D.C., the whole family can take a three-hour evening bike tour to see the National Mall and the various monuments.
If you need to provide your own equipment, make sure you have all the necessary gear like a light and reflective safety vest.
24. Go Camping
Another fun activity for either one night or the weekend is camping. You might even be able to camp for free which can make this a fun and inexpensive outing. If you can find a secluded spot, you can gaze in awe at the stars and also enjoy nature.
Camping is a fun activity for any age. You can go with friends or as a family. Make sure you bring plenty of wood to enjoy the evening around the fire.
25. Go Fishing
Nighttime can also be an exciting time to go fishing. If you camp near the water, plan on bringing your fishing pole along too. Night fishing can be one of the best times to catch fish when they come out to feed again. You will need to bring a flashlight to see what you’re catching and to bait the hook.
Whether you’re at the beach or on a freshwater lake, night fishing is a fun experience.
26. Learn a New Hobby
Studios, gyms and retail stores offer classes to learn a new hobby in the evenings after you finish work. You can take painting classes at your local arts and craft store as one example. Or, you can also try a new workout routine at the gym.
If you prefer self-paced classes, you can find an online course for any hobby on Udemy. I’ve enrolled in several Udemy courses to improve my side hustle skills and for the sheer purpose of learning something new. Most courses sell for approximately $10 and the benefits are well worth the investment when you find the right instructor.
Other class ideas include:
- Build Web Apps
With Udemy and other online learning sites, the sky is truly the limit.
27. Take a Free Budgeting Workshop
Taking night classes isn’t exclusively for learning a new hobby or getting a degree. You can also attend a free budgeting workshop. Attending a workshop helps you improve your finances. More importantly, you’re more motivated to change the way you handle money because you’re more likely to take action than if you just read a book.
28. Find a Comedy Show
Comedians can also be an exciting form of evening entertainment. Maybe your favorite comedian is in town or you want to see the usual nightly act.
Don’t forget to check Groupon for comedy show deals for your local clubs.
Bonus Tip: Get cashback on every Groupon purchase when you shop through Ebates.
29. Visit an Art Gallery or Museum
When you want to enjoy life’s “finer things,” go to an art gallery or a museum. Granted, these institutions need to be open during the evening hours. Maybe you can quit work early and go before dinner if an evening tour isn’t available.
Sometimes, aquariums and museums offer free or discounted events that let you get into the door for only a few dollars. We usually find these deals on Facebook and local tv stations.
30. Attend a Play or Musical
My wife and I like to attend plays and musical productions for our favorite books and authors. While you can wait for the traveling playhouse to come to town, we keep a lookout for our local playhouses or college groups. You will be surprised how much talent is in these groups and you can also see the same production for the fraction of the price as a Broadway ticket might cost.
31. Have a Storytelling Contest
Get the creative juices by having a storytelling competition. This all-season activity is an exciting way to pass long winter evenings or around a summer campfire. What’s your story?
32. Attend a Charity Fundraiser
Maybe a local organization is hosting a fundraiser. You can support the charity with your attendance while having fun. Fundraisers can be a good way to listen to celebrity guest speakers that usually don’t pass through your town.
33. Volunteer in Your Community
Volunteering your time can be as rewarding as donating your cash or attending fundraisers. It’s one way you can give back to your community and help others in need.
Some of the volunteering opportunities include:
- Serving Food at a Local Food Pantry
- Mentor Youth
- Visit Elderly Shut-Ins
- Help Build Houses
- Pick Up Litter
- Supporting Your Local Ministry
34. Go Bowling
Bowling might not be as popular as it used to be, but it’s just as exciting as ever. Going to the alley on weeknights is one way to save money. If you go during the week, call ahead to make sure all the lanes aren’t reserved for bowling leagues for the evening.
Another fun bowling experience is on the Cosmic Bowl nights. On these nights, the alley lights are lowered and the black lights turn on instead so the pins and balls glow in the dark.
35. Read a Book
I’m an avid reader and enjoy going to the library and bookstores. I like to go and read the latest magazines and comb through the new arrivals. These two locations periodically host author meet-and-greets too. Libraries also have evening clubs and groups you can participate in.
When it’s a nice summer night, you can also enjoy reading a book at the local park.
If you don’t have the time to read, you can also listen to audiobooks on Amazon Audible.
36. Go Geocaching
Another fun and free activity is geocaching. This scavenger hunt has you looking for clues in local parks until you find the cache. Once you find the cache, put it back where you find it so others can find the surprise too.
37. Watch an Esports Tournament
One of the newest trends in public events is esports tournaments. If you like playing video games or watching others play, these tournaments are public events. They’re not everywhere yet, but they are becoming more common.
If tournaments are your thing, also check with your local game stores to see if they are hosting an evening or weekend tournament.
38. Tour a Brewery or Winery
Another fun social activity can be touring a brewery or winery. Some establishments even provider dinner with an evening tour. Although you might find it ironic, some breweries host yoga classes followed by a free pint of your favorite brew.
39. Sing at a Karaoke Bar
Maybe you have a love-hate relationship with karaoke. You love watching others sing, but you hate singing in front of a crowd. Karaoke night might not attract the most talented singers, but it’s a cheap source of entertainment when you only go to listen. When you go with friends, karaoke night can also turn into a friendly competition.
40. Host a Block Party
Most of us are guilty of the following statement: we don’t know who our neighbors are. You know what that means? Have a block party!
So maybe this idea is right up your alley as an extrovert. Getting to interact with your neighbors can be fun as you don’t have to go into town to find fun. This fun activity can also turn into an annual tradition.
41. Go Shopping
Walking the mall isn’t exclusively for bored teenagers. It can also be a fun way to exercise in the summer when there’s air conditioning or the winter months when it gets dark early. And, there are some items that you still need to look at in-person instead of buying online.
Get Paid to Shop: Use the Shopkick app to earn gift cards while you shop. In most stores, you can complete missions by scanning barcodes and your store receipt to earn bonus points.
42. Night Ski
During the wintertime, many ski slopes are open after sunset too. This is a different experience from skiing or snowboarding in the daytime, but you still can enjoy the powder. Night skiing can also be cheaper than buying a daytime lift pass too.
43. Go Skating
Roller skating or ice skating, it’s your choice. Find a local skating rink and have fun while skating to your favorite songs. Skating rinks can also be a fun option to host your child’s birthday party.
44. Play Mini Golf
Mini golf is another timeless activity that requires less skill than real golf. This can be another fun activity for couples or the entire family. See how many holes-in-one you can get. Have the loser buy ice cream afterward!
45. Try Ballroom Dancing
When you don’t have two left feet, ballroom dancing can be another interesting activity. It can also make for compelling future conversation. If you don’t already know the difference between a waltz, tango and salsa, look for a ballroom dancing class!
46. Visit Your Local Community Center
Your city community center might have activities going on too. If there isn’t a one-time event, your community center might also have an on-site game room, gym, or swimming pool you can enjoy. Depending on your city, you may even qualify for free or reduced admission if you live in city limits.
47. Take a Self Defense Course
Maybe you want to discover your inner ninja or you just want to learn some basic self-defense moves. Learn how to defend yourself by taking a self-defense course. You might be able to find a free class which makes this idea even more appealing.
48. Go to a Trampoline Park
It used to be that you needed to go to a friend’s backyard to jump on a trampoline. Now, you can go to a trampoline park to have fun. These places are a blast and you can enjoy some of these activities:
- Obstacle Courses
- Wall-to-Wall Freestyle Jumps
You’ll feel like you can be the next contestant on the hit TV show Ninja Warrior.
49. Shoot Pool
Shooting pool is another fun way to pass time with friends and possibly make new ones! Some billiards clubs offer special non-competitive nights for casual players like yourself. Most players come alone as strangers, but you can forge friendships as you play.
50. Navigate a Corn Maze
In the fall, you can get lost in a local corn maze. This is a seasonal form of entertainment, but I’ve also seen some other multi-season garden mazes and wooden mazes. These mazes are sometimes attached to a pumpkin patch which means your little ones can also bring home a pumpkin to decorate.
51. Go to Your State or County Fair
Going to the fair can also be a fun occasion. It can be cheaper than going to the local amusement park, while still being able to enjoy carnival rides and the different exhibits and entertainment held throughout the week.
52. Join Toastmasters
Maybe you constantly like to improve things. Public speaking might be one of those skills. One of the largest speaking groups is Toastmasters. Clubs meet around lunch and also in the meeting. Many cities have at least one club so you can pick the day and time that works best with your schedule.
You will have plenty of opportunities to speak impromptu and to perform prepared speeches. Being a more confident public speaker can create future personal and professional opportunities.
53. Form a MasterMind Group
Another local networking opportunity is joining a MasterMind group. What’s a MasterMind group? It’s a small group of colleagues that meet regularly to help each other out. Maybe you’re group consists of other people working in your industry. Or, you share a common interest with the other group members.
Peach describes the process in Episode 100 of the Money Peach Podcast of creating your own group. Don’t miss the MasterMind Cheat Sheet in the show notes either.
54. Watch a Water Ski Show
In the summertime, many towns located on large bodies of water have water ski shows. These events are usually free and take place in the evening and finish around sunset. If you have the time, you can also volunteer as a skier or to serve on the support team.
55. Work on a House Project
Painting walls on a Friday night probably isn’t your idea of fun, but those home improvement projects aren’t going to complete themselves. Sprucing up the property adds curb appeal and can even improve your attitude. Happy home equal happy life, right?
When you have a large project to complete, ask your local store if they offer a project starter discount.
There isn’t a shortage of things to do at night without costing a lot of money.
It’s also possible to get paid to have fun too. Now, it’s time to get out and have fun trying something new.