You get home from work, you stay there. But what do you do with all those long evenings at home? If you and your family (or your roommates) always find yourself sitting on the couch, or in front of the computer, and all that screen time is starting to make you a little stir-crazy, we've got a few ideas for creative ways to while away boring nights.
1. Play a game.
Dust off that old game of Clue, or Trivial Pursuit, or Monopoly (ok, maybe not Monopoloy unless it's a really long night) and challenge your housemates to some good old-fashioned intellectual competition. I always forget, until I'm playing them, how much board games can bring out people's personalities and show you new sides of people you already thought you knew. Just try not to let rivalries or hard feelings linger after the game's over. In my house, one of our rules is that the winner always picks up the game, which tends to take the edge off gloating.
2. Put together a puzzle.
Jigsaw puzzles, I think, are incredibly underrated. Sure, working on a puzzle may not be as immediately gratifying as say, watching a car chase, but it has a certain slow joy that is a nice antidote to the chaos of modern life. When you're piecing together a puzzle, you can explore a bit, try different combinations, take your time. If you work on a puzzle with someone else, you'll wind up having all kinds of conversations that you might not otherwise have had. Puzzles are like alcohol. They relax people.
3. Have a cook-off.
Cooking is fun: competitive cooking is even more fun. Rummage through your cabinets for random, leftover ingredients, and challenge one of your housemates to a cookoff, iron-chef style. Winner gets bragging rights, everyone gets to eat something.
4. Draw each other.
No, this doesn't have to be some kind of sexy Titanic thing (unless you really want it to be). Some of the most fun I've had with friends at house parties involves just paper and pencils: turns out, drawing people you know is really, really fun. You can have one person pose and all draw that person, or just have everyone in the room draw someone else. And you don't have to all be Da Vincis: having participants with a range of styles and skill levels makes the end results especially entertaining.
5. Make something.
Crafts are like Sudoku for your hands. And you don't have to make a lifelong commitment to knitting to procure an evening's entertainment. Trying searching online for instructions for origami, or even towel art. Or heck, just decoupage something.
6. Bake something really difficult that you've never baked before.
Make dumplings. Or macaroons. Or a pie-crust from scratch. Now's the time to try one of those notoriously hard recipes that you've heard takes forever. After all, you've got plenty of time. And, as a bonus, it makes the house warmer!
7. Build a pillow fort.
You may think that you are too old to build a pillow fort, but you are wrong. Building pillow forts is a joy that knows no season, and when you're an adult you don't have to worry about your mom coming into the room and having a fit when she sees the couch standing on its side. Once your pillow fort is complete, you can sleep inside of it. Or eat macarons. Or play a board game. Or make towel art. The sky's the limit.
Re-edited from a post originally published 2.12.15-NT