Did you know that you spend half of your weekend free time watching TV? It's true, and it's terrible. And yet, however horrified you are right now, as you are realizing how much of your precious free time you spent watching America's Next Top Chef Salad or whatever, you know exactly how it happened — you spent all week exhausted and overworked and desperate for the weekend to start, and then when it came, you sat down for a minute to figure out what you wanted to do, and when you looked up again, it was 9:45 p.m. on Sunday and you had accidentally blown your weekend looking at the entire Internet.
Hey, it happens to the best of us (and by "best" I mean "pretty much all of us"). Figuring out something fun and interesting to do with your weekend can feel like its own pressure, and it can seem easier just to forgo it and see what movies HBO On Demand has this month.
And I am not going to lie, HBO On Demand has some pretty good stuff this month (and by "this" I mean "pretty much every month"). But if you get out there and have some fun this weekend with friends, you'll enrich your life, have unique experiences, and most importantly, have new and exciting photos to post on Instagram. Which everyone else will look at while they're watching HBO on demand, and, for a moment, wonder why they aren't you.
Here are a few ideas to get you out and about this weekend.
Go to Your Local Weird Museum
Did you know that, despite Hulu and HBO On Demand and everything, some people are still devoting their lives to maintaining wonderfully deranged museums? There is quite possibly one in your area, and lest you think I am just talking some big talk here, my trip to the Pez Museum in Orange, Conn., was one of the highlights of this past August.
Jump a Commuter Train Out of Town
Take the stress of traffic and hotels out of the equation, and a trip to a waterfront or hiking area 45 minutes away can feel as rejuvenating and awesome as a trip to an exotic destination where you'd have to pay for parking. And a lot of commuter rail services offer special packages to entice people to ride around their trains during non-commuting hours.
Take a Drawing Class Where They Serve Booze
One of the greatest elements of adulthood is the ability to look back on every activity you've ever participated in over your entire life, and check to see if it pairs well with booze. And one of the best childhood activities to pair with booze, it turns out, is art class. There are national and international groups, such as PaintNite and Dr. Sketchy's, which combine art class, spirited beverages, and a looser atmosphere than you'd find at any community art center. And if your painting turns out horribly, just throw your vodka soda at it, shout "Oops!" and it's like the whole thing never happened.
Go to the Aquarium
You probably haven't been to the aquarium since, like, middle school, right? Well, guess what: They are still amazing; all that diffused light and silence is totally soothing now that you are a stressed-out adult; and this time around, you can just focus on how awesome that fake coral reef is, instead of worrying that all your friends are planning on going to the gift shop without you.
Hit the Nearest Bar That Has a Ton of Old Video Games
See? I'm not trying to keep you from looking at a screen! I just think it would do you good to look at a different screen for a little bit, while standing in a strange new place, and drinking a stranger new beer. And since bars full of classic video games are officially "a thing" now, there may very well be an easy way for you to make this a reality.
Volunteer at Your Local Animal Rescue
Don't roll your eyes at word "volunteer;" did you get to the end of the sentence? Dogs! Cats! Petting! Walks! Cuddles, damn it! Lots of animal shelters have drop-in hours where volunteers can swing by to play with a wide variety of pwecious domestic animals that you normally only interact with via adorable GIFs.
See a Movie at One of Those Theaters With a Bar in It
Guess what? The universe heard your demand to never have to go places that don't serve booze, and it kinda complied. You can find movie theaters that serve food and drinks all over the country, and most of them get creative with their programming, too, showing a lot of cool revivals or double features alongside new releases.
Go to Wherever the Free Food Samples Are
I mean, not Costco. But if there's a fancy farmer's market, artisanal chocolate factory, food fair, or other place near you where they are handing out free delicious treats on tooth picks, get over there. Bonus points if they're held somewhere historically interesting (i.e., can you believe there used to be an old bank right where we're eating these chocolate-covered banana samples?).
Let's not mince words here: Pretty much everyone wants waffles, pretty much all of the time. Stop messing around, and make some waffles this weekend. Invite people over and turn it into a whole thing, if you feel like it. They'll feel obligated to bring other snacks, and you will get the double whammy bonus of feeling hopelessly sophisticated for throwing a party mid-day and avoiding waiting in a two-hour brunch line.