Around this time in March, you should already have come down from all that Valentine’s chocolate, flowers, rings and red boxes overload.
Now’s a nice time to think a little bit more about a different kind of date. The non-romantic kind. The friend date!

How come planning special moments is so often reserved for romance? Friendship is one of the most important aspects of our lives. It's essential for our mental and emotional well-being, and yet, it's something that we often take for granted.
Friends are some of the most important people in our lives. They’re a source of support, learnings, fun and just overall happiness. Having someone to talk to, to confide in and to share experiences with is a vital aspect of our mental health. And dedicating time to our friends is essential for maintaining strong, healthy relationships.

One way to do just that is by planning friend dates! Who said dates need to be exclusively romantic? You can have just as special and fun of a time with a friend. Spending time together with a friend (or more!) and doing something you both enjoy is a super fun way to strengthen your bond, plus it’s an opportunity to unwind and de-stress.In this blog post, we'll explore five fun friend date ideas that you can try out that do not involve the same old “meeting at a bar for a drink”. Keep reading and choose your favorite!

Take a Dance Class

Looking to bond with your friends while staying active?If you and your friends are trying to get out of your comfort zone, there's not much better than a dance class. You get to try something totally new, challenge yourselves AND work on your hip movement. There's never a shortage of options with dance classes either. You have salsa, hip hop, jazz, ballet... Whatever swing(s) your boat! Search for whatever classes are available in the area that interest you and that are within your budget. Sometimes, there are even free dance classes and workshops happening around town. Whatever you go for, the fun and laughter are absolutely guaranteed.

Have a Spa Day

You already know you and your friends are the main characters, but a spa day will really have you acting like one.
If you really want to treat yourselves and unwind, book a group package at a local spa. This kind of package can include anything from massages to skin treatments to some sauna time. Sometimes, you might even get treated to some nice tea or a glass of bubbles!
If an actual spa is not in your budget, why not transform your house into one? Yes, you probably don't have a jacuzzi laying around but that doesn't mean you and your friends can't still pamper yourselves. Go to your local beauty store and get your favorite face masks, cut up some cucumber slices, get some hair masks on and fill up your glasses with your favorite drink. There you have it: your very own spa and the most private place you could ask for to spill all the tea.

Go for live music

Yes, live music can still happen at a local bar - but there are usually plenty of locations where you can catch a show!
Hunting for some live music can even get you to discover new interesting spots in your city, like theaters, galleries or cultural associations. During summer, you can usually even watch live music shows at local parks and other outside spaces.
Talk to your friends and try to understand what genre everyone in your group enjoys or what kind of music everyone is curious about discovering.
Music has a special power to lift anyone's mood up and a live show pretty much guarantees some cool memory-making. You get to dance, sing, and if you're lucky you might even add some new songs to your favorite playlists. Bonus: these live events are a great opportunity to meet to people and maybe add some new elements to your friend group.

Try an Escape Room

Getting locked up in a room with only one hour to escape before it all ends in tragedy? If that doesn't sound like a good plan, then what does?
There's good reason for escape rooms' popularity. They totally take group activities to the next level. You have the element of mystery, the element of teamwork, and the element of challenge.You and your friends will find yourselves locked in a room, usually for about one hour, and you'll need to figure out how to get yourselves free by solving a set of puzzles. It's almost like you get to be a team of detectives, using your powerful brains and problem-solving skills together! From CIA kidnappings to supernatural adventures, you and your friends will have plenty of themes to choose from. There's no need to worry about not finding something that will cater to everyone's liking.

Have a Game Night

Of course, there's always space for a classic.
Budget-friendly, cozy and usually filled with snaks, game nights are an amazing way to bond with friends. From all the options on this list, a game night is probably the one that will give you the most opportunity to catch up and actually have a long conversation. Plus, you get to do it from the comfort of your own home (or your friends!).
Whether you're more of a family game or a strategic type of person, there will never be a shortage of games to try. You can play board games, card games, or even video games. Don't forget to ask everyone to bring their own favorite snacks and remember a little competition never hurt anyone.
Have you tried any of these before? It's time you do! Remember to make your friend dates a regular event. Putting thought and effort into your friendships is what will ensure they last and remain strong and healthy.

The good thing about these 5 ideas for friend dates is that, if you’re feeling creative, you can transform them into as many dates as you want by:

• trying out different dance styles
• making your spa day a monthly date
• trying out different venues and music genres
• exploring different escape rooms (most spaces update their games often!)
• trying out different games and different game types

So next time you’re planning to meet a friend at your local bar yet again, try using one of these ideas instead!
Remember you can always have a glass of wine while getting your spa treatment in or grab a beer during your live music show. So, really, it’s a win-win situation.
Do you know which date idea you’re trying out first?

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