Play Well With Others

Options for your next girl-gang meeting.

Collage by Minna

Sometimes all your best friends are coming over and you need something fun to do because you’re sick of your regular routine. Here are some ideas you may not have thought of already—some are long-term projects, some are ways to pass the time on a day when you’re all dying of boredom—and we hope you’ll add your own ideas to this pile, too. I couldn’t have come up with this list without the help of my very own Rookie girl gang, so shout-outs to Tavi, Anaheed, Hazel, Rachael, Jenny, Lauren, Naomi, Pixie, Anna, and Marie!

  • Create your own club based on something you all love, whether it’s sticker collecting or Star Trek or snowball fights. If you haven’t met your gang yet, or you just want to expand the one you’ve got, finding this kind of club through your school or local park district might be the way to do it.
  • Form a book club. Start by reading each person’s all-time favorite book, then pick out books together once you know one another’s loves and hates.
  • Write your own book. You can each write individual books and have a weekly writing group to work on them. Or you can start a group novel in a notebook that you pass from person to person. Ursula K. Le Guin has a book with some good activities you can try to get the creative juices flowing.
  • Get another notebook for a group diary. You can take turns with it at school, writing about your day or whatever you are thinking about and comment on one another’s entries and write one another letters. Be as serious or silly as you want. Create your own language or code so no one but your girls can read your secrets.
  • Make a group zine or comic and distribute it online, either by yourselves or with the help of a zine distributor. You could also start a group blog. It could include your book reviews, your own poetry, fashion ideas, political rants, or whatever, but should definitely start with your girl gang manifesto because every girl gang needs one.
  • Form a band (you don’t need to know how to play your instruments yet—learn by doing) and have a jam session where you learn and play a bunch of songs by your favorite band. You can even dress up like them.
  • Write your own songs with your band.
  • Come up with and act out your own sitcom (including a theme song). Or film your own reality TV show, which doesn’t have to be real reality of course, but with lots of Jerry Springer–like drama.
  • Put on a play or make a movie. Horror movies, documentaries, and mockumentaries have been scientifically proven to be the most fun to make with friends.
  • Rent a really bad movie, put it on mute, and add your own dialogue. Or rent a really awesome movie that you all love, put it on mute, and see how many parts you can do by heart.
  • Make a series of how-to guides for YouTube on whatever your gang knows best, whether that’s cooking, doing magic tricks, applying make-up, or fixing up cars.
  • Choreograph a dance, seriously or like ones you did to Hillary Duff when you were little. Or seriously like the ones you did to Hillary Duff when you were little.
  • Take your band, play, movie, or dance to the next level and organize or enter a talent show or a battle of the bands.
  • Like to sew or knit? Form a knitting circle. Decorate girl-gang jackets. Get old sewing patterns on eBay or Etsy to make cute vintage-looking dresses. Make a quilt out of your favorite old T-shirts you’ve outgrown so you can have them forever without their taking up closet space.
  • Make DIY crowns or collars.
  • Have a group closet purge, exchange the clothes that you don’t want anymore, and donate what is left to a thrift shop.
  • Organize a toy drive for children in need this holiday season. This is not only a fun group activity; you’ll all feel awesome afterward for having helped a bunch of kids.
  • Volunteer somewhere together like a soup kitchen or a domestic-violence agency, or join Habitat for Humanity and help build someone’s dream home.
  • Plan an event around something you care about—comic books, crafting, feminism, environmentalism, whatever—with speakers and panels and activities. You can even do this with an online girl gang. That’s how I met the girls that I planned The Midwest Girl Fest with when I was 16.
  • Get all dressed up and to the Renaissance Faire.
  • Join one of those exercise classes that are totally fun and goofy like Zumba and laugh at one another.
  • Play Dungeons & Dragons. Seriously, it’s fun. I didn’t discover it until my freshman year of college, but I was totally addicted for a semester.
  • Start a weekly poker game or learn bridge. Gamble for candy.
  • Redecorate your room. Have your friends make collages or paint on the walls or Sharpie on your desk.
  • Draw plans for the giant house that one day you will all live in together.
  • Plan an imaginary road trip or backpacking trip. Get detailed. What roads will you take? What will you pack? Which crappy diners will you stop at?
  • Now plan that trip for real.
  • Now go on that trip!
  • Have a picnic in the woods or the park. If you’re a Twin Peaks nerd, model it after the pilot episode with cherry pie and doughnuts. Or you make it a candy picnic. We really like and support candy, OK?
  • Explore your own town, especially the parts of it that look like they are from another time or place. And the train tracks. Cemeteries are good places to wander, too—just don’t be obnoxious.
  • Photo-document your explorations. Pretend to be tourists. Dress up and take pictures in interesting locales. Carry around a doll or stuffed animal and pose it in different places like the gnome from Amelie. It’s a Tumblr waiting to happen.
  • Go to the mall or the park or a diner and just people-watch. Make up stories about the people you see, or eavesdrop and put all the weird things you hear into a zine.
  • Speaking of diners, pick your favorite one and hang out there for as long as humanly possible just talking and people-watching and drinking coffee. My best friend and I once hung out at a Denny’s for 16 straight hours. Can you beat us? Just be sure to tip the wait staff really well, since you are taking up a table.
  • Go record, book, or clothes shopping together. Pick out a new outfits, books, or albums for one another instead of just buying what you always do.
  • Have a tea party with tea, scones, little sandwiches, and crumpets. I’m not sure I even know what a crumpet is, but hopefully it’s tasty like a scone. Dress up in your fanciest clothes. Or dress up like Marie Antoinette and eat cake with your tea.
  • Throw a theme party based on something you all love. If it’s a TV show, have a sickeningly long marathon.
  • Have a dance party. Here’s a good playlist to use, or make one of everyone’s favorites.
  • Makeovers. It had to be said eventually, right? Do manicures and pedicures, facials, massages, all the stuff you’d have to pay way too much for at a salon. Use Hannah’s DIYs. Hair dyeing is best with friends.
  • Build a fort and spend all day or night hanging out in it, reading, napping, working on projects listed above, and doing this next thing which might be the most important activity of all…
  • Plot a revolution. Seriously, the world is counting on you, so get to it! ♦


  • grete-samsa November 3rd, 2011 3:34 PM

    This is seriously amazing, you guys. I’m going to do ALL of this stuff with my girl gang.

  • ShockHorror November 3rd, 2011 3:38 PM

    OH WOW.
    I need to make a check list and do EVERY thing on this list.

  • Marguerite November 3rd, 2011 3:46 PM

    I love Graveyards! That is a very sad statement, but they have this atmosphere that really feels good, i don’t exactly know how to explain it…

    • Stephanie November 3rd, 2011 5:23 PM

      Nothing wrong with loving graveyards! I love them, too and spend a lot of time there because they are peaceful and beautiful. My town actually has more dead people than living people and quite the history in our cemeteries. I went on a tour once and the guide explained that the cemetery was originally viewed as a park because people would travel a long way to spend the day with their loved ones. So that’s why I think it’s totally cool to treat it like a place to hangout as long as you are respectful.

    • Naomi Morris November 3rd, 2011 7:12 PM

      i live right next to a graveyard! be jealous
      people are always like ‘is it scary’ blah blah. no, it’s not. it’s no more crazy than the neighbours we have on the other side of my house. and graveyards aren’t very noisy!

  • boyhood November 3rd, 2011 3:57 PM

    I’m just really glad you guys tagged ‘zumba’. I’m excited to search zumba and see what comes up in the future!

    and after typing this comment I’m kind of sad your computers didn’t autocorrect ‘zumba’ to ‘rumba’ like mine keeps doing.

    wtf is rumba?

    • Pashupati November 4th, 2011 8:23 PM

      Rumba is a dance.
      (now if your question was ironical, call me silly!)

  • mangachic November 3rd, 2011 4:13 PM

    I loved this post mostly the Dungeons and Dragons section!!! That game is awesome. I played it a few times with my friends, Everyone just kept on cracking up because of the random guy anatomy page.

    Something about Rookie in general because I don’t know where to post it: Is there a way to account for the time changes? I live in Israel, there’s a 7 hour time difference and it’s really frustrating that I can only see the first post of the day at 10:00 PM (3 PM in the US) and the other posts in the morning. As a lazy teen I want to have a reason to procrastinate especially after school. I stay up relatively late but usually not until 2:00 AM to be in time to read the second post. And from some of the comments a lot of the readers are from Britain so I don’t think I’m alone.

  • Juniper November 3rd, 2011 4:26 PM

    Me and my friends; Tat and Brianna, became British Rock-Stars one day out of boredom. We gave each other British Rock-Star names, and wrote British Rock-Star song lyrics about parking tickets.

  • Toilets November 3rd, 2011 4:54 PM

    I want to do everything on this list! Just need to find some gal pals first.

  • unicorn November 3rd, 2011 5:19 PM

    me and my best friend planned a european road trip, and got so into it with finding a hotel and planning where we wanted to go and figuring out exchange rates and everything that now we are actually going.

    • amelia November 7th, 2011 9:23 AM

      that’s so cool when me and my friends finish school soon, we’re so doing that! hope you have a good trip ;)

  • Stephanie November 3rd, 2011 5:24 PM

    Glad you all are enjoying the list. I want to do all of the things too!

  • Clementine November 3rd, 2011 5:27 PM


  • OrangeSunrise November 3rd, 2011 6:41 PM

    mangachic- I know, I live in Ireland and it’s super super annoying. :(

    BTW, awesome post. Making me wish there were diners in green ol Ireland.

  • Naomi Morris November 3rd, 2011 7:10 PM

    16 hours in a diner is pretty amazing

  • missblack November 3rd, 2011 7:19 PM

    Renaissance Faires are the best thing ever – every year my whole family goes (six kids, ages seven to twenty) and we have so much fun.
    Basically I want to do everything on this list but my friends are really dull. Sigh.


  • Thepunkrocker November 3rd, 2011 7:52 PM

    I have a blog where people submit photos of their stuffed animals on trips!

  • Elizabeth November 3rd, 2011 10:36 PM

    I have seriously always wanted to play D&D. After seeing it played in Freaks and Geeks and Carlos the dwarf, I’m secretly obsessed.

  • samhatt November 4th, 2011 9:43 AM

    love this list!! :3

  • HeartPlant November 4th, 2011 10:17 AM

    I love crumpets! They are like a method of getting to eat melty butter deliciousness! Definitely try them out :)

  • Motherfunker November 4th, 2011 2:05 PM

    I’m from England and I can verify for you that crumpets are definitely delish – They’re like a small round cake/toast type of thing and this + butter = euphoric :’) Try them sometime. I dare you.

  • insteadofanelephant November 5th, 2011 8:01 PM

    i want to do ALL of these things! now i just need some friends…

    instead of an elephant

  • saranev November 5th, 2011 8:36 PM


  • Jodie November 6th, 2011 6:11 PM

    Okay reading this makes me really sad I live in England and have just left senior school (I’m 16) and I am now at college. Whilst reading this it reminded me of all the things I used to do with my best friends, me and a few friends have sat in a chinese buffet for 7 hours, (obviously no where near you 16 hours!) We used to go on day trips to the beach and go in arcades for hours, went up the hill near us and had BBQs. We just used to sit and watch films all day in our PJs. We’d write books about things we hate + love. Painted plates to remember our friendship forever. We have awesome memories of getting drunk and doing stupid things. We’d write hilarious songs and make dance moves to it. Or do spoofs of songs already made. Make cakes and then use the squeezy jam as blood for our homemade videos. Hang up side down on each others beds and draw faces on our chins so it would look like a nose or a squished forehead… and so on!
    But now I am at a college just outside of my town, although I still live there I hardly see any of them. I had left sixthform to go to this college so I was the “new kid” I still am, I have no friends no matter how hard I try speaking to all of them. They talk to me in class but when its our lunch breaks I either sit in the canteen, library or go to the park on my own. I still try to meet up with all my other friends but we are obviously all busy with our new schools/colleges and its hard to see each other. I just feel down alot and this has reminded me what friendship means. How nice it is to have friends that are just like you and you can act how you want and they never judge you. I don’t know really why I have written this, I think I just needed to put it down somewhere. :)

  • Gretchyn November 7th, 2011 12:06 AM

    Ooh, bookmarking this!

  • amelia November 7th, 2011 9:22 AM

    i actually love this. me and my friends do HEAPS of this stuff- we people watch all the time, find secret cafes with good coffee and stalk cute waiters (it’s not as weird as i sounds i promise!), we leave each other’s houses after parties wearing ALL of each other’s clothes, we went to this really posh high tea place, splashed all our cash, and ate scones with jelly and cream, i force my friends to watch obscure 80′s movies– oh and not to mention i’m like my friend’s own personal library :) my friends all went on a beach holiday once, i wasnt allowed to go but they had an amazing time…
    but one of the best things we did is one day we all wrote really elaborate versions of what we thought each other’s futures would be (careers, cities we’d live in, husbands, affairs, children, bad habits, etc.)- it was hilarious!

  • EnidEnvy November 8th, 2011 10:27 AM

    I love this so much! And seriously you guys, you are never too old for any of these things! I am 30 and we had a dress up witch party this weekend! My friends and I do make overs all the time! And picnics, and tea parties, and arts and crafts!

  • arianajay November 8th, 2011 4:56 PM

    awww man you’ve never eaten a crumpet. they’re so heavenly!