Go retro with your plans this weekend. Trying out some old fashioned weekend activities just might breathe new life into your Saturday afternoons. Plus, it feels pretty great to ditch the screens for a little while and do something other than scroll and stare.
Although people have more available diversions than ever before, there's something very satisfying about hosting a simple get-together or teaching your kid the rules of UNO. And it isn't just nostalgia, either, or a backlash against constant technology use. "Unplugging by itself probably won't work some magic in your life," said John Swartzberg, M.D. in HuffPost. "But if you spend that digital-free time focusing on your relationships and activities you enjoy, now that can make your life better." Spending just a few minutes over the weekend on unplugged activities and relationships can bring a greater sense of connection and fun to your life.
Plus, these old-school activities are simply fun to enjoy. You can learn how to develop a new crafting skill, get a little exercise, or mingle with the neighbors. Even if you aren't the best at the given activity (I'm terrible at bowling, for instance), it's still fun to try something different and share a few laughs along the way.
1. Card Playing Parties
How about a game of rummy? "I would personally love to see card playing parties make a comeback. I think it is so important for us to disconnect from technology, challenge our minds, and have actual conversations face-to-face with friends and family," says Alexandria Proko of Alexandria Catherine Events. Plus, there's an endless number of card games you and your family can learn to play.
2. Dance Halls
Dancing can bring people together like nothing else, so neighborhood dance halls should make a comeback. "My grandparents used to talk about going out dancing together when they were dating," says Heidi McBain, who specializes in women's mental wellness. "It always sounded fun and innocent when they talked about those days . . . just time they enjoyed spending together as a couple, surrounded by their neighborhood friends." Honestly, social dancing in general is such a lovely, sweet activity.
3. Neighborhood Hang-Outs
Mingle with your neighbors. "I believe that social activities that bring neighbors together need to come back into vogue," says Lily Rodriguez, a Miami lawyer, mom, and lifestyle blogger at The Rich Miser. Block parties, neighborhood cookouts, or even just chatting with neighbors on the front porch are all activities Rodriguez recommends. "If we knew each other better, we would have more friends (who live close by and we can see more often), and we’d also be able to help each other more. Life would be just a little more fun and fulfilling." Honestly, this sounds like such a great way to make your part of the world a little more neighborly.
Bring back the big communal meals. "One thing I do now is host potlucks every few months and they're a great way to share with others – everyone loves food and most of us love to cook, so it's perfect," says Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré, B2C & B2B SaaS Consultant. It's fun to discover which neighbors are secretly excellent chefs, too.
5. Cocktail Parties
OK, this idea is simply fabulous. "Obviously cocktail parties should be brought back," says Vanessa Valiente, personal stylist and creator of V-Style. "I feel like I am the only one throwing them!" It takes just a little effort to put together an event that feels super fancy.
6. Sewing Circles
Bring fabric back into your social life. "Other than that, knitting or quilting circles would be a wonderful addition to one's social calendar," says Valiente. Your hands are occupied with something creative, and then the conversation just flows naturally.
Bring back the roller rinks. "I wish rollerskating was still as popular as it used to be! Merely helping someone stay up on their skates is both romantic and hilarious at the same time," says Laurie Berzack, founder and owner of Carolinas Matchmaker. "Nothing brings people together faster than sharing a good laugh on wheels." Honestly, I want full-on rollerskating parties to make a comeback for everybody.
8. Family Game Night
This is honestly the best way to uncover that hidden competitive streak among friends and family. "Setting aside one night a week for a family game night will bring everyone closer together," says Caleb Backe, health & wellness expert for Maple Holistics. Stick with the classic board games, or try a new game like Porcupine Pop, as noted in Romper.
9. Midnight Supper Party
This suggestion comes from the book Let's Bring Back by Lesley M.M. Blume, which celebrates all kinds of retro activities. "One of my favorite items was the Midnight Supper Party, where hosts hold a party, but bring out a supper at midnight to refresh the guests so they can continue to celebrate but without empty stomachs," says April Whitney, senior publicist in entertainment for Chronicle Books. It's an easy way to keep the party going and make sure your guests don't get too inebriated in the process.
10. Lawn Sports
Bring the party to your front yard or local park. Classic lawn sports such as badminton or croquet give you and your family an easy way to get playfully competitive. For more ideas, check out the list of cool lawn games from Bustle. Just leave lawn darts in the past, please.
11. Bowling Night
Bowling is generally inexpensive, and it makes for a great group activity. The shoes alone provide so many opportunities for jokes.
This activity combines two of my favorite activities, enjoying the outdoors and eating food. In fact, going on picnics can be a wonderful way to catch up with friends and family while reducing stress, according to Health Fitness Revolution. Plus, it's nearly free.
I have so many great memories of sitting around my grandmother's house on a Saturday afternoon, playing dominoes with the whole family. It's such a simple, engaging activity.
14. Tell Campfire Tales
Gather your friends and family to tell spooky stories. This is especially fun if you have little kids who haven't already heard these tales before. If you don't have a campfire handy, a flashlight will do just fine.
15. Sunday Ride
Although the traditional Sunday drive involves a car, try to enjoy the afternoon on two wheels instead. Whether you take on a tricky trail or just meander around the neighborhood, bicycling make every weekend better. With this or any of the other old-school activities mentioned, you and your family can bond and enjoy the weekend while creating wonderful memories.