Searching for fun things to do when lockdown ends? Look no further, as we’ve put together a list of 60 things to do when everything is open again.
It’s been a long and difficult journey, but things are finally starting to look up around the world. Vaccination programs worldwide are starting to progress, and some countries are gradually easing restrictions. Whether the end of lockdown is in sight or you’re still waiting patiently, it’s time to look towards the future.
Many of us have forgotten what normal life actually looks like – so we’re here to remind you how to enjoy yourself. We’ve collated a list of 60 fun activities for you to try by yourself or with family and friends. We have so many options right at our fingertips, so it’s up to you to explore them!
Go to a market
Whether you live in a city or small town, there are countless markets for you to enjoy. Maybe you could go to a farmer’s market and pick up some fresh produce, or you could try a vintage clothing market and pick up some pre-loved gems.
Go wine tasting
Nothing makes you feel civilised quite like wine tasting. Why not drive to a vineyard nearby or just pop over to a local wine bar that offers wine tasting sessions. You’ll learn a thing or two about wine and perhaps take a bottle home with you.
If you want to prepare beforehand, or you just really want to become a pro at wine tasting, you can try our course Mastering Wine Tasting. You’ll cultivate an analytic mindset while wine tasting, delve into the heritage of wine, and develop a rich vocabulary to describe wines.
Volunteer your time
Some people committed to volunteering online throughout the pandemic, but it’s not quite the same as volunteering your time in person. If there’s an issue you feel passionate about, volunteering is a great way to give back to the community.
Whether you want to volunteer at food banks, fundraise for a charitable cause, or participate in a beach clean-up, there are hundreds of opportunities out there. You can find something that suits you on Do-it, the UK’s national volunteering database.
Go to a board game cafe
If you’re a board game lover, going to a board game cafe is a great activity to try. Bring a group of friends, family, or even a date, and spend the evening testing different games. Most cities have a wealth of board game cafes, like Draughts in London and Hex & Company in New York.
If you can’t find a board game cafe near you, don’t fear! Instead, why not gather your friends together and play board games at someone’s house?
Organise a clothes swap with friends
Plenty of us enjoy shopping for new clothes, but it’s undeniable that a shopping habit can be bad for the environment and our wallets. But what if there was a way to get some new pieces for free whilst enjoying a fun day with friends?
This is where clothes swaps come in. Organise a day where you and your friends can bring all your unwanted clothes, and see if you can make any exchanges. This is a great example of practising sustainable fashion, as it means more existing clothes are being worn and fewer are being thrown out.
Go to exercise classes
You may have attempted home workouts over lockdown, or perhaps you decided to scrap exercise completely. Either of these choices is understandable, but it’s undeniable that exercise can work wonders for your mental health.
With that in mind, why not go out and try a new exercise class? Whether you’re interested in dance, pilates, kickboxing or HIIT, there will be something you’ll enjoy. Check the classes available at your local gym, or try ClassPass online.
If you fancy spending some time outdoors getting lost in nature and becoming more self-sufficient, foraging might be the post-lockdown activity for you. The act of collecting wild food, foraging used to be a necessity but is becoming more popular with nature lovers.
Check out the foraging guide by Woodland Trust for some tips, or try joining a local foraging group to meet like-minded people and learn how to master foraging.
Go to a book club
If you’re an avid reader, you may have tried joining a virtual book club. However, there’s something really nice about discussing a great book with a group in person, either with a cup of coffee or glass of wine.
If you have a group of bookworms for friends, you might want to consider setting up your own book group and assigning a new book each month for you to all read and discuss. If you’d rather join an existing club and meet new people, Meetup is a great place to find one that suits you.
Try wild swimming
The benefits of cold water therapy are second to none, according to studies listed by Wild Swimming Cornwall. In addition to boosting your mental and physical health, wild swimming can be a tranquil and meditative solo experience or a fun social experience in a group setting.
Obviously, if you live by the ocean or a lake, it’ll be much easier for you to try wild swimming. However, most cities have wild swimming opportunities too! Why not try Hampstead Heath Ponds if you’re in London or Strandbad Wannsee lake if you’re in Berlin?
See a play or musical
A lot of us have missed being able to watch live entertainment, and plays are certainly a part of this. While films and TV can be exciting too, it doesn’t quite compare to the magic of witnessing a story unfold right in front of your eyes.
Whether you’re hoping to catch a murder mystery, upbeat musical, or piece of physical theatre, there will be plenty of opportunities to see a play this summer. Keep an eye out for when the National Theatre opens again, or take a walk through Broadway or the West End, depending on where you are.
Go to the aquarium
If you can’t get close to the ocean yet but are longing for a dose of deep blue, the aquarium might make a great day trip. Explore the beauty of the ocean’s depths, and spend the day looking at tropical fish and other fascinating marine life.
If your trip inspires you to learn more about the ocean, you can try one of our fantastic courses. Explore the ocean with the University of Southampton, or learn about marine ecosystems with the National Oceanography Centre.
Go to a comedy show
If theatre isn’t your thing but you still want to see some live entertainment, you might be interested in catching a comedy show. Try The Top Secret Comedy Club in London, The Comic’s Lounge in Melbourne, or check out a smaller pub hosting a comedy night. You could even try stand-up comedy yourself if you’re feeling brave.
Book a holiday
Things are still a little bit shaky right now when it comes to booking holidays abroad, but it is starting to be possible. In the next few months, we’re sure things will continue to improve, and we’ll be able to start travelling again. We just need to be aware that different countries are at different stages of COVID-19 vaccinations, so we must be considerate and continue to socially distance ourselves.
Once you’ve decided where you want to go, it’s time to start planning ahead! Why not try to learn some of the local language so that you can learn more about the culture when you arrive? Perhaps you want to learn some Portuguese, Norweigan, or even Korean. If you’re on the mainland UK and want to go somewhere closer to home for now, Ireland could be perfect.
Host a dinner party
Restaurants are open again, and you may be making the most of being able to go out for dinner without cooking. However, there’s something really fun and special about hosting a dinner party with all of your friends. Everyone can bring something different, from snacks and drinks to a dessert.
Maybe you already consider yourself an excellent cook, but if you need some tips, why not try our course on healthy cooking by BBC Good Food?
Visit the seaside
If you live in a city, you might be desperate to escape to the seaside. Especially now the weather in many places is improving and summer is approaching, nothing sounds better than going for beach walks, eating ice cream and splashing in the sea.
Maybe you’re lucky enough to live by the coast, but if you live in London, there are still options. Perhaps get the train down to Brighton, drive to Margate, or make the journey to Whitstable.
Go to a karaoke bar
One of the things we’ve missed the most throughout all of these lockdowns is the chance to be silly with friends. Karaoke is one of the best examples of this. It’s escapism at its finest, whether you’re drinking alcohol or not.
Head on down to a karaoke bar like The Mint Karaoke Lounge in San Francisco, Lucky Voice in London, or Lantern in Sydney for a fun-filled evening of singing. Alternatively, if you’re on a budget or don’t feel confident going out just yet, invite your friends over for a YouTube karaoke night.
Visit museums in your city
Not every day is going to be beautiful weather, and museums are a great place to escape the rain and absorb some culture. Almost every city has some kind of museum, and they’re often free too, making them the perfect choice.
Take a trip to the cinema
Perhaps, museums and galleries aren’t so much your thing. Take a trip to the cinema and immerse yourself in the land of Hollywood stars, popcorn and comfy seats. Production on many films has kicked off again after a long interlude, so new movies are starting to come out in cinemas.
Attend a life drawing class
You don’t have to be a great drawer to attend a life drawing class. Most sessions encourage you to be open-minded, non-judgmental of yourself and others, and to have fun. It can be a great activity to try with friends, or even alone if you want to meet some fellow creative people.
Explore some gardens
If you want to be around nature, but don’t have time to travel to the countryside, there are some excellent parks and gardens all around the world. Head to Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens in Brisbane, explore the wonders of Kew Gardens in London, or venture to Laribal Gardens in Barcelona.
Have drinks at a rooftop bar
Since it’s getting warmer, a rooftop bar is the perfect place to soak up the sun, have a few drinks, and get a great view of the place you live. In London, there are plenty of rooftop bars to try, including Frank’s Cafe, Skylight and Bar Elba.
Go to a jazz bar
There’s something very sophisticated about jazz music, and you can enjoy an evening at a jazz bar without drinking any alcohol. Some of the best jazz bars in London include the famous Ronnie Scott’s and Vortex. Across the pond, New York boasts venues like Smalls Jazz Club, and New Orleans has Preservation Hall to offer.
You may even be inspired to play some jazz yourself after watching the magic unfold. If so, you can enrol onto our ExpertTrack on learning to play the jazz piano. You’ll gain a thorough and fun introduction to modern jazz piano, from the basics to advanced blues sequences.
Go to a vintage kilo sale
If you’re a lover of fashion, but don’t want to spend much money, you might enjoy going to a vintage clothing kilo sale. This is where you pay a fairly small amount, around £10-15, for a kilo of preloved clothing. This can be fun to do with friends, or by yourself if you prefer solo shopping. It’s also a pretty sustainable way of gathering new clothes.
Try virtual reality with friends
Maybe you thought you needed to buy those expensive headsets in order to try virtual reality, or maybe you never thought about it before. Either way, VR is a unique and extremely fun activity to try with friends. Otherworld in London is a VR bar that provides an immersive experience where you can try virtual reality in your own pod, complete with heat, wind and rumble effects.
Whether you want to play a zombie game with friends, explore an imaginary world, or test your dance skills, VR has so many exciting possibilities.
Host a bake-off
Similarly to hosting a dinner party, hosting a bake-off can be a really fun idea to try with family or friends. It takes less commitment than a dinner party and suits those with more of a sweet tooth. You can even pop The Great British Bake Off on the TV and make an event of it.
If you need some tips, our baking course with BBC Good Food will help you on your journey to master cake-making.
Organise a road trip
Nothing gives off summer vibes and a feeling of freedom quite like going on a road trip. Beautiful weather and a convertible might be the ideal road trip situation, but all you really need is a plan, your friends or partner, and a half-decent car. You can even rent a car and escape the city if you don’t have your own.
Explore an old university campus
All over the world, there are plenty of beautiful university campuses to explore. If you’re not a student, you may not have thought about doing this, but it can be a great opportunity to delve into some architectural history. Plus, it’s never too late to start studying again if you get inspired.
Become a mentor in your community
Perhaps you feel that you have something valuable to offer your community, and want to use your talents to help people. Whether you want to start a small group, provide support or guide someone away from a dangerous path, now is the perfect time to get involved.
Our course Exploring Mentorship and Community Change with the Compton Cowboys will help you discover the power you hold to better serve the community you live in and explore the role of mentorship.
Visit a sculpture garden
Do you want to combine nature with art? A sculpture garden is the perfect place to get a dose of both. The UK has some beautiful sculpture gardens, including The Sculpture Park in Surrey and Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. If you want to find out more about sculptures, you can try our Modern Sculpture course by the University of York.
Take yourself on a date
Who says you need a partner or romantic interest to go out on dates? It’s important to make time for yourself too, and going alone means you can do whatever you feel like. Take yourself to your favourite coffee shop or restaurant, read your favourite book, or even go on a solo day trip.
Attend a festival
Those of you who love a good party or celebration will have been missing summer festivals. However, if everything goes to plan, there will be a few festivals taking place this year, from music festivals to food festivals. Don’t expect them to be exactly the same as usual, though – there will certainly be some rules in place to protect people from spreading the virus.
Go to a music gig
Lots of artists have had time to create new music over lockdown, so now it’s time to go and see them perform! Live music is something that a lot of people have missed, as it can’t really be replaced by listening to music on your headphones. To check out what gigs are coming up, you can take a look at Ticketmaster.
Try your hand at photography
Now we’re able to get out of the house more, why not try capturing any beautiful sites on camera? You don’t even need to invest in a good camera if you’re only starting out – just your smartphone or an old film camera will suffice.
If you want to learn more about digital photography and discover your niche, you can try our Digital Photography microcredential by the Royal Photographic Society.
Explore the Scottish Highlands
If you liked the road trip idea but don’t want to leave the UK, the Scottish Highlands could be the perfect destination. The beautiful scenery and historic culture make it the perfect place to drive through and explore. If you want to learn more about the Highlands, we have an exciting course about the Scottish Highland Clans.
Go on a camping trip
Another great idea for a low-key holiday is to go camping. Even if you live in a city, there are great camping destinations just a short distance away. Picture this – a campfire, cosy tent, and chance to be close to nature from the second you wake up. To find out where the best campsites are, check out Pitchup.
Visit an archaeological site
If you’re a history lover but don’t fancy going to a museum, there are so many great archaeological sites to visit across the UK. Stonehenge is the most famous site to check out, but what about Star Carr or Hadrian’s Wall?
There are also countless beautiful archaeological sites outside of the UK, so lucky for you if you live near an Ancient Greek ruin or Incan citadel. You can even turn your visit into a trip and stay at an Airbnb for a night or several.
Visit an observatory
You don’t need to be an astronomy fan to enjoy a trip to an observatory, but this is definitely the perfect activity for someone who is. An observatory is a room or building housing an astronomical telescope or other equipment that’ll allow you to study natural phenomena, such as the stars.
London actually has several great observatories, from the Royal Observatory in Greenwich to the Hampstead Observatory. If you’re intrigued by what you discover, you might be interested in our Atmospheric Chemistry: Planets and Life Beyond Earth course.
Make a move
Lockdown showed us that remote work is possible for many, and living where you are happy does not necessarily mean living away from work opportunities. Many have already made the move. “During Covid, we doubled our weekly moves, with people seeking to leave the city. Now…. it’s all about interstate moves. Following the sun so to speak.” – Vlad Stoikovich, CEO of Melbourne removalist Home Move.
Visit a funfair or theme park
Whoever said funfairs and theme parks were only for kids was wrong. Make sure you wear a mask and sanitise your hands if you do go, but funfairs and theme parks can be a really fun activity and a fantastic way to escape from the real world for a little while.
Go to a National Trust site
Maybe you’ve planned your trip to a famous archaeological site, and now you want to soak up even more culture. Luckily for you, the UK is brimming with National Trust sites to visit. Many of them are free, they exist in cities and the countryside, and they can be a great learning experience.
Play crazy golf with friends
Another place where you can be silly with friends, like at Karaoke, crazy golf is a lot of fun for all ages. Crazy golf is that perfect physical activity where you don’t actually need to be good at sport to succeed. In London, check out Junkyard Golf for interesting indoor courses, or Jurassic Falls Adventure Golf for something outside.
After so long being indoors most of the time, nothing sounds better than going for a long hike outdoors in a scenic area. You can go on a short, relaxing hike if you’re a beginner, or set yourself a challenge if you’re feeling adventurous. Check out National Trail for some of the best hiking routes in the UK, or AllTrails for global routes.
Attend a poetry reading
If you’re a lover of poetry or just want to try something new, a poetry reading or spoken word event might be a lot of fun. You probably won’t enjoy every poem, but you might stumble upon some masterpieces, and even be inspired to write your own poems. Next time you go, it might be you performing.
Join a conservation program
Are you passionate about animals and wildlife conservation? You might get a lot out of joining a conservation program. Volunteering with wildlife is a really rewarding experience, with the opportunity to learn a lot and help conserve wildlife habitats and lives.
Go to a craft beer tasting
Maybe wine isn’t really your thing, but you still want to go to a tasting session. In that case, craft beer might be the perfect activity to try with a fellow beer lover. Head to the London Beer Lab or ScotBeer Tours in Edinburgh to get your drink on.
Try rock climbing
Feeling active and adventurous? Rock climbing is fun and an extremely good workout. Whether you eventually want to try climbing real rocks or are happy to stick to a climbing wall, climbing centres like The Arch in London and Hardrock Climbing in Melbourne are a great place to challenge yourself.
Visit a local farm
If you’re dreaming of leaving the city and living on a farm, you may just be in need of a trip to a local farm. If there aren’t any close by, why not take a short trip away? You can meet some farm animals, pick some fruit, and learn how farmers produce food sustainably.
Have a picnic
Sometimes the most simple ideas are the best ones. Having a picnic with friends and family is a cheap and easy way to get together, eat food and enjoy being outdoors. You can cook or bake some foods to eat, or just pick things up from the supermarket.
If you want to save money and reduce food waste, you might want to try downloading an app like Too Good To Go, where you can get perfectly good meals and food products that are about to expire for very cheap. Take your findings to the park, and voila, you have a picnic.
Update your CV
There are a number of reasons why now is a great time to update your CV. Maybe you’ve been wanting to switch careers, try freelance work, or you just want to update it to show off the new skills you’ve been perfecting over lockdown. If you need some help, we have a fantastic list of free CV templates you can take a look at.
Join a gardening group
Maybe over lockdown you tried to pick up gardening, and even created a small vegetable patch in your garden. Or perhaps you don’t have a garden, but would love to try it out. If this is you, why not join a gardening group, where you can learn new skills and meet new people?
Go to an art gallery or installation
Art exists everywhere, from galleries and installations to the streets. Depending on what you’re interested in, you can go to a portrait gallery, modern art gallery, or an interesting installation. Check out what’s happening around the world on GalleriesNow, where you’ll surely find something that suits your tastes.
Many sports lovers found it very difficult to stay inside without being able to play with their teammates, but this time is, fortunately, coming to an end. Sports are allowed again, so it’s time to get back out there or even try something new. You don’t have to be good at it either – why not try shooting some hoops or playing tennis with a similarly unsporty friend?
Learn to rollerskate
If you want to do something adventurous that doesn’t cost the earth, roller skating could be a fun activity to try. All you need is skates, or you can even try going to a roller disco like Roller Nation first to try before you buy. It might take some practice and commitment, but in no time, you could find yourself skating through parks with your friends.
Visit an old library
If you’re looking for something free to do on a rainy day, you might want to consider going to an old library. There are plenty of old libraries floating around, and maybe you’ve never even visited one before. When you’re there, you can grab a book or three and settle down in a cosy corner of the library to enjoy the atmosphere and soak up some history.
The Bodleian Library in Oxford is one of the most famous and beautiful libraries in the UK, though you’ll need to book a tour unless you’re a student there.
Create a short film of your summer
For some people, COVID-19 has been a reminder to cherish the time they have with family and friends, since the pandemic made it so difficult to be together. This summer, why not try making a short film of memories or everyday moments to help you remember the good times?
It doesn’t have to be a polished film if you’re a novice, but it might be fun to play around with editing software and create something you’re proud of.
Try a new cuisine at a restaurant
Restaurants are finally open again in many places, and plenty of people are taking full advantage of that fact. The next time you feel like booking a dinner out, it might be fun to pick a brand new cuisine. Have you ever tried Egyptian, Polish or Argentinian cuisines? Now’s your chance to give them a try!
Of course, not everywhere has a huge range of restaurants with different cuisines, so alternatively, you could try cooking a recipe from an unfamiliar country.
Attempt an escape room
If you’re a group of 4 or more people looking for something fun to do that doesn’t necessarily involve alcohol, an escape room might be the perfect plan. An escape room is a game where you and your friends look for clues, solve puzzles and finish tasks together in order to achieve a goal or escape in a particular time frame.
They can be scary or not, depending on your preference, but are definitely an interesting way to get your team to work together. If you’re interested in trying an escape room, some of the best ones in London include Moriarty’s Game in Marylebone and Patient Zero in Aldgate.
Go to a lido
Maybe the idea of wild swimming didn’t appeal to you, but you still want somewhere to cool off on a hot day in the city. A lido is the perfect inbetween, with easy access and sunbathing spots as well as a huge swimming pool. London is brimming with lidos, including London Fields Lido in the North East and Tooting Bec Lido in the South West.
Learn a new job skill
Now we’re able to get out more, it’s the perfect time to learn that new job skill you’ve been putting off. The pandemic meant that a lot of people have struggled to find work or gain promotions, but hopefully, this is coming to an end, so now it could be worth pushing yourself to achieve your goals.
Attend an open-air theatre
Going to an old and fancy theatre is one thing, but it’s quite a different experience going to an open-air theatre. On a warm evening, you might be more tempted to choose the latter. You can’t beat watching a live performance of Shakespeare at the magical Globe Theatre in London or Shakespeare in the Park in NYC.
If you’re more inclined towards being in nature, the Minack Theatre in Cornwall boasts astounding views of the ocean and the Epidaurus in Peloponnese, Greece overlooks acres of olive groves with a mountain backdrop.