6 Ways To Find Something To Do
We all have those days when we want to get out of the house and do something, but have no idea what that thing could be. So instead, Netflix comes to the rescue and a weekend of binge watching ensues. But if you're really determined to see the sky that day, you can find something to do or somewhere to go with just a tiny bit of effort. When I start to feel antsy, these are some of the websites I check to see what's going on near me.
1. Facebook Events
The Facebook Events page has basically become my social calendar. Even though I'm not on Facebook as much as I used to be, when I do log on it's usually to see what events are approaching and which of my friends are interested in going.
I find it most useful to not only skim the general Events page occasionally, but also to make sure I'm following my favorite business pages so when they create an event it will show up in my feed. If I'm in the mood for a specific type of event, let's say an author's book talk, I'll visit the pages for the bookstores or venues that I know hold those types of events, like Busboys & Poets and Sixth & I in D.C. or Red Emma's and the Ivy Bookshop in Baltimore.
Having attended a decent number of Meetup events in my day and known for being aggressively introverted at times, I realize how awkward these events can be. But even if you have no interest in making small talk with strangers, Meetup.com is a great way to see where other people are going and what they're doing, even if you only plan to steal their idea and go with the people of your choosing.
Sometimes Meetup groups get special privileges, such as waived entrance fees or other perks. In that case, you may want to suck it up and set aside your stranger danger worries for a few hours. Meetup can also be great for practicing skills that you can't practice with anyone in your existing circles. If you don't know anyone else who is learning German or the Argentine tango, you'll probably find practice partners and a way to get out of the house on Meetup.
If you're like me, you're used to seeing Eventbrite invitations only for personal events like baby showers or the office holiday party. It may not be as widely used as Facebook, but I've found enough interesting events while browsing Eventbrite public listings that I'm including it on the list. There are plenty of social and cultural events on Eventbrite, but it's also a good place to search for professional development trainings or webinars. If you want the information to come directly to your inbox, you can subscribe to their newsletter of upcoming events in your area.
Yelp isn't just for reading and writing reviews. There is also a page that lists events in the city of your choice and they are often, but not always, food and drink-related. If you want to take it a step further and put in some extra work, you can apply to be a Yelp Elite after showing that you consistently write reviews. Once accepted, you'll get invitations to Yelp Elite events at different venues in your city. They often include free food and drinks and require an RSVP to control the number of attendees.
Even if you're not a Yelp Elite, you can check the event page for community-wide events organized by Yelp and others, and follow their social media accounts for ticket giveaways. I recently won two tickets to a pre-release screening of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 through a Yelp Baltimore Instagram giveaway.
5. Local Newspapers, Magazines, and Websites
Many local publications have a section that compiles all major events and concerts for the upcoming weekend or few weeks. In Baltimore, I might check the weekly Baltimore City Paper or visit Baltimore Magazine online. There's also Washingtonian Magazine, Bethesda Magazine, ThingsToDoDC.com, and those are just off the top of my head.
6. Good Old-Fashioned Wandering
Take a walk. It can be relaxing to just wander the streets and see what you stumble upon. Experiencing the freedom of having nowhere in particular to be and no specific time when you have to be there can be a great way to spend your time before you have to get back to work and meet those deadlines.
All of these resources are also useful to keep in mind when you find yourself in a new city and need some suggestions. So now you have no excuse to stay home when you actually feel like going out. Netflix will be faithfully waiting for you when you return.