Are you feeling bored out of your mind? Or maybe the kids are complaining of total and utter boredom. Whether it’s adult or childhood boredom that’s getting you down, it’s never fun to feel disinterested, like there’s nothing to do to occupy your attention. If you’re looking for some things to do, we got you covered right here.
Of course, you may feel alone, but you’re certainly not. The American Psychological Association found that boredom is so common, 63 percent of participants reported experiencing boredom at least once in the 10-day period. Statistics like that will put you in a funk for sure!
Still, it’s time to snap out of it and get some much-needed stimulation. Here are 101+ things to do when you’re bored.
101 Things to Do When Bored
Set up a puzzle station
Every household (especially those prone to boredom) should have a puzzle station! Set up a jigsaw puzzle on an unused table, spreading out all the pieces. Whenever someone in the house is bored, they can head over to the puzzle station to put a few pieces together.
Try your hand at a new recipe
Cooking isn’t just good for staving off boredom; research shows that it also has positive effects on our mental health as well. The internet is chock-full of new recipes just begging to be tried, so find one that interests you and go to town!
Embroidering is a fun and creative pastime that’s so helpful to have in your back pocket. You can embroider while doing something else, too — like watching TV —which really helps pass the time. Once you get good at embroidery hoops, you can even try embroidering your jeans or T-shirts! Etsy has a ton of printable PDFs, but if you’re looking for some freebies, DMC has a huge selection of free embroidery patterns.
Read a book
The book is the original boredom-buster. Whether it’s a guilty pleasure or a NY Times Best Seller, reading a book does wonders for transporting the mind someplace else — and that’s exactly what you want when you’re bored, right? Here’s our guide to getting free Kindle books today.
Throw a picnic
Indoor or outdoor — it doesn’t matter. “Luxury” picnics are all the rage right now, but it’s nothing you can’t do by yourself. Set up a picnic of your own by packing a few finger sandwiches and some snacks, like grapes, strawberries, and chips. If it’s an adult picnic, don’t forget to throw in the bottle of wine!
Paint a canvas
Blank canvases can be found for pretty cheap at the dollar store or even Michaels. Grab a paint brush and let the creativity flow!
Paint a room
Or skip the canvas and go straight to a wall! Whether you’re artistic enough to pull off a custom mural or just want a change, paint is the easiest way to give a room a total makeover and a whole new feeling.
Start a vegetable garden
Seed starter season usually begins at the beginning of March or April, but it’s never too late to start a veggie garden of your own. Stop by your local gardening center for some seeds or even check out your local library! Plenty of libraries offer a mini seed library where you can use your card to check out the veggie or fruit seeds of your choice.
Bake a dessert
Are you less of a chef and more of a baker? There are so many different, fun, and tasty dessert recipes to try out. Here are some of our favorites: DIY ice cream in a bag, no-bake Greek yogurt cheesecake, and cinnamon roll dump cake.
Start a scrapbook
Get to scrappin’! Trust us, it’s easier than it sounds. All you need are some photographs, scrapbook paper, and some fun things to decorate with — like stickers, marker pens, and whatever else you can dream up. Dollar Tree and, of course, Michaels are ideal for stocking up on some fun scrapbooking supplies.
Visit your local library
Chances are, your local library has way more than just books these days! Libraries always have fun programs and events planned, plus many of them have some cool features for you to use — music rooms decked out with recording equipment, 3D printers for bringing your DIY dreams to life, and so much more.
Pick up calligraphy
Calligraphy is a gorgeous skill to have in your back pocket. Though it’s not exactly easy to pick up, it’s worth trying to learn the ins and outs with the help of a calligraphy crash course like the one Written Word Calligraphy offers. If a course isn’t for you or there’s not one available right now, check out their starter kits for at-home, self-taught learning.
Join an online course
Any course! There are plenty of online courses over at MasterClass. From creative writing classes to photography and cooking classes, pick the skill you want to hone in on and go learn the craft with the help of experts in the field.
Take a drive
A long, scenic drive (with the right music) is nary a match for even the worst bout of boredom. Take the back roads and take it all in.
Go for a walk
Walking is proven to improve boredom and your overall mental health. Simply walking for as much as 30 minutes a day can help you out of a bad mood as well as stave off symptoms of depression. Take a walk around your neighborhood, bring the dog with you, or find a local park to frequent.
Make a throwback playlist
Sometimes music is the best medicine — especially if the ailment is boredom. Create the ultimate playlist of your dreams featuring all your favorite throwbacks. And if you’re feeling spicy, let your friends in on the fun by turning on the collaborative feature on Spotify. That way, your besties can add their fan-favorite jams, too!
Create a vision board
Vision boards work wonders for uplifting moods, as they give you something to look forward to! Cut out pictures of all your goals — short-term, long-term … get as lofty as you’d like. When you’re done, hang it somewhere where you can see it every day.
There’s nothing like good, old-fashioned journaling. Write down whatever comes to mind — whether it’s a play-by-play of the past few days or it’s making sense of your current emotions. Journaling has so many positive benefits, and curing boredom is just one of them!
Try bullet journaling
Bullet journaling is a whole subcategory of journaling in which you get super creative with your pages. Most commonly, bullet journals use lists and trackers to keep tabs on things like your to-dos, feelings, sleep schedule, and more. Bullet journals are a meaningful way to monitor your days and to stay organized as well.
List all the places you want to travel
If the sky’s the limit, what are some of your dream vacations you hope to take in your lifetime? List ’em out and keep it handy.
Play a board game
There are so many great board games out there, but some of our favorites include Hunt A Killer, Settlers of Catan, and Betrayal at House on the Hill. And because I know you’re wondering, here’s the best deals on board games.
Take a fitness challenge
Try a workout membership with MIRROR or FightCamp. Or if membership isn’t for you, find a fitness challenge online and take it real quick. This could be anything — a situp, plank, or mixed exercise challenge. It’ll feel great to get your heart rate up!
Record a podcast episode
We’ve all got something to say. Even if it’s just for fun and it never makes it to the airwaves, take a stab at recording a podcast episode. Whether you host solo or go back and forth bantering with a friend, you may find that podcasting is your calling.
Listen to a podcast episode
Recording not for you? No worries. Simply listening to a podcast is an awesome way to kill time. Whether you’re looking for something quick or something more long-form, there are dozens of podcasts out there for every kind of interest and genre.
Make salt dough
Salt dough is so underrated — especially for how easy it is to make. All you need is water, flour, and salt (and a working oven), and in just about two hours, you’ll have yourself an array of salt dough ornaments and sculptures.
DIY your own slime
We hate to break it to you, parents, but slime is still big with the kiddos. Of course, you can always buy this boredom buster at a local toy store, but sometimes it’s fun to make it, too. Our favorite slime recipe? Combine 1 cup washable school glue, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 to 3 tablespoons of contact or all-purpose solution. Mix together thoroughly and enjoy that ASMR slime.
Have fun with tie-dye
Tie-dye had a big moment at the beginning of the pandemic, but it’s still a fan-favorite DIY that’s near and dear to our hearts. Tie-dye some old T-shirts or even your socks!
Complete a sewing project
According to the meditation platform Headspace, meditation is one of the best cures for boredom that there is! If you’re new to meditating, try a guided one to help you learn what it’s all about.
Try a new hairstyle
Sick of your side part? Bored of the same old bangs? Find some hair inspiration and try out a new hairstyle. If it’s totally you, then cool; if not, no harm, no foul!
Take a long bubble bath
Set the mood with some essential oils, a calming playlist, and bubbles that threaten to overflow!
Walk the dog
If you’re bored, chances are your dog is probably bored, too. Take Fido on a longer walk than usual to stimulate you both. You and your dog will be grateful you did. Need some AC? Check out these dog-friendly stores.
Take the dog to the park
If a walk’s not cutting it or maybe isn’t an option for you, you can always take your pet to the dog park. Now how’s that for some stimulation — for both you and your pup? Even better: Plan a vacation where your doggie can tag along. Here are the best dog-friendly beachfront campgrounds we found.
Plan a Scrabble tournament
If you take Scrabble as seriously as we do, then it’s time to plan the ultimate tournament. Settle on teams, create a mock scoreboard, and get to crafting words for points.
Sudoku never goes out of style, and whether you enjoy math or not, a little brain game is an educational way to pass the time.
Clean out an old closet
Whether it’s the linen closet or your own wardrobe, cleaning out a closet is always a good idea. A happy home is an organized home, and trust, cleaning out the space and reorganizing it will keep you busy for hours. When you’re done? Hit up the next closet down the hall!
Organize your kitchen spices
Because nothing says “I was bored AF” more than a perfectly curated spice rack with matching jars and labels.
Take a nap
When you can’t beat boredom, nap it out.
Train your pet
Our pets need stimulation, too, and working together to do some training is a proactive way to keep you both busy. Teach your pet a new trick — like jumping through a hoop! — or practice some old commands that are a little rusty.
Master a new yoga pose
Maybe you’ve always wanted to nail the tree pose, or you want to work on your balance by perfecting the crow pose. Spending time on a skill is one of the most effective ways to master it.
That being said, you don’t need to master yoga in order to expel boredom. Just doing it can help, too!
DIY your own candle
Handmade candle-pouring has become more and more popular, and with the price of candles skyrocketing (as is the price of everything else lately), it can be both great fun and an economical choice to learn how to pour them yourself. Plus, you can repurpose old candle jars by simply pouring a new one!
Complete the NY Times’ daily crossword
You’ve got the NY Times daily crossword, the mini, and other fun brain games to master — all available at NYTimes.com.
Do a word search
Whether you’re an adult or a kid, word searches are always time well spent. They’re great for keeping your mind sharp, too!
Write a letter
Grab that pen and paper! The art of letter writing has gone a bit defunct in recent years — thanks to technology — but it can still be fun to start a traditional penpalship with someone. Plus, it’s a great opportunity for children to learn how to write a friendly letter and properly address an envelope. Just don’t forget the stamp!
Make a donation pile
Cleaning out your closet? Make a pile just for donations, and at your earliest convenience, drop off your donations at a local shelter, church, or library.
Throw a yard sale
Did someone say yard sale? Earn a few extra bucks by going through your stuff and selling what you no longer need or use.
Make a TikTok
Any TikTok! A cooking TikTok, a cleaning TikTok, a dance choreo TikTok — whatever your heart desires. Follow KCL here and get some inspo.
Learn some choreography
Speaking of TikTok dances, it’s always a fun challenge to learn some choreography. Not sure where to start? Some of our fave choreos include “Rain On Me” by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande and “It’s Gonna Be Me” by NSYNC.
Record a song
OK, easier said than done if you’re not exactly a seasoned songwriter, but it’s all in good fun, right? Plus, the best songs are really poetry at the core, so you can always start there and bring the melody in later.
Write a poem
Do a little research to figure out some of your favorite formats of poetry — haiku, limerick, sonnet, or free verse. Then get to waxing poetic.
Call an old friend or someone you haven’t seen in a while.
Hello, it’s me. Sometimes there’s just something to be said for a phone call with someone you haven’t seen in a while. It can be 15 minutes or an hour-long convo, but catching up with a long-lost friend or family member just does something good for the soul.
Take up a new instrument
With tons of YouTube tutorials and sheet music available on the internet, you can teach yourself how to play a song — on the piano, guitar, or recorder — in no time.
Play mini golf
From your standard Putt-Putt course to glow-in-the-dark spots, mini golf is always a good time — whether there’s a shtick involved or not.
Turn your yard into an obstacle course
This is a great one for kids and adults alike. Do you need to ruin the grass in order to make it a tough mudder? Absolutely not. With a few pool noodles and a pop-up tunnel or two, you and your fam can be off to the races.
Sew any old, tattered clothing
Whip that old sewing machine out because there’s nothing wrong with your torn and tattered clothes. Once you sew them up, they’ll be all bright and shiny and new again.
Make 4-ingredient bagels
With just one egg, self-rising flour, Greek yogurt, and Everything Bagel seasoning, this family-friendly bagel recipe will change breakfast forever (especially when you see how easy it is to make).
Remember the good old days at summer camp when hours were spent making bracelets? Harken back to those camp days with some embroidery floss and a piece of tape to keep your creation in place as you go.
Learn how to braid
Even if you’ve got your basic braiding skills down, there are so many fun variations to learn — from French to fishtail.
Reupholster an old piece of furniture
It’s nothing a little paint and some new fabric can’t fix!
Rearrange the furniture in your home
What’s the key to a room makeover on a budget? Rearranging all the furniture! And luckily for you, it just so happens to be a boredom-buster, too.
Learn the art of feng shui
Speaking of rearranging furniture, don’t just move it around willy-nilly. Look into the art of feng shui, and learn a thing or two about the ancient Chinese tradition of orienting furniture in relation to the flow of energy.
Do the laundry
OK, lame, but it’s not gonna do itself.
Go thrifting at an antique store
Only got five dollars in your pocket? Take that to the antique store and go thrifting, baby! Before you head out, check out these thrift store shopping hacks first.
Play a game on the Oculus Quest 2
Games like Beat Saber and Vader Immortal I are some of the top Oculus Quest 2 picks right now.
Add shelving to a blank wall
Shelving has a way of making any blank wall look richer. Once you’ve hung it up, be sure to decorate the heck out of it with frames, plants, and your favorite tchotchkes.
If you’re feeling brazen enough, try to make homemade cookies without a recipe. Things are sure to get interesting!
Learn how to make your favorite cocktail
Are you a Cosmo drinker? A fan of the gin and tonic? An Aperol spritzer kinda gal? Don’t leave all the fun to the bartenders … instead, learn how to make your favorite drink at home so you can become a pro mixologist.
Refresh your workspace
You know what they say: a refreshed workspace is a productive workspace. Start by dusting off your desk, keyboard, and mouse. Once everything’s clean, don’t underestimate the power of office decor. Change your desktop wallpaper and empty the trash!
Grab a puppuccino for your dog at Starbucks
If you’ve never grabbed a puppuccino for your pet before, it’s just a cup filled to the brim with whipped cream. And it’s every pup’s absolute dream!
Try a Starbucks drink you’ve never tried before
While you’re there, you might as well grab a drink for yourself, too. Play Starbucks Roulette and order something you’ve never ordered before, or order from Starbucks secret menu.
Play around with makeup
Even if you find yourself all dolled up with nowhere to go, playing around with makeup (learning how to perfect that ideal cat-eye liner or trying out a lip color that’s out of your comfort zone) is a creative way to idle away the hours.
Binge-watch a show you’ve never seen
There are plenty of ways to eliminate boredom without a screen, but if you’re feeling a binge-watch coming on, there’s nothing wrong with watching a show you haven’t seen before — yes, from start to finish. Here’s how to watch Yellowstone for free.
Write a review
Get on Yelp and make the world a better place. Review the last good restaurant you ate at or help out an Etsy shop owner you recently purchased from.
Stop by a local farmer’s market
Most towns and cities host a local farmer’s market on the weekends, though times may vary. Shopping locally means eating locally, which is better for the planet and your health, too!
Visit a local museum
Chances are, there are a handful of museums nearby that you’ve never even stepped foot into. Do a little research (the library is a meaningful place to start) and get cultured at a local museum!
Local museums, aquariums, homeless shelters, libraries, and community garden efforts are almost always looking for volunteers. Define what you’re passionate about and go from there!
Rewatch your favorite movies from childhood
It’s a real trip!
Sign up for a paint-and-sip class
You could never be bored with a glass of wine in one hand and a paintbrush in the other!
Check out a local brewery
Tour a local brewery to brush up on your beer-brewing knowledge. And while you’re at it, be sure to indulge in a flight!
Sign up for a wine tasting
Beer not your thing? A wine tasting is a fun way to spend the afternoon, especially if you’re a fan of dark chocolate, cheese, and of course, some vino.
Conduct your own wine tasting at home!
Or save your cash and conduct your own wine tasting at home. Invite your friends over, play some music, and make sure you have at least one white, one red, and one rosé.
Make it a game by giving yourself a 3-minute tidy session for each room. How do you do that? Well, play a song, and for however long the song lasts, that’s how long it has to take for you to get the room in order! (Not recommended for big clean-up jobs, but hey, making it into a race is more fun.)
DIY your own jewelry
Some jewelry, like polymer clay earrings and dainty necklaces, aren’t too hard to make at all. Stop by Michaels or your local craft store for a few necessary supplies, and check out a tutorial. You’ll be rocking the chicest handmade jewelry in a matter of hours!
Arrange a bouquet of flowers
Floral arranging isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s quite a treat to do. It may look easy, but there are plenty of secret tricks to getting your bouquet to look just right. You can sign up for a flower-arranging workshop or buy a bunch of branches to arrange at home.
Write a short story
A short story can be anywhere from one to 25 pages long. Do you have a story to tell? A plot line you can’t shake? Put it down on paper next time you’re bored.
Learn how to pickle vegetables
Even if you’re the worst cook in America, anyone can learn how to pickle vegetables. It takes very little effort — and very few ingredients — and in only a few days, you’ll get to reap the seeds you’ve sewn.
Create a backyard oasis
Backyard in desperate need of a makeover? Try hanging up some bistro lights, introducing an outdoor rug to the space, and if you really want to get crazy, add a temporary fire pit.
No, it’s not just for kids (though kids love to play dress-up, too!). Have yourself a little fashion show by trying to squeeze into your old prom outfit or, dare we say it, throwing on your wedding gown once more for old time’s sake!
Adhere wallpaper to a blank wall
Add a bit of texture and a pop of color by adhering wallpaper to an otherwise blank and boring wall. Renting? No worries — pick up some removable wallpaper to get the job done in no time.
Take a boat ride
If you live near a body of water, taking a boat ride is a cool way to get out of the house and see something different. Whether you charter a fishing boat or just take a quick ride on the local ferry, the fresh air will be rejuvenating for a bored, under-stimulated mind.
Remember at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic when everyone was DIY-ing their own bread? We swear it’s still cool to make bread! Check out this recipe for cloud bread, which went viral on TikTok for its light, fluffy texture.
Clean out the refrigerator
No, it’s not glamorous but it is something to do when you’re bored. Plus, if you really want to go all out, you can make it fun by adding in plastic organizers for your fruits, veggies, and other mainstay items.
Go for a hike
Download the AllTrails app and go forth into the woods! Just make sure to bring a buddy or tell someone where you’re going.
DIY some whipped coffee
There’s no coffee like whipped coffee. Check out this tutorial by @truehome_ for Dalgona coffee, a whipped delicacy. All you need is instant coffee, brown sugar, water, milk, ice cubes, and the sweetener of your choice.
Keep herbs fresher for longer by freezing them in an ice cube tray with olive oil.
Break out the coloring book
Because coloring is an activity for all ages. Better yet, here’s free coloring book pages to get you started.
Learn the constellations
You don’t need to own a telescope to find out more information about our galaxy. There’s so much to take in when you look up into the sky; try researching and learning enough about our many constellations — there are 88 constellations total! — so that you can identify a handful on your own.
Clean out your digital storage
Go through those old emails from 2010; empty your trash; delete old Word documents; and move whatever you don’t need any longer to an external hard drive.
Take a cooking class
Whether it’s online or in person, taking a cooking class is a heck of a good time. Plus, you leave with a new recipe (and skills!) in your repertoire.
Head to the car wash
Arguably the best place to go when you’re bored out of your mind, the car wash cleans your vehicle and puts on a show of rainbow soap!