Friends are the family you choose. Sometimes, friendships are more fulfilling than familial relationships. The act of deciding to be around intentionally, rather than out of obligation, is a level of unmatched loyalty particular to the relationship shared by friends.

heritage bank LogoCelebrate friendships with easy and local and low-cost ways to let friends know their value.

Write a letter. In this digital world, taking the time to put ink on pretty paper or a card and mailing it to a long-distance friend is a wonderful way to show you care. Telling someone why they are special and what impact they make as your friend is a simple and special surprise that is sure to be cherished. This is also an easy way to surprise a local friend and certainly more personal over a text or email.

Get the kids involved. Meet friends who have kids at the park for family fun. Games or a scavenger hunt are great ways for groups to get to know each other. Pack a picnic and share a meal. Breaking bread together is a sure way to form bonds for all ages.

Celebrate Friends at the Spa
A trip to the spa is fun for both guys and gals. Relax and chat with pedicures. Or to save money, give each other pedicures and spa treatments at home. Photo credit: Krysta Carper

Surprise a friend who is always there with an adventure. Do something new and spend time together in a different way. Take a creative class, have an outdoor adventure or do something silly to revitalize an old friendship.

Take fun photos of friends. Olympia is home to amazing and colorful murals so gather a few friends and snap cute photographs to print. A fun photo shoot is perfect for groups of kids and teens too! They will love sharing them on social media.

Plan a special day out. Do something together that you both enjoy. Like to golf? Go hit a few balls around. Hit the spa for some pampering. Groupon is an easy way to save on activities in the area. Plan a day off from work together and find fun with mid-week discounts at places like movie theaters and other entertainment.

Visit an old haunt together. Reminisce about the days gone by with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Hang out somewhere from the past and rekindle what made you friends in the first place. Get together with a friend from school and look at old yearbooks or go to a game at your alma mater and remember the good old days.

Bonfire with Friends
A simple gathering of friends around a warm fire with a hot cup of coffee and good conversation is an easy way to give undivided attention to people. Photo credit: Krysta Carper

Grow your circle of friends and throw a party. Host a fun gathering of friends and have each person bring a new friend and a snack to share. Encourage everyone to get to know each other with a fun activity that requires teams. Trivia games are a quick way to foster a sense of camaraderie across friend groups and get everyone to break out of their comfort zones. Consider meeting at a local restaurant for happy hour or appetizers if a party at home is out of the question.

Have friend staycation. Go stay the night somewhere local and bond over relaxation. A quick night or weekend away locally is easier and more affordable than a vacation elsewhere. Or if that is out of the budget, have a sleepover. Stay up late with a fun craft project, bake something yummy together and enjoy it while watching cheesy movies.

Celebrate Friends with a Hug
A hug is an expression of love any friend will appreciate. Photo credit: Krysta Carper

Give a surprise gift. It doesn’t have to be someone’s birthday to give them a gift of gratitude. Have a friend at work who is always dependable? Come in early and leave a handmade gift in their work area. Does a friend live nearby who helps in heartbeat? Drop flowers on their door when they are gone. Small tokens of appreciation show others how much they are valued.

Make new friends. Meetup Olympia Area Activities, Socializing and Friends is a friendly group that goes bowling, to the movies, dines out, and facilitates fun game nights for those interested in meeting new people and making new friends in the area. There are also opportunities to take day trips for even more fun.

A recent Harvard study concluded that having solid friendships in life helps promote brain health. Friends are valuable in all stages of life and each brings a special kind of joy. It’s often the little things that make a person feel most loved. Forget huge gestures – there are remarkably simple ways to celebrate friendship.

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