50 Things to Do Once Your Teen Has Left Home

It often felt like too much. The chaos and noise of a house full of teens left us wishing for a break, for some time alone or with a friend or partner. Now we have that time, the loooooong quiet evenings that are life after the teens have moved out. And in an unexpected twist, the stillness of an almost empty house can leave us wishing for something more to do. 

After you have binged your favorite shows and visited your favorite regular place to eat out, here are 50 things you can do to bring fun, and noise, back into your life.

50 things to bring fun, and noise, back into your life now that you’re in an empty nest

couple jogging
Train for a 5K, 10K or even a Marathon now that you have the time to go for long runs. (Twenty20 @klovestorun)
  1. Jump on the pickleball bandwagon; this game was designed for people like us. You don’t need to be an athlete or even in great shape to start having fun.
  2. Hikes or walks. No equipment, no planning, and studies consistently show us how good this is for our health. 
  3. Take a pottery or a painting class. Get back in touch with your creative side that may have been dormant for years.
  4. Jump back into music with either a local band or chorus. Music made us so happy earlier in life; it can do so again.
  5. Join a local theater group. Can’t act, work on costumes, or set design. Not creative, work on publicity, ticket sales, fundraising, or other jobs. 
  6. Get back on your bicycle. If that feels too daunting, get on an e-bike and have a blast.
  7. Tour wineries or breweries in your area.
  8. Explore your city. Maybe there are museums, theaters, shops, restaurants, parks, and other attractions you never had time for. Now you do.
  9. Go camping. Hate dirt? Go glamping.
  10. Rent a camper and hit the road. RVs are back, and couples are having a blast exploring this way.
  11. Find another couple and make a regular card/game night.
  12. Join a trivia team at a local bar.
  13. Volunteer in a local organization with a spot in your heart, like an animal shelter or children’s hospital. 
  14. Act as a mentor to someone trying to get established in your field.
  15. Volunteer at a school.
  16. Learn to be a docent at a museum or a volunteer in a local or national park.
  17. Train for a 5K. Have you got that? Train for a 10k. Work up to a marathon. 
  18.  Start a supper club with a group of friends where everyone takes turns cooking for each other once a month.
  19. Join a book club.
  20. Start a book club.
  21. Go on Meetup and see what is available in your area.
  22. Take a cooking or baking class.
  23. Get your hands dirty in your garden.
  24. Plant a kitchen garden.
  25. Join a gym; your heart will thank you.
  26. Volunteer to coach or help coach a kid’s sports team. Remember how much fun that was!
  27. Find a hobby that you can share with others.
  28. Foster dogs.
  29. Foster teens. And say goodbye to all that quiet!
  30. Go bowling.
  31. Go ax-throwing; it’s surprisingly fun.
  32. Take up dancing. Again, your heart will thank you.
  33. Go back to the movies again. Streaming is great, but there is nothing like the big screen.
  34. Take an evening class at the community college. Get out among young people who are not your own!
  35. Take in an exchange student for a semester or a year. You have the room; why not?
  36. Learn a new language (the exchange student can help with this).
  37. Go to concerts.
  38. Finally, get around to all those home improvement projects.
  39. Get a massage/facial/treatment.
  40. Find free local events like concerts, museum nights, or local lectures.
  41. Look for a local Facebook group that shares activity ideas or has meet-ups.
  42. Start boxing. Again there is your heart thanking you.
  43. Start a new exercise routine with Barre, pilates, yoga, or whatever you haven’t tried yet.
  44. Learn to paint or draw. 
  45. Start bird watching and join a group.
  46. Learn to play golf or improve your score.
  47. Get involved in your place of worship or any faith community.
  48. Try canoeing, rafting, rowing, sailing, paddle boarding, or anything that gets you out on the water.
  49. Learn to play online Canasta or Mah Jong. 
  50. Create a fun goal for yourself and make a game out of it, like visiting every national park in your state, eating cuisine from a different nationality every week, or trying a new sport every month. Sarah Merker ate scones at historical spots for 10 years and explored her world that way. Create your own goal.

Now is the time for you to lean into your newly quiet household. And there is a big world out there waiting for all the talents you still have to offer. Enjoy.

More Great Reading:

21 Things You’ll Love About The Empty Nest

About Lisa Endlich Heffernan

Lisa (Endlich) Heffernan is the co-founder of Grown and Flown, the #1 site for parents of teens, college students and young adults, reaching millions of parents every month. Lisa is a New York Times bestselling author.
She started the Grown and Flown Parents Facebook Group and is co-author of Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults (Flatiron Books) now in paperback.

Read more posts by Lisa

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