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Things to do in a Small Town

Updated on January 30, 2009
Money's never an issue when you go to a free beach!   James and Heidi, Fish Lake (Stark, MN)
Money's never an issue when you go to a free beach! James and Heidi, Fish Lake (Stark, MN)
Is that a snowman? It's a snow-something, at least. Gotta love boredom at the city park.  Joe, James and Miranda (Cambridge, MN)
Is that a snowman? It's a snow-something, at least. Gotta love boredom at the city park. Joe, James and Miranda (Cambridge, MN)
Snow can be a problem here in Minnesota. Especially when it snows this much in like, an hour or two. Welcome to my world.
Snow can be a problem here in Minnesota. Especially when it snows this much in like, an hour or two. Welcome to my world.
"Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Meyer Weiner..." Sometimes fun stuff happens in small towns. Though I was shocked Oscar Meyer knew we were even on the map.   (Cambridge, MN)
"Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Meyer Weiner..." Sometimes fun stuff happens in small towns. Though I was shocked Oscar Meyer knew we were even on the map. (Cambridge, MN)

You're bored.

There's no sports events scheduled, and the nearest mall is between 20 to 50 minutes away. None of you have a car (and even if you did, gas is way too expensive to even bother right now). Options are limited; boredom runs high. What're you gonna do about it?

Well, let me tell you some of the things my friends and I would do in this kind of situation.

Find a good student/teen-oriented establishment.

Yeah, I know, there aren't many in our little communities. But there's bound to be somewhere you can go. Is there a community center in your town? A roller rink? A movie theater?

If money is an issue, consider the park. It might seem like it's more for the "kiddies," but even us teens get a kick out of fooling around the jungle gyms. There are always free beaches available, and I'm sure you can find a lake or river nearby. Heck, even a pond would do, as long as it's not filled with lilypads and pond gunk. Just be wary of leeches and swimmer's itch. Oh, and chiggers. Nasty little buggers, they are...

Still think that's lame? There's always Wal-Mart. :-P

Read the newspaper.

"Dude, newspapers are lame. They're for old people!" Not necessarily. Most city/town/county newspapers will have listings of events that you might actually be interested in, such as art fairs and car shows or dances and film festivals. Surprised? You shouldn't be. Counties hold regular events in an effort to gain popularity or status, or even to show pride for their heritage. Here in lovely Cambridge, Minnesota, there's the Swedish festival everyone's welcome to attend. Personally, I hate lutefisk... And lefsa... And all those other food items they tend to serve up. But it's never a bad idea to check it out in case you're interested.

Another thing to be looking at are the classifieds. No, not to buy something or apply for a paying job, but sometimes certain charity groups hold little events like highway clean-ups that you can volunteer for. And if volunteering's not your thing, you can swing by anyway and make fun of the greenies. Hey, at least it's something to do, right?


Host a movie night.

Slumber parties may have been "so elementary school," but if you take out the slumber part, it's a party. Rent some movies or have everyone bring their favorite and whip up that popcorn. You'll be enthralled for hours. Unless you have ADD/ADHD, then you're kinda out of luck.

Not a big movie person? You can still have a fun get-together with your friends with some simple board games. Monopoly never goes out of style. ;-) Of course, I always win... And if you're sick of board games, pull out that XBox or Gamecube or whatever confangled contraption you happen to call a gaming system and bring on the gameage! You can't help but feel like the "big man" when you pwn your buddies in Halo. Then again, you can't help but feel like an idiot if it's your first time playing and your boyfriend's giving you crap for being so bad, but then you're bouncing off the walls when you manage to kill him... Just that one time... And then everyone pwns the heck out of you...

... Yeah, I'm not a Halo person; can you tell?

Plan a scavanger hunt!

This was always one of my favorite things to do. And everyone knows how to do this, so you won't have someone saying, "But I dunno how to play!" Sounds childish, true, but if you mix it up a little bit, you'll seriously enjoy yourself. Try picking items that are REALLY hard to get a hold of, but keep it within city limits and reason. A good example of a few items you could put on your list:

  • A picture of a police officer giving the peace sign (gotta love picture phones).
  • An old baseball.
  • A fly swatter with fly guts on it (disgusting, but interesting).
  • A yellow rubber duckie.
  • A newspaper article with every letter of the alphabet in it.
  • A school calander.
  • A snow sled (or, if you're in the south, something similar in nature).

Just about anything will do, as long as it's legal. Seriously, getting arrested is NOT a fun thing to do.

Got a bike, man?

Schedule a bike ride around town. It's exercise, it's healthy, and most importantly, it takes up a good chunk of time. You could even make a race out of it.

If you have a smaller group of friends, you could try to get more people involved. Have your friends invite their other friends. Get your siblings in on the sports action. Encourage parents to join in. Most people enjoy riding bicycles, so it shouldn't be hard to get some biking fun in your rather boring day.

Not a big bike person? Neither am I, to be honest. Then again, I don't own one. Consider rollerskates/blades if you have them, or just a simple jog. Exercise is somewhat important, as you learned in P.E., so why not have some fun while you're at it?

Heck, even yoga will do. Most small towns don't have yoga centers (or at least, mine sure doesn't), and yoga is great for relaxation and stretching those muscles and tendons, plus it doesn't take as much effort. You can even make fun of each other for some of the funny positions included in yoga. They can be pretty funny-looking. You're bound to crack up with laughter at some point in the process.

It's raining.

Yeah, it rains. Yeah, it sucks. Yeah, it makes things a little more difficult in the boredom-saving department. If it's raining, try some of the indoor activities suggested earlier. You can also consider a fun game of Charades, Guess Who, Pictionary, or a simple trivia game. Don't own one? Make one up! You're bound to know some trivial fact others might not (or you think you know one others might not, anyway). Try to stay inside, though. Getting sick is such a mood-killer.

I think we've covered the basics. Here's a little list of things to consider before you go out and entertain yourself and your friends.

Please keep everything legal. As I stated before, being arrested is not fun. And it's just not cool. Drugs run rampant in smaller communities/rural areas, and they are not the way to go. Try to consider the integrity of your group when you come up with options for relieving your boredom. Heck, consider the integrity of your generation. This goes back to that lovely problem with iPods and cellphones in schools: someone pulled a stupid and did something wrong, and thus, everyone has to pay. So when you're out having fun, please remember you are an example of your generation. It's up to you to show those old folks that you're not as bad as you're made out to be.

Got some more ideas on small-town fun? Put it in a comment! Maybe it'll get placed here!

Now for a simple poll!

What do you like to do in your small town?

See results


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    • profile image

      Johne42 3 years ago

      You have brought up a very excellent details , regards for the post. ffbeddkeefge

    • profile image

      Luna 5 years ago

      The comments were better than the actual article...

    • profile image

      chris 5 years ago

      break in to a school at night nd go swimming in the pool in the middle of the night. might not be legal but it's totally worth it.

      and while you're at it u can lay down a 30 ft long penis out o toilet paper on the sports field... do this on a school night so everyone can see it the next day. don't be afraid of sneaking out. just be careful and make sure your parents r fast asleep

    • profile image

      Jon 5 years ago

      I have no friends in this hell hole...I mean "small town". So I'm pretty much screwed. It doesn't help that I hate sports either...

    • profile image

      yoboy22 6 years ago

      Theres nothing to do in Anna texas.

    • profile image

      godsgirl 6 years ago

      Well if yall think yalls towns small think town all we have is a gas station, donut plqce, and a bait shop since the lakes right down the street. Weekends everyone's on the lake and if your not your on the tractor workin the fields. Main thing to do at school is FFA and football..we had 98 in our graduating class this year..we ain't even big enough to have our own school..all the local towns close together have our own school. We have 400 in my town and I'm poud to say I love it and I wouldn't change it for nothin!

    • profile image

      I don't live In a town; I live in a village 6 years ago

      We don't have movies,or pool or anything. We don't even have a river… we have a creek. I hate living in a village. All the kids do are get high and eat at McDonalds and get fat. Can't wait to mOve to LA and get famous

    • profile image

      EnglishVillage 6 years ago

      Huh. You think living in a town is bad? Guess what...I live in a village, which is like 75% smaller than a town. It REALLY is a bunch of houses with a river running through the middle. The only place you'll find a bunch of kids together is the ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.

    • profile image

      Tiralth 6 years ago

      I'm in a town with less than 900 people. The only thing to do around here besides bothering the Walmart employees 7 miles away, is walking down to the river 2 miles away. I really do not like it here. Your article is great however and I enjoyed reading it! Thanks for spending some of my time.

    • profile image

      smalltowncanada 6 years ago

      Seriously I live in this boring small town and there is nowhere to go and no one to go there with. Our town is pretty much an old train stop and there is nothing here and the town is not growing at all. Only been here two years and still have another long boring year left. All my friends live out in the country so we cant just get up and go and even if we did where would we go? To the park and play on the tire swings? Yes, it was a new and "exciting" things that we got TIRE SWINGS. Yet we have like five different places to buy liquor. I am under aged and I don't drink like all the other people here my age do so I am counting down the days until we move back to the city. I have been to other small towns and our town makes theirs look like a flipping city.

    • profile image

      Brenna 6 years ago

      Small town in Arizona. Just me and my dad. I want to do something with him but what? We're broke and we just live our lives on the computer, it sucks. We want to live in Minnesota but he can't find a job there. In MN we could go swim in a lake, climb a tree, live our lives. But we're stuck in this death town with nothing nothing nothing to do. Somebody help me. It's too depressing. We want to do stuff but there's nothing. It's too hot out to do anything, there are no trees or lakes or open fields here. I just wish he'd win the lottery, not so we'd be rich, but so we could be free. Let me know if somebody has a spare billion dollar bill. My mom is in Colorado there's a beautiful ditch, nature thing by our house that I used to go in. Until she got married to a complete b*sst*rd, pardon my language, and I had to get out of there. I'm stuck, nothing to do, nowhere to go. You know that saying "Money doesn't bring happiness"? Well money can buy food for starving people, shelter for the homeless, and clothing for the naked. I could move to Minnesota with money. Money does bring happiness. Why should money exist? It's just trouble. Why can't the world be beautiful like it should be? Because of the stupid, stupid people. Luckily we have lots of smart people to help. But mostly stupid idiots. Man this comment is much longer than I expected it to be. But there's so much to talk about about everything. I wish I was 18, I could go to college, get a job, get lots of money and help the world. MONEY DOES BRING HAPPINESS! It saves lives. Goodbye, I don't want to stop writing this letter but I'm going to think of what I can do for anything as an 11 year old. I'm literally counting the days until I can be free.

    • profile image

      Tyler 6 years ago

      I live in a small town in Tennessee.

      Two gas stations and two schools.

      I live in a neighborhood where nobody ever leaves there house, and besides riding my bike or jogging I don't really see a reason to go outside by myself.

      The only time I see lots of people are at school, and nobody likes me.

      I've been here for seven years.

      My only friend isn't ever allowed to leave his house.

      I'm so damn bored I'm going to explode

    • profile image

      Amanda 6 years ago

      i go to school out of district so most of my friends are half an hour away and there, the population is 750 people and where i actually live there is more but everyone around here is either a druggie or pregnant, or both. and it's only me and my 17 year old brother left at home, hes got ADHD, so most things MIGHT keep him entertained for about 30 seconds, and he can't drive after nine

    • profile image

      bb 6 years ago

      Cant even do half these things in my town...

    • profile image

      drugluvr8 6 years ago

      I like DRyGYUGz!!!! Wahey heck, I'm having some right nwo!!!!!!11

    • profile image

      6 years ago

      The problem with small towns is every one of them have a small minded attitude and everything closes at 6pm. Nothing is open on Sundays except church and the church is filled with zealots. Now as for entertainment, the best solution to small towns is to keep everyone busy. Drinking and drugs get boring after a while. So does the useless violence over the local whore. It's the same story in every town. Crime goes up due to boredom. My solution. Pot head cafe / strip club. Mandatory for all small towns open from 10pm to 6am, but hey, that's just my suggestion. Better to contain problems and create solutions, entertainment and revenue. Keeps people from smoking crack. Have it operate with co-op staff. A place that's open all night long is needed everywhere. It's where the trouble will be most of the time. Throw in a door crasher or 2. Problem solved. Rather people drinking coffee and smoking weed, instead of B&E's and smoking crack.

    • profile image

      sara ann 6 years ago

      I live in a town called Guerneville, and it SUCKS! There's literally nothing to do except go to Safeway and smoke weed and get drunk. The community events are all for middle aged gay men, no jobs so no money for cars to go anywhere, no roller rink, snow, ice skating, bowling mall or movie theater. Pointless tourist attraction stores. I thought California was supposed to be fun, no po-dunk with a ton of drug addicted losers just hanging around all the time.

    • profile image

      abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz 6 years ago

      Ok welk where i live its not even a's a village....the town is called templeton and in in by san luis opispo but wer out in he boone dox we r over populated with hicks ad druggies....the populatin is 5,300...the main town is 1 strait road with 2liquer stores a gas station a skate park and a restrant called aj spurs themed hick style...ppl marthch aroudnd invther wranglenors and coyboy boot excet for like a 10% portion of little preppy girls we also hav a normal park and thts it and it sux and the rai road tacks go tru town and thts where the dumbasses one of the preppy girls who suffers

    • profile image

      Sarah 6 years ago

      i live in the small town of ONTARIO 6000 with french people. i am a native i will always concern HEARST as my home. BUT! discrimation is always the issue here. Who cares, life goes on.

    • profile image

      Jon 6 years ago

      yeah in my town that ive lived in for 15 ish years.. my whole teenage life -___- theres no babes to check out.. we have a gas station, some pointless stores and a school, less then 1000 people, pretty much went from always playing video games to drugs then drinking, honestly, nothing else to do. me and my friend sometimes street race around the completely empty streets at night haha.. but im 19 now and planning on leaving.. i think im always gonna wish that i lived somewhere with more GIRLS. i hate small towns man.

    • profile image

      alex 6 years ago

      Usually when im bored i smoke weed andd do these things!

    • profile image

      marcen cano leovido 6 years ago

      i love to live in a small town,if i have given a chance to live there i can,i prefer to live in town that pretty small because the surrounding there are very clean,so quite and so serene. No one can disturbed me...........

    • profile image

      teebs 6 years ago

      you forgot recreational drug-use. duh.

    • profile image

      Kika Rose 7 years ago

      What is the imternet?

    • TopNicher profile image

      TopNicher 7 years ago from Philippines

      this made sense, being creative and all to pass the time. After all, there's always something beautiful you can find out there. Being in a smaller place gets you noticed easily, and that's cool when I want a crowd. I'd befriend folks and get them in one place to tell about the good news. Kika Rose, way to go. You have lots of insightful tips like getting a bike. I love it.

    • profile image

      mike 7 years ago

      i live in a town that is pretty small but hey winter is a blast here. i love to snowboard chill with friends. slide around in the snow in my truck. got to love small towns with ski areas and lots of good people.

    • profile image

      brookie 7 years ago

      I agree with nell! i know cause i live in this small town... tho she forgot a few things. I really enjoy just hanging out watching an old eighties movie. Sleeping outside watching the stars (hold up! not what your thinking), with mochas and nachos. but be careful! bears also like nachos and me and "nell" had to go inside because they're was creepy noises in the bushes. so if you think somethings gonna be fun, just do it! thanks love yah nell!

    • profile image

      Nell 7 years ago

      I live in a super small town about 30 mins away from anything bigger. Me and my friends play card games alot. Make cookies or pies! Go fishing (yeah THAT small and hick of a town! its fun though!) If its nice out we play volleyball or road hockey. I actually love living here cause it makes you creative...not just mall or go see a movie. Chilling at the lake all day is fun too when ya have an ipod doc! That's only a summer thing tho. 4x4ing in your friends big trucks is also fun!! Im sure theres other crazy things we do but I cant think of them right now...thanks for your write ups!

    • profile image

      Aaron 7 years ago

      my town is in the middle of nowhere. seriously. you have to drive at leave an hour and a half to get to the next town over and the mall is at least 2, 3 hours away. like that vanessa chick there is no police department in my town. and its all desert. meaning no trees or gardens of any kind haha. but what my friends and i do and ride our quads around, everywhere we go. im 17 and there are 5 people including myself around my age that live here. and there is like 10? adults maybe. not sure on that one. we blow stuff up. my dad owns the tinyyy gas station and that's where we get our food and stuff. he doesn't work at the gas station i do. but he works at the hospital/old police department. anyway, me and my friends "own" this town and we do pretty much whatever we want to do!!!!! its fun

    • profile image

      Maddy 7 years ago

      There is nothing im looking for stupid website!!

    • profile image

      vanesssaaa 7 years ago

      Hey!!! In my smalllll town me and my friends LOVE to build things. Yeah seems kinda childish but we've made some very "BA" forts in the last few years. I live in the desert so we're always playing in the middle of sage brush. Anyway even though i'm 15 i still love to play "queen/king of the hill" and we love to play hide-n-go seek in the cemetary at night. It gives us a rush. Anddd since we don't have a police department in our town we can get away with anything. plus the skate park is pretty fun. :)

    • profile image

      sara 8 years ago

      this is so funny because i live in minnesota and this is the first thing i clicked on!!

    • profile image

      me bored 8 years ago

      i live in ireland...rural area everywhere is just a field and 3 pubs in town but if go there the 60+ men will chat u up not fun..we don't have a wallmart here but we do have two tiny grocery store shop newsagents place ,a butchers,a post office,takeaway restraunt and a communitie center(that barely opens and when it does its for old ppl dance)and an abandoned doctors clinic that is permantly closed and i hang around there mostly just withering away from boredom.waiting till im all enough toget the hell out of here!!!:(

    • profile image

      Bobby Joe 8 years ago

      Well thanks for tryin but this site did not help me at all I could just go for some good ol drug usage.

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 8 years ago

      Coming from a small town and growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, we were never bored. I love your ideas and suggestions. Great hub!

    • profile image

      wanna b vampire 8 years ago

      my town doesn't have rollor rink it's raining the movie therter plays 3 movies and 2 are rated r and i can't see them

    • profile image

      Hailey Oslund 8 years ago

      weird!! do i know you? Im in the picture with James at the top. I don't even rememeber it being taken. I do remember going to the lake and such, though.

    • profile image

      Havin Fun 9 years ago

      load the up your vehicle with friends, full tank of gas, gotta have beer, maybe some cigars or smokes, hit an old deserted back road and have a hell of a time. this is the funnest thing to do try and bring some girls too ;).

    • profile image

      Jay Preston 9 years ago

      I wish you guys actually knew what it was like to live in a small town. A mall 20-50 minutes away? Try 2 hours if your speeding. Try a population of 300 with 90% over the age of 50. Blip on the Map? Try an unorganized territory, not on the map. x.x NEVER GO TO MAINE. x.x

    • profile image

      simon chalketon 9 years ago

      bless the chosen one until it deems not only acurate but to the point, if you know what i mean. failing that get a scooter and 10 red apples. great hub.

    • Kika Rose profile image

      Kika Rose 9 years ago from Minnesota

      Sarah, I'm glad I could help you reminisce about the good o'le days. :)

      Shelly: Oh my gosh! Before my car went all emo, me and my friend James, that weird boy in the first picture on this hub, would drive around the back roads of Cambridge and Isanti with nothing but his guitar, a bunch of punk music blaring, and a full tank of gas. We've discovered some crazy things, I tell you what. And one time, we went to Wally World and our friend Zach had Rockband all set up, and we were playing for HOURS in the Layaway section of the store. I'm a pretty mean drummer. ;P But so help me if I'm lying, James is as flat as they come. lol!

    • profile image

      shelly belly 9 years ago

      Hey. I live in a small town too. Sometimes when we're so bored we'll just drive down deserted dirt roads and see where they take us. Hey we found a short cut to WalMart that way. Also i was just wondering, so other kids in small communities hang out at walmart too? lol it's so completely lame but there's nowhere else to go! all i can say is i've wasted a fair amount of time playing guitar hero at walmart.

    • Sarah Love profile image

      Sarah Love 9 years ago from Bay Area

      Great stuff! I grew up in small town Wisconsin and did many of these things or tried to get others to do them. It helps if you have some great friends! This helped me to remember some of them and the good times we had.


    • Kika Rose profile image

      Kika Rose 9 years ago from Minnesota

      Stacie, my best suggestion would be to find someone with a car and go do something fun. Why not make up something fun to? Me and my friends make short films when we're bored. Actually, me and James (that goofy looking guy in the first picture up at the top) are working on a cyberpunk bounty hunter film concept he wants to do... xD Heck, you two can do all sorts of crap! Get a whole bunch of your friends together and take a walk around town, you'll be able to brainstorm ideas while you're walking about. As for me, I'm stuck with James being a complete dink... -_- Someone remind me why I'm friends with this weird kid...?

    • profile image

      Stacie 9 years ago

      Theres nothing in here for me and my friend Kelsey to do.....were board and have no us or were going to end up drinking or doing drugs. We have nothing out here!!!!!

    • Kika Rose profile image

      Kika Rose 9 years ago from Minnesota

      Ms Chievous, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised. I live in a small town, remember? :P I know all the shady deals that go down in the little alleyways around here, and all the idiots who do them. Drug use is a huge problem out here in the Sticks, and most of it stems from the simple idea teens get that there's just nothing better to do. And I'll be completely honest, I've dabbled a bit in marijuana and alcohol. While also being completely honest, I can think of worse drugs than pot, and I've only seen a few cases here where it's gotten completely out of hand. The popular illegal substance of choice here is Meth, which is so frickin' gross I could puke at the thought, and Isanti County is one of the highest producers of Meth in the state. -_- Ah, something we've finally topped, but can't be proud of...

    • Ms Chievous profile image

      Tina 9 years ago from Wv

      Thank you for mentioning the fact that using drugs is not a cure for boredom. I worked with teens for many years and you would be surprised that the most drug use occurs in the smallest of towns!

    • akeejaho profile image

      akeejaho 9 years ago from Some where in this beautiful world!

      I have had the wonderful opportunity to discover that there is even something to do for free in the winter here as well. Just two simple words will tell you all you need to know of this marvelous testiment to the humans sense of adventure and thrills.

      Polar Plunge.

      Nice Hub!

    • chammi profile image

      chammi 9 years ago

      beutful imag

    • Kika Rose profile image

      Kika Rose 9 years ago from Minnesota

      Oh snap, I forgot all about bowling! :O Why didn't I think of that? ... Oh yeah, because the bowling alley moved from Cambridge to Isanti... Dumbest move ever, but Isanti's smaller than Cambridge with a heckuva whole lot less to do in it. Thank you for the great comment! ^_^

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 9 years ago from California Gold Country

      Very cool hub. I live in a smaller town than yours ( no theater, bowling alley or roller rink) but then I'm a long way ahead of being a teen-- and we do have community events, clubs and volunteer activities.

       This was a great list of things to do. 

      Oh, also I live in California--- but now in a very small town. We busted out of the L.A. Orange/County area 11 years ago.

    • Kika Rose profile image

      Kika Rose 9 years ago from Minnesota

      Thanks! :D Living in a blip-on-the-map town can be difficult, but my friends and I never went without something fun to do. One of my friends likes to create movies and put them on YouTube, so most of the time we're out filming. I would've suggested that, but I don't know how many people are as interested in movie-making as we are. We're actually in the process of making a horror film, which is pretty exciting. As for it being well written, well... Let me just say I'm a huge English nerd who loves to write. ^_^ I never got anything below an A on a paper, though for the life of me, I can't do rough drafts. My first is almost always my last, minus a tweak here and a thesaurus look up there. But I am so excited to write more! I just don't know what I should do next! xD

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 9 years ago from St. Louis

      Hi, Kika! Yea! I'm your first! Good job. I think you have some great suggestions here. I grew up in the small town of Muskogee, Oklahoma. It's amazing what fun things you can find to do If you give it a little thought. It was well-written too. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work. Caio!


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