The 50 Most Fun Things to Do in a Small Town

Small towns have always had a reputation for being quiet and peaceful. You might be thinking – what can you do in a small town that’s as fun as being in the city?

Whether you’re coming to visit a town or are already living there, you need to know your options for fun things to do. Every town has its own charm, and not every town is the same.

From town events, unique places, and gorgeous landscapes to go to, there are so many options to choose from. We’ve made it easier for you – and have rounded up 50 of the best fun things to do in a small town.

town zoo or sanctuary

Table of Contents

1. Visit the town zoo or sanctuary.

No two zoos are the same, and each of them has its own local charm. It may not be as big as city zoos, but they bring the same energy with their love of animals.

Visiting zoos is the closest way to see the wildlife. Sanctuaries are a great place as well, especially when it comes to supporting and helping animals in need. Plus, it’s not every day that you see wildlife, so head out to the zoo and learn about wild animals big or small.

There’s always a local favorite restaurant in every town. Ask the locals about the best steak, barbecue, or the most visited diner and see for yourself what the fuss is about.

When you’re done trying them out, it’s time to venture into other undiscovered restaurants to learn more about what the town has to offer. Don’t worry about whether they’re good or not, because that’s the adventure of trying new things – making both unforgettable and terrible experiences in the town.

3. Hang out at the town park.

You may have gone to hundreds of parks in the city, but you’d be surprised at what town parks have to offer. Both adults and kids alike will enjoy themselves. Whether you need a place for exercise, relaxation, or walking your dog, visit the town park and take a breather.

Plus, it’s the best place to meet local people and get to know them. As you visit the park every day, you’ll be shocked that you’ve met almost everybody in the town and know their story.

Visit a farmer’s market

4. Visit a farmer’s market.

There are countless reasons why you shouldn’t miss the local farmer’s market. From fresh goods to lively town’s people, it’s always an exhilarating experience. If you prefer fresh savory fruits and vegetables, you’ll find plenty of them, freshly picked from the farm.

Depending on the season, you can buy ripened fruits that are always tasty. Not only are you supporting the local farmers, but you’re also protecting the environment by cutting shipping and packaging processes by buying directly from local farmers.

What’s even better, is that you’re giving your body the right nourishment by avoiding processed foods!

5. Go to an amusement park or local county fair.

Unleash the kid within you and have some fun at amusement parks or carnivals. It may not be as big as Disneyland, but it’s still a classic way to engage in a fun family activity. Plus, they’re a lot cheaper than major parks. Local amusement parks manage to offer unique experiences that are worth telling.

If there aren’t any amusement parks, visit a local county fair – which is usually common in the summer. It’s the highlight of the town, and farmers and small business owners get involved – so it’s also a great way to support local businesses and have a casual, fun day.

6. Go to a local music festival.

If you’re keen on music, then visiting a music festival is a must! Be on the lookout for local calendar events and you might get lucky by finding a music festival.

Discover local bands and indulge yourself in local music. Dance the night away and sing your heart out. Did we forget to mention the food and drinks at this festival? With good food and great music, there’s nothing to beat this mood.

Watch sparkling fireworks

7. Watch sparkling fireworks.

On most occasions like Independence Day or New Year’s Eve, fireworks are always present. Most locals celebrate in the outdoors, have a barbecue, celebrate with drinks, and wait for the fireworks to light up.

However, some towns and cities banned fireworks for environmental reasons – so if you’re planning on lighting one yourself, it’s advisable to check the laws in the area. If you plan to watch fireworks in the town, do your research and search for the best view, from rooftops bars to local hills.

8. Go to a water park.

If you enjoy the water, the local water park is the place to be – with swimming pools, gigantic slides, and splash pads. These water parks are a popular attraction, especially in the hot scorching summer. You’d normally find families and kids hanging out in the water park.

If you’re not interested in swimming but decide to tag along, why not soak in the sun and sunbathe in the sun lounger? Simply listen to music, read a book, and enjoy the splashes of water.

9. Go to a sports game

Instead of watching a sports game on TV, experience a live game in town! Watching live is much more exciting, especially if you’re a diehard fan of the sport.

Though there aren’t any commentators from TV, watching a live sports game has more social benefits including meeting other sports enthusiasts, experiencing the energy of the crowd, and watching players in live-action.

10. Go to a concert.

Though slightly similar to music festivals, concerts are usually a one-day event that features one particular band. If you happen to stop by in a town where a big band is going to play, it’s a great opportunity to do something new.

Some concerts are planned for charitable causes, and if you’d like to support their cause, buying a concert ticket won’t hurt.

Explore thrift shops

11. Explore thrift shops.

Thrift stores are great places to discover unique and unusual items. Check the town thrift shop and see if you can get your hands on awesome secondhand items such as musical instruments or vintage pieces.

Shopping at local thrift stores is better in small towns because there’s less competition, more unique finds, and way lower prices than ones in the city – so if you plan to visit a local town or you live there already, don’t skip these stores. You’d be stunned at what you can find.

12. Visit downtown and discover new places.

The downtown of a quintessential small town is where the charm of the town blooms. It’s like a walk-through history, as you’ll see the architecture of the buildings is distinct.

Downtown is filled with many big and small businesses that keep the economy going. It’s the center of it all – where restaurants, stores, and schools are situated. It may sound busy, but you’ll mostly walk through a quiet downtown that speaks its culture.

13. Drive to bigger nearby towns.

If you think you’ve explored enough of the small town, why not take a drive to other bigger ones and discover something new? Have a road trip with your friends or family and drive over the weekend for a quick getaway.

Each town will surely amaze you with unique places and activities to do that your town may not have. Before heading out, search for local events in the towns you’re traveling to and see what else you can do – or, you can choose to go with the flow, ask the local people what to do, or visit every establishment you think worth visiting.

Go hiking and reach the top

14. Go hiking and reach the top.

Small towns take pride in their natural landscapes and often have countless hiking trails tucked away nearby with breathtaking views, unlike any other. Whether you prefer a light walk or a challenging hike, it’s a scenic adventure that you’ll love.

Some hiking trails can be tackled on foot or by bike. However, it’s best to always do your research about the animals that lurk in the area, and find out some dos and don’ts beforehand.

15. Go night swimming or skinny dipping in the lakes.

If you have a pool for a night swim, then it’s a great quiet night to relax. Experience a calming effect when you swim at night under the stars. Plus, you can enjoy a swim without worrying about the harmful effects of the sun.

If you’re a more spirited type, skinny dipping is a popular activity as well. You’ve probably seen this in movies and wondered how it feels like to swim in the dark cold lake – so if you’d like to live that fantasy, find a lake in the town (but do make sure it’s safe and legal to dip!).

16. Go camping and build a campfire.

There’s no better way to reconnect with nature than camping. Camp out in your backyard or at a campsite near you, or see if there’s a local glamping option.

Bring a guitar, sing songs, and make some classic s’mores to cook around the campfire. Make it a spooky night by telling scary stories around the campfire.

If you’re camping in the mountains, make sure it’s a safe designated campsite. Don’t forget to bring complete camping gear, and always make a checklist so you don’t forget to bring all things needed.

17. Go stargazing.

Go stargazing

If you crave wide-open spaces and open skies, then stargazing and sleeping under the stars is the way to go. The night sky’s peaceful sensation draws you in – and helps focus and calm the mind and body. Stargaze from your backyard, in an open field or park around town, or on a hiking trip.

Maybe you can learn about the stars and constellations or see the moon and planets up close with a telescope (if you have one). If you get lucky, you might be able to catch a glimpse of a falling star one night.

18. Go to the beach and sunbathe.

If you’re in a small town with a local beach, get up, watch the waves crash, and feel the cool breeze. Take your mind off of work by digging your toes into the warm sand.

Meeting new people at the beach is wonderful – and you might even make new lifelong friends who are locals or tourists. Depending on the beach you’re going to, you might enjoy some water activities including surfing, paddle boarding, and diving.

19. Watch the golden sunrise and sunset

Start the day with awe-inspiring scenery by waking up early to catch the sunrise and ending the day with a glorious sunset. The beautiful golden hour is a much-needed time of the day to pause and appreciate the moment.

Whether you get a great view of the horizon or watch the golden hues with a cup of coffee on your porch, immersing yourself in a quiet moment is the best way to prepare yourself for the day and ponder what you’ve done so far.

Go kayaking

20. Go kayaking in pristine waters.

In a small quiet town, a splash of kayaking adds much-needed energy and entertainment. It’s a perfect way to see and experience nature through the flowing waters and greenery. If your local town has paddling hot spots, then you’re in a favorable place since – these spots aren’t common.

Some towns may even have kayaking competitions, so you can either join and race or watch instead. Moreover, the town may have local kayaking clubs where everyone can join and be competitive kayakers.

21. Learn the importance of meditation.

Meditating may not be as exhilarating as some of the other activities mentioned, but you’ll find joy in life if you practice this method. A few minutes of meditation a day makes a huge difference. People meditate to have better connection and focus, increased calmness, and reduced stress.

Find a comfortable spot to meditate – such as the town park, by the lake, or even at home. Meditation isn’t always done sitting down, and you can try some walking meditation in the park or on hiking trails. Moreover, you can try meditating while eating – which will give you the time and space to experience your food to the fullest.

22. Read a book or two.

Find the local public library and read a book. You can borrow a book or two and take it home with you to read in your spare time. If your small town has a book club, why not join them to discuss a book and share your thoughts? It’s a perfect place to meet local people and make new friends.

If you don’t read a lot, this could be the start of a new hobby and habit. Try reading at least 10 pages a day before sleeping. Reading opens up your imagination to new ideas and helps you learn new things such as facts and new vocabulary.

23. Play sports you love or learn a new one.

Every town is filled with sports centers, fields, and gyms. From baseball to golf, find a sport you like and engage in the town’s activities. You can watch a game and join a sports club to train and play better.

Sports tournaments between schools are highly anticipated, so you’ll see the streets overflowing with school colors and pride. It’s the place to learn the value of teamwork and sportsmanship. If you want to learn a new sport for fun, you can find sports training centers around town to help you learn the basics.

Play in the rain

24. Play in the rain and feel the rush.

Whether you’re a child or an adult, playing in the rain is an enjoyable outdoor activity. Get a rush of energy flowing in your veins and feel freer than ever, without a care in the world.

Did you know that children benefit from playing in the rain? It enhances their physical skills and provides a better sensory experience while promoting independence – so if you have a child, go out and enjoy the moments together.

25. Go for a walk in the quiet streets.

A good walk uncovers the wonder of a town. Explore the town’s hidden gems, ask the locals what they do for fun, and visit these places. Walking and sightseeing allow you to experience the scenery and get to know the people and their culture.

Plus, you can find a local walking group and maybe join them for a morning stroll! Not only is it good exercise, but it’s a relaxing activity to take your mind away from stress and think positive thoughts.

26. Make a list of movies to watch, and binge-watch them

If you’re staying in town and the weather isn’t welcoming, there are several things to do indoors – and one of them is watching some movies! It’s a good time to catch up on your favorite shows or list of pending movies to watch.

Watch a movie with your friends and family and have an awesome day at home. A movie isn’t complete without some good food, so heat up some popcorn or munch on some snacks to make the movie experience even better.

If you have a backyard, it’s also a great idea to host a movie at night outdoors beneath the starry night sky. Bring out a picnic blanket or mattress and cover yourself with a nice warm comforter to keep you comfortable throughout the movie.

27. Have a sleepover with your childhood friends.

If you’re going back to your hometown, a sleepover is a great way to remember the joys of childhood. If you currently live in a small town, having a sleepover with the besties is a fun activity that gives even a child a tiny taste of independence.

Plan a weekend sleepover and prepare some essentials, including food, PJs, and a list of movies to binge-watch. If you think you’re too old for sleepovers, you can always go camping at the nearest campsite or in your backyard.

28. Find a new hobby and discover a hidden talent.

Staying in a town gives you a break from the usual routine in the city. Why not find a new hobby that you’ll enjoy? Try out some fun and inexpensive hobbies including gardening, playing board games, reading, writing, and making DIY projects.

Finding a new hobby is a motivating and fulfilling experience. You might discover a hidden talent or a possible business opportunity while doing it! Life is short – so do what you can to make the most of it.

If you’re staying in town for a quick vacation, it’s the best time to do the hobby you’ve always wanted to do. Don’t miss this opportunity to fulfill your must-do hobbies.

29. Make a new workout routine and join a class.

Working out is good for the mind and body. Whether you work out in the morning or evening, it always brings a great feeling of accomplishment.

  • Work out at home and do home exercises like yoga or cardio workouts.
  • Go to the local gym and try a new workout class such as HIIT, Zumba, or cycling.
  • Go alone or bring a friend along with you!

Not only do you get the physical benefits, but you’ll also be part of a social group where you can meet people and motivate each other to work out. Have a class at least once a week, see your regular gym buddies, and widen your connections.

If there are food trucks in town, try their local food and devour different cuisines. Food trucks are usually run by locals who’d like to showcase their culinary skills and family recipes, so you can expect a wide variety of food options with different origins.

If you buy food from food trucks, you’d be supporting the locals and their families as well. Here’s a tip: visit food trucks at different times, because their menu often changes. The beauty of food trucks is that you get to try out new food every time you visit!

Every week may be different, and you’d get to try out different recipes every single time.

Go on a picnic

31. Go on a picnic and have a delightful meal.

If the weather is nice, forget about the shopping malls and go outdoors for a nice picnic. Find the perfect spot in the park and lay out your picnic blanket. It’s the best time to enjoy the sun and witness the beautiful scenery of nature.

Don’t forget about your delicious treats and an umbrella, if the rays are too hot. You might find other families to socialize with and share your picnic food. Having a picnic with your friends and family is the best way to bond and reconnect again after a long busy week.

32. People watch or crowd watch at local cafes and restaurants.

People-watching isn’t nosy or creepy, but a way of learning about people and their actions. Go to one of the town’s local cafes, grab a cup of coffee, and simply observe people.

Instead of watching people through your phone, observe them with your own eyes and live in the moment. People-watching makes you more mindful of your surroundings and allows you to learn about people and how they react in certain situations.

You might come to a realization of what you’d do if you were in their shoes and have the chance to ponder on their decisions, their culture, their behaviour, and so much more.

Take a long drive

33. Take a long drive by yourself and have a peaceful moment.

Hit the road with no destination in mind and just keep driving. It’s another therapeutic way to reduce stress and just relax. Drive for miles and miles and discover new roads to conquer.

Going on a road trip alone without your friends and family is a much-deserved quiet adventure. When you drive alone, your mind wanders and you can recollect thoughts. It’s a quick escape from reality – but with a meaningful impact.

When we say take a long drive, we mean drive for hours (maybe even 8, or more!). So before heading out, make sure you fill up your tank, have extra cash, and keep your phone fully charged in case of emergencies.

34. Volunteer for community events or fundraisers.

What better way to connect with the community than volunteering! Find local charities, support their cause, and make it a better place.

Some benefits of volunteering are that it helps expand your network and meet new people. You can develop your skills and expose yourself to new opportunities. With the challenges it imposes, you can hone your abilities while having fun. Plus, helping other people has proven to make you feel good about yourself and make you happy.

35. If it’s your hometown, explore it again like a tourist.

Being a tourist gives you a sense of adventure by going to historical places, visiting museums, and going on foodie ventures. Feel the town on a whole other level and see what you may find this time.

You’ve been in the town for so long that sometimes you tend to overlook new places the quiet town has to offer. You’d be amazed how the town has developed throughout the years. Plus, it’s the best way to update pictures of yourself with the town.

Have a drink

36. Have a drink or two at a local bar.

They may not be the fanciest bars but they serve tasty drinks for thirsty people. Have a chat with the bartender and ask about the beauty of the town. They can give you some tips on how to enjoy it even better.

Try their signature drink, if they have one, and experience a unique drink that you may not have in the city. Some towns may even have their own brewery, which is a great way to try some local beer that may not be available in the city.

37. Play classic and new games.

Before mobile and computer games, there were board games. Disconnect from your devices and enjoy some screen-free fun! Most board games are best played by two or more people, but the more people to play with, the more fun there is!

Get together with family and friends and have competitive fun. Learn about strategy and patience in a challenging way. If you don’t have board games, you can also play card games for fun – such as UNO, Crazy Eights, and Go Fish.

If you like a competitive card game where you can earn some money, table games like poker is popular to play with friends and family.

38. Read the local newspaper and stay updated.

We know times have changed and many multimedia companies have innovated to digital media. However, some small towns still produce newspapers to share local news with their people.

When you read the local newspaper, it’s a chance to get to know the locals and see pictures of them and their achievements on paper. Learn the latest news about what’s going on in the town, its school, and its economy.

Talk to the local people

39. Talk to the local people.

Talking to people is free! It may not be for everyone as it can be intimidating at first, but embracing small talk is a start. The best way to have small talk is to start with your go-to stores and restaurants. When you’re in a familiar place, you feel more comfortable and have the courage to speak.

Start by having a small conversation with a store owner or employees. This way, you can build your confidence and conversation skills. Remember to go slowly and be patient when you plan to make friends and talk to people.

40. Have a garage sale.

If you live in a town or decide to go back, a fun and productive way to meet the locals and declutter your things is to have a garage sale. If your main goal is to sell, then a garage sale might be faster than selling online.

Having a garage sale is good for the environment, your house, and your wallet. On top of that, you’ll get to know your neighbors while earning some quick cash. If you’re visiting the town and come across a garage sale, go ahead and have a look. See what you can find that you might need.

41. Be involved in conferences and events.

Conferences are an essential part of our career, academic, and social life. If the town has conferences, it’s a great opportunity to hone your skills, learn new information, and if you’re lucky, meet your business idols.

Add a layer of enjoyment in the town and attend conferences that interest you. Each conference will surely have a slightly different spin that’ll inspire you in many ways.

Watch underground bands

42. Watch underground bands at the local bar.

Aside from drinking and dancing at a bar, you can watch local bands aspiring for a big gig. Enjoy the music and support them in achieving their dreams to become a star one day.

Live music is always better to listen to than recorded playlists. You can feel the energy of the band passing into the crowd. Small towns are always flourishing with talented artists waiting to be recognized.

43. Have a cup of local coffee.

For every coffee lover out there, we know the excitement of tasting local coffees from around the world. If you’re in need of a caffeine fix, try local coffee shops – and fall in love with their flavors of coffee. Each coffee shop has its unique quirky experience for coffee addicts to start a beautiful day.

44. Try food that the town is famous for.

A small town will always have their speciality food. One of the first things you research about a new place is the local food and what they’re famous for. Ask people around and get to know what their speciality food is and see what the fuss is about.

Whether it’s a piece of cake, dish, or drink, it shouldn’t be missed – and when you reminisce about the small town you visited, you’ll remember the amazing local food you’ve tried.

45. Join cleanup drives in town.

There are always several cleanup drives in the local community, whether it is a neighbourhood cleanup or beach cleanup – and it’s an exciting way to help the environment and socialize with people.

It’s not only for the environment. Having a clean community benefits everyone, both locals and tourists, so every animal and human living in the community can breathe fresh air and walk in clean surroundings.

Go fruit picking

46. Go fruit picking.

Depending on the month you’re in town, both adults and kids alike will enjoy harvesting and eating fresh tasty fruits. It’s a seasonal tradition that you shouldn’t miss out on that benefits both you and the farmers.

Plus, if you have children who aren’t keen on eating fruits, fruit picking can be an exciting way to entice and encourage them to try more fruits. It’s a fun family outing that’s good for your health and overall well-being.

47. Become a dog walker.

Having pets around is always the source of joy in a house. If you want to add more things to do in town, why not become a dog walker and take dogs for a walk in your neighborhood? It’s one of the best ways to stay in shape, keep yourself busy, and have fun.

Of course, walking with a pet is a people magnet. Dog lovers will come up to you and talk to you about the dogs. It’s a great conversation starter and a way to meet people in town. Plus, you can earn some cash (although you’ll have to clean up a lot of the dog mess).

48. Join an event committee.

If there are events going on in town, you join the event committee or organizer and be part of its success. Whether you’re volunteering or getting paid, joining event organizers is a way to get involved in the community. At the end of the event, you’ll have a sense of fulfillment – since event organizers play a key role in supporting and promoting the success of the events.

49. Visit free museums.

You don’t have to spend a dime – as there are many free places to go to, including town museums. Free museums encourage more people to visit and learn about the town’s history and heritage.

You’ll learn about how the town started and what makes them different from others. Whatever their story may be, it’ll inspire you and give you more stories to tell about this small town. Besides, it’s also a great way to spend time with friends and family and support the local museums.

50. Fly a kite.

Flying a kite is probably one of the least done activities in the modern era. With everyone looking at their screens, why not make a change and look up in the sky and fly a kite?

A small town has open spaces that are perfect spots to run and fly kites. If the weather cooperates, make a kite or buy one and learn how to fly. Once you see the kite flying, it’s an exhilarating experience while smelling the great outdoors.