Board games are a good option for a larger group of friends, because it gives everyone a chance to relax and let their silly side come out. You can also talk while you play, but there isn't pressure to keep the conversation going if there is a lull, because the game will fill the quiet spots.
If you have an even number of people, you could opt for games that allow for team play, such as:
- Apples to Apples
- Scene It
- Trivial Pursuit
- Settlers of Catan
Why not get the gang together and attend a local sporting event in town? Many areas have football, baseball, basketball, or hockey teams, either in big league ranks or at the community level. Cheering on a team can be a fun activity even if you're not into the sport itself. Just the atmosphere of getting out and chatting with friends in between plays is enough for a good time.
Of course, watching sports may also inspire you to run around the court yourself. Things like racquetball, tennis, or golf are great outings for an even number of friends. If you have a larger group, try volleyball, ice skating, basketball, or even a game of flag football. Follow the sports activity up with a potluck meal, and you'll please the foodies and sports fans alike.
Depending on the size of your group, you could combine games or a DVD with dinner at your house. Or, just relax and enjoy the conversation after a meal. If you enjoy cooking and entertaining at home, this is a good option to have a more quiet, intimate evening. Even if you can't cook, some people choose this option to save a bit of money. (Hint: There's nothing wrong with having friends over for some beer and pizza.)
Other times friends like to try the restaurants in town, and if that's the case, brunches and dinners are a fun group activity. You can gather the friends you have or log on to Meetup.com. Meetup has several options for foodie-related groups, so do a search for "food" under "topic of interest" to see what's available in your area.
If you don't find a group, you always have the option to start one on Meetup. Just click "start" at the top and follow the steps. Meetup connects you with others who may be interested in your group, so you'll already have a base of people to start with.
If your gang enjoys literature, consider starting a book club. The best book clubs I've attended included both men and women, and had a wide range of ages in attendance. Book clubs are great because they not only help you understand literature on a deeper level, you get to know your friends through their preferences and opinions as well. Subjects you might not have talked about otherwise have a tendency to come up during a book club discussion, and that's a good thing.
Of course, drinking wine or having some fabulous snacks along with the conversation never hurts, either.
If art or theater is a passion for your group, consider going to plays or attending the latest museum exhibit. Even the smaller cities tend to have some kind of cultural activity going on, so check with your local community or performing arts center in your area.