8 Childish Ways To Have Fun As A Boring Adult

I’ve compiled a list of things us boring adults can do to have fun, and remind ourselves of the simple, childish pleasures of life.
Publish date:
February 27, 2014
adulthood, coloring, having fun, the ellen show, Lego

Your parents and teachers were right when they told you to enjoy being a kid, because adulthood is largely, decidedly not fun.

This isn’t to say all aspects of adulthood aren’t fun. Vacations are fun. Choosing what you want for dinner is fun (popcorn! Always popcorn.). Rescuing as many dogs and cats and mice as you always wanted to is… fun?

But the day-to-day, 9-to-5 working, tax paying, appointment scheduling, meal cooking, early rising, always tidying up monotony of being an adult can be a real drag, I tell you.

This is why I delight in seeing kids be bad in public (this definitely means my kids will be bad in public). I don't mean temper tantrum, screaming, crying sort of bad. The bad I enjoy is more like, “I don’t want to sit down in this chair, I want to question everything you tell me to do, run around this place, and then poop my pants because I can.” The little rebellious child in me is like, “Do it for both of us, little guy!”

This is also why I get along so well with kids. I exist on their emotional plane. Antidepressants have leveled me out a bit, but before them, you’re damn right I’m crying after I drop my gelato on the sidewalk.

I miss being a kid, and I think we should all do our best to never let that innocent, excitable part of ourselves die. As such, I’ve compiled a list of things us boring adults can do to have fun, and remind ourselves of the simple, childish pleasures of life.

1) Pranks!

I’ve never laughed as hard as when I prank people. There is nothing more fun than to play harmless, hilarious pranks on others. There is a day dedicated to the wonderful joy of total debauchery, but why wait until April Fool’s day to prank people when you can do it all year long?

The ELLEN show is a great example of how gleeful pranking can be. The other day, Ellen had a woman walk up to random strangers in a movie theatre lobby and recite the words to famous pop songs to them. My favorite was when the woman said, “I would catch a grenade for you, throw my hand on a blade for you,” to an older man, and he like, “Aw thank you dear, me too. Are you off your medication today?”

It’s also fun to temporarily terrify people. Keep in mind any health concerns with this one, because you don’t want to cause heart or panic attacks by hiding in the back of your dad’s car under a blanket, making dying noises until he’s good and confused and then popping up to scare the bejeezus out of him while he’s (hopefully) stopped at a red light.

I’m pretty good with preplanned or “hide-and-scare” pranks, but my transparent face has always sadly prevented me from delivering any sort of elaborate lie with even an ounce of credibility. If you can lie (or “act,” if you want to feel less guilty about what you’re doing), I encourage you to indulge in harmless fibs that will confuse or startle your victims.

I am of the naïve among us, and have fallen for this sort of prank many, many times. In my experience, boys really love the “fib for fun” approach to pranking. Like that time in sixth grade when a boy named Jesse told all of the flat-chested girls that eating kiwis would make our breasts grow. Kiwis were in our lunches the very next day and for the rest of the year, our boobs weren’t budging, and Jesse was in trickster heaven.

2) Skipping!

Adults usually only skip when they’re inebriated, but that’s because defenses are down and logical brains are on pause.

I double dog dare you to skip with your friends, hand-in-hand, down the street and try not to smile, because it is impossible.

I understand if you don’t want to skip when you’re walking down the street alone, but a good alternative is to hop any hopscotch you may see drawn on the concrete as fast as you can. The kids put it there for us to enjoy. Every time I do this, I walk away feeling a bit smug. “Yep. Still got it.”

3) Tobogganing

I haven’t tobogganed since I was a teenager, and right now, it’s all I want to do. This is why having kids seems like a blast to me, because you get to do these fun activities with them and no one will judge you for being “immature” (not that I care).

My friend’s boyfriend Tim used to keep a toboggan in his truck so he could slide down a hill whenever the opportunity arose. I really can’t think of anything more genius, and Tim is now my life hero.

4) Swimming!

For those who live in a “forever summer” location, I am sorry that you miss out on tobogganing, but I don't feel too bad for you because you can go swimming outside in pools and maybe the ocean whenever you want, and THAT, my friends, is fun with a capital F.

If there are foam noodles in the pool, noodle battles are always fun, as is noodle lazing. One summer, my friend Allison and I used three noodles each to create the perfect “noodle lounge bed” and float around the pool with our floppy hats on like water mermaid princesses.

5) Coloring!

My BFF Megan and I love coloring. It is the perfect thing to do when you’re watching the Kardashians or other mindless television programs that you don’t really need to devote your full attention to. On Valentine’s Day eve, we colored romantic scenes involving cartoon characters of our youth. That sounded incredibly wrong. It wasn’t.

The best thing about coloring as an adult is that you’ve probably developed the fine motor skills by now to do a pretty kick-ass job of it.

Coloring is a good way to express yourself artistically without the pressure of a blank canvas. When you give your colored masterpieces to your mom, she will likely still hang them on the fridge, which will make the six-year old in you happy, and the ultimate goal of all these fun activities is to keep six-year-old you happy.

6) Toys!

Playing with toys is always fun. Have you been to a Toys R Us lately? It’s still toy heaven. It’s toy crack for kids, really. Even I want to run through the aisles and jump up and down when I’m in there.

I do miss regular Lego though. I am firmly against “girl” Lego sets. I grew up with regular (or boy?) Lego and I think I turned out OK, idea people at Lego. I realize you just want us to buy more of your product with this gendered marketing, but the whole idea of playing with Lego is to use your imagination, and directing girls towards pink perforated building blocks does not a limitless imagination foster. That said, I still really want to see the Lego movie.

7) Racing!

Perhaps the simplest idea of the bunch, racing is a great way to encourage healthy competition while getting some exercise. You can race your co-workers on the way to the bathroom to get to your favorite stall first. You can race to the elevator and quickly close the door on the person you were walking with. You can always race your dog while on a walk.

Most people are unable to refuse a race. You pick up the pace while walking with Bob from accounting, shoot him a devious glance, and unless he’s a sad sack, he’ll usually be game to try and win. This is like musical chairs without the chairs or the music.

8) Rule breaking!

Parking in the always-vacant “expectant mother” parking at Ikea after you’ve eaten a large meal is always fun. It is a food baby: it counts. Or you could also park in the family parking stalls. “Why yes, parking police, I AM a part of a family, thank you very much.”

Another fun thing to do at Ikea is to walk in the opposite direction of the very precisely laid out arrows on the floor. “I’M WALKING THE WRONG WAY AND THERE’S NOTHING YOU CAN DO!”

I always see rebels on the subway leaning on doors directly against the “Do Not Lean On Doors” sign. I’m too scared to do this because what if the doors suddenly open and you’re thrust out of a speeding subway? Still, I appreciate the rebellion.

Even though you might think of me as a raging childish lunatic by now, I hope I’ve given you a bit of inspiration to have fun. Let me know how you have fun as a boring adult!