Staying home and staying socially distant is the most important way you can help keep yourself and others safe. One of the hardest parts of isolation, however, is missing hanging with your friends. Just texting the group chat simply isn’t the same as a night out. But, there are a lot of fun and unique ways you can spend a night in with your friends from the safety of your own home. Most of these ideas rely on a group video chat, which many services are offering for free in light of the quarantine. These include Zoom, Google Meetings, Microsoft Teams, and Skype, so pick your favorite, start a group video chat, and host one of the following socially distant get-togethers!
- Game Night
One of my absolute favorite ways to spend time with my friends is hosting a game night. You can absolutely still do this while remaining distant! If you’re the Cards Against Humanity type, you can play for free through Pretend Your Xyzzy, and even customize your card packs. Pull up the video chat, put the game window beside it, and maybe even grab yourself a snack or drink, and it’s (almost) like you’re all at the table.
If board games are more your speed, check out TableTopia.com, a virtual platform with literally hundreds of board games optimized to play online with your friends. Again, pull of your video chat and a snack and conquer the world (if Risk is your game of choice…)
- Virtual Paint-and-Sip
Paint-and-Sip bars have become super popular in the past few years, and while you can’t go to one right now, you can make your own at home. Grab whatever art supplies you have at home, it could be paint, markers, pencils, even crayons – get creative! Pour yourself your favorite drink, set up your space with mood lighting and an artsy background (might we suggest these fun watercolor canvases as inspiration?), pull up your video chat, and paint-and-sip the night away. If you want, you can set prompts for the evening and see what each of you comes up with for added fun.
- Movie Night
There’s nothing like curling up on the sofa with friends and popcorn for a movie marathon. Re-create that from home through services like Netflix Party and Kast, which allow you to stream a movie simultaneously with your friends from afar. Maybe you’re going for nostalgic classics (Mean Girls anyone?) or maybe you’re horror fans looking to be spooked. To create that dark theater effect, set up a colored low-light like this lava lamp for added ambiance. Pop a bag of popcorn and let the marathon begin!
- Go on a Virtual Vacation
Maybe you were planning a fun spring or summer break trip with your besties that just won’t pan out this year. With the power of the internet, though, you can still go on a trip together from your house. Museums like the MoMA, Tate Museum Britain, and Museé d’Orsay have set up digital tours you can screen-share in your video chat. Find YouTube videos of Disney Park rides or use Google Earth’s street-view feature to browse the streets of any destination you choose. For added luxury, conduct this trip from your hammock or virtually explore a zoo alongside your beloved tiger. The crazier you can dream your trip, the better!
Especially now, keeping in touch with your friends is so important. Hopefully, one of the ideas above sparks your imagination and helps you spend quality time with those you love even in this difficult moment.