I’d like to think that after a full year of quarantine, I’ve become an expert when it comes to virtual hangouts and connecting with friends from the comfort my own home. I hope that we never have to experience the quarantine lifestyle again, but these fun virtual activities will definitely stick around for a long time! I’ve decided to compile a few of my favorites to share, and hopefully you’ll be able to include these ideas during your next Zoom meet-up!
Recently, I’ve gotten most of my best ideas from Tiktok, and “Presentation Night” is a popular event that many friend groups have been hosting as a fun way to laugh the night away. Each friend shares a presentation on whatever they’re passionate about or call out members of the friend group. Presentations range from analyzing which friend best fits their zodiac sign description, ranking which early 2000s Disney Channel star you’d most likely party with, or comparing each phase of your life to a Taylor Swift song.
You’d be surprised how much fun it is to make and give a presentation, especially when you can talk about something you actually find entertaining! Kahoot has also become increasingly popular over the last year, and trivia about the most obscure topics can become super competitive, too. My friends and I have taken turns creating questions on random facts about ourselves and playing the pre-made games on our favorite movies and pop culture. It feels silly when planning something like this, but we always have a good time.
Sticking with the competition theme, Zoom makes it super easy to host and judge cooking and baking nights! I’m a huge fan of the Food Network, and I’ve spent so much time trying new recipes during quarantine. I’ve seen variations of cake and cookie decorating competitions, where everyone in the group is assigned a theme and a winner is picked based on whose final product best matches the concept.
I’ve also heard about virtual cooking classes; however, they usually require participants to sign up in advance and pay. An easy way to still take part in the fun is to take turns with your friends teaching everyone your favorite recipe. You can send out the ingredients in advance and pick a night where everyone “takes the class” at the same time. Plus, it’s a good way to make a homemade meal and enjoy dinner with your friends, even when you’re apart!
Movie nights are an obvious activity that most of us have taken advantage of, but it’s definitely worth mentioning! With Disney+, Netflix, Hulu and so many more streaming services, the options are endless. It may be a while until we can go back to the movie theaters, but I’ve gotten so used to watching tons of TV and movies on my laptop, with an endless pile of snacks and snuggled under a mountain of blankets.
Game nights are also a crowd favorite, and after being in quarantine for so long, many companies have become pros at creating platforms for virtual games. The PlayingCards website allows you to create a “room” for you and your friends to play any card game you want using the standard 52-card deck. Board games have also made their way to the virtual platform through the Pogo gaming site, where you can choose from tons of classic games, including Life, Monopoly and Clue. You can always resort to the nostalgic and timeless summer camp games of Truth or Dare or 20 Questions when all else fails!
While we may be leaving behind the most serious effects of the pandemic in the coming months, we may still need to continue with virtual hangouts and Zoom sessions until it’s safe to gather in person. Until then, I hope these ideas spice up the next time you catch up with your friends while stuck inside!