Try these virtual and socially distanced party ideas to keep yourself and others safe.
One of the best parts of holiday get-togethers is the games! Check out these apps and gaming services for your phone, tablet, or computer, and invite friends to play for hours of socially distanced fun this holiday.
Jackbox Games offers group gaming that is easily accessible from your smartphone, no app needed. One member of the group needs to purchase a single game (or get a party pack with multiple games) and everyone else can join the game via a shared code, no multiple purchases necessary. One of the most popular games, Quiplash, invites players to get witty and come up with hilarious responses to silly prompts. Then, everyone chooses their favorite response and that player earns points. The player with the most points wins! Play on Zoom so you can trash talk in real-time.
Let's Roam Virtual Game Night
The team at Let's Roam specializes in tailoring game nights for small groups as well as large company parties. Membership is $20/month (only 1 participant needs to get a membership) for unlimited gaming. Games include trivia, emoji decoders, drawing games, geography, and pop culture. Simply sign up for a membership, invite your friends via a URL link, and start gaming. Video chatting is seamlessly integrated into the gameplay and there's no software to download.
The Escape Game
Escape rooms were all the rage before the pandemic hit and The Escape Game is taking the experience online. Log onto Zoom (or your preferred video conference service) with your friends. The Escape Game host will join your team and help you throughout the experience. A guide, wearing a live camera feed, is already in the escape room. Your team has to help maneuver the guide through the room, find clues, and escape in time (hopefully). You have 60 minutes. Go!
Cookie decorating parties and holiday pageants are on hold, but distanced, classic holiday activities can still warm the heart. Try these traditional activities with a virtual twist.
Who Wants Something to Open?
Presents and surprises make the holidays unpredictable and joyous. Giving and receiving connects people in intimate ways. We could all use a little more connection this season and here are some safe ways to do it.
Secret Holiday Gift Exchange
Usually, people draw names from a hat for Secret Santa, but this year virtually drawing names is the safest option. Instead of giving 1 person the burden of assigning names (and the weight of gift-giving knowledge), use a site that will help you draw names anonymously. It's easy! Enter your name and then the names of all participants. Links are sent to each participant so they can draw a name and create a wishlist of their own. You can even anonymously ask about your friend's wishlists to make sure you get them the best gift. Want to make sure certain people can't draw one another? You can set up exclusions too!
Throw an adults-only holiday party with a virtual wine and cheese tasting from Mongers' Provisions. They offer a variety of virtual tasting packages, but the most common package includes 4 kinds of cheese, 2 bottles of wine, and a bar of chocolate. Each participant receives a box with the items for the tasting, a menu, and a link to join the live, virtual tasting. A host will lead the tasting and chat about what makes each product special, how to pair, and take questions at the end. Events last approximately 90 minutes and are great for groups of 4-60 people. The boxes ship nationwide or can be delivered within the Detroit Metro area.
Theatrical Zoom Readings
Productions of The Nutcracker and other holiday favorites have been canceled this year as theatres remain closed. But with a little teamwork, you and your friends don't have to miss out on beloved holiday productions. Do it yourself! Live your acting dreams and do a Zoom reading with the script of A Christmas Carol. Assign roles and bring the story to life in your living room. Create costumes and props from what you have lying around. Looking for other holiday movies to re-enact? Look through the archives at Daily Script for more of your favorites including Love Actually and A Christmas Story. As you create your own DIY theatre, consider donating to these organizations to help theatres around the world (or subscribe in advance to your local theatre's next season).
Door Decorating Competition
Door Decorating competitions are held in schools and offices throughout the country, so why not hold one at home this year? Have participants decorate their doors, and then share their festive creations via Zoom. Have fun critiquing door designs and voting on winners together, but apart. Want to up the ante? Use a virtual name drawing site, draw a friend, and then mail them a box of decorations. After all of the participants have received their boxes, set up a video chat to see what mystery decor everyone received and how they used it. Send wacky items, classic tinsel, or your favorite festive decorations.