With the number of COVID-19 cases rising across the country and many restrictions placed on traveling, Thanksgiving and the holiday season will look very different this year. But just because you can’t get together with your friends and family in person, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with them virtually!
Here are five safe ways to enjoy the holidays and connect with your loved ones at a distance.
If you usually cook with friends and family during the holidays, why not turn cooking into a competition this year? Set a date, a list of ingredients, and a few ground rules, then get to the kitchen and whip up a dish.
Check out this step-by-step guide from Whole Foods on how to host a virtual cooking competition.
Set up a virtual movie night with Netflix Party! This app allows participants to watch a movie at the same time, with a chat window to share your thoughts and jokes. It’s the perfect way to host a group movie event, all from the comfort of your own homes.
So grab your favorite snack and get started. A Netflix account is required for each participant.
This one takes a little prep work but can be great for all ages.
First, come up with a list of items (around 20) that your friends and family may have in their homes. Then, share the list with everyone over Zoom and set a timer for 15 minutes. Watch as everyone scrambles to find as many of the items as they can within the time limit. After the time runs out, everyone comes back to the Zoom meeting and can show what they’ve found. If you want to keep score, you can allot one point per item found.
Search “stay at home scavenger hunt ideas” on Google for items you can add to your scavenger hunt list.
What’s better than a board game as a fun group activity? For larger groups, you can set up breakout rooms in Zoom to divide into teams and strategize separately. Make sure the game you choose can be played virtually and that rules are easy to learn for those who have not played before.
You can find free online versions of many games, including Scattegories, Codenames, Pictionary, and Conquer Club. Here are a few more game ideas:
Although you can’t solve clues in person to escape an actual room, you can find similarly fun puzzles in online escape rooms. Get together with your friends on Zoom, share one person’s screen, and have everyone strategize together to find a way to escape. You can find options for free virtual escape room games through a simple Google search.
Melanie Ott helped shape recommendations for a unified plan to end the pandemicGladstone Experts COVID-19 Ott Lab