7 ideas for fun virtual meet-ups with your friends

It’s easy to feel socially isolated while social distancing. But it’s really important to remember that while you may not be able to get physically close to groups of people just yet, there’s no reason you can’t connect and still have fun with your friends.

Thankfully we live in a time where Zooming and FaceTiming and video chat apps are second nature to us. So while none of this is easy, in some ways, we are pretty lucky, too. Our grandparents and great grandparents definitely didn’t have anything close to the technology we do now when they were growing up!

If you’re looking for something fun to do with your friends over the interwebs, here are some fun ideas to explore:

  1. Virtual games. You don’t need to be in person to experience the fun of an intense game. Some of our favorite group games are available in virtual versions and can be enjoyed through Zoom. Whatever you prefer, there’s a way to play online.
  2. Book club. Maybe you’re completely burnt out on electronics, which is completely understandable. Now is a great time to discover (or re-discover) your love for books. But where do you start and how can you find others with whom to share the reading experience? Check out Barnes & Noble’s YA Book Club, which features authors of all genres and the celebration of new voices and familiar faces.
  3. Movie time. Some of the best parts of going to a movie is being with friends and sharing your opinions as soon as it’s done. Thankfully we can still experience a lot of the same thing by watching our favorites shows or films in sync. Check out Netflix Party, a Google Chrome extension that allows you to watch Netflix with your friends online. Netflix Party synchronizes video playback and adds group chat to your favorite Netflix shows.And if you can’t watch at the same time but still want to swap thoughts, set a time with your friends when you will come back and talk about what you watched. Your movie critic squad will be the next big thing.
  4. Teach-ins. What are you an expert at? What tricks do you have up your sleeve that you can teach others? Share your skills with friends in a fun teach-in night. Everyone should think of one skill they have and prepare to teach it to the group. Can you teach a guitar chord or two? Maybe you figured out how to break down a killer dance move. No skill is too small!
  5. Pizza party. This is a class that goes back generations, but now we have video. Sometimes laughter and chatter is the best medicine. Order your favorite pizza (or make it if you’re feeling ambitious), grab your squad, and catch up on life. There’s no schedule, no agenda, and no homework.
  6. Make mocktails. With the weather warming up and summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to try out some refreshing non-alcoholic drinks. Whatever your taste, you are bound to find something you like. Grab a group of friends and rotate who picks the recipe for the week. Everyone can take a stab at making the drink, and then come back and enjoy the results together. Or if you don’t all want to make the same thing, set a time where you will all make your own favorite and circle back with the group to share and discuss. You’ll have your own Food Network show in no time!
  7. Recipe challenge. Similar to the mocktail idea, now is a great time to do a recipe swap. Have one friend bring a recipe for everyone to try on their own. Set a date and time for everyone to come back and share results! This could be the perfect time to bake that sourdough (like everyone else in the world right now) or tackle something you’ve always been curious about.
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