With the holidays behind us and warm weather months away, it’s understandable that you might be feeling seriously frustrated about being stuck at home. The good news is that there are plenty of fun activities you can do with your friends this winter while still staying socially distant. Just be sure to bring everything you need to keep safe in your Basic Accessory Pack or Fifth Avenue Fanny Pack when gathering together outdoors.
Throw a Virtual Murder Mystery Party
Love a good mystery? (Us too!) Give yourself and your friends a night to remember, with all the fun of figuring out whodunnit and a bit of dress up thrown in, by holding a virtual murder mystery party. A number of companies have reconfigured these interactive games specifically for Zoom. For example, The Murder Mystery Company will plan the party for you, even providing a professional actor to play host. And Red Herring has a number of different setups to choose from, ranging from an English manor in the 1930s (Murder in Merkister Hall) to a baking contest gone bad (The Great British Bump Off).
Have a Snowball Fight
If you wake up to a winter wonderland, call up your friends for a good-old fashioned snowball fight. Dress warmly, gather as many people as you can, and divide into teams for an epic, all-out snow battle. Give yourselves each 15 minutes to build a fort and start on supplies … then have at it. To up the ante even further, make a rule that the losing team has to treat the winners to a prize of your choice.
Go Ice Skating
Another great winter-only activity: gliding across a frozen rink while a mix of ’80s hits and Christmas carols serenade you. Head to a nearby lake or your local outdoor ice skating rink if it’s open. You and your friends can play a round of ice hockey, practice skating backwards, or just enjoy chatting and being together as you circle the rink.
Have a Movie Marathon
Thanks to apps like Netflix Party and Gaze, it’s easy to watch a movie together while in your own home. To make it feel like more of an event, pick a theme: holiday movies, feel-good flicks, cult classics, or superhero epics. Even better, have everyone pick the worst film they can find, then watch it together while commenting in your group chat, Mystery Science Theater 3000-style. Whoever has the best line of the night gets to pick the theme for next time.
Hold a Hot Chocolate Contest
Determine once and for all who can make the best hot chocolate. Have everyone bring a Lunch Tote with their toppings and a large thermos of their own special recipes—like hot chocolate with peppermint or salted vanilla—to a park or friend’s backyard so that you can spread out while you sip. Then, hold a tasting contest. Give everyone a sample and slip of paper on which they can anonymously cast their vote. Since you’ll have hot chocolate to keep you warm, you can hang out for hours once the winner’s been declared.
Headed outside? You’ll want to make sure you always have these winter supplies in your backpack.
By Jessen O'Brien