Most of us are over a month into quarantine now, and we’re running out of ways to entertain ourselves within the comfort of our homes. From jigsaw puzzles to baking bread to making a dent in that reading list, it seems like we’ve done it all.
And for people in recovery, it’s super important that we both fill our free time and connect with others in recovery. That’s why we decided to compile a list of fun, unique, and sober ways to socialize with your friends while still practicing social distancing.
PowerPoint parties are certainly a unique way to socialize with your friends from afar during quarantine, but they’re also a lot of fun! You each research a topic or create a PowerPoint about something you already know well, then you present your PowerPoint to your friends in a Zoom or Google Hangout. Your topic can be as serious and well-researched as you want, or on the flip side, they can be as silly as you want..
Zoom Talent Shows
Zoom talent shows or open mic nights are another excellent way to socialize with your friends while practicing safe social distancing. And you definitely don’t need to have a traditional talent to participate! Consider singing karaoke, showing off some recent watercolors or even sharing some of your favorite outfits from your closet.
Virtual Game Nights
Consider hosting a virtual game night. You can use an app like HouseParty to video chat with up to seven of your friends and play games like Pictionary, trivia and Heads Up. You could also use Zoom, Skype or FaceTime to chat with more people and play online versions of classic games like Scattergories, Scrabble, Cards Against Humanity and Ticket to Ride. Try Jackbox.TV for another way to play games with friends remotely. Don’t forget the snacks!
Virtual Book Clubs
Whether or not you would ordinarily host or attend a book club under typical, non-COVID-19 circumstances, now is the perfect time to host a virtual book club. Choose a novel or non-fiction book that you and your friends have not yet read. Then you can either host a one-time virtual hangout discussing the book as a whole or break the book up into sections and host weekly book clubs to extend the fun.
If you’re craving a movie night with your closest pals, Netflix Party is an easy way to watch Netflix films and TV with your friends virtually while practicing safe social distancing. It can be difficult to coordinate a virtual watch party, but Netflix Party makes it super simple to watch shows and movies at the exact same time as your friends.
Go for a “Walk” with a Friend
We all need to get outside during this period of quarantine. It can be hard for many of us who are spending all day in front of a laptop (If we’re lucky enough to be able to work remotely) and then also spending social time in front of a screen. So get off the couch and take your buds on a nature walk. Either chat on the phone or fire up FaceTIme as you hit the trails or a local park. Show them or describe the scenery and vice versa! Zone out and chat about life as you enjoy some time with nature (staying 6 feet apart from others, of course).
Visit an Online Zoo
There are a number of online zoos out there, especially during the time of COVID-19. For example, you and your friends can actually meet giraffes virtually through a 20-minute Zoom with African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton, Ohio. And zoos like the San Diego Zoo actually offer free live cams of animals like penguins, pandas, koalas, elephants and tigers.
Book a Magic Show
Just because you’re stuck in your house or apartment doesn’t mean you can’t see a magic show. You and your friends can actually watch a professional magic show from the comfort of your homes. The magician Gary Ferrar is currently offering Zoom magic shows. While this form of Zoom entertainment is certainly not free, it’s a great unique option for a sober birthday party.
Attend a Literary Reading
Virtual literary readings are thriving more than ever right now. Bookstores like Books are Magic in Brooklyn and Strand Bookstore in the East Village are hosting Zoom events with writers like Lauren Graham, Alexander Chee, and Megan Abbot. Text your book club buddies and you can attend these literary readings together, then connect via FaceTime or Zoom after to continue the conversation.
Quarantine is a difficult time for everyone, but especially those in recovery. Hopefully, trying out some of these fun activities will bring some joy into your life and help you safely connect with your friends and others in recovery while you’re stuck at home.