I don’t know about you, but nothing too exciting is happening to me personally during quarantine, so my zoom calls almost always devolve into a discussion of Corona. Hopefully, these ideas can give you something a little more fun and lighthearted to chat about.
While PowerPoint may not sound like much fun (they remind me of presentations that I almost certainly didn’t want to do), the current iteration that is making its way around the internet is making the PowerPoint cool again. The basic premise is that everyone is invited to make a short (think 5 to 10 minute) presentation about a topic they are uniquely interested in. I’ve been attending Be There in Five’s PowerPoint parties most Saturdays and always learn something new. I’d encourage you to give everyone some guidance and pick a general theme, so people have an idea of where to start. Remind everyone to keep it lighthearted and fun! Some of my favorite PowerPoints have included: “Influencers of North Korea”, “John Mayer: Friend or Foe”, and a history of Taylor Swift’s band members.
This idea would only work well for a specific friend group. Think all the girls from your yoga class, probably not your coworkers. One thing has been missing for a lot of people’s lives is group fitness classes. While there are plenty of live workout classes online, you miss a bit of the fun without your friends in class. Pick a workout video and plan a time that you can all complete the workout while on a video call. I’d recommend avoiding anything too difficult or long, as you still want to be able to chat a bit and enjoy each other’s company.
Similar to the workout idea, this involves everyone following along with the same thing, but from their own home. You’ll need to find a recipe or a cooking video that sounds appealing to everyone. Make sure everyone knows what they will be making ahead of time, so everyone has an opportunity to gather the ingredients. You’ll need to designate someone to be in charge of walking everyone through the recipe step by step (even if it’s a video, someone will need to stop it occasionally or rewind through a step). At the end, everyone gets to enjoy a delicious meal (hopefully, if everything goes well). Make sure to pick a recipe that takes under 45 minutes to make and isn’t too difficult doesn’t require any special skills or ingredients, so everyone is able to participate.
Coachella is canceled this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have your own version at home. Encourage everyone to dress up in their festival meets loungewear best. Prior to your virtual party, have everyone send in suggestions of their favorite artists and performances. You can pick a theme (I attend one that was only Taylor Swift) or keep it open to everyone’s favorites. Put together a playlist on youtube with the line-up, so all you’ll have to do is press play on the first video and it will continue through. I’d recommend trying to keep things around an hour, so people don’t get too burnt out.
Book Club (or TV show club)
Don’t let Corona stop you from starting the book club of your dreams! Pick a book (TV show, movie, etc.) to discuss. I recommend a super easy read, maybe even something with nostalgia value. (I think Twilight would be an excellent pick.) If you’re feeling dedicated break it into chunks and meet weekly, or have a plan to finish the whole thing by the end of the month for the discussion. If your friend group isn’t big readers, consider picking a TV series that you loved or all want to watch.
Wine & Painting Night
My dream evening involves crafts and wine, so this might be my favorite option on the list. Just like with the cooking video, pick a project ahead of time, and send out a list of supplies. Also, encourage everyone to bring their favorite drink! Make sure to keep it simple and easy, no one needs to be spending an arm and a leg. A Bob Ross video is a great painting tutorial if that is the route you want to go, but unless your friends are artists, I’d avoid oil paints and just work with acrylics (oil paint is a bitch to deal with). If no one wants to commit to the challenge or mess of painting, mix it up with any craft and easily follow along video