Home COVID-19 9 Ways to Spend Time with Friends Virtually, Beyond Happy Hour

9 Ways to Spend Time with Friends Virtually, Beyond Happy Hour

by Erica Commisso
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With the new Covid variant on the rise again, many of us are finding ourselves once again quarantining or attempting to social distance — which can be tough when you want to spend time with friends. it’s hard to come up with creative ways to hang out with friends beyond simply having a glass of vino on Zoom or FaceTime. Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t creatively find fun things to do with your friends virtually — plus, if you have friends in another state, these are great ways to stay bonded and connected. From trivia nights to online escape rooms, here are some of the ways you can spend time with friends virtually, other than at “happy hour.” 

Play Some of the Games from Jackbox’s Party Pack

online games

From Trivia Murder Party to Guesspionage to Quiplash, Jackbox’s various party packs are a great way to connect with friends near and far. Pick a game, enter your name and the four-letter room code generated by the party pack owner, and get creative: pick between truths and a lie, get a haunted twist on trivia, or bid on artwork drawn by your friends.

Break Out of an Online Escape Room

Put your knowledge and critical thinking to the test by breaking out of an escape room, like one of the ones offered on Escape Room The Game, from the comfort and safety of your home. Bust out of prisons, save yourselves from viruses, and more by using your knowledge on various subjects. There’s even a Harry Potter-themed room for all the Potterheads out there! 

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Watch A Movie on TeleParty


There’s a free extension for your internet browser called TeleParty which allows you to select a movie and open up a chat room for you and all your friends. You can watch the same movie together, pausing it and playing it for everyone, and there’s even a chatroom that allows you to discuss what you’re watching right beside the screening. You can watch on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, you name it. 

Start a Virtual Book Club

book club

Summer is a great time to catch up on reading, and setting up a group Zoom call to discuss a single book is a great way to stay connected and share ideas. It allows you to be together without and learn new things without leaving your home. And, you can support local businesses in the process — Little City Books can help supply the material with curbside pickup options.  

Have an Online Poker Night

PokerStars allows you to set up an invite-only poker room, where you can accept and remove different players and go up against your friends completely free. If you used to spend your nights betting on a royal flush, you don’t have to give up having a good time just because you can’t go to a public place. 

Play Chips + Guac on Houseparty

The Houseparty app is a treasure trove for games, but Chips and Guac is likely to bring on some hilarious results. It works like Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity, matching a card to an adjective to win each round. It requires at least three players and the Houseparty app, available on Google Play and the App Store. Add each other as friends and let the hilarity ensue. 

Race on Mario Kart Tour

mario kart

Get in on some classic fun by playing Mario Kart virtually. Mario Kart Tour can be downloaded on the App Store and Google Play and the standard version is totally free, allowing up to seven players at a time. Create a Nintendo account, add your friends, and get your race on. 

Put Together A Virtual Puzzle

There’s a website that allows you to pick from a huge database of virtual puzzles that you can do with your pals. Start putting the pieces together and then invite your friends to help you get the picture. Invite your friends to help you complete pictures of Times Square, a resting cat, or a flower garden. 

Go Virtual on Classic Games

Scattergories, Uno! and more are available on Google Play and the App Store for free, where you can invite friends and play in teams or against each other. Bring the nostalgia back to game night with these classic games and more, like Scrabble, available for download. Tabletopia also has a huge list of games to play with up to 8 of your friends, like Texas Hold ‘Em, chess, or Titan. 

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