Living in an age with so many technological advances is truly amazing when you think about it! Even when you’re stuck at home, you can hang out with your friends with the help of a webcam or go on a tour of your favorite museum. Staying connected is part of what makes us human and even just a phone call with a loved one can do wonders to help lift your spirits. However, it can start to feel monotonous if you do the same thing every weekend—even in times when you can go anywhere you like. If you’re looking for ways to freshen up your friend and family #SocialDistancing hangouts, try out some of the ideas below!

Skype, Facetime, Zoom

This one might be obvious, but if you still haven’t tried out a virtual happy hour or hangout yet now is a perfect time! Video chatting has really “zoomed” into popularity in the past few months because while traditional phone calls are great, being able to see the people you’re talking to makes the experience all the more interactive and personable. Sometimes you actually forget you’re in different houses or hundreds of miles away when it feels like the person you’re talking to is right there in your living room with you!

Netflix Party

If you miss having movie nights with your friends, NetflixParty.com is a great way to watch movies or shows in real-time with your friends! The website syncs up the video playing so that you are watching every scene at the same time. There is also a group chat feature so you can comment on the movie and discuss all the crazy details like you would in person. You’ll just have to provide your own snacks of course. 😉

Crafternoons

It’s exactly what it sounds like—spending an afternoon crafting! Pick out a fun craft—or recipe—and work on it during one of your video chatting sessions. You can troubleshoot together, give tips and tricks, and at the end you’ll have a shared new piece of wall décor or a treat to enjoy together! Start searching Pinterest for ideas and get crafting! (Or if you’re baking, try our Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe)

Postcards, Handwritten letters

So far, all these ideas have been virtual, but when was the last time you sent a postcard or letter in the mail? Of course, it takes longer, but that can be part of the fun! Getting something in the mail that’s not a bill or junk mail is a thrill at any age. Exchange cute or wacky postcards, write long letters or even swap recipes—the possibilities are endless. You could even dedicate a “Crafternoon” to making homemade postcards! And if you don’t want to leave the house for stamps, you can always order them online.

Video Games

This one obviously takes a bit more equipment and tech know-how, but if you like video games (or your kids do) it can be a fun way to connect with your friends in a different format! Games like Animal Crossing allow you to create characters and decorate islands, and then you can “visit” your friends’ islands and hang out. Of course, if you’re not ready to leap into full-on gaming, there are always those smartphone games that you’ve probably played before and then forgot about when life got busy. Bring back Words With Friends or Trivia Crack and challenge your friends! It’s not as personable as a phone call or video chat, but it’s still fun to get the notification that you have the next turn to play.

 

Hopefully some of these ideas sparked a little creativity to bring to your distant or not-so-distant connections! You never know, you might end up creating stronger relationships and incorporate new ways to stay connected for the future!

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