St. Patrick's Day passed recently and for the first time in as far back as we can remember, pubs weren't packed with green beer drinking party goers. Offices weren't decorated green. Those green blazers have to wait another year in the closet.
While the big parties are on hold as we stay home and do our part to distance ourselves socially (stopping the spread of COVID-19) that doesn't mean that we can't get the party started at home.
A party, at its core, is simply a group of people having fun. So, to fight cabin fever and make self-isolation a bit more fun, here are 10 small parties you can have at home with the family.
1. Book Party: We all have books lying around that we bought but never read. Now’s the time. There's no better way to escape reality than to dive headfirst into a good book! To make it a party, everyone reads a chapter of their book and re-enacts it. Pick short books so you can swap them after then you'll re-enact those chapters and see who did it better.
2. Video Chat Party: With Face Time, Google Hangouts and other video chat services, it's time to tap into those friendships and familial ties from around the world. Gather the family and jump on chat. It can even be fun to chat with strangers. The internet opened the world of communication up. Have fun with it.
3. Movie Marathon: Plan it as if you're 12 again. Build a fort, stock up on candy, make a big bowl of popcorn and camp in the living room while watching everyone's top movies. It's best to pick movies you have seen and love so that you're still interacting and having fun with the experience.
4. Baking Party: In most households, only one person does the baking. Crank the tunes (everyone should contribute to the playlist) and get everyone in on the baking. The end result will be funny enough but the experience is likely to feature some ridiculously funny moments.
5. Fun Food Night: Speaking of food-based parties, this one is risky but ultimately a ton of fun. Unload the cupboards. Everyone picks random ingredients for each other to make edible dishes. Your creations will be interesting and it's sure to get the conversation going as the adults sip on wine and the kids sip on ginger ale out of wine glasses. If you've purchased costumes from us in the past, throw them on! What's funnier than a dinosaur trying to cook?
6. Karaoke Contests: We all love to sing, but some don't like to admit it. Karaoke is one of the funniest social experiences and you don't need an expensive setup. Really, all you need is YouTube and some speakers. A mic helps but isn't necessary. I have yet to find a family that doesn't laugh until they cry and smile the entire time they're doing karaoke. Just don't sigh every time your kid picks a hip hop song.
7. Gaming: Kids love to game, whether its on PS4, XBOX, Nintendo Switch, or their computers ... the options are endless. Gaming has become a social experience due to its online connectivity features. Why not make it a social experience at home? As adults struggle and perhaps fumble with the controls, the kids will ultimately find enjoyment and satisfaction in winning. You get to relate to them on a new level, and gaming is a fun escape.
8. Traditional Games Night: Board games still have their place. In fact, there are new businesses popping up all the time like Across the Board on Main Street here in Winnipeg. Invite over some other families that you know are free of symptoms and plan a small game night. This can be a fun and teachable moment, showing your kids there is life outside of a screen. We all know how much fun a game night can be. When the kids go to bed, why not some Cards Against Humanity?
9. Project Party: Everyone gets to pick one project off of YouTube that they've never attempted before, whether it be art, building something, learning a dance, etc. Once selected, the whole family tries to master that project and must present their final works with a talent show. There doesn't have to be a winner. The point is to engage and have fun trying something new.
10. Photo Party: With Instagram and other photo-sharing apps, people are taking more photos than ever. But, how many photos do you have with your family that aren't the standard pose and smile? If you have purchased "wearables" from us, pull them out of the closet. In fact, make weird costumes and get creative! I once made an Iron Man costume for a party out of push lights and pans. For Halloween one year, I wore a brown shirt and stuck a NEW plunger on my head; I was full of it! You don't need to limit this to costumes either! Have a lot of plants?, shoot a jungle theme. Look at your favourite celebrity's famous poses and mimic them; The Rock's (Dwayne Johnson) turtle neck and fanny pack picture comes to mind! Post the pictures to social media. Not only will your family have a great time but you'll make others laugh as well.
The fact of the matter is while we conquer this virus we can also make the best of it. Come together as a family and live your best-isolated life! You won’t regret making the most of your time.
Have a party idea we didn’t cover? Let us know. We’ll add it to the list. PG suggestions only, please.