I don’t know about you, but I miss my family. It’s officially been over a year since we’ve seen each other and one of my goals is to be more intentional in creating virtual activities with friends and family.
Zoom calls are great, but most of us are sitting on zoom for multiple hours a day. It can be a lot of pressure to simply show up for an undetermined amount of time to be present with one person and have to be ready to do nothing but talk. Maybe it’s just me and my social anxiety? Maybe it’s zoom burnout? Who knows.
This post was sponsored by Josie Maran. All thoughts and opinions are my own. For more information please see my disclosure policy.
But, the fact is I’ve definitely dropped the ball when it comes to meeting up with friends and family, and I want to be more intentional with creating fun activities. After all, when we get together in real life – there’s often an activity we participate in together. We have a shared experience to discuss even when that activity is something as small as getting coffee and a pastry together.
There’s no reason that we can’t try and replicate these joyful activities virtually. I wanted to share a few fun virtual activities with friends and family that I’ve participated in or have scheduled on my calendar.
Any time my mom and I meet up, we love to have a spa night. I tend to travel 1-2 times a year for work, and since I don’t get to see my mom very often I like to invite her to come with me for a trip.
We’ve met up in San Diego, Phoenix, and even New York where I got to take her to a Broadway show.
We always make a point of doing one night in. We order room service and create our own little spa night where we wear plush bathrobes, watch a movie, and do face masks.
It’s a fun little tradition and I wanted to replicate it as a virtual experience since she just had a pretty big milestone birthday that I wasn’t able to celebrate with her.
I got her a few of my favorite beauty products like Josie Maran’s Whipped Mud Mask which always leaves my skin glowing, Josie Maran’s Pure Argan Oil, and their newest product Whipped Argan Pro-Retinol Body Butter.
Their Retinol butter is made with pink algae that firms fine lines and smooths uneven texture. I think my mom and I are both most excited about using it on our hands.
Josie Maran just launched in Ulta, and there’s one right by her workplace making it even more convenient to grab some sustainable skin care products!
All of their Argan Oil is harvested from a UNESCO protected region to ensure sustainable harvesting. Argan trees can live up to 600 years and healthfully produce fruit throughout their whole lifecycle!
So, I sent a surprise package to my mom filled with goodies, and a little note informing her of a virtual spa night party!
We’ve been doing bi-monthly virtual movie nights, and I’ll explain how that works in the next section!
Twice a month, my mom and I take turns picking a movie. I know there’s a cool app called Netflix Party specifically for this, but we just phone each other or facetime.
We catch up for about 10-15 minutes and then count down together to press play. We text each other throughout the movie and then call after the movie is over to talk for 10-15 minutes about the show.
It’s such a fun activity, and for our next movie night we’re going to do it ‘spa-night-style.’
We’re going to get takeout, wear our comfy bathrobes, watch Evita, and apply our whipped mud masks.
I know it’s not the same as being three together, but I still think it’s going to be a special way to celebrate from afar.
My mom has never been into game nights, but this is a perfect activity for friend groups. I was in charge of setting up a game night for my friends over Christmas break, but I massively dropped the ball…
So, my plan is to make up for my grievances and do a fun one for Valentine’s instead!
I’ve been doing A LOT of research and there are a bunch of virtual party game options:
- Cards Against Humanity
- Heads Up
My husband has a standing appointment with his friends each week to play video games with his friends. They all get on their headsets to save a submarine or survive a plane crash.
I really only enjoy playing the Nancy Drew computer games, but I’m so happy that he’s found an outlet to hang out with his friends. If you enjoy playing video games, then this is definitely worth a try.
While online gaming hasn’t been my biggest source of entertainment with my friends – I have participated in a virtual escape room!
Every year for my birthday, my friends and I would do an escape room. Which, to be honest, is kind of like a real life Nancy Drew game.
And, there’s a few virtual ones where my friends and I have called each other so we can solve the puzzles together. It’s been a lot of fun!
My friend Danielle is taking a plant-based virtual cooking class right now, and she sends me pictures of all her AMAZING dishes!
She’s made some seriously delicious things. Just yesterday I was drooling over her sweet and sour tofu with a mango, pineapple chili glaze served with a side of cold udon salad. I asked if we could have a virtual cooking party so she shared the ingredient list with me and we’re going to make it together for a dinner date.
If you watched my 5 Easy Homemade Gift Ideas video where I walked you through how to make homemade candles, she’s the same Danielle I gifted some of Josie Maran’s 100% Pure Argan Oil to in the video! (We’re all Josie Maran fan girls)
I just want to say I started a virtual book club before it was cool. But, in all seriousness, it’s a great virtual activity for friends and family.
Ask all of your friends what’s their favorite book. Pick a date on the calendar for each book, and then have everyone jump on a zoom call or google hangout to discuss your favorite and least favorite parts.
We read 5-6 books a year in my book club and I feel like that’s a really good number. One a month might be too much of a commitment for some people.
You could also pick a theme for each month, or pick a theme for the books all year long. For instance, my book club is themed in that they’re all focused on eco-friendly living. We meet for an hour to discuss the book and always have a great time.
One of my favorite SIP activities has been a virtual Broadway Workout class. It is exactly what it sounds like – a workout class with jazz inspired movements to show tunes.
It’s so much fun – and also just a really great work out. It starts out with stretching then strength focused exercises like planks and crunches and ends with 30 minutes of cardio dancing to upbeat favorites like Footloose and You Can’t Stop the Beat.
I have tried talking every single person I know into taking this class with me, and at some point I will convince one of them. If you have friends you love to get active with, check out a virtual class you can take together.
Have you ever done a paint night? I’ve gone to a few, and they’re always a blast! It seems like a really easy activity to replicate virtually especially if you have a bunch of artistic friends who already have a bunch of art supplies.
Together y’all can pick a random picture from the internet, or use a random word generator and each person has to use it to inspire an original piece.
Set a timer and then show off your pieces at the end!
Does every friend group have that one budding mixologist or is it just me because I live in San Francisco? I may or may not have three…
I asked one of my friends to come up with a themed cocktail for a virtual event and then sent out the ingredient list so everyone could show up sipping the same cocktail!
Not only did we all have fun making it, it was a great shared experience to have even though we were apart.
Those were my best ideas for virtual activities with friends and family, but I would love to hear if you’ve participated in anything fun?
As always a huge shout out and thank you to Josie Maran for sponsoring this post. They just launched in Ulta Beauty so you can pick up some clean, eco-friendly skincare goodies near you!
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