If you're anything like us, your social calendar is somehow filling up while we're social distancing. From work virtual happy hours to friend catch-ups over Zoom, we're doing our best to stay connected and keep busy during this time. While we are never one to turn down an after-work cocktail, there's so many ways to get more out of your weekly FaceTimes.
We tapped Seri Kertzner, a party planning expert and the brains behind the aptly-named blog and event planning company Little Miss Party, to share her advice on creating an extra special Zoom shindig.
Meet the Expert
Seri Kertzner is the founder and Chief Party Officer of Little Miss Party, an event styling and planning service, blog, and shop. She's been in the event planning industry for 13 years.
"Start things off with a digital invitation," Kertzner tells MyDomaine. "We love using Paperless Post. In addition to the timing and link to join, be sure to include any other details your guests should know in advance like the dress code, rules if you’re having a game night, link to a playlist you create to stream in the background, etc."
Whether you're hosting a trivia night or a virtual workout sesh with your former gym buddy, check out these ideas for a truly memorable occasion.
Host a Fancy Friday
Sometimes getting ready for a party is the most fun part. "I love the idea of a “Fancy Friday” happy hour where guests put on their finest frocks, pop some bubbly... and head to the couch," Kertzner says. "I got dressed up for a virtual girls' night recently and did my hair and makeup which seems silly, but it put me in such a great mood."
Pick a Decade
"It’s easy to set the tone and theme for the party with everything from the Zoom background, dress code, snacks, cocktails and playlist," Kertzner says. Decade-themed parties are always popular; go for a nostalgic '90s moment or take it all the way back to the '70s. Bonus points if you can style your hair in the fashion of the decade.
Throw a Masks & Mimosas Brunch
While you may be used to heading to brunch at least once a weekend, now's the time to bring brunch to you. Catch up with your friends over mimosas and face masks, Kertzner recommends. You'll get the benefits of chatting with your friends while also getting in some quality self-care.
Binge Watch TV Together
In 2020, it's now possible to binge watch together while staying apart, thanks to new technology like Netflix Party. "Some shows are just so much better if you can share reactions in real-time (ahem…Tiger King)...so try a Netflix Party," Kertzner says. "The chrome extension lets you stream a show together and chat as you watch."
Create a Scavenger Hunt
"Similar to a game or trivia night, nominate a host and set parameters in advance including rules, time limit for response, and points and scoring," Kertzner says. "Challenges could include a mix of things around the house (find something purple, a tape measure, a paper clip) or digital (the first one to find and hold up a picture in their camera roll wins)."
Have a Gym & Smoothie Date
Used to a weekly gym date with your buddy? Take a virtual class together and catch up with a homemade smoothie after. Many workout studies are offering free streaming classes during this time. From Orange Theory to Corepower Yoga, you can find a class that's right for you.
Connect Over a Cooking Class
You can finally tackle that sourdough starter with the help of your friends. "There are also a ton of great cooking classes available online, so plan a menu in advance with your group, get cooking & enjoy a meal together!" Kertzner recommends. "Or, host your own cooking, baking or mixology lesson for your friends."
Craft with Cocktails
"Now’s the perfect time to take up a new hobby, whether you plan to DIY something for Mother’s Day, handcraft some cards to send to friends and family or even tie-dye a loungewear set since jeans are officially canceled," Kertzner says. It doesn't have to be fancy—simply grab some paper and paint and practice your watercolors together, just like you would in an IRL "paint and sip" class.
Give a Presentation
Have a strong opinion on a random topic? Now's the time to explain your view to a captive audience. Have each of your friends create a five-minute powerpoint presentation on the topic of their choosing and share their screen to present. Whether it's a mini-thesis on the worst boyfriends on Sex and the City, or a five minute dissertation on how Jack and Rose could've both fit on the door in Titanic, these presentations will teach you a lot about each other.
Host a Trivia Night
If you're missing your trivia team, bring the game to your home. Choose one friend to be the "Quizmaster" to handle questions and score tallies. Just promise not to Google answers on your phone! If everyone wants to play, download an app like Houseparty on your phone which has games pre-loaded.