How to Host a Virtual Happy Hour

As we settle into our ‘new normal’, the psychological impact of quarantine, remote work, and homeschooling has taken its toll on many of us. So, it’s more important than ever that we find new ways to communicate with our loved ones, and also see some new faces. Even if they are on an HD screen. In today’s unprecedented time of social distancing, virtual happy hours are the safest and most convenient way to stay connected. We get an opportunity to vent our collective annoyance, fear, guilt, worry, and loneliness while sipping on our favorite beverages. If for only a few moments, put your stress aside, and host a virtual happy hour with friends or family! Here are some tips to get the most out of your happiest hour of the week.

1. Keep the Group Small

Things can get messy when too many cooks are in the kitchen, so to speak. If you’ve already experienced this yourself, it can be tough to navigate a virtual happy hour when too many people and personalities are involved. More than likely, you could find yourself talking over one another or some people may not get a chance to speak at all. So, avoid any Zoom chaos by keeping your hangouts small and intimate.

2. Don’t Worry About How You Look

Although you may feel pressured to get out of your comfy clothes and look presentable, don’t stress because no one is going to judge you. Honestly, getting dressed up is probably way more work and energy than it’s worth. Most of us just don’t have that kind of time right now between working from home, cooking meals, and home schooling. And, while the simple act of “getting ready” may help restore a sense of normalcy to your newly-monotonous routine, save it folks. Your loves ones just want to see you and spend some quality time together. So, throw on your favorite pajamas or loungewear and come as you are.

3. Play a Virtual Game

As the days start to blend together and each passing day feels the same as the next, it’s important to mix it up a little bit. Thankfully, with a virtual happy hour, you can go from a gossip session to a game night in seconds. Keep everyone in good spirits with a virtual group game. Here are some suggestions:

  • Netflix/Book Club – Select a short book or a TV show that everyone can watch individually each week before your next meet-up. Then, assign one person in your group to lead a fun discussion during happy hour. You can even create a signature cocktail to pair with the theme of your show or book.
  • Virtual Cards Against Humanity – This is not a game to play with your grandparents. For adults-only calls, break out a funny game like Cards Against Humanity. There’s a free version of the game called Remote Insensitivity that allows you to play on your phone while you video chat on the computer.
  • Karaoke Battle – Missing those unforgettable karaoke nights? After some liquid courage, take turns embarrassing your best friends and let the sing-off begin. There are hundreds of karaoke songs on YouTube so you won’t have to wait to hear a cringy version of ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’.

4. Create a Custom Cocktail

To get into the ‘5 o’ clock somewhere’ spirit at home, create a custom cocktail or themed drink that everyone can make together (or drink together). Countless classic cocktails are easy to make at home, such as a Margarita, Manhattan, Gin and Tonic, and Moscow Mule. Simply share a cocktail recipe with the group beforehand to give everyone time to plan ahead and get ingredients. Or, make things extra easy and pop a bottle of your favorite beer together or take a shot of tequila!

Stay in Touch, Maryland

Although we can hardly wait to meet up with people in real life, virtual happy hours are a great way to stay in touch. After all, it gives us something to look forward to and it’s a good excuse to have a drink! Just remember to take turns hosting with friends, so it’s not all on you. We’re all in this together, Maryland. Stay safe!