If you want to host a virtual party to celebrate Easter, Passover or even just your birthday during the outbreak of coronavirus, you’re going to have to be pretty inventive. Having said that, social distancing and lockdown doesn’t mean you can’t mark these special holidays at all. We’ve rounded up the best ways to celebrate, get your family ‘together’ and make the most of these pretty strange times.
So, with that in mind, the first thing to consider is how many people you want to celebrate with, are there children to entertain and how many different homes will you be connecting with? That will depend on which apps like Zoom, FaceTime or even Google Hangouts you choose to use.
It’s then worth thinking about food because, let’s face it, what’s a celebration without some delicious food and wine to wash it down with? Just because you won’t be having friends and family over in person, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some tasty treats. Even better, with a great range of the best wine coolers (opens in new tab) in spring sales (opens in new tab), there’s no excuse not to stock up on a few luxuries to kick off your celebrations.
Finally, with so many of us stuck at home, it’s quite likely you’ve been wearing your sweats a bit more than you’d like to admit. Why not mix things up for your virtual celebration and dress up or introduce a fun theme?
Whatever the celebration or holiday, find the best ways to mark the occasion with our handy hints and tips below.
1. Get connected with your friends and family
As with all celebrations, you’re going to want some friends and family to join your celebration - even though you won’t be able to see them in person. Once you have your guest list you can consider which app is the best to host your virtual celebration on. If there’s just a small group of you, say four or less, then Whatsapp and FaceTime will do the job.
If there’s quite a big group of you however, you’re going to need an app that allows a lot more of you to connect at one time. Zoom allows you to connect with up to 99 other people at one time, although it is worth bearing in mind the recent news of Zoom leaking user information (opens in new tab). Tech guide Quaries (opens in new tab)recommends Bunch (opens in new tab) for big groups, or you can use Google Hangouts (opens in new tab) providing you have a Gmail account.
2. Think about the food
Get all the cooking equipment you’ll need from the best stand mixers to whip up a delicious cake, to a trusty instant pot which is ideal when you’re cooking for the whole family. Of course, for Easter especially, you’ll need some chocolate and thankfully, there’s quite a few delicious offerings from Harry and David (opens in new tab) where you can order yourself the best gift basket for any occasion, or alternatively, you can treat someone else and get it delivered to their home.
Just because you won’t be having anyone over in person for your celebration, doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself to something scrumptious. If you’re looking for inspiration, America’s Test Kitchen has 50 free recipes (opens in new tab) you can take your pick from. You can also pick up some tips from the New York Times cooking shows (opens in new tab), which feature guest appearances from the likes of Jamie Oliver.
If you’ve only got some rather random ingredients in at home, then see what you can pull together and stick in a slow cooker (opens in new tab) or better still, cook along with your other virtual guests. Give each other ideas of what to make and you can even have a fun vote on whose meal looks the tastiest.
3. Create some entertainment
Whilst you’ll obviously want some time to catch up with friends and family, it’s worth thinking about a few ways to make your holiday celebration feel like a real party or get together.
So if you’re full up on food, how about using Netflix Party (opens in new tab) which lets you enjoy movies with your friends and families while you’re in isolation? Add a touch of culture to your celebration with free opera via the Metropolitan Opera’s website (opens in new tab), or simply have a good sing along to some great songs with a Spotify’s free month tria (opens in new tab)l.
If there’s children joining in with your virtual holiday celebration, then Disney Plus has a free seven-day trial (opens in new tab), or keep the kids busy with an art competition where they can create some themed crafts - with a prize for the best creation.
4. Make it a memorable occasion
It’s no secret that these are pretty strange times, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate special holidays and birthdays without any fun. Why not theme your celebration? Ask all guests to dress up, decorate their homes, create a family quiz or simply have a good catch up.
With Nikon offering free camera lessons throughout April (opens in new tab), why not capture some impressive family photos during your celebration too?
Other ideas for things to do during self-isolation
- Stay happy at home: 40 FREE and fun things to do online right now (opens in new tab)
- How to deep clean your home while self-isolating: tips, secrets and hacks (opens in new tab)