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How to Host a Virtual Party in Lockdown

From theming to the perfect menu, here is how to host the ultimate, virtual party.

With COVID-19 lockdowns still lurking around, we are now faced with catching up with our friends...virtually. If you're anything like us, we are over the standard phone call or video chat. 

To help elevate your next COVID-safe catch-up, we’ve pulled together some simple ideas to generate a bit more excitement and fun while in lockdown. From creating invitations to selecting a fun theme, here are some ways you can host a virtual party with friends. 

1. Choose Your Platform

To get started, you all need to decide on the best platform. Depending on what your plan is (i.e. a chat or games), you will need to pick your platform wisely. Of course, Facetime is a favourite but there is always one Samsung owner in the group that ruins that idea. What's App is great for face-to-face, video chats but everyone needs to download it and you can't share screens. In terms of the top picks, Facebook's Messenger app now allows for screen sharing, and Teams and Zoom are popular for both work and play, for good reason. At the end of the day, none of this matters if you have a terrible internet connection.

Paperless Post
Paperless Post
2. Spread the Word

With so many phone calls and video call catch-ups, inject some excitement into your virtual dinner party by creating a fun invitation that isn't just a message in the group chat.

While a handwritten invitation is super cute yet quite extra, you don't have to go that far to create a bit of excitement. All for free, you can create a fun graphic, GIF or image in Canva to send to your friends, or use an online invite service like evite to create your own invitation.

Or if you are wanting to get a touch fancy with the invites and ok to spend a little money, Paperless Post have a beautiful range of e-invite options.

3. Themeing is Everything

If you were to host an in-person dinner party, you would be styling up a storm. But, given the virtual nature of our catch-ups currently, you need to get all the guests involved. 

You can decide on a theme for the group, whether that is related to dress ups, video call backgrounds or cuisine, the options are limitless.

A popular dress-up option is a pyjama party. It's fuss-free, easy and everyone has access to pyjamas. If you want to take it to the next level, have everyone dress in their worst outfit. Expect lots of laughs and many screenshots. For dance party vibes, get your group to wear their Saturday night best and let the tunes create the soundtrack to your at-home party.

If you and your friends were due to go on a holiday, get everyone in the vacation spirit by themeing the catch up around your holiday plans. Set your background photo to the destination, get dressed in your holiday outfits and laugh/cry over your cancelled holiday. 

Cocktail Porter
Cocktail Porter
4. Most Importantly...Eating & Drinking

Not only is this the most important element because, who doesn't love to eat and drink, but could help form part of the themeing and activities for the evening.

In the same way that you would enjoy a meal together out at a restaurant or while hosting a dinner party, you can all agree to cook or dine on the same meal. Whether you have a favourite restaurant to order takeaway from, or keen to put your cooking skills to work, this is a simple way to all enjoy a meal together...virtually. For inspo, check out our Recipe hub for some seriously good food.

It is essential to pair your meal with a good drink, so why not take the libations up a level with some cocktail making. If you and your friends are cocktail connoisseurs and have everything you need, then set up a competition and challenge your friends to make the best cocktail in a limited amount of time.

Not sure what to create or what you need to start mixing? Leave the hard work to Cocktail Porter. They create an amazing range of cocktail kits that have everything you need to mix up a storm.

Be May Clay Date
Be May Clay Date
5. Something Fun To Do

To keep you and your crew entertained for the evening, there are plenty of things for you to do. As mentioned previously, cooking or cocktail mixing makes for practical and delicious fun.

Another crowd-favourite is online games. From trivia and Scrabble, to Charades and Monopoly, there are heaps of games you can play online with friends (check them out here). All you need is screen share capabilities and a competitive mindset.

For something to do that engages the whole group in deep thought and discussion, try out conversation card games. Designed to bring people together and sharing ideas and beliefs, expect the thought-provoking conversation starter cards to help you learn more about your friends and yourself. (Here is a link to some of our favourites).

To get creative with your friends in lockdown, opt for a cool arts and crafts, DIY project you can all do. From online painting classes to pottery at home, there are heaps of creative, maker business packaging up at home kits for you to flex your crafting muscle. For a solid selection of creative activities, check out our list of the best arts and craft kits for adults.