With some people back in lockdown and others choosing to stay home to avoid a second wave, the long summer evenings could be a bit of a downer. But there are plenty of ways to connect with friends and have a laugh while still minimising the risk. Here are a few ideas:
- Host a quiz night. You could do this in person or via video link. Be as creative as you can, with picture, music and general knowledge rounds thrown in. Then encourage everyone to grab a drink and a snack before you dive right in. Make sure you have a prize of some sort for the winning team and a forfeit for the losing team.
- Learn a new skill. Ask a friend or family member to give a short tutorial on something they are skilled at. It could be playing a musical instrument, crocheting, golfing, writing poetry, applying make-up, hula-hooping or public speaking. Whatever it is, enjoy learning something new without taking yourselves too seriously.
- Have a cheese and wine night. This would work best in person, but could be done outdoors with social distancing measures in place if circumstances allow it. Do some research, then order in a selection of wines and cheeses that complement one another. Encourage your guests to sample them and guess which is which from the list. Can they identify any subtle flavours? You may want to have other nibbles on offer to prevent any overindulgence.
- Explore your ancestry. This can be a great conversation starter, whether you’re doing it with your own family or with others as they explore theirs. You may be very surprised to find out more about your ancestors’ ethnicity, professions and lifestyle choices. Perhaps you’re descended from royalty or your great-greats were of a completely different nationality. Keep an open mind and enjoy learning more about your heritage.
- Fix up the garden. This can be a fun social-distanced activity if you have a garden and want to invite friends over for a quick makeover. Give everyone responsibility for their own section and encourage them to weed, trim, plant, paint, water or revamp to their hearts’ content. It’ll be really rewarding to see the fruits of your labours at the end of the evening, especially if you throw in a barbecue for those who have put in the hard graft.
- Make some tasty grub. Send your friends a recipe idea so they can gather up the ingredients, then either get together to turn them into a meal or have everyone set up in their own kitchens so you can each work your magic simultaneously. Share tips and laugh at each other’s disasters, then sit down and eat your efforts together. If you’re feeling really ambitious you could turn it into a MasterChef or Come Dine with Me evening and pick a winner.
- Have a small group meeting. Most churches still aren’t fully back in action, so why not connect with your church friends to read the Bible, pray, sing your favourite worship songs and encourage one another in the Lord? It’s easy to become sad, despondent, isolated and fearful in isolation, so make sure you include those on the fringes. Remember that even when times are tough, God is faithful.
Psalm 113:3: “From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised!”
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