If you’re tired of your standard Zoom happy hour, consider some of these new and unique virtual party ideas.

By Lisa Milbrand
September 21, 2020
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As the weather turns cooler, socially distant outdoor barbecues and movie nights are going to be fewer and farther in between—so it’ll be back to the virtual party scene again. And while PowerPoint parties and virtual happy hours are great, maybe it’s time to experiment with some new virtual party ideas or fresh party games.

If you’ve tried every standard party game under the sun and even virtual games are losing their luster, there’s a whole slew of new virtual entertainment ideas that allow you to have fun with your friends and family safely.

Virtual party ideas

1

You might feel like you’re already living in an escape room 24/7 on quarantine, but why not see if you can figure out a way to escape a real one? The Escape Game lets you book an escape room for parties of eight (larger groups get booked into two rooms). Your group interacts with a person physically in the escape room—they have a live camera and can handle the clues in the room for you. There’s also a dashboard where you can get a 360-degree view of the room and objects you find at all times, so you can figure out your next clue. See if you can solve it in the 60 minutes you’re allotted.

2

Cameo, which lets you book celebs for a quick birthday shout out, now lets you get a little more quality time with your favorites. You can now book a 10-minute Zoom call with some of your favorite celebrities for a few hundred dollars a pop. If you and your friends always wanted to talk with football legend Brett Favre or NSYNC’s Lance Bass—or you want to treat someone you can’t celebrate with in person—now’s your chance.

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3

Game Night In is like a virtual version of a game show for you and your crew. Your host will divide you into teams and keep the party moving through a slew of entertaining games, including scavenger hunts, trivia, and just plain guessing games.

4

After the pandemic started, Airbnb swiftly added online experiences to their booking platform, and there’s probably at least one thing among the more than 200 options that your friends and family would enjoy, whether it’s learning how to tango with Argentinians, getting a virtual look at animals on safari in Africa, or mastering the art of making lasagna with Italian grandmothers. Airbnb even recently added some Broadway behind-the-scenes events, including classes to learn choreography from Moulin Rouge or Chicago.

5

Broadway Plus is offering virtual experiences with actors from a number of top Broadway shows (yes, including Hamilton), where you can book a meet-and-greet, virtual concert, or even have them teach your crew some of the choreography or songs.

6

Jackbox has become a popular pick with its inventive, entertaining games (like Drawful, where your friends try to guess your bizarro sketches, or Trivia Murder Party 2, where only the strongest trivia minds survive). If you’ve been there, played that, try one of the many variations of Cards Against Humanity online, such as All Bad Cards, which offers Coronavirus-themed packs you can add into the game.

7

There are a number of options for adding a little magic to your quarantine parties. Magician Dennis Watkins of Chicago’s Magic Parlour is offering open shows Friday and Saturday nights, along with interactive private performances—and even magic lessons—for small groups.

8

Whether you want a makeup artist to walk you through the perfect cat eye, a mixologist to teach you how to craft the perfect martini, a professional organizer to give your crew tips, or a tarot-card reader to give virtual readings, you should be able to find just the right person to give your party a little extra oomph. Do some digging online, or reach out to your favorite organizers, salons, and more to see if any of their professionals are offering virtual lessons.