See you online: How to 'gather' digitally

A woman and two children laugh at a tablet.
Here are a few different online activities you can do while staying safe at home.
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Gov. Tim Walz along with state health officials are urging Minnesotans to stay home with their immediate households and refrain from social gatherings for the next few weeks. This applies to outdoor gatherings as well.

While it may not be safe to gather in person this holiday season, you can still “gather” with your loved ones virtually. Here are a few different online activities you can do while staying safe at home.

Stream a movie together

There are many online services you can use for virtual movie nights with friends and family. You can download these free web extensions right onto your computer to sync up movies and TV shows with anyone you want around the world.

Teleparty is a Google Chrome extension where you can watch Netflix, Disney+, Hulu or HBO with whoever else you give the party code. It even has a chat feature where you can talk about the movie with your party as you watch.

Metastream works for Netflix, Disney+, YouTube and just about any other website with internet videos.

Check out an online workout class

Now that gyms have closed across the state, you may want to try a virtual workout class. Livekick offers a variety of live virtual exercise classes from yoga to dance. Each class costs $15.

Looking to support local? Defining You in Minneapolis will be offering online classes via Zoom every day for the next four weeks.

If you have a stationary bike in your home, consider taking an online spin class with PUSH Fitness in St. Paul.

It’s worth checking the websites of gyms and fitness centers near you as more businesses start to include online offerings.

Join an online book club

There are tons of different local book clubs you can join online, for free! Read the chosen book throughout the month and at the end of the month, share your thoughts and opinions in a virtual meeting.

Take an online cooking class

Want to try to master the perfect cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving dinner or sugar cookies to send around the holidays? You could try out an online cooking class to build your skills in the kitchen. 

Let’s Cook is a Minneapolis-based company that offers a wide range of cooking courses from beginner to advanced kitchen skills. There are private classes taught by a master chef, couple classes for you and your significant other and more.

American’s Test Kitchen Online Cooking School is another option. There are over 300 courses to choose from. Get a group together virtually, find a course that looks fun and take on the recipe together.

Once your free 2-week trial is up, you can choose between two types of memberships.

Host a virtual game night

Instead of regular board games, try hopping onto Zoom or another video chat tool to play an online game. You can use Kahoot to play various genres of trivia, Jackbox to purchase different social games or your personal gaming console to play with friends. 

You can also stay in contact while playing video games using the app Discord. Discord is a messaging app where communities and friends can talk to each other while playing games. You can chat in different text channels as well as utilize video and audio calls.

Attend a virtual field trip

Many museums are offering virtual tours of their exhibits right now. Find a museum that interests your group and set up a time when all of you can explore together. You can “travel” all around the globe to the Taj Mahal or check out a local museum like the Minnesota Museum of American Art.

Eat Thanksgiving dinner 

While you may not be able to gather around the same table this year, you can still eat dinner with your friends and family virtually. Prepare your meal, set the table and then call up your loved ones on your tablet or computer and place it at a spot on the table. This way, you can still enjoy a meal together while staying safe.

Check out our guide to navigating a virtual Thanksgiving — you can carry the skills over to other digital dinner parties, too.

What other ideas are we missing? Tell us how you’ve been gathering online here!

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