Celebrating the Holidays (Pandemic Edition)

A quiet neighbourhood street covered in snowWritten by: Aurorita Mahbub, 4th year MIT

Photo by: Grace Dadson on Unsplash

This year has been a long and tough one to navigate for all of us. With stricter restrictions in place and colder weather, it can be difficult to find ways to stay connected with friends and family while also staying safe. Need some inspiration on how to celebrate the holidays during a pandemic? We’ve got you covered!

Here are some ideas to help you celebrate safely with friends and family...

Have a virtual karaoke night! Yes, you can enjoy karaoke virtually! Call it “quaraoke” - a quarantined version of karaoke. Grab your karaoke “krew” and enjoy a night of fun through Zoom - a lot of tracks can be found directly through YouTube!

Play Among Us. Among Us is a multiplayer social deduction game that you can play with 4-10 people online. It’s all about who can be the best imposter - the point is to hold your spaceship together and return back to civilization!

Try having a virtual movie night. Watching your favorite movie or TV shows is way better when your friends are around - that is why we recommend setting up a Netflix Watch Party night where you are able to chat with your friends and the video will be synced between all your devices. Enjoy watching a movie together from the comfort of your own homes!

Get creative with a virtual paint night! Gather some friends over FaceTime or Zoom, pick out some snacks, and have your canvas ready with some painting tools. Whether you are an expert or a beginner, this is a great bonding activity and can also be relaxing!

Have a virtual bake-off! Where: in your house with FaceTime. Wash: your hands. Bake: anything you want! Prepare anything too time consuming ahead of time, dial in on a multi-way Facetime or Zoom call, and most importantly, remember to have fun!

It's time for...virtual Jeopardy! Grab a group of friends, find a jeopardy template online (Jeopardy Lab has some great ones that let you create your own), make some snacks and enjoy! Zoom’s share-screen feature makes virtual game nights super fun and easy for all.

Or perhaps you're staying in London this holiday season? Check out these safe, outdoor activities you can do by yourself or with your household...

Enjoy the sounds of the festive season! Local London musicians are bringing festive music to Dundas Place for the next two weekends. Enjoy some festive tunes every Friday and Saturday between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Library Terrace (alcove just east of the Central Library) or visit the Grace Hygge: Holiday Market for live music every Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Go walking in a winter wonderland. Bring a hot beverage with you and take a stroll through Victoria Park as it illuminates with over 75,000 lights! Lights are on nightly from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. over the holiday season. There are certain trees that are specifically decorated in this Winter Wonderland to honour special causes like our Canadian troops, Make A Wish Foundation, and those who’ve survived breast cancer.

Say "see you later skater boy" as you lace up some ice skates! You can go outdoor ice skating at The Rotary Rink at Covent Garden Market and the outdoor rink at Victoria Park. They are now open daily. Victoria Park ice rink is open until 10 p.m. if you want to enjoy a skate under the holiday lights.

*NOTE: As a result of London moving to the Red-Control level of Ontario’s COVID-19 Response Framework, public skating programs will be cancelled, as of December 14, and then will open again as of December 21, with the new restrictions in place. Visit the city of London website for more details.

For more ways to safely celebrate the holiday season in London, check out this article.

Have other ideas on how to celebrate? Let us know! Even though the holidays will look different this year, we can still find ways to keep our spirits high. We hope these ideas can help you reconnect and bond with your loved ones while staying safe. Happy Holidays, Mustangs!

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