Doesn’t it feel like every time there’s a new government announcement, our options for having fun are limited further? Cafés and restaurants, gyms and sports, touring and shopping – they’ve all fallen like dominoes in recent weeks. Not that any of these restrictions aren’t justified, or important – but it just makes having fun a bit more difficult. Increasingly, I’ve turned to virtual ways of having fun to try and make up for this. Here’s how….

Virtual Hangouts

If someone asked me for an alternative to Skype a month ago I would have tentatively suggested “…FaceTime?”. Nowadays, I confidently flick between Google Meet, Zoom and Houseparty, using each for different things depending on what I need. For our weekly virtual pub quiz, Zoom is it. It lets you see everyone’s camera at the same time, and share screens so are as close to a rowdy Friday night pub quiz as you’ll get in your bedroom with a laptop. Houseparty is a bit more casual, letting you play random games with your mates, all the while having a video chat going. Often, when we run out of enthusiasm for the games, we just fire jokes and craic across through the chat. 

Cultural Fun in your own Home

Going out to events, concerts and theatres are just some of the cultural fun robbed from us. Not to worry though, as many artists and cultural hubs are setting up virtually too! The National Theatre has a screening of ‘One Man, Two Guv’nors’ with James Corden up on their YouTube channel. It’s a barrel of laughs and I watched it in real-time while on the phone with my usual theatre-companion. Nearly as good!

Artists are also using social media to beam directly into our homes. My favourite band does a live singalong every night at 8pm, working their way, one song at a time, through their albums. It’s so much fun – they have a chat and joke as well as singing the songs – and you get to see a different side of people you’ve always admired. There are so many artists doing things like this – check it out here

Juvenile Fun

Vintage online games have also been a go-to for me in the past few weeks. Online Monopoly, Cards Against Humanity and even Uno work way better than I thought online – so grab a few mates and give it a try. Let’s face it, even if it doesn’t work, watching everyone (and their internet connections) fail is funny. 

On the theme of juvenile fun (let’s face it – that’s what laughing at fails is) if you have a Wii – break it out! Even if it’s just the classics. Wii Sports, Mario Kart, SuperMario Bros all get a bad rap, but if you give them a go you’ll be amazed how into it you can get. My (very competitive) family has set new records almost every day – we just want to beat each other. It’s actually very liberating to set aside any worries for a few minutes to the point where the choice between Yoshi or Waluigi as the most important thing in your mind. 


All of these methods of having fun virtually are basically just an excuse to talk to people – whether it be your closest friends, your family or people you may have lost touch with. If you’re tired, you might be surprised how much a simple phone call improves your mood. In my experience, I’ve also never had someone be annoyed to get a phone call in these long days – it’s something to do!

Remember as well that physical/social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t interact with your neighbours safely. Myself and my neighbour have been playing badminton over our adjoining wall – gloves on for touching the shuttle! – and it’s great. We’ll definitely be ready for the new season when we finally get back to normal! Stay safe everyone.