- There are many ways to stay connected with friends and family who live in different places.
- People living apart can watch a movie together using Netflix Party or set up a makeshift trivia night over Zoom or another video-chatting platform.
- Aside from video calls, playing games like Monopoly, Clue, or Mario Kart with friends is a foolproof way to spend time together, even when you're apart.
- Insider has rounded up all the best virtual games and activities to let friends, partners, and family members spend time together without leaving home.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
Try out Netflix Party, which lets multiple users watch a TV show or movie at the same time.
Netflix Party is a new feature that can be added as a Google Chrome browser extension. Once it's been downloaded, a Netflix user can host a "party" by inviting friends, family members, coworkers, or anyone they'd like to watch a TV show or movie with them at the same time.
Members of the virtual party can also talk via chat box as a way of sharing commentary throughout the film or episode.
Gather a team of detectives and solve a mystery with a digital version of Clue.
The Clue app is reminiscent of the Hasbro board game. Players can pick from iconic characters like Mrs. Peacock and Colonel Mustard as they solve a variety of entertaining, mysterious scenarios.
The game is available on the App Store and Google Play Store for $3.99.
Scroll through Instagram memes with friends by using the app's new Co-Watching feature.
Co-Watching, a new addition to Instagram, is available to users who are video-chatting in the app. It lets users see the same screen and look through a fellow video-caller's liked photos and bookmarked and suggested posts, which is meant to mimic the experience of scrolling through the app together in person, according to Business Insider reporter Paige Leskin.
Race your friends in Mario Kart Tour, which is available to play on mobile with up to seven players.
Channel your inner Princess Peach with a mobile version of the beloved game Mario Kart, where you can invite other players to race you in adventurous courses.
The game is available to download for free on the App Store and Google Play Store. It contains optional in-app purchases, and in order to play, users must have a Nintendo account.
Challenge friends to Monopoly — without the complicated board-game setup.
The Monopoly app brings the board game to any mobile device. Once the game is downloaded, users can play the mobile version of Monopoly with family and friends who also have the app.
It can be purchased for $3.99 on the App Store and Google Play Store.
Connect using Houseparty, the video-calling app that makes for an easy and fun virtual gathering.
Houseparty allows for up to eight people to be in a video chat, and it can be downloaded for free on phones via the App Store or Google Play Store. The app also comes with a few games, like "Heads Up!" and trivia challenges, which can be played during the video call.
Invite a group of card-game enthusiasts to play a round of UNO! online.
When scrolling endlessly through social media or even having virtual hangouts on Zoom gets old, it doesn't hurt to go back to basics. A classic game of (online) UNO! with friends might be the ideal boredom cure.
Pick a vowel in a game of "Wheel of Fortune" on your phone, which can be played with friends you invite.
Fans of the word puzzle-esque game show "Wheel of Fortune" can play alongside their friends in mobile versions, which are available onAndroid and Apple. The mobile "Wheel of Fortune" games appear to offer in-app purchases but are free to download.
Throw a virtual party over Zoom, where you can catch up with colleagues and friends over video.
Insider's Kat Tenbarge shared how to throw the ideal Zoom hangout session with friends and family, from using custom backdrops to having stable a WiFi signal that can handle the video call.
Host a trivia night over a video call.
Many trivia fans may be excited to know that the popular game app "HQ Trivia" was recently re-released. While the app itself is not exactly conducive to connecting with real-life friends, there are still creative ways to have trivia sessions with friends.
For example, schedule a time for your group to video call. Pick one caller to be the host, and the other users can be contestants.
Each week, a different person will be the host in charge of brainstorming categories and questions. Other rules like time per question, and how contestants can "buzz in" with their answers, can be determined by the players.
For a more traditional route, download the "Jeopardy!" app, which has a free version for Apple and Android and has a multiplayer function.
Use Kahoot! to create quizzes to play with friends.
Kahoot! has become a popular tool for educators to create engaging, in-class quizzes for students, but it can also be used as a fun way to have virtual trivia sessions with friends and family. Users can create their own quizzes for free and send the link to as many people as they'd like.
Challenge your fellow wordsmiths to a game of Words With Friends.
Each Words With Friends game has two players, but users can have multiple games in progress at once, making the free app a fun way to stay connected with family and friends while engaging in a little healthy competition.
The classic version of Words With Friends is free and available to be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play Store.
Play Scattergories with a group of people even when you're at home alone.
Scattergories, where players brainstorm words that fit a specific category, is most enjoyable with a ton of friends or party-goers. The mobile version is the perfect alternative, as it lets users invite their friends to a virtual "room" and play for hours on end.
The free app can be downloaded on the App Store and Google Play Store.
Create a book club with your friends, or join a book discussion group and connect with new people.
Pick a book that you and your friends or family will all read, and set a date on the calendar where you'll discuss the story over video call — with a beverage and snack of choice, perhaps.
You can also join a preexisting book club, or browse for ideas on what to read or discussion ideas on Facebook Groups or Goodreads. Celebrity book lists, such as Reese Witherspoon's monthly book selection, are also great places to start.
Invite a friend to do a yoga or exercise video with you while on a video call together.
Schedule a time to have a virtual yoga, meditation, or workout session with your gym buddy, using FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, Zoom, or any preferred app to connect with each other, then pressing "play" on the same exercise video.
YouTube is home to a plethora of workout routines, and at the time of writing, many gyms, studios, and fitness brands — from Nike's Training Club app to the YMCA — have made exercises free and accessible online.
Play a Pictionary-like game on your phone with friends.
The virtual drawing game lets friends and family connect, be creative, and share laughs — making for hours of entertainment.
Draw Something Classic can be downloaded for free on the App Store and Google Play Store.
Challenge friends to a round of virtual Battleship without physically setting up a board.
The popular Hasbro game Battleship can be enjoyed at any time thanks to its digital versions, which have multiplayer functions.
It's available for$3.99 on the App Storeand$2.49 on the Google Play Store.
Play the classic dice game Yahtzee with friends, even when you're not together.
Yahtzee With Buddies lets users play against people in their contacts.
The app can be downloaded for free on theApp Storeand via theGoogle Play Store.
- Read more:
- 12 classic board games you can play online with friends and family
- Here are 40 fun, free things to do online while you're stuck at home
- 28 ways to leave home without actually leaving the couch, from virtual zoo exhibits to museum gallery tours