Happy hour can happen anywhere. That’s the beauty of this post-work pastime. No matter how long we’re forced to physically distance ourselves from loved ones, we can still find ways to stay social – and sane!
Enter: the virtual happy hour.
Looking for something that’s close to the real thing? Kick back and cut loose with these remote happy hour ideas to liven up any drink-infused online hang.
Virtual Happy Hour Host with the Most
What is virtual happy hour? Exactly like it sounds: all the snacks, sips, and activities you’d expect sans the bar setting. All you need is a smart device and your favorite spirit to enjoy.
Knowing how to host a virtual happy hour is probably more intuitive than you think. Since the primary goal is simply to bring people together, your online happy hour can be as structured or as loose as you like.
There’s no huge secret for how to have a successful virtual happy hour. Some of it depends on your group and what y’all like to do. Energy levels can also impact how you set up or plan your virtual happy hour.
Not sure how to do a virtual happy hour? Ahead are some of the best ideas for virtual happy hour to come out of quarantine.
Preparation for your Virtual HH
Hosting a virtual happy hour that’s actually happy starts by picking your platform. Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts all have their perks. If you don’t have a strong preference, ask your happy hour cohorts if they do!
What you’re ultimately looking for is a happy hour video conferencing software that lets you see as many people at once as possible without compromising video quality. Remember that although most web-based applications will work on your smartphone, you’ll probably get better quality on your laptop or desktop. Bonus: doing so will also leave you hands-free for making and sipping your favorite Moscow Mule recipe.
Ready to officially set up your virtual happy hour? Use an online scheduling tool like Doodle to help your cheers crew collaboratively pick a day and time. Prefill a tiny bit of info on your end and email the link so participants can check off days and times that work best for them. It will allow you to easily see when the most people can attend your virtual social hour.
Unique Happy Hour Theme Ideas
Fun happy hour themes can provide structure and an element of, well, fun to your event. Unless it’s on a weekend when folks may have more time to prepare, best to keep things simple.
Some popular happy hour themes include: Moscow Mule Mondays, Tequila Tuesdays, Friday game day, black tie Sunday, and the ever-popular, all-encompassing quarantini. While your guests aren’t obligated to all drink the same thing, it can be fun to try out a recipe altogether. If that’s part of your virtual happy hour theme, be sure to send along a recipe with the invite!
Other virtual happy hour themes include dress up or costume elements (wig out Wednesday, anyone?) sampling different beer flights or doing a wine tasting. You may even consider hiring a bar tender to walk everyone through the process of making their drink of choice!
Best Happy Hour Activities
Once everyone is loosened up you can bust out some optional happy hour activities.
If the group seems energized, you might pitch them some games to play during your virtual happy hour. Houseparty is a popular online game platform with virtual activities that are easy to learn and complete as a group. You could also keep it old school and have a household scavenger hunt or host a dance party. Simply have everyone contribute one or two songs to an open Spotify group playlist. Then ask one person to play it from their speakers while everyone else temporarily mutes their microphones. As far as virtual happy hour ideas go, it’s a real crowd pleaser!
If you find energy levels are on the low side, simply pull out your pre-prepared list of virtual happy hour topics. You can also look to something like Table Topics or check out this free PDF of questions from Meet-up.
Whichever social hour ideas strike your fancy, be sure you top them off with your beverage of choice. This list of 10 at-home Moscow Mule recipes is a great place to start. You may even go the extra mile and treat yourself to a virtual party kit!
Rather make it a mocktail? These alcohol-free mixed drink recipes will put you in the mood to celebrate!
There you have it. You don’t need much preparation to figure out how to have a virtual happy hour. With all the unpredictability, it’s not just nice to keep at least this one tradition intact – it’s necessary. Whether yours is a sophisticated virtual cocktail hour or an anything goes online social hour, these social distancing happy hour ideas will leave you with memories fun enough to get you through the hard times.