Top Tips for Virtual Family Fun Nights

posted on Jul 15 2020

by Taylor Ann Spencer, Program Manager

Virtual family gatherings can be tricky...

They’re not like an in-person reunion. You can’t just set out some food and let people mingle and chat. You have to plan some structured activities that will get everyone involved and having fun together!

At mainstages, we have been holding custom Virtual Trivia and Family Fun Nights for the last several months, facilitating gatherings for families and friends nation-wide, and we’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t.

Read on for our top tips for planning and hosting amazing virtual family fun nights!

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Encourage Friendly Competition

Most families enjoy a bit of friendly rivalry, and this is a great opportunity to play that up! Encourage the family members on each screen to consider themselves a team for the gathering and keep track of points so you can announce the winner at the end of the evening! A little friendly competition can go a long way in getting people to really engage with the activities.

three young men in funny costumes

Boost Team Collaboration!

As long as you’ve got some friendly competition, why not include activities that are geared to encourage collaboration behind each team’s screen?

Consider the following activities:

  • Have each team create a team slogan or chant
  • Play games like “How well do you know your partner?”
  • Incorporate special family inside jokes and memories into whatever games you play

It’s a great way to keep everyone on the teams involved . . . and engaging with the people they see every day in new ways!

Do Trivia!

One of our most popular family fun activities is trivia! We love to incorporate a few rounds into a larger family fun night, along with other interactive games. Some families love it so much that they’ll ask us to host a full custom Virtual Trivia session, with specific themes. We’ve done specialty Trivia nights on topics ranging from Music Mania to Harry Potter to Sports Fanatics.

online trivia

If you want to try trivia at your own virtual gatherings, try to include categories that everyone will be familiar with and get excited about . . . and fact-check your answers like crazy! Or, if that sounds like more than you bargained for, hire us and we'll do it for you!

Make it Multimedia

Since you’re already using technology, why not use it to its full potential? Consider playing audio clips over zoom for a round of “Name that Tune” or sharing pictures for specialty trivia categories like “Guess the Landmark.”

At mainstages, we have a variety of different audio and visual categories that we sprinkle throughout all our custom trivia and family fun nights — we find the variety keeps the games fresh and everyone engaged!

friends on zoom having fun playing games

Include Physical (Off-Screen) Challenges

During an hour-long screen session, everyone appreciates the chance to get up and get active! Include physical challenges and activities into your game plan, such as team physical challenge relays or a household scavenger hunt. It’s also another opportunity to build teamwork within the individual families . . . and there’s nothing like a round of planks and squats to get everyone bonding!

Push the Creative Envelope

“You have 30 seconds to make a sandwich . . . but you can’t use bread! GO!” At mainstages, we like to include creative challenges in all our programming . . . and family fun nights are no different!

Try a round of Slammin’ Sandwiches (the one and only rule to play is literally above!) or a round of Human Machine. You might be surprised at how many ways there are to build a three-person blender!

No matter where you and your family are this summer, now is a great time to organize a virtual gathering. If you’re hosting, try out our ideas, or come up with some of your own. And if you don’t want to host, you don’t have to! You can book a private family game night with us instantly, we will take care of everything for you! Or, if you want to see what a Family Fun Night looks like in action, register for our upcoming event on Thursday, July 30th @ 7 PM EST below!

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Taylor Ann Spencer

posted on Jul 15 2020

by Taylor Ann Spencer

Taylor Ann is an NYC-based theater artist and children's theater director. After graduating from Hope College with a BFA in theater and creative writing, she toured with Missoula Children's Theatre for a year before moving to New York City. Taylor Ann was the Supervisor for mainstages Theater Camp Long Island in its' inaugural summer in 2018.