Lifestyle

9 Virtual Party Ideas to Turn Any Night Into a Celebration

Bug Robbins/Thrillist

From birthdays to anniversaries and even holidays, reasons to celebrate don’t end just because we’re social distancing. By now, though, the average video call is probably starting to feel a little stale. So, we racked our brains for several creative ways to change up your virtual parties, like a fancy cocktail hour or your own trivia night at home, and outlined tips for setting them up with ease. With this guide, a few fun virtual backgrounds, and some Tostitos® chips and dips to snack on, you and your loved ones can still make the most of your time together, even if it’s happening over video chat.  

Cocktail Hour

Tell your friends to don their best cocktail attire; break out a fresh makeup, hair, or beard style; and mix up a fancy drink from their bar cart. (There are plenty of recipes that only require a few ingredients, like a Bee’s Knees or a classic daiquiri -- just remember to enjoy in moderation.) Once on the video call, have everyone share what they’re drinking and how they mixed it up, including any substitutions they had to make. (Pro tip: regular granulated sugar can be used to make simple syrup, and can stand in for a sugar cube or Demerara sugar in a pinch, too.) For music, make a shared playlist of cocktail party appropriate tunes (or search for some ready-made playlists, like  these), then act as DJ for everyone during the call. 
Chips & dip pairing: A classy night needs a classic combo, i.e., Tostitos Restaurant Style Chips and Medium Chunky Salsa. 

Karaoke Night

Turns out, this hallmark of a great night out on the town is pretty easy to replicate at home -- and perfect for a Friday night get-together. Have all attendees search through an online karaoke library for their songs of choice, and combine them into a playlist. When it’s party time, the host should play each song and share their screen with the lyrics, while pinning each performer to the lead video position when it’s their turn to take the virtual stage. Then, take turns belting out the lyrics to your favorite karaoke hits… and apologize to your neighbors in July. 
Chips & dip pairing: Add a little extra zest to your night in with Tostitos Hint of Lime Chips with Mild Chunky Salsa. 

Bug Robbins/Thrillist

OOO

You and your crew may not be able to post up at the beach, but you can turn the virtual happy hour into a tropical getaway. Grab the sunglasses, floppy hats, and tropical shirts you had planned to pack for spring break and set the vacay scene remotely with beachy backgrounds. Search stock photo sites for images that remind you of your dream getaway to pretend you’re on island time. Then, mix up a few tropical cocktails (sip responsibly, of course) and dial up your besties.
Chips & dip pairing: Make your living room feel like a beach in Mexico with Tostitos Strips and Avocado Salsa.  
 

Hobby Hang 

From learning to knit to tackling a victory garden, many of us are taking up new hobbies during quarantine -- but half the fun of cultivating a skill is finding a community to share it with. For this virtual party, set up your laptop so your friends can see both you and the project you’re working on, or use a tabletop tripod for your phone. (You could also use both, to give your group a live shot of your project and your face.) Take turns playing show-and-tell on the call to see what everyone’s been working on, and even troubleshoot questions if you have friends tackling a similar project. For those in need of a new hobby, pros are teaching classes on everything from artistic journaling to watercolor painting online, and there are many inexpensive  kits available for purchase that include all necessary supplies -- order one first, then organize your virtual party.
Chips & dip pairing: Tostitos Restaurant Style Chips with Salsa Verde is perfect for light snacking while you craft. 

Bug Robbins/Thrillist

Game Night

Board games and puzzles may be enjoying newfound popularity, but effectively playing them in a virtual environment can be a little tricky. The best option for groups is to choose games that don’t need to involve cards or specific pieces, and utilize online word generators for activities like charades, Pictionary, or Scattergories. Similar to Karaoke Night, it’s best to ask the host to share their screen of the online platform, if the game doesn’t feature a way for everyone to connect remotely. Beyond traditional party games, role playing games, like Dungeons and Dragons, are some of the easiest to play over video chat because each player uses their own set of dice and there are no boards or shared pieces -- just the dungeon master and their story.
Chips & dip pairing: Tostitos SCOOPS!® and Salsa Con Queso is a game night go-to for a reason.   

Film Festival 

Curling up on the couch with a movie doesn’t need to be a solo activity, especially when everyone has newfound time to catch up on that long list of must-watch content. Organizing your own film festival can be as simple as picking a movie theme, like ’90s rom coms or “Classics We Haven’t Seen” and syncing up with friends to watch a few over the same rainy weekend or throughout the course of a week. You can use an app or browser extension to watch together in real time, or organize a post movie marathon video chat to discuss your favorites. 
Chips & dip pairing: Tostitos SCOOPS!® and Spinach Dip is better than microwave popcorn. 

Trivia Night 

If you can’t head out to the bar for your usual trivia night, bring the trivia questions (and bar -- kind of) to you. Pick a theme in advance, such as ’90s history, TV shows, or sports, or go with a grab bag of categories. Then, instruct all your guests to come to the party with a list of 10 trivia questions prepared. (You can find ideas online, too.) Take turns quizzing the group, with the first correct response winning the point. While you won’t be able to buy the winner a round, you can make things interesting by having everyone digitally send a few dollars as a prize, or just play for bragging rights.
Chips & dip pairing: Tostitos Bite Size Rounds with Avocado Salsa is the perfect salty balance to a cold beer, just like at your local bar.
 

Bug Robbins/Thrillist

BYOF (Build Your Own Fort) 

Ideal for a rainy spring day, building a blanket and pillow fort in your living room allows you to embrace your inner kid -- and even include kids in the process if you’re a parent (or are quarantining with nieces, nephews, or younger cousins.) Set up a video chat with other families, then offer a virtual tour of each of your “cribs,” 2000s MTV style. Have the kids judge the most creative fort, then finish out the group call from inside for sleepover vibes. Even if you don’t have kids, you can find plenty of inspiration online for adult-worthy blanket forts that you’ll want to build and show off to your friends over video.   
Chips & dip pairing: Tostitos Restaurant Style Chips and Queso Blanco (just in case you get some on the sheets!). 
 

Jam Session 

Seeing as rock stars like Lady Gaga and the Rolling Stones can coordinate entire concerts from the comfort of their homes, you and your musically-inclined friends can jam out together, too. There are online  platforms specifically designed to host these kinds of get-togethers, and many will even record the session for you. Just pick up your usual instruments and select a few easy songs for everyone to play together. Since now is the best time to learn something new, you could also leverage your musical friends to teach you how to play an instrument for the first time. 
Chips & dip pairing: Fuel that creative energy with Tostitos Bite Size Rounds plus Zesty Bean and Cheese Dip.