8 fun things to do on Zoom besides awkwardly staring at your friends

From battling it out in trivia to competing in a cook-off, here are genius ways to make your Zoom catch-ups more entertaining. 

Catching up with friends via Zoom has officially become the new norm.

But there are only so many of these virtual calls you can dedicate to gossiping about the guys you’ve matched with on Tinder, how much your partner (and kids) are driving you mad or what recipes you’re keen to test out next.

There are, in fact, actual fun things to do on Zoom besides talking and getting tipsy (not saying that isn’t enjoyable), and we’ve rounded up the very best right here. So lock that Friday drinks sesh in with the girls this week, because things are about to get LIT.

1. Battle it out in trivia night

Pubs are closed, but trivia is still on – and the drinks are probably way cheaper at yours anyway. Shit Pub Trivia is attempting to construct a quiz of questions that can’t be answered on Google. You can register a team to play for prizes or just play along for fun.

You also don’t have to be in the same home; you can start a group chat with your team and then submit your answers to the captain, where the captain sends the team’s answers at the end of each round.

The quiz live streams on Facebook every Wednesday from 7.30pm in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania; 7pm in South Australia; .30pm in Queensland and 4.30pm in WA. Plus, it’s all free.

For more information, head here.

2. Do a group workout

Virtual workouts are all the rage right now, but sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation to make it through to the end. I mean, is it really ever the last squat?! So, get the gang involved so you can all work through that pain together.

There are hundreds of free workouts available online, but you can easily tune it to one of body+soul’s LIVE @ Home workouts which are available for free on Facebook. Unsure of which one to start with? Lizzie Bland’s full-body barre class, Blake Bridge’s Barry’s Bootcamp, and Sam Wood’s HIIT session are absolute musts. Just make sure to bring a sweat towel.

For more information, head here.

3. Compete in a Masterchef cook-off

Want to see who’s worthy of singing up to next year’s season of Masterchef Australia? Find out by doing a virtual Masterchef challenge with your friends.

All you need to do is decide on a recipe – we’re thinking Poh’s stout-braised beef pie, Brendan’s Biang Biang noodles with cumin beef, or if you’re feeling extra bouje, Reynold’s White Noise dessert. And don’t worry, you don’t need a hibachi for any of these.

4. Paint (and drink) with friends

Remember Cork & Canvas – the art studio that help painting classes with a glass of wine? Well, they’ve gone virtual, too. You can choose from their collection of Online Paint and Sip Sessions to enjoy immediate ‘on-demand’ access or tune into their scheduled ‘live-streaming’ classes. Simply get yourself a canvas, log into your session, pour yourself a glass (or bottle) of wine, and get painting.

For more information, head here.

5. Visit a zoo

Taronga Zoo Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo have now launched Taronga TV. It presents a live stream of the zoo, packed with a daily schedule of keeper’s talks, shows, 24/7 live animal streams, and behind-the-scene sneak peeks at what the animals (and keepers) get up to when the zoo is closed.

You can also access their two wildlife hospitals to get a firsthand look at their virtual conservation work. It’s cuteness and education in one Zoom session.

For more information, head here.

6. Attend a concert

Wednesday to Sunday nights, the Sydney Opera House is streaming full-length performances from artists like Missy Higgins and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and talks with a line-up of talent such as Nigella Lawson and Yotam Ottolenghi.

For more information, head here.

7. Learn a TikTok dance

You might think the new social media platform is reserved for Gen Zs, but in actual fact there are plenty of older people who have gone TikTok viral by flaunting their dance moves. If anything, the more cringeworthy, the funnier, and the more views.

The most popular TikTok dance challenges are currently Blinding Lights, Say So, Savage and The Renegade.

And hear us out, learning one of these dances is a workout in itself.

8. Join a book club

So you’ve finished Netflix. Now it’s time to pick up a book – but just make it more entertaining by reading and discussing it with friends in your very own book club. Various libraries are offering free access to books during the coronavirus lockdown, which makes it easier for everyone to get their hands on a copy of the same book. For example, you can take advantage of The National Emergency Library, which is currently giving free access to over 1.4 million books until June 30.

And if you can’t decide on what book to kick off with, the NSW State Library has pulled together a list of the top books to read at home.

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