Categories Virtual events

Stay Connected: 7 Things to Do With Friends Online

things to do with friends online: Maze game from Gather App

Image credit: Gather

People constantly search for new ways to connect with friends. Unfortunately, there are sometimes constraints — like living too far away or not having time to meet.

Don’t let this stop you. There are many things to do with friends online.

Maybe you want to catch up with your best friends to socialize. Maybe you’re part of a remote team and want to do fun things online, like a virtual happy hour.

Use this list to find the best things to do with friends online.

7 Things to Do With Friends Online

It seems like there’s an endless list of online activities. The difficulty is finding something that’s entertaining and helps you feel closer to others.

A video conferencing app solves this dilemma. You can chat face-to-face, almost as if you were seeing each other in real life.

In Gather, you can experience video chat set in an 8-bit virtual world. You can turn impersonal virtual experiences into something more human and meaningful. Build interactive spaces, send invites, and meet online in an immersive world.

Here are activities you can do online with friends or coworkers using Gather.

1. Virtual Escape Room

​​Virtual escape rooms are a fun activity for friends and family members. They’re also a great social event or icebreaker for virtual teams.

Everyone works together to investigate clues, solve puzzles, and escape safely. The only way to get out alive is to solve the mysteries as a team.

In Gather, you can make a virtual escape room and host up to 25 people for free.

Open Gather, create a new space, and choose the “Dungeon Escape” map. Invite your friends, and start the adventure.

things to do with friends online: Dungeon Escape game from Gather App

Image credit: Gather

Write clues attached to Gather’s interactive objects about how to escape the dungeon. Hidden doors, mazes, and portals can send you to different levels.

things to do with friends online: clues on a yellow note

Image credit: Gather

Watch out for guards and monsters. They’ll do everything in their power to slow you down or send you back to the previous stage.

You’ll navigate three levels, each taking around 30 minutes to complete.

2. Play Online Games

things to do with friends online: Tetris game

Image credit: Jstris

Gather can integrate many multiplayer games into the app. Some require strategy, like virtual board games or card games. Others are built for laughs, like group guessing games or video games.

With all the options, you’ll play games together while talking through video chat.

Here are a few of the virtual games you can play in a custom space on Gather.

  • Draw Battle: It’s like Pictionary but better. Split into two teams. Draw random words for teammates to guess. The first team to guess correctly wins that round.
  • Poker: Sit around a virtual poker table and stare down your friends during a high-stakes game. Put on your best poker face, call bluffs, and go all-in to win every chip.
  • Surviv: It’s all-out warfare. Collect weapons, ammo, and other useful items to stay alive. Eliminate opponents and take their belongings. The last person standing is the winner.
  • Battle Tetris: It’s Tetris with a twist. Instead of playing by yourself, you can challenge others to a head-to-head battle. Choose the right spots and watch your opponents’ blocks pile up.
  • Down for a Cross: Your grandfather isn’t the only one who can enjoy a classic crossword. Solve clues with friends and fill in the puzzle as fast as you can.
  • Sudoku: Can’t figure out which number goes into a certain space? Play sudoku together and test your logic skills.
  • Fish Bowl: Fish Bowl is three team-based party games in one — Taboo, Charades, and Password. You’ll need at least four people to play. Split into teams and write a series of words or phrases on “cards.” You’ll play one guessing game each round. The team that guesses the most words correctly is the winner.
  • Colonist: Think of this as the digital version of the board game Catan. You’ll collect resources that help create your empire. Build settlements, cities, and roads faster than your opponents. The first person to reach 10 points is the winner.
  • Codewords: There are 25 words on screen, and you need to figure out which words belong to your team. Each team has one code-master and multiple code-breakers. Codemasters take turns giving a one-word clue to their code-breakers. If they guess correctly, you continue to the next word. The first team to find all of their codewords is the winner.
things to do with friends online: various game options from Gather App

Image credit: Gather

Select the “Build” option and choose “Open object picker.” Select “Game” and browse different options.

things to do with friends online: Battle Tetris from Gather App

For example, choose “Battle Tetris” and place the object on the map. Walk to the Battle Tetris object and press “X” to start playing. 

3. Play Music Together

things to do with friends online: Shared Piano from Gather App

Image credit: Gather

Test your musical chops and make music with friends using Shared Piano from the Chrome Music Lab.

Choose from seven instruments, including piano, woodwinds, and a drum kit. Play music together at the same time and record your creation. Scroll to the top and press play to listen to your recorded song.

After you’ve created your masterpiece, save your song, copy the link, and share it with others.

You can use Shared Piano in a virtual space in Gather.

Select the “Build” option and choose “Open object picker.” Select “Game” from the “Objects” list and scroll until you see “Piano.”

game options inside Gather App

Image credit: Gather

Place the Piano on the map. Approach the Piano and press “X” to start playing.

Work with friends while video chatting to create music together. Sing along if you’re up for it.

person virtually playing the piano inside Gather App

Image credit: Gather

Form a two-piece band or build an orchestra of up to 10 people. It’s never too late to become a rock star.

4. Throw a Netflix Party

Throw a Netflix party and watch your favorite shows with others. Stream a popular new TV show, your favorite classic movies, or the latest documentary everyone is talking about on social media.

Create a space on Gather and invite others to join your watch party.

Choose the “Standalone Keynote” template and customize your own movie theater. Add a ticket booth, food cart, and red carpet to make it feel like a real movie theater. Build a bar in the corner for friends to catch up for a drink before the main feature starts.

Chat about your favorite scenes, share laughs, and see your friends’ reactions as the scenes unfold. Throw Karen on mute if she can’t keep quiet or breaks the “no spoilers” rule.

It might not be a movie theater, but it sure feels like one. BYO popcorn. 

5. Start a Book Club

A DIY book club is a fun way to bond with friends, coworkers, or loved ones. Start checking off books from this year’s must-read list.

Pick a book and schedule a weekly catch-up with group members. Use Gather to discuss recent chapters over a video call. Hear their thoughts and predict what will happen next.

Customize spaces in Gather to match the club’s monthly theme. Reading a sci-fi novel this month? Choose the “Space Station” template and add objects like an atomic reactor, a brain in a jar, or cyberpunk posters.

Keep track of books your club has completed with an ongoing library. Add the “Book” object to your customized space using the object picker.

Hobbit

Image credit: Gather

Embed images of book covers using the “Object Interaction” feature. Stand by a book and the cover will appear.

You can also ask club members to recommend future books and take a poll. Embed a Google Form to plan next month’s read.

Don’t forget the snacks and beverages.

6. Sing Karaoke

virtual karaoke from Gather App

Image credit: Gather

You sing in the shower, so why not sing with your friends? Schedule a virtual karaoke party with friends or coworkers. There’s no need to hit the karaoke bar when you can stay in and have just as much fun.

Open Gather and choose the “Open Mic Cafe” space template to make the experience more realistic and fun.

Search YouTube for the karaoke version of nearly any song you can think of. When it’s your turn to sing, walk on stage and stand in the spotlight. Your screen is broadcast to the entire room so everyone can see the lyrics.

Then, take turns belting your favorite tunes or do a group sing-along. Make your character dance along by pressing “Z” on your keyboard.

Drop the mic after hitting every note of Adele. Or have fun and give your best Justin Bieber impression. If you all enjoy yourselves, make it a bi-weekly or monthly tradition.

7. Virtual Tours of the World

Google Arts & Culture

Image credit: Google Arts & Culture

Google Arts & Culture is an interactive platform that allows you to explore the world. You can get an inside look at museums, landmarks, and nature from every corner of the world.

Each immersive experience gives amazing educational content. You’ll be scrolling through different experiences for hours on end.

You’ll find everything from 360-degree tours to educational games to breakdowns of artwork.

See famous landmarks from street view, including:

Tour museums and learn art, history, and culture from:

Step outside and explore natural wonders all around the world, including:

Find your favorite experience and discover the world with your friends using Gather.

Create a custom space in Gather and choose a template, like the “Lounge.” Place objects around the room that link to different virtual tours.

For example, place a bonsai tree and embed a website link to the Mount Fuji experience mentioned above. Or, use an anchor that links to the underwater excursion.

Once you’ve created your virtual museum, walk next to objects and press “X” to access experiences.

Game On

Don’t wait to see friends, family members, or coworkers in person to do something fun. Choose one of these online activities, and throw a virtual house party everyone will enjoy.

Use a virtual event platform like Gather if you want to feel truly connected with others. It’s free for up to 25 people and only takes a few seconds to set up your customized event space.

Check out our guides on virtual hangout ideas and virtual experiences for more ideas.