Are you hopping on the virtual happy hour bandwagon with your besties at work, long-distance friends from college, or your crush? Finally! Your laptop's camera and microphone have been waiting for this fun moment, and preparing for the games, drinks, and laughs to come. Hopefully, you have a glass of wine or conversation topics ready for when you dial in at 5 p.m. Of course, you can always try
virtual happy hour icebreakers, too, and bring everyone closer together.
is the goal of icebreaker activities, after all. They're meant to get rid of any awkward silences that may come up when you and your friends are still trying to figure out the features in Zoom, or your coworkers are waiting for everyone to sign on. They're made for starting lively debates over which character from Friends is the best, or what condiment could be ditched at the next barbecue. (Ketchup? No, thanks.)
Most notably, if you're hanging out with the people on the other side of the screen for the first time — or even just the first time in a while — an icebreaker activity gives you a chance to get to know them fast. The 14 icebreakers below let you catch up and feel closer to your coworkers, besties, and SO while you hang out ~virtually~.
The first of these icebreaker activities is a classic: "Two Truths and One Lie." In this activity, everybody takes a turn coming up with two truths and one lie about themselves. The group then tries to figure out which statement is the lie, and reveals tons of incredible, or shocking, facts about its members.
If you were ever a camp counselor or went to summer camp as a kid, you may be familiar with "Picnic Basket." This game is an awesome way to get to know everybody's names in your group, and some of their favorite foods. To play with your happy hour crew, take turns saying what item you'd bring to a picnic, with the first letter of the food being the same as your name. Got it? Good.
Life-Changing Story Time
Are you and your virtual happy hour crew pretty close already? Sweet! Then give "Life-Changing Story Time" a whirl. Just tell a story about a time in your life that was super impactful, or led you to the person you are today. Maybe you'll talk about when you studied abroad in college or took a risk. The key is to get deep or creative with this one.
Playing "Show and Tell" may feel a little old-school, but it'll be a great way to break the ice during your next virtual happy hour. Especially since you're checking in from your individual homes, this activity could really get interesting and funny. Simply send out a big email to everyone who's participating and tell them to prepare an item before signing on. Then, see where "Show and Tell" takes you.
In "Scavenger Hunt," start by picking an item everyone has to find in their house, like a TV remote or an apple. Then, count down and let everyone run to go find it. The first one back to the screen wins that round.
"Roll the Dice" is an easy icebreaker to set up and play. Assign a question to each of the numbers on a dice. The questions may be, "If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?" or, "If you could only eat one food forever, what would it be?" Then, roll the dice and see what everyone says.
At the end of the work day, you may not want to use your brain much more. But if your crew is up to the task, then play "Think Fast." During this icebreaker activity, everyone has one minute to write down as many things as they can in a chosen category. Whoever has the most when the minute's up wins.
Everybody likes a good round of bingo, right? If so, then make your entire virtual happy hour session into a giant bingo game, called "Get To Know You Bingo." Send a printable board out to your happy hour members with squares including, "someone who has never been on a plane," "someone who lives in NYC," and "someone who hates coffee." Then, as you're talking, see if you all can check off enough to win.
If playing "Four Corners" in gym class was your jam, then you'll love the virtual version of this game. It requires one person on your video chat to close their eyes and count to 10, while every other person holds up a number one through four. The person counting then calls out one, two, three, or four, and the people who held up that number are out.
"Movie Ticket" will test your crew's knowledge of all things pop culture and film. To play, you have to tell the plot of a movie as if you were one of the characters in it. You have to describe the time you skipped school and joined a parade, with great detail. When you're done, everybody has to guess what movie you're describing — that they "bought a ticket" to.
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Keep it simple at your virtual happy hour with "This or That." Take turns with your people, giving everyone the option to choose this snack or that snack, this trip or that trip. It'll be rewarding to see how other people prioritize things or how their answers differ from yours.
Have you ever watched
Impractical Jokers? Take a tip from the guys and play "Pitch A Product." During this game, two people have to pitch a completely random product they've come up with, and everyone else has to decide which one they'd like to "fund." It gets competitive and hilarious, so be prepared.
Set the tone of your virtual happy hour with "Inside Jokers." In this activity, everyone sends a short description of a inside joke to one person in your crew ahead of time. Then, everybody logs in, and that person reads out the inside jokes. Everybody has to guess who sent that joke in. The result is a
lot of laughing and good vibes for happy hour.
Last but not least, play "I Spy" with your crew to get everybody in the right #mood. Ask someone to "spy" something and give everyone else clues. They could pick a brightly-colored pillow or cat that's sleeping in behind your coworker and her wine. If you find the item, you win and break the ice.