Chances are your usual large gathering with friends or office party has been put on hold this holiday season.
On the plus side, that means you don't have to awkwardly mingle with your boss over drinks. On the downside, getting dressed up and celebrating the holidays with friends is really, really fun, and we could all use a bit more joy in our lives this year, don't you think?
Luckily for us, some of Winnipeg's best businesses have gotten creative with at-home versions of their drinks, games and services so you don't have to miss out on your usual holiday gatherings!
Grab a group of friends or coworkers, open FaceTime/Zoom/Google Hangouts and get ready for a night of festivities — from home.
Make Your Own Cocktails
Start the party off with everyone crafting their own cocktail — it's a great way to ease into a night of virtual fun, and there’s just something extra tasty about sipping a cocktail that you made yourself (especially now that visiting a cocktail bar is nothing more than a distant memory).
Angel’s Share Cocktail Co. and Baltic Brothers Infusions also make excellent craft cocktail mixes, including speciality holiday drinks like mulled wine, pecan date hot buttered rum and snowbird punch.
Note: Participants will need to add their own spirits to most of these kits.
If your crew is more of a craft beer crowd, you'll find a complete listing of Winnipeg's breweries here, most of whom are currently offering quick delivery or curbside pickup.
Wreath-making and DIY Succulent Kits
Add a little festive greenery to everyone's houses/offices/classrooms (it's all-in-one these days) with fresh wreath-making kits from Freshcut Downtown. Its succulent terrarium kits and modern half hoop holiday wreath kits are also fun for building alongside your pals and coworkers.
Virtual Escape Rooms
There’s no better team-building exercise than an escape room, so Enigma Escapes has turned them virtual for you!
This is a great option for offices — groups of 10 to 100 can play, and teams will face off to solve a number of holiday-themed puzzles and challenges. You must work together, talk things out and race against the clock to win. Enigma has also partnered with local restaurants to provide you with catering options to go along with the entertainment.
DIY Cookie Decorating Kits
Here’s something everyone can agree on: cookies. These DIY cookie kits from local bakeries include everything you’ll need to get deliciously creative — sugar cookies, coloured icings, sprinkles and fun decorations. You can order these from Sweet C Bakery, Sweet Impressions or likely your favourite local cookie seller too.
Virtual Wine Tasting
Learn your Barolo from your Beaujolais and what exactly biodynamic means with a wine tasting for your group. Book a private virtual event with De Luca Fine Wines, or opt for one of Ellement’s wine and snack bundles to make your own group tasting of gourmet foods and wines. Txoko Wine Community and the Winnipeg Wine Festival/MLCC also hold regular virtual wine tasting events that you might be able to organize. Pair any of these with beautifully crafted individual charcuterie boards from Sharecuterie or Spreads by Rosie and you're all set for a fun, informative night with friends.
Arts and Crafts Workshops
Get creative and organize a crafting/arts workshop or virtual paint night. Check out ArtsJunktion — an incredible community-based, charitable organization — whose crafting kits include leather plant holders, tassel garlands and keychains, raffia baskets and more.
Our office has organized a few fun parties hosted by QuizMasters, who will create, host and run your quiz night for you (now virtually!). Things get heated as teams contend with one another by answering interesting, amusing and sometimes challenging questions. Answers are marked, points are tallied and the team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
Across the Board Games
Our local board game enthusiasts at Across the Board are experts when it comes to organizing group games, both virtually and with physical boards. Here's what they've got for your group:
Spyfall can be played online, or with a physical copy and taking turns having people look at their card over webcam. In the game, you're an FBI detective and someone in your department is a secret enemy spy (it might even be you!).
With Just One players work together to help one player guess their secret word each round, by writing down single-word clues. If anyone writes the same clue as somebody else though, the guessing player won't get to see those clues and has less to go on. It works well over webcam. (This one requires one physical copy of the game streamed over webcam, or some other source of subjects/words).
The modern classic Codenames requires one physical copy of the game (available via curbside pickup) streamed over webcam with the team leaders each being privately sent a picture of the answer key, and the word cards laid out on the table. It can also be played online.
With Concept your goal is to guess words through the association of icons. A team of two players choose a word or phrase that the other players need to guess. Acting together, this team places pieces judiciously on the available icons on the game board. (This one requires one physical copy of the game streamed over webcam - again, available via curbside pickup).
Wits & Wagers also works virtually, with players submitting answers and the person running the game handling the chips for their bets remotely.