On rainy days, I used to sleep in for hours, then putter around aimlessly in between making the occasional bowl of cereal. But what about when feelings of restlessness and worry about these uncertain times prevail and puttering around no longer appeals? On those days, having concrete activities — inspired by rainy-day activities — might help. Below, ideas for concrete activities to do when you’re staying inside. (Some might be difficult for parents of young children to pull off; others are family-friendly.)
1. Bake cookies
John Legend, Michelle Obama, and Mariah Carey. Yes, they’re all Grammy winners, but, more importantly, they’re cookie lovers. The most democratic food option, this dessert is truly made by and for the people.
2. Get to know your partner
Take some time to slow down to speak to and get to know your partner (or a relative or a friend) better. From lighthearted questions (think: what’s your favorite memory) to assessments of security and intimacy (like: in which situations do you feel most secure in our relationship) now’s the time to ask away. You can do this — by phone or video chat — even if you’re not in the same home with this person.
3. Pick up a new hobby
Sewing! A new language! Meditating!
4. Challenge yourself to a one-day bookclub
Ask friends to join you in reading a book and discussing it on video chat over food and drinks. It’s like high-school English, but more fun.
5. Have your kids put on a skit
Kids are innately way more cool and entertaining than their adult counterparts. Have them show off their skills and perform a skit of their choice. Whether you join in on the fun or record them to look back on the memories, costumes are essential.
6. Plan a Bob Ross painting party
Dulcet tones and unrivaled nostalgia anchor every 30-minute Bob Ross show. With streaming options available on Hulu and Netflix, consider putting together a “painting party” with friends over video chat. Though this activity might require quite a bit of prep work and materials beforehand, there’s nothing more satisfying than mastering those deceptively difficult “happy little trees” Ross paints with ease.
7. Sing karaoke
Bella Hadid and I have a lot in common, namely, our mutual affinity for karaoke. Spend a day at home singing to the tune of your favorite songs with a low-maintenance activity that can be done alone or with a larger group on video chat. Just make sure that you channel Emma Stone in Easy A for maximum effect.
8. Learn TikTok Dances
The latest TikTok dances sweeping the millennial-slash-Gen-Z landscape are not for the faint of heart. That being said, a day indoors might lend itself to time enough for mastering the app’s most popular dances.
9. If you have the time, arrange for a movie or show marathon
10. Go on a treasure hunt
Create a makeshift treasure hunt for your kids to navigate through. Simply write clues on pieces of paper that ultimately lead them to the “treasure,” be it a paper giving them pick for the next movie night, or a small sweet.
11. Treat yourself to a little TLC
12. Throw a tea party
Both kid- and adult-friendly, this activity gives you the chance to dress up, set the table, and brush up on your manners. Solicit your friends’ advice (again, from a distance) or even the tips of a well-known chef to get innovative with your tea sandwiches.
13. Check things off on your to-do list
Little victories like organizing a drawer or a closet can feel calming on a day spent inside.
14. Board Game
I learned some of my most valued life skills as a result of playing board games ad nauseam during my childhood, namely negotiation and strategy (and, occasionally, competitiveness). Whether you’re in it for an emulous thrill or simply to bond, there’s nothing quite like playing classic board games — Monopoly, Clue, Life, etc — to enjoyably pass the time.
15. Make your own museum
Keep the day lively, and create a makeshift museum with your kids, partner, or roommates. Use paper, markers, and crayons to draw your masterpieces, then hang up on the wall and arranging so you can all enjoy.