While Montreal’s lockdown restrictions were partially lifted on Feb. 8, the citywide curfew persists. After months of binge-watching the same Netflix originals and rewatching classic series, the monotony can be unbearable. As nights spent alone or with roommates blur together, many students are searching for ways to spice things up after a long day of studying. The McGill Tribune has compiled a list of at-home activities to help switch up students’ nightlife and spark some joy during these cold evenings.
1. Take advantage of online events
Whether students are looking to get involved in the McGill community or the broader Montreal context, they can find a wide array of virtual events hosted on Zoom or similar platforms. Just recently, the AUS Event Planning and Involvement Committee (EPIC) organized a virtual dating night for Valentine’s Day and is currently planning a St. Patrick’s Day event in collaboration with the Science Internal Committee (SIC). Students can visit either committee’s Facebook page for more information. Gina Spiridaki, U3 Arts and co-chair of EPIC, spoke with The McGill Tribune about the success of their virtual events and plans for future activities.
“We want to give the McGill community the ability to connect despite the challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic,” Spiridaki said. “Our next event will be a virtual Montreal bar crawl with the SIC and it is going to be super fun.”
There are even more events to choose from for students hoping to break out of the virtual McGill bubble. Ranging from free Masterclass events to Nikon photography tutorials, there are endless classes and events hosted online to keep students busy. In a local context, the free events section of Eventbrite is a great place to find online events hosted by Montrealers, as is the Events tab on Facebook
2. Invest in a deck of cards
In today’s digital world, it is easy to forget how entertaining and time-consuming it is to play cards. From solo games such as Solitaire or its variant Devil’s Grip to group games such as Cabo or Palace, hundreds of options are easily adapted for students who live alone or with several roommates. While fun sober, try spicing up a card game night with a cocktail or a drinking game for a surely eventful night. There are many entertaining ideas online; however, tweaking the rules to an existing card game with friends is also a great option for those willing to muster up the creativity.
3. Cook through the recipes in a cookbook
Inspired by the 2009 hit movie Julia and Julia, cooking through a cookbook can be a combination of fun, tiresome, and gratifying. Whether you choose more complex cookbooks such as Samin Nosrat’s Salt Fat Acid Heat, or a more simple student oriented one such as The Ultimate Student Cookbook, you’re bound to find a great option for your taste, budget, and skill level.
Cooking is also an easy and delicious way to learn about different cultures, especially during a time when students cannot meet new people due to COVID-19 restrictions. Whether students hope to master the skill of making dumplings or concoct the perfect stew, there are hundreds of recipes available to students online. Different recipe websites cater to a variety of cooking priorities: For budget-friendly recipes, check out Budget Bytes; for beginner recipes, check out Bon Appetit’s Basically; and for recipes fit for food science enthusiasts, check out Serious Eats.
4. Take a digital museum tour
Since the onset of the pandemic, museums across the world have struggled to keep their doors open. To adapt to the new normal, many museums have created virtual exhibits including behind-the-scenes tours and in-depth talks. While many of the tours are included as a part of monthly memberships, there are many world-renowned museums and local gems, like the Canadian Museum For Human Rights, Manitoba, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts offering free visits.