Thanks to smart phones, the internet and a selection of cool apps and websites, we can "get together" online, socialise and have a little fun! We have found a few cool ways for you to "hangout" with your friends and family, without having to step foot out of your home. From cooking together to gossiping and testing your trivia knowledge, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Enjoy A Girls'/Boys' Night In

When was the last time you went out with your friends and had a good time socialising? Can't remember? Yes, the lockdown has definitely been that long! Well, why not grab a mocktail (here are a few recipes for you to try out), dial up your friends or family members via WhatsApp video chat, Zoom, Skype or Google Hangout, and just have a great catch up session while staying in and remaining safe in the comfort of your own home? This is a great way to check up on everyone, see if they're coping during this lockdown and are still all well and healthy, and just to get the latest scoop on everything that's happening in their lives. During this time, we need to be more connected than ever.

ladies have a video chat on laptop

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Netflix Watch Party

Is there a show that you and your loved ones enjoy watching and discussing after every episode? Why not watch your favourite series together on Netflix? There's also plenty of new shows for you to check out once you have rewatched all of your go-to series. There's definitely something for all tastes.

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Quiz Night!

For a little bit of fun during the lockdown and to broaden your general knowledge, why not plan an exciting virtual quiz night? Set a certain day/evening during the week to host a quiz night, alternate the role of who will be the quiz master for the event and have a blast. You can even make things extra competitive and interesting by keeping a tally of everyone's scores, then arrange a prize for the overall winner once lockdown has been lifted. Need some help in hosting a quiz night? Visit Stuff.tv and learn how to do a quiz night via Zoom.

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Host An Online Dinner Party

Getting together and enjoying a lovely meal is a thing of the past. Well, until the situation gets better, that is. And until then, why not enjoy a dinner party online with your loved one? Just like the quiz nights and girls'/boys' night in, you can make a video call on one of the various apps available and enjoy a meal together while socialising – talking about your day or week and what you have been getting up to during lockdown.

But, be sure to go all out with some table décor, placemats, candles, cutlery, the works. Once everyone is together online, you can share what you have prepared for dinner and even share the recipes. We've got a lot of recipes for you to try, including DIY bread recipes, Friday night homemade takeout recipes and even heart-healthy braai ideas if you'd like to have a virtual braai.

Workout Together With An App

Why not use this time to get into shape? Grab a virtual gym buddy, find a cool workout routine on YouTube or download a fitness app you can both use, set up a video call and break a sweat together! Workouts are much more entertaining when you have someone doing them with you. Looking for a few workout suggestions? Take a look at our selection of YouTube exercise regimes here.

Health & Fitness Expo

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Learn A New Skill Or Start A New Hobby

Since we can't enjoy social get-togethers, surely it's getting boring staying cooped up at home all day long? Why not gather a few friends and family members to learn a new skill online? The internet has given us an abundance of things to try and learn! And we have plenty of suggestions and ideas that we think you may enjoy. Want to learn how to cook new, healthy and oh-so delicious recipes? Try Vitality HealthyFood Studio Live Chef! How about getting some new books delivered via UberEats and hosting a digital book club? Or, why not let your creativity run wild while exploring the world of art with these online art classes perfect for all ages?

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How have you been socialising and "hanging out" with your family and friends during the lockdown? Let us know in the comments below!

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Chocolates & Trinkets

Online shopping is now allowed! Thank goodness. Spoil your partner with a bunch of flowers or a chocolate gift basket from Netflorist. You'll brighten their day with this small show of care and affection. Bella Luna is now also offering online shopping and delivery. If your significant other is having a birthday soon, gift them with a meaningful trinket or personalised accessory. Nothing says 'I love you' like a surprise birthday present.

Talk, Every Day 

How many times have you heard the old adage - communication is key to a successful relationship? Seeing that you will be attempting a long-distance relationship of sorts for the foreseeable future, communication is likely to become more important than ever. If you don't already speak to your partner via text or phone call every day (seriously, why not?), make an effort to start now. However, your conversations may need to be more in depth, as you lose contact time together. Listen to your partner more intently, making sure to check in on their state of mind and emotions during the lockdown period. If they are feeling anxious or alone, do not dismiss their feelings. Now is the time to show your support and be a shoulder to lean on, even if you aren't able to comfort them in person.

Send Them Songs

Yes, we know it's a little cheesy, but there is nothing sweeter than knowing that your partner is thinking about you. Send your special someone a playlist of songs that remind you of them or share a memory you have of them related to a certain piece of music. If music isn't your thing, find a romantic poem, an inspiring video or uplifting podcast to share. In a time when celebrating milestones and special moments together is not possible, sending your partner the gift of music may become your go-to love language. Check out our Quarantunes Playlist on Spotify for inspiration.

Video Chats & Virtual Dates

Who says you can't go on a date in your pajamas? Thanks to the magic of the internet and smartphones, taking your significant other on a date means you don't actually need to leave the house. Organise a virtual date with your partner over video chat. Whether this means having a morning get-together over coffee or a simultaneous movie streaming date, is all up to you and your loved one. (If you're having dinner together over Chat, don't forget to dress up a little to show you care!) Again, it will be important to communicate and listen while on your date. Eliminate distractions and focus solely on being present with your partner.

Stay At Home! 

The best way to show you partner love and care during lockdown is by staying at home. The very last thing you want to do is spread COVID-19 to them or their family. It will be difficult, but distancing yourself from the people you treasure most is imperative at this moment. Save up all that date money over the next few months to lavish your partner with once quarantine is over. You never know, they may just ask you to move in with them so you never have to be apart again!

Do you have any other ideas or tips on how to keep the romance alive while under lockdown? Let us know about them! 

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