Celebrate this year’s Palentine’s Day in the coolest way possible—virtually! Yeah, you read that right: staying at home and socially distanced from people outside of your bubble is all the rage these days, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun during the holidays. All you have to do is send your true crime loving friends a Zoom invite and follow this Palentine’s Day guide!
1. Plan a dress code
Selecting a dress code that everyone can follow helps you to set a “vibe” for your Palentine’s Day. Is it time to step out of those old sweatpants and into something a little fancier (read: pants that aren’t made out of a spandex/cotton blend)? Or, will you and your friends get as cozy as can be by doubling down on the comfy loungewear? We all wear face masks when (or, if) we leave the house, but how about tossing on a refreshing sheet or clay version and match with your crew!
2. Whip up some brunch
Choose a dish that you and your pals can easily recreate! If you’re feeling minimalist, try an “egg in a frame” and use a heart-shaped cookie cutter— because who doesn’t love a childhood favorite with a stinkin’ cute spin? Or, if you’re feeling more daring, have your virtual guests try their hands at some raspberry swirl rolls. The vibrant red color of the raspberries is festive in both the innocent Valentine’s Day way and the quirky Murderino way— yay duality!
3. Craft your own spooky cocktail (or mocktail)
Jazz things up a bit and craft your own spookified Palentine’s Day cocktail! Just send your gang the list of ingredients and host your own mini mixology class right in the Zoom. (If you’re a really fabulous friend, send the ingredients to their doorsteps. They’ll love you.) If mimosas are more your speed, make them eerie in a flash with some “Blood Orange” juice. Bonus points if you add something pink (grapefruit juice? Cranberry juice? Grenadine?).
4. Warm up with true crime trivia
What’s the best way to get your palentine’s into the Murderino mood? With some trivia, of course! Are you or one of your pals the de facto true crime aficionado? Have them conjure some creepy factoids and quiz the group. Or, if teamwork is more your deal, have your buddies submit ten of their favorite nuggets of true crime trivia and shuffle them up on a document before your Zoom call. Then, present the document on your screen and have each person read their submitted questions. Fun!
5. Launch into a full-blown murder mystery!
When the Covid-19 pandemic first hit, murder mystery groups didn’t skip a beat. Instead, they seemed to have jumped straight into developing virtual versions of their beloved shows. The result? Countless mystery options ranging from the classic Clue-esque storylines to a totally rad 1980s prom gone wrong (plus gender-inclusive character options)!
6. Attempt a virtual escape room
If putting on the theatrics for a “who dunnit?” mystery isn’t your idea of fun, how about tapping into the more logical side of your brain this Palentine’s Day with a virtual escape room? Gather your whole team over Zoom, work together to solve some truly challenging puzzles and riddles, and walk away with the bragging rights that you escaped! (No shame if you don’t make it out in time, though. . . I haven’t.)
7. Catch up on the latest Netflix true crime documentary together
Netflix is releasing so many true crime documentaries that I can’t even keep up! And, to be honest, watching these types of series alone is the downright spookiest. . . However, with your Palentine’s by your (virtual) side this weekend, you’ll have no reason not to binge one these incredible shows. I recommend Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer, The Ripper, or Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel (which premiers today). All you have to do is download Teleparty as an extension on Google Chrome, load up your show, and invite your friends! Woo-hoo, Covid-era technology is so streamlined!
8. Sign up for a virtual ghost tour with Haunted Montreal
Last week I chatted with Donovan King of Haunted Montreal Ghost Tours about his company’s transition to virtual tours. Despite all of the obstacles that Covid-19 has thrown our way in the last year, Donovan’s ghost tours have continued to thrive over Zoom! If you want to learn about Montreal’s Victorian Era ghosts (including one that is famous for tobogganing down Mount Royal), you can catch a tour this Friday, February 12 at 8 pm EST. Make sure to let him know that MMN sent you!
9. Join a virtual tarot reading or talk to spirits with Raphael the World’s Medium
Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you need to stay in this realm! Thanks to the innovative nature of Covid-era technology (yeah, I’m saying this twice), talking to the spirits of those you love is just one Zoom call away. Are your Palentine’s guests not into the idea of connecting with the departed? Why not try a virtual tarot card reading instead! No matter your spiritual need(s), Raphael the World’s Medium has got you covered.
10. Craft spooky valentines with your pals
Remember those days when we would do arts and crafts in school? With just a few simple tools, you can bring that energy back and make Palentine’s Day cards with your friends over Zoom! All you need is some paper (plain white or colorful, whichever you prefer), scissors, markers, and a knack for ghoulish puns. You can even design a mini-competition for the most ridiculous card and have the loser buy the winner a box of chocolates. Yay prizes!