How to have a great night in with your group

22 Feb 2019
By Unite Students, Staff writer at The Common Room

Have you heard? Staying in is the new going out. Whether it’s for the benefit of their well-being or their wallet, people are ditching the bars and clubs in record numbers.

But what are they doing with all that time indoors?

Here are seven ways to spend quality time at home with other humans.

1) Get the board games out

Banagrams for showing off your vocab. Monopoly for an absolute marathon. Cluedo for people who’d really like to see a Sherlock/Downton Abbey mash-up.

My recommendation? Dobble. The symbol-matching card game is simple, but impossible. Fun but frenetic. And it’s five games for the price of one.

In the words of one Amazon reviewer:

“LOVE THIS GAME (and I'm 21 years old...) Bought it as a friend had it and I took it to uni with me where my other friends loved it as well - they did ban it for a while as I may have got a bit too competitive, but hey ho what you gonna do.”

2) Start a book club

To most adults who join one, ‘book club’ is an obvious euphemism for wine club. That’s why they join. Monthly meet-ups go like this:

‘Who’s read the book, then?’

Silence, during which just two of the 14 hands in the room are raised.

‘More wine anyone?’

Drinking and chat ensues, during which nobody mentions the book again. Not once.

Buck this horrible trend by actually discussing your book. Switch the wine for tea. And appoint a moderator each month, someone to stir up discussion.

Need some inspiration? Climb aboard the Bowie Book Club’s growing bandwagon. Fans of Bowie are reading their way through the Thin White Duke’s 100 favourite books.


3) Host a video game session

Sticking with the retro theme we’ve got going here, how about installing an old console and getting some mates together for a tourney?

No group bonds better than the group that’s gathered around a telly, watching a Chun-Li spinning bird kick crash repeatedly into Ken’s beautiful blonde head.

You can pick up cheap consoles, controllers and games on second-hand websites like CEX.

Hyper Street Fighter 2 for the PS2 is available for just eight British pounds.

4) Binge on a box set

Box set is such a brilliantly out-of-date term. When did you last see – let alone use – a boxed set of DVDs? I like to imagine Netflix keeps all episodes of a show together on its servers, wrapped in a tiny cardboard sleeve.

The best shows to watch with a group are the ones full of suspense and shocking twists. Think Making a Murderer, Peaky Blinders, Stranger Things or – of course – Games of Thrones when it was still watchable.

5) Cook a collective meal

This is a great way to get your delegation skills business-ready. Organise a flat dinner and assign a dish to each guest. Give any reluctant chefs something else to do – the table, pot-wash, entertainment, music.

Practice your mmm-this-is-delicious face for when you discover the dessert hasn’t quite gone to plan. Either that or talk openly about how disgusting it is and have a bit of laugh.

6) Fancy dress

Freshers’ week sucks all the joy out of fancy dress. But you can reclaim some by dressing up with a small group of your best mates. It’s especially effective when you’re staying in, and even more so if you’re just sitting around playing Uno.

Why not take the fancy part literally and host a black tie house party? Here’s me at one, looking a bit sad but actually feeling alright. It’s just my face.

7) Stage a murder mystery

If multiple rounds of Cluedo has whetted your appetite for fictional homicide, try staging a murder mystery night with your mates.

You can spend a small fortune on a ready-made kit, which is why this free downloadable Harry Potter version is a must.

You’ll just need to find a costume, and 13 friends to join in.

If teenaged wizards aren’t your thing, you can find a more appealing version at the Balance website.

Have fun, and try to show it on your face.

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Staff writer at The Common Room