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Top 10 Creative Chol Hamoed/Family Quarantine Ideas

This year, Chol Hamoed Pesach is something different than ever before. Due to the Coronavirus, most people are going to be at home. Instead of going to amusements parks, concerts, malls, baseball games and the like, it’s time to take Chol Hamoed to the home. With these fun, DIY ideas, create a Chol Hamoed vacation for you and your family, one which you’ll look back on in twenty years and say…” woah. Now that was an amazing Chol Hamoed.” Here are some ideas to get your “vacation of a life-time” started:

  1. Family Game Day Instead of the old, “boring” board games, make your own games, games that showcase your creativity and provide a fun time for everyone. Some games include: a. Charades- a game of pantomimes where you act out a phrase or situation. The object of the game is for your teammates to guess what you’re acting out. To make things more exciting, come up with charades that are tailored to each family member. For example: act out your sister complaining to your mom or pretend to be a firefighter. b. Would you rather…?- a game of this or that, x or y. Would you rather never eat matzah again or have to eat kosher-for-Pesach cereal for breakfast every day? Would you rather sing on stage with Yaakov Shweky or get a free Mordechai Shapiro concert in your backyard? Come up with your own ideas. c. Truth or Dare- a game of confessions and daring fun! Create a bunch of truth or dares, cut them up, and pick them out of a hat. This way, no one will know if they’re going to be truthed or dared.
  2. Pot-Luck Picnic! This is easier if you have a backyard accessible, but if not, any flat surface will do. Take a large blanket or tablecloth and spread it out in your backyard or floor. Have each member of the family contribute a food item to the picnic. One can bring an appetizer, the other desserts…and those that are challenged at cooking can bring the paper goods! Food combinations are welcome, as long as they don’t contain any mixtures of milk and meat.
  3. Virtual Museums If you have a computer accessible, virtual museums are the place to go! There are over twelve museums online that offer virtual museum tours, including the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. For the experience of a lifetime, watch the Full Bais Hamikdash Presentation at DafHachaim.org and put in code: Pesach2020 for a free, virtual experience!
  4. Watch Old Home Videos (and make new ones)- Watch old home videos from back in the good ol’ days. That might include Abba and Ema’s wedding video, your brother’s Bar Mitzvah video, or cute videos of you and your siblings from when you were young. After watching these, create your own! (Note: Remember-you’re going to be watching these videos in twenty years, so make sure you only include things you want your future self viewing.) If you don’t have any videos of your own, snuggle up on the couch and watch a good movie. Don’t forget those kosher l’pesach snacks!
  5. Make a Play This is always a good one for those dramatic ones in the house. Make a play about anything-it could even be about someone stuck in quarantine. Gather materials and clothes from around the house to make your costume the most magnificent it can possibly be. Become a dragon, or a fairy, or a monster! Act out Yetziat Mitzrayim!
  6. Paint Time Let all of that talent loose in creating the most amazing masterpiece that will someday be featured in the MoMA. If you want to take a risk, attempt to draw a portrait of each of your family members. If paint is too complicated and messy, markers and crayons are an easy second.
  7. Dance Party Make a playlist of all of your greatest dance tunes, turn off the lights, and blast that music! If you have access to a computer: to add to the fun, ZOOM all of your cousins and let them join in the fun! Good thing the neighbors can’t leave their houses to yell at you…
  8. Karaoke! Similar to #7, yet different, sing your favorite songs at the top of your lungs with a selfmade microphone. This can be a paper towel roll or a bedazzled water bottle. Make sure you have earplugs easily accessible for when it’s your family members’ turns. Good thing the neighbors are still stuck in their houses…
  9. Read a Sefer or a Book If you’re in the mood for some chill time, learn a sefer or read those books you always said you would read. Thanks to Artscroll, they are giving away free online access to any mesechta. Also, thanks to The Internet Archive, more than one million books are digitally accessible. Wait- did I say they’re both free?
  10. Write a Letter to Your Future Self Write a letter to your future self/kids about how back in the old days… you were actually able to leave your house. Just kidding. Call up Bubbe and Zaide and ask them how things have changed over the years. You can also document the fun times you’ve had while stuck at home and write about how it was a time to make the most of what you have. Entrust this letter to a family member (that is reliable) who will be able to return this letter to you in ten years. Set a reminder on your phone for 2030 so that you won’t forget to open your letter.

Hope you enjoyed these Chol Hamoed ideas! Now get started creating an unforgettable Chol Hamoed for you and your family!