You’re sitting at home enjoying a movie, cooking on your electric stove, and surfing your favorite websites. Suddenly the lights go out, the computer switches to battery mode and the TV shuts off. It’s a black out. There are several options here; first, you can run around screaming and panicking until the lights come back on or you can turn this into a fun, electricity free night.
Before the fun happens there are a few things you should do. First, turn off your stove. You don’t know when the power is going to come back on and if you’re sleeping you really don’t want to burn down your building. Next, unplug any electronics that you want to protect. When the lights go back on there is the possibility of a power surge and you don’t want anything to break. Finally, make sure you have a light source so you’re not falling down in the dark. If you’re allowed to have candles just make sure you blow them out before you fall asleep.
Now that you’re safe and you can see let’s get ready for some fun. Remember those zombie kits you made a little while back? Go grab the flash light from it and start calling your neighbors, they are going to be as bored as you are. Here are some suggestions of games you can play:
Flashlight tag and other games
It’s freeze tag with a twist. One person is “it” and the others are running around in the dark. The person who is it can freeze people with the light from their flash light. If you want the game to be more active, the person who is spotted by the flashlight can become “it.”
Grab some glow sticks and play flag football, capture the flag or man hunt. As long as you have a field and a ball there is always something to do.
One of my favorite night activities when camping is taping an LED to a translucent frisbee and playing some ultimate frisbee or some disc golf. If you play disc golf, you can set up your own targets and play with your friends.
This was my favorite as a kid. I lived with my grand mother in a very old house. Any time the power went out we would play rummy 500 for hours on end. Even as a kid she wouldn’t let me win but she did teach me to talk smack like a gentleman.
Make a Fort
I will admit it, I am not particularly fond of the dark. Why? Because it’s harder to see zombies. I wish I was joking but I’m not, I don’t trust the living dead and I don’t trust the dark. But if I learned 1 thing when I was a kid it was this: My blanket is an impenetrable cloak. It would be simple enough to cover myself with it. But where is the fun in that? Like any adult I do the logical thing. I take all the cushions off of my couch and arrange them like a castle. The only specifications are that it must have an entrance I can crawl into, I have to be able to lay down in it and it has to be comfortable. Once it meets those qualifications I can crawl in and enjoy my fort. I just make sure to stick my “No
Girls Zombies allowed” sign near the entrance.
If you’re lucky enough the power outage will be city wide. Step outside and look up. Without all the light pollution the night sky fills with constellations, planets and galaxies. If you want to enhance your experience use a telescope. On clear nights with a powerful enough telescope you can see the rings of Saturn.
If you have a fire pit– or even a grill– you can brighten up your night and start to warm you up. If it’s early enough you can grill some burgers and hot dogs. If it’s later into the night you can always go the nostalgic route by making s’mores and telling ghost stories.
Many people look at a power outage as an inconvenience, they see it as boring and something they have to deal with. In reality it doesn’t have to be any of those things. It is a time that you get to act like a kid and have a legitimate excuse to not be able to do anything. Take full advantage of it, go outside and enjoy the rare throwback to the dark ages. Spend it with those you like and love connecting with them and making great memories.