- Katey Psencik American-Statesman Staff
Weather experts are predicting that Hurricane Harvey will be close to a Category 4 storm when it makes landfall in Texas late Friday or early Saturday, bringing torrential rains to the Austin area. And you know what that means -- you could very easily lose power in the storms. So, in a time when entertainment is mainly driven by things like Wi-Fi and electricity, how do you keep yourself entertained when you have none of those things? We have some ideas.
Light every candle you own. Go around the entire house and gather all your candles in one place. (Carefully) light each one, and watch your house come to spooky, flickering life again.
Invite your friends over. Misery loves company. Plus, it’s way harder to get bored when you’re surrounded by people you love.
Play board games, cards or charades. There are dozens of different ways to play Solitaire (here’s a list of 10 great games) and Monopoly and charades can last hours. Also, adult card games like Cards Against Humanity or Superfight are guaranteed to make you laugh until your sides hurt. It’s a foolproof way to spend an evening.
Get out of the house. This may or may not be an option this weekend, depending on how severe the weather gets. But you may be able to use the opportunity to eat at one of these Austin restaurants that are perfectly cozy and delicious in rainy weather, or try one of these Austin bars or tasting rooms with great indoor spaces. If you’re not feeling like venturing far, maybe finally knock on your neighbors’ door and introduce yourself. You may just make a new friend.
Read a book. When was the last time you sat down to read an actual book? Grab one off the shelf and give it a shot. Reading by candlelight doesn’t sound like a bad way to spend a weekend.
Get active. If the rain and winds aren’t too bad, go for a walk or run. If it’s too gross to go outside, try some yoga poses by candlelight or use your phone or battery-powered radio to turn on some music and have a dance party (solo or with company).
Bonus points if you include this song in your dance party:
Eat. If the power is out, so is your refrigerator, of course. Not all your food will spoil (here’s a list of what foods you should toss and when) but why not take the opportunity to snack? If you’re feeling adventurous, see what you can make out of the ingredients you have in your pantry or fridge without using electricity. Maybe challenge your partner or family member to a contest -- what’s the strangest thing you can concoct? The most delicious? The grossest?
Soak in the bathtub. Grab all those candles, run a bubble bath and relax with no distractions.
Get creative. When was the last time you sat down to draw, paint or color? Since coloring books have been all the rage lately, it’s likely you received one as a gift for a birthday or Christmas -- so why not give it a shot? It’s extremely therapeutic. If you’re not particularly artsy, write a letter to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while (or to your close loved ones) or journal.
Feel like a kid again. There’s something about a power outage that makes you feel like a preteen at a sleepover, right? So embrace it. Build a fort or pitch a tent in the living room. Make shadow puppets on the walls. Play truth or dare. Tell scary stories with a flashlight pointed at your chin. Play hide and seek or flashlight tag. Play “light as a feather, stiff as a board” or pull out that Ouija board if you’re feeling brave.
Watch the storms. Thunderstorms can be extremely peaceful to watch. Crack open that overpriced bottle of whiskey that you claimed in a family Christmas exchange and watch the rain fall.
Check things off your to-do list. Clean your bathroom or kitchen. Konmari your closet. Sort your laundry. Alphabetize your book, movie or record collection. You’ll feel better.
Take a nap. When all else fails.RELATED:
- Keep up with Hurricane Harvey coverage on Statesman.com
Weather cancellations in Austin and Central Texas: Weekend of Aug. 25
- Complete coverage list: Hurricane Harvey