On Thursday, September 8 around 4:00 p.m., I was one of the 3.5 to 5 million people (depending on your source) impacted by the blackout in southern California. Despite the minor inconvenience of no fans in 95-degree weather, my dog and I fared pretty well by spending the evening at our neighbor’s house, who happened to have a generator hooked up to the television for the opening night of NFL football.
The next day I read accounts of how others spent their forced ‘unplugged’ time. Most folks spent their evening with neighbors, both those they knew previously and some they met for the first time that night. Overall, the blackout actually brought people closer together and forged a strong sense of community. I have composed the following list of things to do during a blackout based on both my own ideas and the accounts I have heard or read.
*especially great in extreme heat
- squirt gun fight*
- sidewalk chalk
- football or Wiffle ball
- tag tournament
- grill out
- eat ice cream* – You don’t want that to go to waste!
- pool party*
- visit a neighborhood park
- take a walk – an exploration walk
- fly a kite
- jump rope competition
- glow sticks
- board games by candlelight
- card tournament by candlelight (Go Fish, Uno)
- fire pit – roasting marshmallows optional
- storytelling around the fire
- take a walk with flashlights
- catch (and release) fireflies
- camp out in the backyard