10 Fun Things You Can Do When the Power is Out (Besides Sex)

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There’s one thing people enjoy doing when the power is out, and if you don’t believe me, just show up at the nearest hospital nine months later. There is often about a 20% increase in babies born, or in the case of  Hurricane Sandy’s baby boom, about a 30% increase.

Power outages can be a nuisance, and nothing is wrong with sex when the power is out, but what do you do with the rest of your time? (While sex is a great way to stay warm, read this post for more ways to handle the cold if a power outage happens.)

After going through our first hurricane and losing power, I quickly realized practically EVERYTHING I do requires electricity. Entertaining kids was difficult (they’re iPad addicts), I couldn’t get any work done without a computer, and even chatting with friends was not an option without cell phones working.

Since you never know when you’re going to lose power. It’s good to have a few ideas up your sleeve, so you’re not twiddling your thumbs. It gets real boring – believe me! Every day without electricity felt like 100, especially when your neighbors get power back before you do, and you can’t help but stare at them in envy!

So if you’re wondering what to do when the power goes out, read on. In this article, I’ll share a variety of activities that you can do the next time the lights go out; it’s a great opportunity to have some fun and create memories with your loved ones.

Image: man pushing woman in box, having fun when the power is out

10 Fun Things You Can Do When the Power is Out

Here are 10 ideas I’ve come up with, but I would love to have you add your suggestions in the comments! The more ideas, the better!

#1 – Take a Nap

I won’t lie, this is the first thing I did when the power went out, but it’s usually what I do whenever I have some extra time. 😉 Go ahead and let yourself relax and catch up on sleep. Let’s face it, most of us could use a little more!

#2 – Meet Your Neighbors

Kudos to you if you know your neighbors already, but if you don’t, get out of your house and meet them. There really isn’t a better time to get to know your neighbors than when the power is out, and everyone is forced outside anyways.

#3 – Play Games (the old-fashioned kind)

With Wii’s, iPads, and Playstations, we sometimes forget there are games that aren’t hooked to an outlet. Find some fun games your family enjoys.

image: survival frog survival playing cards to play when the power is out

For example, if you like card games, learn how to survive 52 disaster situations with this deck. It’s educational, funny, and entertaining for the entire family!

Each of these survival cards covers a survival situation, as well as ideas on how to make it out alive.

    Here are a few other ideas:

    • Hide-n-seek
    • Board games
    • Charades
    • Play musical instruments
    • Do a craft
    • Sudoku, crossword puzzles

    #4 – Write a Letter

    When was the last time you wrote a letter with a pen and paper? I”m sure you can think of someone who would appreciate knowing you were thinking of them. You can also take this time to write in (or start) a journal!

    #5 – Sort through Closets and Cupboards

    Surely your home has at least a few closets and cupboards that are downright scary to open! There’s nothing like a day full of nothing to do to get those spaces cleaned out.

    Your first step is to remove everything from the entire cupboard or closet, or, if it’s too scary, just one shelf at a time. Sort through each item and handle each only one time. Make your decisions right on the spot as to its fate: throw away, give away, sell, or keep. 

    #6 – Practice Survival Skills

    This is a great time to take the kids outside and teach them a thing or two about survival (or even work on a few skills yourself)! The hands-on learning experience shows them the importance of being self-sufficient and prepared for emergencies. Here’s a list of 32 skills you can print off and have ready for when the power goes out.

    #7 – Read an Actual Paper Book

    With Audible and e-books so popular, not as many people have a library of books in their homes. If this is the case for you, make sure you get a few paper books to read because they will become your best friend! Check out these adult books related to survival and preparedness and these books for kids of all ages.

    #8 – Make a Shopping List

    Chances are you’ll start to realize you don’t have everything you need – especially when the stores are closed! This is a great time to take inventory of what you have (or don’t have) and make a shopping list.

    #9 – Get Outside

    Go on a walk, take a bike ride, work in the garden, or even play flashlight tag once it gets dark. Sometimes we don’t appreciate the outdoors enough – I know I don’t!

    #10 – Organize Your Preps

    Are your disaster supplies an unholy mess? Sometimes getting organized is one of those things that keeps getting pushed down to the bottom of your to-do list! Well…when you don’t have anything else to do, take advantage and finally get it crossed off!

    *** REMEMBER***

    Make a printed list of all the things you can do when the power is out, because you won’t have the internet when it does! Better yet, put a box together filled with games, books, and this list for the times you’re without power. Unless you enjoy making babies, then by all means…just do that. 😉

    There are more choices than boredom and sex when the power is out, and if you’re really brave, do a practice run to see if you can go a day or two without electricity! This will really give you great insight into how well your family can handle being electronic-free.

    What do you do when the power is out? Share in the comments!

    Originally published August 30, 2014; updated by the Survival Mom editors.

    15 thoughts on “10 Fun Things You Can Do When the Power is Out (Besides Sex)”

    1. #5 if you have an electric stove this one won’t work to well. I’d go with build a fire in a pit or your grill and make the popcorn or s’mores

    2. If you’re dependent on charcoal for your no-electric meals, don’t wait until everyone’s starving before getting the grill started! Nothing makes the family crankier than being without both electricity AND having to wait for a hot meal. For entertainment, we play Uno, because the cards can still be seen when lit by lantern light. We also turn power outages into picnics or “camping trips”, depending on the weather. We’ll spread the red & white checked tablecloth on the living room floor and eat around it, sometimes pretending to roast marshmallows over a lantern. It’s been years since I’ve had to deal with a power outage of more than 12 hours, so it’s easy for us to treat it like a game. Not sure what we’d do if we lived in hurricane territory.

    3. We never had the power go out but sometimes we would plAy hide the thimble or we would take turns reading a word from the dictionary and everyone would try to guess the meaning. Both were pretty fun games.

    4. Another activity I enjoy is putting together a puzzle. Have a variety of puzzles and sizes so everyone can work on them. Art supplies like crayons, color pencils, coloring books, drawing paper, scissors, and glue sticks will help pass the time. Write a journal about what has happened and how you are coping. Everyone can contribute or write their own.

    5. I don’t have electricity. My car charges my computer. I’m only bored on rainy days I can’t work. Losing power is not the big deal people make it out to be. I have firewood to cut, chores to do, kitties to play with. Right now I’m clearing off a few trees on my new property to make a homestead. Kids only become gizmo addicts if you let them. People have lived for centuries without electric power, and some still choose to do so. Stop treating loss of electric power as a big deal.

    6. Lived through a major typhoon in Guam when I was 7 years old. My brother and I played Pachinko by candlelight! Not only was the power out for weeks, the water was off for a while too. Running water became available shortly, but it wasn’t safe for drinking (we could bathe and wash clothes, tho!) We washed clothes in the bathtub, agitating them by stomping them. We did grill out a lot.

      1. The Survival Mom

        Julie, my husband lived on Guam for over 20 years and has told me many stories about the typhoons and huge earthquakes he lived through. Interesting place!

    7. I love these ideas! My kids have recently started putting together puzzles and really enjoy them. I need to add a few more to our game closet!

    8. Several years ago, this area was without power for 19 days due to an ice storm.( that was the longest time, some had power b ack in just a few days, but others were longer.) Except for the downed trees in their woodlots, the local Amish were not affected.

    9. I had to laugh that people would actually need a list of ideas of things to do! I have so many things on the back burner to get done, I would welcome uninterrupted time! As beholdenages wrote, there are still chores to be done and as singlemom wrote, meals will take extra thought and time.
      Our children do not watch TV ( except during football season) , have limited electronic gadget
      time, read actual books, love board games, puzzles and card games. They have chores. They love the outdoors and no matter what the weather ( only exception, lightening) they play outside at least an hour a day…yes, we stomp in puddles and make mud castles, go sledding and build snow forts, rake leaves and jump in the piles, collect bugs and plant gardens, in addition to sports, bike riding and such. When we lose power, the day goes on as usual but the night is fun with glow stick baths, shadow puppet theatre and reading by flashlight.

    10. Besides reading and doing things in the kitchen that don’t require too many dishes, When the power goes out I can still sew. I was given a treadle sewing machine that I have always wanted and it is right in front of my living room window, ready to sew if I want to, no matter what the power status is. It might only do straight stitching, but that’s enough for me. I have many quilt projects ready fro chain piecing. I can even do quilting if I want. My projects are all functional: quilts, mug rugs, placemats, clothes. There’s no end to the things you can make with a sewing machine.

    11. Last power outage a few weeks ago I was intent on keeping my laptop going but for 16 hours I mostly listened to aidiobooks and repacked my car bag.
      the bob/ghb.. everything bag.

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