What to Do When Lights Go Out

Power went out in whole house and I was in the middle of working. What do you do? I don’t know about you but I am a little disoriented. I’m left blank, not knowing what to do next.

When power goes out for no reason, life doesn’t have to go out as well. There a lot of activities that hardly need light or require minimal light. If you are alone, you can read a book, journal, engage in simple exercises or art activities, or else go out and watch the stars if it’s at night and the weather allows. If you have kids, engage them with stories, dancing, singing in rounds, and reading to each other where possible.

16 Best Activities to Do When Power Goes Out

Here is a list of activities to help you make use of your time when you have a blackout.

1.   House chores

Cleaning or repair never has an ideal time and it’s easy to keep procrastinating. Now that you have time, you can utilize it to handle simple tasks such as wiping your bathroom shelves and arranging them. You can also re-arrange your bookshelves, closet, and shoe racks. This gives you an opportunity to unravel what you haven’t worn in the recent past and either set it apart to give it out or dispose of. You can also fix those loose handles you have been bypassing.

2.   Engage the kids

There are various ways of keeping kids entertained under dim lights or in darkness.

3.   Tell Scary Stories

The darkness in the room lays the perfect environment for telling spooky stories about ghosts. However, mind the younger kids or you might scare them too much such that they have nightmares.

4.   Read Out Loud

If you are many, get everyone involved by taking turns reading out loud. Choose appropriate literature for kids, your spouse, or friends and allow all to read out a few sections in turns. Interesting reads include poems, comics, lyrics, quotes, and short stories.

5.   Sky-watching

If the weather allows, letting the time slowly slip by as you enjoy the beautiful scenery of the night sky on your backyard is a fantastic way of bonding with kids.

6.   Tell Childhood stories

Re-live your past by sharing some of the most memorable stories from your childhood, or your kid’s childhood. Adventurous stories of places you went, the games you played, where you lived, and the most embarrassing moments are some of the exciting things children love to hear about.

7.   Build a fort

Play with blankets, pillows, cushions, tables, chairs, and use them to build a fort. Lounge inside your fort and goof around.

8.   Create a puppet show

Use flashlights to create shadow puppets. Kids love that creepy feeling when you form shapes and movements on the wall. Tell them a story and illustrate with shadows. You can also invite them to try telling stories in rounds.

9.   Singing

Do a mini-show where everyone performs their favorite song and is celebrated regardless of their prowess. Sing cartoon songs aloud, songs from adverts or whichever song that crosses your mind.

10.  Dancing

A dance-off can be a fun way to entertain especially if it is done in the dark. Involve everyone by creating a dance-off between kids, between kids and parents, boys against girls, or whichever pleases you.

11. Exercise

Apart from being a great way of constructively using time, exercising relieves stress, lifts your mood, improves the functioning of your brain, and boosts your energy. Instead of taking a nap, why not engage in simple exercises that don’t need equipment? If possible, try jogging, jumping jacks, or a brisk walk. Stationary biking is also a great way of passing time while meeting your fitness goals.

12. Art and craft

Gather colors, pens, pencils, canvas, papers, and any other materials that you can find, keep yourself busy by drawing and coloring. Challenge your creativity crafting stuff like yarn dolls. If you are passionate about knitting, crocheting, or embroidery, create memories making items for display, or use. The products can also be used as gift items.

Blind art is also a creative activity whether you are alone or with family. Drawing in the dark can be fun especially if you don’t use any flashlights to aid in drawing. It can be very interesting to see whatever you managed to create when the lights resume.

13.  Read

Whether it’s a comic book, the bible, a novel, or old magazines, soaking your mind in a book engages your mind and distracts you from anxiously waiting for power to resume.

14.  Visit friends and neighbors

If you are all alone, think of someone you can visit instead of enduring the boredom alone. It would be more interesting if you stepped out and joined your friends and neighbors. If you can, carry some snacks, games, and back-up light especially if they too have a blackout.

15. Play games

Ever thought of using glow sticks and glow stick necklaces to play some ring toss game? This is a fun way to start. When everyone warms up, play the flashlight tag game using flashlights.

Many old-school games are fun to play when the lights go out. These include games like pick-up sticks, tumbling towers, dominoes, and jacks.

Solitaire, war, poker, and bridge are also good games for passing time. Alternatively, you can play board games such as chess, monopoly, risk, or battleship. I find puzzles quite engaging too, whether alone or with friends, puzzles are ‘good company’.

16.  Cooking

Some foods – especially snacks don’t need much light to make. Get busy in the kitchen and keep yourself busy making pancakes, roast potatoes, or any other simple delicacy. Woe unto you if your burner is fully electric.


If you haven’t already done so, invest in a backup light. It could be a solar lamp or a rechargeable electric lamp. Also, save this list for the next time the lights go out.

What to Do When You Are Extremely Bored


Am a graduate sociologist and a regular contributor to national publications such as the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Journal of Applied Social Science and the Annual Review of Sociology.

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