Fun apps to get you get through long holiday weekends

You already have your phone out, the Tryptophan levels are rising, so enjoy these apps with friends, family, and loved ones.

The holiday season has officially begun, which means it’s the time of year where you may likely attend one awkward get-together, at the very least, whether that’s a family dinner, a work party or gathering at a friend of a friend’s house. Phew. Whatever situation, is anything a greater challenge than having to come up with small talk for hours on end? Don’t worry because these apps all make for easy conversation starters and will disrupt any unwanted awkwardness.

Do you have that one relative who likes talking about the history of a battle you’ve never heard of over dinner? The “library-of-places” is the perfect app to keep them occupied and educated while everyone else grabs a second slice of pumpkin pie. This project lets you explore the Library of Congress digital archives through an interactive map.

Just click any two spots on the United States and a route will form filled with photos from the archives that were taken in places along the route — scroll down to see the results. The creator, Aidan Nelson, is a New York-based artist and educator who is currently a researcher in residence at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.

Your cousin is a first-year college student and spends a ton of time on TikTok, but (quick!) you need a way to show that you’re quite aware of what should and should not be acceptable in this economy. Luckily, the “twin-peaks-password-generator” is here for you. Show that you watch prestige television and that you care about cybersecurity with this clever little project from Josh Mock.

This project is easily remixable, so if you don’t like Twin Peaks, create the password app of your dreams using keywords from any of your favorite prestige TV shows: Breaking Bad, The Wire, etc.

Finally, the kids. If you’ve been to any big gathering ever, you know that worrying about keeping the kids entertained is of the most importance. Enter “tenori-off” from Monica Dinculescu, a project inspired by the Tenori-on, a 2007 electronic musical instrument from Yamaha. “I LOVE the Tenori-on,” Monica writes in the project description. “Since they're rare and mad expensive, I've never seen one, so I made a JavaScript version of what I think it looks like.”

To use the instrument, click any one of the blocks to add either a synth or drum sound — the higher on the block, the higher the note. You can also enter a new number into the “Step 100 ms” block to adjust the speed.

The holidays can be a busy, expensive and exhausting time, but hopefully with a little help from some fun and interesting apps, it can go smoothly. Add these apps to your My Stuff with this collection.