While vaccines continue to roll-out across the United States, health experts are hoping for a “return to normal” by the end of the year. Whether that comes sooner or later, it’s better to be prepared with Covid-safe activities for the summer. If you’ve already watched every show on Netflix and can’t take another board game night, here are some new ideas to freshen up your weekend plans:
1. Camping Trip
Camping trips are one of the best ways to get outdoors, while avoiding excessive contact with the general public. Depending on the comfort level of your family or friends, consider renting either a cabin or campground space for a week. You’ll be able to take in the scenic views and test out some new Dutch-oven recipes, all while keeping safe. Be sure to check in with local officials and national park websites for updates on covid-specific regulations or policy changes.
2. Neighborhood Driveway Happy Hour
Everyone loves a good block party, and if the weather is just right, planning a night out in the neighborhood can be a great way to see friendly faces while maintaining a healthy distance. With a “Bring Your Own Beverage” and “Bring Your Own Chair” policy, you’ll be able to set up safe and distanced experiences that all the neighbors will enjoy.
3. Virtual Poker Night
Why not raise the stakes for an evening with friends? Poker is a fun activity that people of all ages can participate in. Consider hosting a virtual poker night with video conferencing, if you’re not able to meet IRL. For those that might feel less comfortable with the game (or need a few helpful reminders throughout the hand), consider setting up a virtual poker room that includes beginner prompts and helpful hints throughout the game.
4. Outdoor Farmer’s Market
Everybody loves a good farmer’s market, but it’s especially important to participate this year in order to support local businesses! Outdoor markets are great for maintaining proper distance from others while picking up your fresh groceries for the week. If you’re not sure where to find a farmer’s market in your area, consider checking your city’s local calendar or using this Local Food Directories database.
5. Drive-In Movie
While the movie theaters stay closed or have limited capacity, drive-in movies are booming! Especially with good weather on the way, outdoor movies are the perfect date or family night plan. To make the most of your drive-in experience, make sure to plan for the following:
- Arrive early and snag a spot near the exit to avoid a long line getting out.
- Bring your own radio and batteries for optimal listening.
- Pack your car with blankets, bug spray and snacks.
- Wear your favorite comfy clothes, but don’t forget to bring a hoodie if it starts to get colder.
- Bring cash, just in case a snack or food vendors do not accept card transactions.
6. Park Picnic
If you want a simple Saturday getaway, a quick visit to the park can be a fun way to bring the family together in the great outdoors. Consider purchasing or packing a few games that can compliment your snacks and food. Some of the most popular games this past year have included Spikeball, cornhole, capture the flag, BucketBall, jumbo Jenga and Kan Jam.
7. Virtual Experience Night
Thanks to Amazon Explore, your options for learning or new experiences isn’t limited to what’s in your living room. Browse their database of virtual experiences across the world and sign up to learn from professional pasta-makers in Italy and empanada experts in Argentina. Tim Chan of Rolling Stone noted that, “aside from music, the Amazon Explore site offers a ton of online shopping experiences, online food tours, historic and cultural tours, and even “virtual Spring Break” experiences, taking you everywhere from Mexico to Paris. The site has also launched an entire section of women-led experiences, where you can meet female artists and small business owners to visit their workshops and studios, with the ability to purchase their products afterwards.”
8. Architecture or Walking Tour
If you live near a larger city, there’s likely a lot of history worth exploring! Walking tours of architecture or historical sites are a great way to learn more about where you live and get outside for a little exercise. Many cities offer both self-guided and instructor-guided tours; select the option that you feel is best for your own family. If you can’t find a pre-built program, take some time to search through historical landmarks in your city and build your own walking tour!
9. Sport Event Viewing Party
If you’re a sports fan, you’re probably missing the feeling of being in a large stadium and celebrating a team win with other fans. While you might not be able to get back into the stadium just yet, there are ways to plan safe viewing parties for games you can’t miss. Consider setting up a projector screen in your backyard to create your own “jumbotron” to catch all the action with a small group of friends or family.
10. Backyard BBQ
Love a good backyard hang-out? Everyone can get on board with firing up the grill and enjoying good music, good company and great food. Consider planning a backyard BBQ with limited or family-only guests to maintain your overall safety. If you’re not comfortable on the grill, never hesitate to try take-out from local restaurants and have them cater for your day with friends and family. Combine their cuisine with potluck food from friends, and you’ll be in great shape.
One of the best things you can do is take advantage of this summer weather and plan a variety of activities outdoors. While the guest list may still be small, the more vaccines that are received, the larger the party can grow!