It is possible to enjoy your summer both socially and responsibly, even if that means not getting to spend it all the ways you're used to. There may not be large gatherings (state fairs, music festivals, beach parties, etc.), but there are still plenty of socially distant summer activities that are fun, safe, and still feel totally seasonal.
From state to state, there are different restrictions in place, so before you make any major plans this summer, it's wise to stay on top of the most current regulations in terms of traveling, dining out, and more. That said the CDC has some general recommendations in terms of socializing that everyone can try to have the safest summer possible. For example, they strongly suggest continuing to practice proper hygiene (washing hands and using hand sanitizer when you can't get to a sink), wearing a mask, and limiting your social circle.
And while it's recommended you keep those you're in physical contact limited to those within your household, the CDC does offer some advice for those looking to connect outside their circle. "It is possible to stay socially connected with friends and family who don’t live in your home by calling, using video chat, or staying connected through social media," the website says. "If meeting others in person (e.g., at small outdoor gatherings, yard or driveway gathering with a small group of friends or family members), stay at least [six] feet from others who are not from your household."
In terms of the best kind of activities to try, anything outside is your best bet, since it allows for more airflow as well as distance. This could mean a small barbecue with those you're distancing with, or something more physical like a bike ride or hike somewhere particularly scenic. If you're staying inside, make use of technology and get creative with Zoom classes and clubs that you can give a summer spin to (like a seasonal cooking class or a virtual book club where you discuss the best beach reads).
Want some more ideas? Ahead find nine activities to try that might be a bit different, but will definitely keep you — and others — a lot safer. And besides, it's good to try something new, right?
Socially Distant Summer Activity: Drive-In Entertainment
Check your local paper to see if any venues are offering drive-in movies this season. It's socially distant, but also makes for a nostalgic good time. There are even some drive-in drag shows popping up in major cities, which puts an exciting new spin on this form of entertainment.
Socially Distant Summer Activity: Plan An Outdoor Screening
If you can't get to a drive-in, create your own outdoor screening with a portable movie projector. Invite friends who can stay in their cars and watch separately, or set it up in your yard and watch with those within your circle. Add some quintessential snacks and make it a whole themed event.
Socially Distant Summer Activity: Camping (Even In Your Own Backyard)
Make the most of the great outdoors by camping — even if you don't leave your own lawn. If you're heading out of town, be sure to research which campsites are allowing overnight visitors, stay isolated from others, and be cognizant of leaving with everything you brought along. If you're staying at home, let yourself have the whole camping experience by making s'mores, sleeping under the stars, the whole nine yards.
Socially Distant Summer Activity: Start A Garden
Now is the perfect time to indulge in your green thumb — or experiment to see if you have one at all! By following a few expert tips, you could be growing something incredible before you know it.
Socially Distant Summer Activity: Visit The Farmer's Market
In many places, farmer's markets are still popping up as usual — and it's also a great way to support local farmers. That said, your neighborhood market might have a few more restrictions in place, so do your research before heading over. And in addition to getting outside and seeing some gorgeous seasonal produce, a trip here will probably get you inspired to do more home cooking.
Socially Distant Summer Activity: Start A Virtual Book Club
Summer is always a great time to catch up on reading, and why not turn this solo activity into something a little more social? You and your friends can still break down the latest beach reads, just over Zoom — cocktails optional.
Socially Distant Summer Activity: Just Go For A Drive
Itching to get out of the house for a while? Take a road trip or just go for an extra-long scenic drive to see some nature and change up your perspective.
Socially Distant Summer Activity: Take A Long Bike Ride
A bike ride makes for an ideal socially distant activity for those looking to hang out with people outside your household: It's fun, it's easy to stay six feet apart, and it's a physical exercise that will get your body moving and your endorphins flowing.
Socially Distant Summer Activity: Create Cooking Challenges
Whether within your household or with friends over Zoom or FaceTime, challenge each other to different cooking projects that encourage experimentation and allow you both to sharpen your skills.