COVID-19 unexpectedly swept into 2020 taking away many of the most anticipated events of the year including the summer Olympics, concerts, festivals, birthday parties and any other type of gathering involving many people or a public space. As we continue to live through this pandemic, it is important that we find ways to enjoy summer to ensure our physical and mental well-being. Here are some ideas of things to do this summer to stay safe while having some fun.

Explore Your Community

Summer is the perfect time to explore your own community. Hike or ride your bike on a new trail, spend an afternoon on a canoe or paddleboard in a local lake, or pick up a sport like tennis or golf, which are all considered low-risk activities. Visit a local farm to pick fresh fruits or vegetables. Hit the neighborhood pool or splash pad at off-peak times to avoid crowds. Better yet, turn on the sprinkler and get cooled off at home.

Make it a staycation by getting takeout from a nearby restaurant that you’ve been meaning to try, renting a film that aligns with the food’s ethnicity and immersing yourself in that culture. If you have kids, spend a little time researching that country online and find a fun cultural activity to do together.

Learn New Skills or Pick up a New Hobby While at Home

Spend some free time at home wisely by learning a new skill like painting, gardening, cooking, woodworking or learn how to play an instrument. Or, work on a DIY backyard project to make your outdoor space more enjoyable.

Have a picnic and play some board or yard games outside. Invite over a small group of friends who have been quarantining for a socially distant BBQ. Have your guests bring their own food and drinks to limit the spread of germs and place chairs a safe distance from one another.

Plan a Road Trip

Any travel is risky during a pandemic, but if you simply need to get away, camping is one of the least risky things you can do. Because it takes place outdoors and is isolated, there is less risk of infection. Traveling to a vacation home with just your family or a small selected group of friends can also be a good option.

Regardless of how you spend your time this summer, remember to be diligent about sunscreen. Use a product with high SPF regularly and try to stay indoors or in the shade during the sun’s midday peak to avoid sunburn. By following safety precautions including wearing a mask, keeping distance and washing your hands, you can still plan many fun adventures this summer.

For more tips, check out the CDC guidelines on going out.

  1. The Summer of COVID-19: Tips for Families to Have a Safe, Fun Season, Emerson Hospital, June 17, 2020
  2. Jill Amsberry, DO , Enjoying Summer Safely During COVID-19, CentraCare, May 28, 2020
  3. Editorial Staff, How to Enjoy Summer Activities during the COVID-19 Pandemic, American Lung Association, June 30, 2020
  4. Becky Upham, Your COVID-19 Summer Safety Guide, Everyday Health, June 23, 2020