13 Social Distancing Summer Activities To Enjoy the Season Safelyon
It’s summertime, and you’re probably ready to get out and enjoy the picture-perfect weather in the great outdoors.
The only problem is we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic.
So rather than canceling all your typical summer activities, it’s time to upgrade them for the era of social distancing.
As you’ll learn in this short guide, you don’t have to stay cooped up indoors the whole season. We’ve rounded up 13 social distancing activities for you and the kids to enjoy summer safely.
But we have to lay down a few rules first.
3 Social Distancing Rules for Fun Summer Activities
Before we get to the mega list of fun summer activities, let’s recap the social distancing rules you and your family will need to practice.
According to the CDC’s rules, you should:
- Limit face-to-face contact with others outside of your home. Self-quarantine as much as possible. And wear a mask when you’re around others to reduce the spread via coughing, sneezing, or just talking.
- Always stay six feet apart from others outside of your household. This is roughly two arms’ length. People can spread the virus without showing symptoms, so it’s best to keep a safe distance.
Wash your hands frequently -- and stop touching your face. Viruses can live on surfaces you come into contact with, and then get into your system when you casually touch your mouth, nose, or eyes afterward.
- Wipe down everything and make sure kids don’t put their hands anywhere near their faces when out in the world.
The summer activities on this list all keep these social distancing rules in mind.
7 Social Distancing Summer Activities for Kids
These summer activities for kids also work well for those who are young-at-heart:
1. Go Camping (Even If It’s Just in Your Own Backyard)
Camping away from everyone in the wilderness is a great idea as long as you don’t choose a crowded campsite. Have the kids help you set up the tent, explore the trails together, and bask in the calmness of nature.
If you’re in shared common spaces, protect yourself with antibacterial wipes and always wear your mask.
You can also do this at home if camping in the woods isn’t an option. Set up a tent in the backyard, string up some lights, and see which constellations you can name.
2. Bring Summer Camp Home
With schools and summer camps closed this year, kids are missing out on all the fun bonding and learning they do outdoors.
So bring summer camp to your home by:
- Making fun DIY crafts
- Organizing backyard games (like horseshoes, bocce, badminton, croquet, etc.)
- Setting up a scavenger hunt
- Tie-dying t-shirts, socks, or pajamas
- Putting on a talent show you can stream to the grandparents
- Having an outdoor movie night
- Lighting a safe bonfire to roast s’mores
- Telling scary stories under the stars
3. Create a Backyard Waterpark
No pool, no problem! You’d be amazed by what a quick search for DIY backyard waterpark ideas brings up.
Let’s just say you can create an oasis this summer your kids will never leave with a few sprinklers, PVC pipes, and pool noodles.
Don’t forget to set up a kiddie pool for Fido too!
4. Host a Virtual Playdate
If your kids are used to playing with other neighborhood friends during the summer, organize a virtual playdate to keep them connected.
Using video calls, they can work on a craft together, play a game, or just talk.
5. Video Game Tournament, Anyone?
Can’t keep your kids off their video games? Then, join in on the fun.
Choose to host a friendly competition within your household, or open up the entries to your friends and family members you can’t visit. Make brackets, keep score, and get everyone excited with real prizes.
6. Plant a Family Garden
There’s no better way to teach your kids how to appreciate healthy fruits and veggies than by planting a family garden.
Have everyone help with seeding, watering, and weeding, and watch your efforts sprout to life in no time.
You can also plant a flower garden specifically to attract butterflies, hummingbirds, or bees too.
7. Make a Time Capsule
Soon enough, our quarantine will pass, and we’ll all look back on this time with mixed emotions. Why not bury a time capsule with the memories of this strange time in history?
Have each of your kids add something special to a box or write something from their journals they can seal in a separate envelope. Make a pact to open the capsule together in ten years.
6 Social Distancing Summer Activities for Adults
We promise these summer activities for adults are just as fun as the ones mentioned for kids:
1. Plan a Socially Distant BBQ
If you want to invite your friends or family over for a casual BBQ, there are a few rules to make it a safe one:
First, limit your invite list to just one other couple or family. Make sure they’re also self-quarantining and don’t have high-risk jobs (like those in healthcare).
Next, make sure everything -- chairs, food tables, drinks cooler, etc. -- is spaced out at least six feet apart. You don’t want people milling around hotspots.
Try to prepare a menu best eaten with utensils to limit the amount of hand-to-mouth contact. Remember to use fresh utensils on shared dishes rather than leaving one main serving spoon that everyone touches.
You may also want to skip the booze, or at least limit how much is there. As people let their guards down and mingle, they may ease up on their social distancing or tend to use the bathroom more. These can all increase the risks of spreading germs.
So keep hand sanitizer readily in reach.
2. Swap Contact Sports for Socially Distant Activities
Skip your basketball league or crowded yoga class and choose a safer, socially distant activity like:
- Bike riding
- Frisbee or disc golf
- Exercising via online workout videos
Speaking of swimming...
3. Go Swimming (With a Few Caveats)
The CDC says bodies of water like the ocean, lakes, and pools cannot become breeding grounds for COVID-19.
So this means you can safely enjoy swimming this summer -- with a few exceptions.
The beach, community pools, and well-known lakes can all become crowded during the season. If these areas are packed, you could increase your risks.
Touching high-contact surfaces like pool ladders and being in high-traffic areas like restrooms, cabanas, and locker rooms could also spread COVID-19.
This is why we don’t recommend visiting a water park.
4. Road Trip Close to Home
While you probably won’t be getting on an airplane any time soon, you can hop in your car for a quick one-day road trip.
Plan on driving through a part of your state you haven’t seen before, such as a scenic route or road that goes through a national/local park. Take a hike off a beaten trail to stretch your legs.
5. Try a Virtual Experience
Many attractions and museums are offering virtual experiences so you don’t need to leave your home to soak in some culture.
For example, Airbnb has a whole list of online experiences you can partake in, such as wine tasting, beekeeping, and cooking classes.
You can also check out virtual experiences and walk-throughs from:
- Google Arts & Culture museum tours around the world
- Live aquarium cams from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Georgia Aquarium, and the National Aquarium
- Live zoo cams from the San Diego Zoo, Zoo Atlanta, and the Houston Zoo
- Virtual tours from The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History or NASA’s Langley Research Center
The kiddos might enjoy some of those live cams too.
6. Start a Virtual Book Club (or Watch Club)
Rainy day or too hot to go outside?
Getting lost in a good book can take your mind off of the current news so you can unwind, relax, and enjoy a captivating story. The perks are then multiplied when you get to share the experience with your friends or family.
Pick a bestseller you’re all interested in and schedule regular video chats to discuss the parts you’re reading together. You can also do the same with a show you all binge-watch together yet apart.
Pick One of These Social Distancing Activities To Try Today
Don’t let social distancing ruin your summer plans -- just be willing to make some adjustments to stay safe.
These 13 social distancing activities prove you can still have fun and enjoy the warmer weather this season despite the stress of COVID-19.
So which summer activities are you excited to try (or totally avoid)?