You’ve heard it a million times. Social distance. Social distance. Social distance. But it’s also important to have fun, and it’s even more important to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. Luckily, according to CDC, outdoor activities have a lower risk of spreading COVID-19 than indoor activities. So, here’s a handy list of ways to have fun outdoors while still doing your part to social distance.
1. Bike Riding
Everyone has biking on their mind. Bike traffic in New York City increased 50% in early March, and Citi Bike reported a 67% increase in rides compared to 2019. But beyond being a safer way to commute for city dwellers, it’s also a great way to explore the outdoors. There’s just one caveat. Do it solo or with members of your household. Experts advise you should still avoid riding with friends and in crowded areas.
Hail this 90s trend, rollerblades are making a comeback. Rollerblade reported a 300% increase in demand since coronavirus, likely because it makes a stellar family activity after a long workday. Plus, it’s also easy to do while wearing a mask. Follow the same guidelines as biking and avoid high-trafficked areas (only blade with those you’ve quarantined with).
Got a beach nearby? If you’ve never surfed before, it’s a great time to learn, especially if your other hobbies are on hold due to the shutdown. Not only is it a great physical and mental workout, it only involves you (of course, make sure others are nearby for safety reasons if you’re a beginner). You won’t need a mask; just try to remain socially distanced from other surfers when you’re out in the water.
4. Horseback Riding
Depending on where you live, this outdoor activity might not be as accessible, but it’s a unique way to get out in nature while avoiding possible exposure to COVID (as long as you’re only riding with people from your household). Even if you need to take a safety lesson or ride with an expert, you can do it from a safe social distance. And who knows? You might find it so peaceful that you take up post pandemic.
5. Drive-In Movies
Going to the movies may not be an option anytime soon, but going to the nearest drive-in is another story. Heading to the concessions, grabbing popcorn, finding a seat, watching the sun go down, knowing your movie is about to start — talk about a throwback. Make it a date night with your partner or a way to spend quality time (outside!) with whoever you’ve quarantined with. You can even take the opportunity to see someone you haven’t seen in a while, parking your cars near each other without having to be close.
6. Park Picnics and BBQs
Finally, park picnics and backyard barbecues are an amazing way to see family and friends. Keep the total head count to ten people or less, per CDC guidelines, and make sure blankets are spread out at least six feet apart. Everyone should bring their own food and drinks to minimize any risk of cross contamination. If it’s a barbecue, make sure whoever is grilling is wearing a mask, and form an assembly line to dish out food versus everyone making their own plates and touching serving utensils.
Yes, we’re living through a pandemic, but it doesn’t mean you can’t safely have fun. Outdoor activities are here to help you make lasting memories though trying times. No one wants to miss out on important experiences, so making simple modifications to how you get out and about opens the doors to try new activities and see loved ones again.