5 Ways to Soak Up the Fun While Social Distancing This Summer

Let’s face it: This won’t feel like a typical summer. Even if social-distancing measures are lifted later on, many will remain reluctant to brave crowds at the beaches, parks and other popular recreation areas. That means while the sunshine will no doubt draw us out of our spring dens, we’ll still want to stick close by. Here are some fun ways to soak up the joys of the season.

Go camping in your backyard

When that trip to Shenandoah National Park can’t happen, pitching a tent in your backyard is the next best thing. Have kids? Bring out the flashlights, campfire and s’mores. Roast marshmallows, play games and tell legendary tales. Just the two of you? Grill dinner al fresco (set the mood with a citronella candle), snuggle while you gaze up at the stars and chase those s’mores with a fine sauvignon.

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Plant a garden

Creating a garden is a healthy way to spend time outdoors, especially if you’re harvesting herbs, greens, tomatoes, berries and other sweet summer staples for your plate. Plus, you’ll avoid public markets and ensure that your pickins’ are ripe, juicy and delicious. Choose a sunny and stable location, stock up on loamy soil and dig into a guide book or blog on gardening for beginners. Into composting? Now you’ve got another purpose for it.

Brush up on your correspondence

Let friends and family you’ve been separated from know the old-fashioned way that you’re thinking of them by sending a handwritten note. Feeling artsy? Press fresh flowers, doodle, paint, or create cyanotypes or sun prints. The recipient will feel all the more special knowing you put so much thought and time into it.

Take the mess outside

You’ve probably tried your hand at many a culinary and crafty projects by now, maybe even mastered a few. Still cutting your teeth at preparing the perfect steak or paper-mâché pottery? Roll up the drop cloth and move your makeshift studio to the porch or yard. Light the grill or firepit, churn butter and ice cream by hand, and enjoy carefree crafting amid the summer freshly-cut grass and wind chimes.

Embark on a scavenger hunt

Make this for kids or grown-ups who love nature and photography. First create a checklist of subjects (e.g., butterfly, flower, shadow, heart-shaped rock for kids; moss, reflection, waterfall for adults). Then, grab your 35mm, DSLR, Polaroid or smartphone and take photos of as many items on your list as you can find. Frame, post or archive your favorite captures—they’ll be a reminder of this unique time in history.

Published as “Editor’s Picks: Summer Fun” in the June 2020 issue of Delaware Today magazine.

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