As the clock struck midnight on January 1st of this year, no one expected that summer and beyond would be canceled. Yet, here we are in July, and we are nowhere close to coming out of lockdown. By now, many people are looking for ways they can restore a little bit of normalcy into their everyday lives. That brings us to the point of this blog. I, Mark Roemer, am going to share with you some fun and free things that you can do this summer to try to restore your life to the pre-COVID-19 days.
Below you will find several different things you can do by yourself or your household members. Remember, if any of these activities are done with others, you want to make sure you are wearing a mask and keeping your distance. So, without further ado, let’s get cracking on the list.
- Walking Tours – Most major cities have a walking tour that you can download for free. All that is left for you to do is to pop on a pair of headphones and set out to the great outdoors. If your city does not have one of these, you could make one yourself. Start by finding a few interesting facts about specific points in your town. Then, put them all together in a list that will make sense for someone to walk. Upload it to the internet and let people know that it exists.
- Hike – If you are looking to get rid of some extra weight that you put on over the past few months, hiking is a great way to make that happen. Even if you live in one of those states that do not have many mountains, you are sure to find some wilderness that you can walkthrough. Ensure that when you do set off to the wilderness, you let someone know where you are going and when you are expected to return. That way, in case something terrible happens, the authorities will have a rough guess on where to look for you.
- Virtual Movie Night – Since we are not yet allowed to go to the movies or the opera, you can simply host a virtual movie night. This can be made possible by apps such as Zoom and Netflix party. Simply e-mail your friends and find out what movies they like. Put together a list of movies that you own or have access to. Send out another e-mail and have your family and friends vote on what movie you all are going to watch. All that is left to do is grab some snacks and enjoy the flick.
- Forage – If you took the option to hike a few suggestions back, perhaps you would also be interested in foraging while you are out. Foraging is where you go on public land and look for food that you can take home. Ensure that if you are looking on state or federal land, you check the legality of this activity first. You don’t want to have to pay a hefty fine for merely looking for some nuts or berries. Additionally, I would like to remind you that you should never eat food that you are not 100% sure of. If you don’t know what it is, you are better off leaving it for now. Once you have gathered some things, go on the internet and look for some recipes you can make.
- Photography Challenge – If looking for food is not your bag; then perhaps you would be interested in taking a photography challenge. You can come up with a list of things you would like to photograph or look for specific challenges on the internet. There should be more than enough to keep you busy for weeks.
- Upcycle – If you are not familiar with the term, upcycling is where you look for things that people have discarded, and you breathe new life into them. If you are in need of inspiration, there are plenty of DIY sites on the internet. Then all you need to do is look around your town for things you can transform. A really good site to look for DIY projects is Instructables. They boast everything from woodworking to welding. Honestly, whenever I get the DIY bug, they are my first stop.
- Paint – No one ever said you have to be good to paint. Remember, art (much like beauty) is in the eye of the beholder. If you want some really good ideas, you can look up some old Bob Ross videos from his Joy of Painting series. With over four hundred videos to watch, I am sure you can find something you want to paint.
- Camp – While you may not have access to traditional camping locations, nothing says you cannot improvise at home. I remember when I was younger and rain would keep my family from going camping, we would just “camp” in the living room. Another great place that you can camp is in your yard. Remember, if you are living in an apartment complex, ask your landlord if you can do this ahead of time.
- Stargazing – This one might cost money in terms of you might have to drive somewhere. Aside from that, it is free. All you need to do is get away from the city. The reason for this is that the city lights can diminish your view of the stars. It would be best if you got far away from them so you can see all the stars in the sky.
We are in some crazy times. I, Mark Roemer, hope that I have provided you with a few activities that will be of interest to you. If you are looking for a part two, please do not hesitate to drop me a line. I hope that you and your family are staying safe. Keep in mind, all these activities are designed to be done either alone or with the members of your household.