Social distancing-friendly summer activities

Jul 20, 2020


With the warmer weather approaching, many are growing eager to participate in summer socializing. In a COVID-19 world, what activities are safe?

It’s important to remember that there is no such thing as a zero-risk activity. Also know that your individual risk profile could vary based on your age, current health and underlying medical conditions. Always be sure to check your state and local community’s official guidelines before venturing out of the house this summer.

Outside is best

More and more, experts agree that the risk of catching COVID-19 lowers in some outdoor spaces. Because of the fresh air and the ability to maintain social distancing better, some outdoor activities may be safer bets this summer.

The key here is that you must be able to maintain social distancing. Going on a hike, picnicking at a park where you can stay six feet apart or bike riding can all be good options. Avoid crowded outdoor restaurant seating or community pools, and refrain from sharing utensils.

Take a family day trip

As we transition into the months of summer vacation, experts still recommend that people limit non-essential travel. Airports and hotel rooms can both be locations where social distancing is a challenge. Instead, consider where your family can go for a day trip.

Be sure to research your state’s current guidelines for national parks, hiking trails and beaches. These outdoor venues may be an option for a family day trip. However, if these locations are crowded, consider instead where you can take a family drive. Find a scenic route and play a game, use conversation starters or listen to an audiobook together.

Host a backyard movie night

Remember the days of drive-in movies? If your community has a drive-in movie event, this can be a safe way to “go to the movies” while still limiting your contact with others. If you don’t have drive-in movie theaters near your home, you could still (safely!) host your own socially-distanced movie night.

While you may not want to drive your car into your backyard, you can set up blankets or lawn chairs to watch a movie outdoors. Of course, this will depend on the amount of space you have available so that people can maintain a safe distance from each other.

If you don’t have a screen to project your movie, try using your closed garage door—you may even be able to create the drive-in experience by having people stay in their cars in the driveway. You may need to ask everyone to bring their own headphones if you live in a neighborhood where noise is a concern.

Plan a camping weekend

If you live in an area where campgrounds are open, this could be a low-risk option for a family trip. Just be sure that you are able to isolate from others. In this scenario, your risk is lowest if you camp with just your household and not with other friends.

Risk increases if the campsite is crowded or if you invite friends or family outside of your household. If you do invite others, make sure you have all your own camping equipment and that you continue to maintain social distancing. Camping itself is low risk, but you’ll need to evaluate all factors before moving forward.

With the right knowledge, many summer activities can be safe. However, make sure you socially distance, wash your hands frequently and continue to follow all your local guidelines.