Summer is finally upon us. Unfortunately, however, social distancing measures are still of the utmost importance in most places, and you’ve probably had to cancel any summer travel plans. Still, just because you have to halt travel and stay distant doesn’t mean you can’t get outside in the sunshine and enjoy your summer. Below are a few ways to soak up the sun in fun, safe ways this summer.
- Go for a Hike
This seems simple, but getting out to walk somewhere other than the neighborhood where you live and likely have been stuck for the past three months is good for the mind, body, and soul. There are probably lots of parks and trails within a short drive of you that you’ve never been to before. Exploring miles of trails keeps you safely distant from other people, but immerses you in nature and scenery that isn’t the inside of your bedroom. Throw a water bottle, a snack, and trail map in your backpack and go exploring! You might even see some wildlife if you’re patient enough.
- Have a Picnic
We think picnics have become very underrated. Right now is the perfect time to revive them. Even if your favorite restaurant isn’t open right now, you can still dine outside your home. There are two options for this. If your local restaurants are open for take-out, treat yourself to a favorite meal. If they aren’t, you can make plenty of fun picnic foods at home to bring with you. Fresh fruit salads are a great, cool option for hot summer days. Make your fanciest sandwich. If you’re meeting a friend for a socially distant picnic, make it a competition to see who can make the more artsy meal. Pack a fruity summer punch or ice coffee in a mason jar for a simple but cute picnic drink. Lay out a blanket at the park or even in your yard, and enjoy your lunch in the fresh air. Pro-tip, tapestries make excellent boho picnic blankets.
- Write Music / Poetry
Of course, we know you can write poetry or songs inside, but something about the summer scenery can be truly inspiring. Grab a notebook and pen and head out, leaving the screen behind. Take a walk through the park, take a seat in a cozy tree, or people watch from your terrace to get the creative juices flowing. The empty page can be intimidating, but the page of a good notebook is a friend not a foe, and with the sun shining and wind blowing, we guarantee the ink will be flowing soon.
- Backyard Dance Party
If you have a backyard, a good way to enjoy the outside with your friends during social-distancing is to have a backyard party. (Please do be mindful of your volume if you have close neighbors, though). Grab a wireless speaker and play some tunes, and ask your friends to bring their own drinks so there is no need to touch the same surfaces. Dress up in your best sundress and enjoy the music, drinks, and good times on a warm summer evening.
- Invest in a Kiddie Pool
No, we’re not kidding. You may not be able to go to the beach or public pool, but you can still cool off if you’re willing to get a little creative. Kiddie pools can be found inexpensively in local hardware stores or online. Turn a simple kiddie pool into a backyard oasis with a few easy steps. Put up a beach umbrella beside it to add shade and beachy flare. Add chairs or towels beside it for sun-bathing. You can even add a small table for snacks, drinks, and even a favorite book. If you want it to feel really fancy, you can get waterproof, home-grade spray paint and cover it in a coat of your favorite color. Finally, don your cutest swimsuit, or even just some bottoms and bralette, and relax.
- Try Your Hand at Gardening
Whether or not you have a green thumb, this summer is the perfect time to try out gardening. It’s a fun way to pass time, it’s good for the environment, and can even add some sustainable and healthy food options to your life. Whether you’re gardening outside in a yard or inside an apartment with planters, there are lots of cute and easy beginner options.
If you have yard space, get in the mood by throwing on some dungarees and a sun hat and hit your local garden shop (or pick-up curbside). Carrots, cabbage, and tomatoes are all great options for a vegetable garden that don’t take up too much space and are relatively beginner friendly. Get ready to get your hands dirty!
If you live in an apartment or a space without outdoor property, you can still get in on the fun. You can get a window-box for flowers like petunias and zinnia, or you can get potted plants to keep by the window. We recommend succulents. They are cute, trendy, and easy to care for. Even if you can’t get into your own outdoor space, you can bring the greenery inside for a space that feels more green and summery. (If you really can’t seem to keep plants alive, faux succulents can add the same aesthetic in a form you cannot kill).
Getting outside and enjoying the sun is not cancelled this year, you just might need to dip into your creativity. Still, we think with some of our suggestions, you can have fun and stay safe this summer.