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In the Blink of an EyeShari McStay
Running out of ideas for how to socialize safely with friends and family during the pandemic?
It was a long, cold winter and it's not quite over yet. But spring is coming — hooray! Check out these COVID-safe ways to have fun with friends and enjoy a new activity!
Most museums are open at limited capacity, adhering to local COVID regulations. Take some time to check out your local museums and explore what they have to offer with friends or family.
Go on the website ahead of time to learn about current special exhibits. If there's an art or natural history museum in a nearby city that you've always wanted to explore, make a day trip out of it. But don't overlook the small, quirky local museums.
Make sure to wear a mask and bring hand sanitizer, especially if you’ll be interacting with any of the exhibits.
Temperatures are finally rising again, so get outside and soak up some sun! Plan a picnic with friends, or find a scenic route for a nice long walk or bike ride. Look for the first crocuses, tulips and daffodils beginning to pop up.
Whether you're moving your game nights outdoors with friends, exploring a new park, or simply reading a book out in the sun, take a minute to treasure the mild weather and all the new possibilities that spring brings.
Many guided activity programs have adapted quickly to coronavirus regulations by switching to an online format. You can find all kinds of different activities online, and you don’t have to worry about sticking to local companies anymore.
If you’ve been thinking about trying a cooking class or paint and sip, there’s no better time than now! Most companies will provide a list of supplies or ingredients that you’ll need to have in order to participate in the class, but many also offer curbside pickup or will ship you everything you need!
This is a great way to spend some time with friends and family virtually — and you might pick up a new hobby along the way!
Do you have a competitive family or friend group? Mix up your Zoom calls with some friendly competition! You can come up with different contests based on your interests, whether it's a classic game like Pictionary or DIY craft competitions. Give everyone 15 minutes to make something with materials they have lying around the house or if you’re up for the challenge, limit the materials to what people have within arm’s reach.
If you’re looking for something different, perhaps to celebrate a special occasion, check out these completely virtual escape rooms. Digital escape rooms are as close to the in-person experience as it gets, with your game host acting as your eyes, ears, hands and feet in your locked room while everyone else plays from the comfort of their own homes.
This is a big commitment, but for a mature student who's been begging for a furry (or feathered) companion, or as an activity for the whole family, fostering an animal (a dog, kitten — maybe even a bunny or a bird) can be a good way to see if you're ready for the responsibility of being a pet parent.
The extreme cold weather that swept the country left many animals out in the cold without homes, flooding shelters and rescues everywhere. Having a pet can help significantly boost your mood and can help provide more structure in everyday routines.
Be sure to do your research. Is your off-campus student allowed to have a pet in their home? Do they have the space and supplies needed, as well as the time? Finally, be sure to find a foster animal that you're prepared to handle, as many of them have special needs.
If it's still cold weather season where you live, take advantage of winter while it's still here and get outside to play in the snow. Rent snowshoes or cross-country skis, or visit a local skating rink. Go to a sledding hill, or build snow forts and stage an epic snowball fight.
If you'll be playing in the snow around other people, reusable cloth face masks are an excellent way to stay safe and keep your face warm! Don’t forget to warm up with some hot chocolate afterwards.
Big choices — and big changes — are on the horizon for your senior and your entire family.