Social distancing is a mantra that seems to be repeated everywhere. We know that travel is limited, if not entirely impossible in the present time. The days are filled, for most, by working from home. However, we still need sunshine and fresh air! With that said, there are plenty of ways to explore the outdoors and enjoy adventures near home.
Even if it’s just in your own backyard, there are noticeable benefits of simply spending an hour or two outside every day.
Health benefits of spending time outdoors:
- Soak in that Vitamin D (for a healthier immune system!)
- Decreases anxiety & depression
- Can improve your focus & boost your creativity
- More likely to be physically active & fit
Please keep in mind when you are at your neighborhood park, exploring a local state park, or enjoying the beach to keep at least 3 feet away from others (not in your family). Read more about social distancing and other safety tips during the Coronavirus quarantine here.
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Health Disclaimer: I do not claim to be an expert on health related topics nor should you solely consult my opinion in the following post. Know your physical limits and stay informed with the facts by checking The World Health Association or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Outdoor Adventure Travel
Unfortunately, many state parks, national parks, and national monuments are closing during the Coronavirus pandemic. You can search for a specific national/ state park or national monument here to see the most up to date status of the park’s availability.
If your local national park or state park is closed, consider national forests and state forests. They offer outdoor experiences similar to national parks without the crowds.
In Hawaii, the beach parks and scenic overlooks have also been roped off by local law enforcement to prevent crowds from forming. Of course, people still find alternative ways to get to the beach, such as parking along the shoulder of the road. FYI, this is dangerous and you shouldn’t do it!
Another exceptional way to get outdoors is to take a scenic drive. Drive the back roads of your city and discover new routes that you don’t usually take. Look up scenic loops near your home and plan a drive with an epic playlist, snacks, and take photos from your window!
Also, when we have more flexibility in choosing outside activities away from home, here are some fun ideas for outdoor adventure!
- kayaking & canoeing
- paddle boarding
- skiing & snowboarding
- mountain biking
- horseback riding
- explore local botanical gardens
At-Home Outdoor Activities
Regardless if you live in an apartment, townhome, RV, residential neighborhood, or on acreage, the following fun things to do outside can be applied to your daily routine while practicing social distancing!
Of course, if you live on a small or large amount of acreage, you have your own personal park in your backyard (you lucky ducks!). I know of a few family members and friends who are spending their quarantine time loving on some goats, riding 4-wheelers, and working with their horses.
Although this particular outdoor activity may require some additional supplies, this is a great way to spend your time outside! Order some colorful or unique pots on Amazon, or find some at your local gardening store. If you’re worried about space, check out this great book about raised bed gardening.
Plant herbs and easy-to-grow veggies for a Spring or Summer harvest. You can get more creative by painting the names of each plant on rocks that you’ve collected around your home to label what you’re growing.
Backyard Camping & Hiking
Have an old tent in the garage? Bust it out and set it up in the backyard! Spend a night camping with cozy blankets, snacks, and even bring your laptop out to watch movies!
If you live near a wooded area, take this time to lace up your tennis shoes and go check it out! Be sure to wear long pants and bring bug spray in case you walk through thick brush. Don’t touch plants that you don’t recognize!
This is your excuse for grabbing your DSLR off the shelf! Even if you don’t have a camera, you can use your phone. Go walk around your backyard at different times of day (when the light is coming from different directions) and practice your photography skills.
Get a jump start on your photo adventure with my FREE printable! Use this Photo Scavenger Hunt to compete with your family and friends!
One of the best features of our last neighborhood in San Antonio was its large pond and pavilion. Residents could head out the door and walk to the pond for their personal use. A flock of geese made the shoreline home and enjoyed the visitors (particularly those who brought bread!). Many children spent hours collecting tadpoles and minnows at the water’s edge.
In addition, if you want amazing tips for catching, cleaning, and cooking your fish, you have to check out my friends with Sharkedelic Fishing on YouTube for water adventure inspiration!
Catalog Plants/ Insects
Create a journal or sketchbook documenting the type of plants or insects in your backyard. You can research the species, draw them, and take samples if it doesn’t harm the plant or insect.
Work on a Project
If you already have a make-shift work space, this is a great option! In our third car garage, we would build small & large tables, signage, and refurbish old furniture. Do you have any leftover wood or paint lying around? Hop over to Pinterest and search for ideas of neat things you can create!
Bird watching is a wonderful outdoor activity. You can sit for hours in the shade of your backyard, with or without binoculars, and keep an eye out for the birds that visit. Take photographs of each type of bird you see. Later, you can look up what species of birds they are and make a scrapbook with the photos you took, along with the info you discovered about them.
Play with your Pet(s)
Of course, why not take extra free time to bond with your pet? We’ve been playing for fetch, tug of war, and kickball with our pup in the backyard. This could also be a great opportunity to teach your dog a new trick or command. They’ll love the extra attention from you!
BBQ & Picnic
When stuck at home, that can mean it’s time to get a bit creative with how and what to prepare for meals. If the weather is favorable, bust out the grill and cook outside! Then, have a picnic on a soft blanket in the yard to give yourself a break from the kitchen and dining room.
PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT unless you are familiar and comfortable with starting and maintaining an open flame. One of my favorite outdoor activities as a kid was sitting around the fire pit in the evening with my family. We swapped fond memories of the day, stories from the past, and would roast hot dogs or marshmallows.
Once night has fallen, unfold old quilts or lawn chairs in the yard to enjoy the stars. Additionally, if you have a telescope, use it to search for constellations. Check out the book below available in Kindle or paperback format.
Other Fun Things to do Outside:
Below are a few additional outdoor activities that are great for kids and families, as well!
- Sports/ Games/ DIY Obstacle Course
- Sidewalk Chalk
- Sprinkler/ Splash pad
- Backyard Sledding
- Build a snowman
- Relaxation (suntan, paint nails, read, etc.)
- Walking/ Running
- Fly a Kite
- Ride a Bike
- Skateboard or Rollerblade
- Blow Bubbles
- Teach yourself a new hobby (basic yoga poses, karate moves, dance choreography, etc.)
- Chores WHA WHA WHA (mowing yard, washing cars, shoveling driveways, pruning trees & bushes for Spring, etc.)
In conclusion, the coronavirus will eventually blow over and social distancing will become less of a priority. However, there will always be a need to enrich our lives and improve our health with fun things to do outside. In time, travel will bounce back. Perhaps on your next adventure, you may be more inclined to schedule additional outdoor activities and avoid the crowds.
Do you have any other suggestions for outdoor activities? What are your favorite things to do outside? Drop a comment below!
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