Missing your friends or your in-person social life even more now that the summer season has rolled around? If you are, we at the Clog can definitely relate and know that summer is one of the best times to be kicking it with friends while engaging in fun activities and socializing. Fortunately, there are still a bunch of ways that you can hang out with friends in person this summer while staying safe and socially distanced in light of the COVID-19 pandemic — they just require that you have an open mind for the outdoors.
Below, you can find a few suggestions of lit outdoor activities you can participate in this summer as we navigate these tumultuous times. Some of the suggestions are pretty specific to the Bay Area, but hopefully, they can be somewhat applicable to you no matter where you are in the world.
Gardening or yardwork
Not only can this be a fun pastime for you and your friends, but it is an excellent way to ground yourself (pun intended). Rooting yourself in the dirt or improving the aesthetics of your yard, garden or land can also be very meditative and relaxing, as you may become really focused on what you are doing. If you or a friend has a home or a location where you can engage in either gardening or yardwork, you may want to consider it.
If you are staying in the Bay Area, there are tons of places to hike. From Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley to Briones Regional Park in Martinez, you are stocked full of hiking options in the Bay. Hiking gets the blood pumping in your body, and it may also give that booty the pop you’ve been looking for. You will likely feel awesome, and maybe a little sore, after a solid hike. Other great places to go are Joaquin Miller Park, Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park, Marin Headlands and Wildcat Canyon Road.
Biking or skating
If you have a bike, take this time to use it and go on fun adventures with your friends who also have bicycles. Y’all could figure out a route that you want to follow for the day and do some bike touring together. While this will be fun in and of itself, biking is also a good source of exercise. Look at that: You’d be killing two birds with one stone by getting fit while having fun!
The same is also true for skating. While you may not be able to go as far as you would with a bike, roller-skating or skateboarding is a great way to spend time with your friends outside.
Got instruments or know someone who does? Want to explore playing music? Well, you should get to jamming outdoors. Find a relatively open space (it could be a large green lawn) and set up there. Play to your heart’s desire or just mess around and make different noises on your instruments with your friends. If you don’t have an instrument but still want to jam, get creative and make music anyway. You can use pots and pans, grass, your hands and whatever you decide would act as a good makeshift instrument.
Have a dance party outside! Grab a speaker and your friends, or people who are down to groove, and just move your body outside! You could also combine the outdoor jamming activity with this dancing one for an extremely fun time. Make sure you are socially distanced. Don’t forget to smile and laugh as you groove — it will make all the difference in terms of how you are engaging with this activity.
A socially distanced picnic with friends — do it! You are guaranteed to have a good time! Pack a meal or some snacks for yourself, and bring a personal blanket to sit on. Tell your friends to do the same, and find yourself an appropriate spot to have this picnic. Make sure to have a speaker handy and any other items that you think would make for a rocking picnic! This is a great way to catch up and socialize in person without breaking healthy barriers.
Bonfire at beach
If you are looking for something to do in the evening, a bonfire at the beach may be the cup of tea you’re craving. You and a few friends can meet at the beach and get a fire started. (Ocean Beach and Muir Beach are great locations for bonfires in the Bay Area.) You can bring a personal bag of marshmallows to roast. Let yourself howl into the moon and have a good time!
Sleeping bag, tent or hammock, backpack (stocked with appropriate items of your choice), water bottle, food and a mode of transportation are some of the basic things you need for camping. Make yourself a checklist of what you may need while spending a night or two camping outdoors. You can camp in places as close as your backyard. Create a small group of people who would be down to join you on your camping trip, and make sure that you devise a plan to stay safe and socially distanced.
Hopefully this helps give you some direction on what you can do with people in person to have fun this summer! Odds are, engaging with people outside will be a boost to your mood. No matter what you do, make sure to stay healthy and active!
Contact Gina Wright [email protected].