Whether you’re under stay-at-home orders or in an area that has relaxed restrictions but is still practicing social distancing, you may be looking for new ways to pass the time during the COVID-19 crisis. To help you make the most of the warmer weather, we’ve brainstormed a list of social distancing-friendly activities that can keep you and your family safely entertained, without breaking your budget.
Explore a Local Trail
If you live in Pennsylvania, you may know that outside trails are abundant across the state. In fact, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Pennsylvania has over 12,000 miles of trails, and the good news is, most are still open during this time.
On DCNR’s website, you can search for trails near you and even sort by specific purpose, such as hiking or biking.
According to guidelines on spending time outdoors, there are both physical and mental health benefits to getting outside. Plus, there’s no cost to explore a new trail and enjoy the great outdoors. Just make sure you take a few minutes to review the guidelines linked above to make sure you’re enjoying nature safely during this time.
Master a New Recipe
With most restaurants closed or offering take-out options only, many individuals and families are spending more time prepping and eating meals in their own kitchens. Make this necessary activity more fun by stepping out of your comfort zone and choosing new recipes to tackle.
The best part of challenging yourself to cook something new is that you can customize this activity to fit your budget and preferences.
For instance, if you’re on a tighter budget, you can challenge yourself to make a new creation out of the food you already have in your pantry. If you have a little money to spare, you can look up existing recipes online and add the ingredients to your next necessary grocery store trip or online order. And, if you have even more room in your budget, you can take advantage of local restaurants offering prepared do-it-yourself kits. Look into what local businesses near you are offering, such as a pizza-making kit from a local pizzeria or a live-streamed cooking class from your favorite date night spot.
For even more fun, pair up with family and friends and do a group cooking class over your preferred video conferencing app. There are sure to be many laughs shared and memories made as you all work to independently master the recipe.
Get Creative with Your Kids
If you have kids at home, finding hands-on activities is an important way to keep them entertained and engaged while school is out. But, if you’re like many parents, you may be frustrated by art projects and craft ideas that require very specific or hard-to-find supplies.
To keep activities light and enjoyable for everyone, look for ideas that can be made out of common household products, such as the make your own ice cream and make your own bubbles instructions that are included in our list of summer DIY ideas for families. The ice cream requires a few common groceries, such as sugar and salt, while the bubbles require only water and dish soap.
As a bonus, if you’re looking for educational activities to help supplement the work your younger children are getting from school or to keep them learning over the summer months, you can also check out our listing of free downloadable youth activities, many of which include a “craft corner” or hands-on activity for your child to complete.
Join (or Start) a Virtual Book Club
Whether you were already part of one or are just now finding yourself with the time to join in, virtual book clubs have gained popularity during this new time of social distancing.
Having a group to hold you accountable can help you stay on track with reading and exercising your mind during a time when it can be tempting to just zone out and binge watch your favorite shows. Plus, with all the video conferencing apps available, a book club can help you connect with others outside your household while keeping social distancing intact. If you’re like many book clubs, in fact, you may end up discussing your lives and checking in with each other just as much as you discuss the book, which can be a helpful outlet when you’re spending more time alone at home.
Joining a book club is also budget friendly. While libraries are closed, many have increased their online offerings, so you can still access many e-books without spending a penny.
If these ideas don’t pique your interest, there are many more to consider. Organizations across the world are stepping up to provide ways for individuals and families to enjoy their time safely at home, from online museum tours to early movie releases. A quick search of what’s available in your area should help you start planning.
Choose a Financial Institution that Lets You Manage Your Money from Home
And since you’re already doing so many activities virtually these days, maybe it’s time to consider virtual banking. Choose a financial institution that allows you to manage your money remotely, like PSECU. Our free digital tools, like mobile deposit, person-to-person money transfer service, bill payer, and our mobile app, offer you control of your finances from the comfort and safety of your home. Get started today!