Rainy day, go away! Sometimes the stormy days seem like they last forever. Maybe the storms you are experiencing are more metaphorical. The stay at home orders issued this spring have created a unique dilemma for most families.

We all understand what it looks like to find creative things to do while we’re at home, but what are some things you can do safely as the restrictions begin to lift? With the standards and protocols for getting back together varied among the states, use the ideas below as a guideline as you begin to venture out of the house. You know your family best, so do what works for YOU!

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Drive-In, Driveway, Movie
Who doesn’t love a good movie? We certainly do! One way to enjoy having people over while honoring their wishes to stay safe is to host a drive-in or driveway movie. Stream your favorite full-length family film using a projector and laptop. To make a screen, hang a sheet on the garage door or porch and arrange lawn chairs or blankets in a manner that helps everyone feel safe.

If you’d like to serve refreshments, place bottled water or sodas on ice and pre-fill brown paper bags with popcorn. You can even write a fun note on each bag. If you want to step up your fun, have your movie in the backyard and welcome guests through a side gate. Turn your back porch into a food truck complete with hot dogs, ice cream cones, and nachos. Yum!

Picnic In The Park… Or Anywhere
Parks have been closed to the public in many states, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a picnic with friends. If your parks are open, this is a great time to take in a little fresh air and invite friends to join you for lunch. If they aren’t open just yet, you can still have a picnic. Call a few friends you’ve been missing, pack a healthy lunch, grab some sunscreen and a blanket, and give the following places a try.

  • Back your vehicles in a circle in an unused parking lot and picnic with friends from the back of your car or SUV.
  • Have a block party picnic and meet in a neighbor’s front yard.
  • Ask your church if they would allow you to meet in the gymnasium or family center.
  • Check your local zoo for open areas to picnic.

Garden Get Together
What fun an afternoon of potting plants would be. Consider reaching out to your local garden center and ask if they would be willing to host an outdoor gardening class for students. If they aren’t able to accommodate, create your own backyard class with potting soil, vegetable or flower seeds, and peat pots. If you want to make this educational as well, have each guest research a flower by assigning a different color to each guest and have them bring a package of seeds to share.

Finally, if you just need to get moving, find a walking trail and invite a couple of families to join you in the great outdoors. Pack water and some snacks, and be sure to bring your camera. The kids will enjoy sharing their digital pictures with each other once you’re back at home.

Whether you are honoring social distancing guidelines, or just watching your family’s healthy habits, being outside is good for everyone! You can do so with care and still enjoy the benefits of fresh air and friendship. Get out and get moving!

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