To put it lightly, COVID-19 is changing our routines and daily activities and how we’re looking at life during the time of social distancing. But instead of thinking of this as quarantine, think of this as an opportunity to spend quality time at home with your family that you don’t usually have. Social or physical distancing is a new concept for us, so if you’re in need of some ideas of things to do while avoiding contact with others outside of your home, we’ve got what you’re looking for!
1. Order Takeout from a Local Restaurant
So, you went to Wegmans and panic-purchased a three-year supply of groceries, but none of it is sounding tasty when that tummy starts a-rumblin … what do you do? Where do you go? How can you satisfy your appetite while maintaining a safe distance? Lucky for us, a number of Ontario County restaurants are offering longer take-out hours, curbside pick-up, and delivery so we don’t have to miss out on your favorite FLX eats.
2. Read a Book
We can’t think of a better time to take a break from all that screen scrolling. There’s never been a better time to get through all of those books that have been sitting on your shelves and on your “must-read list” then right now. The Finger Lakes is home to a wide variety of wordsmiths and has been the setting for many adventures—so kick back, kick your feet up, and keep your germs to yourself while you reach a whole new level of lit.
FYI: Libraries may be closed, but you can still get your book fix by signing up for their online browsing via the Pioneer Library System. Books, magazines and more!
3. Let Your Kids Spend a Fortnight Playing Fortnite
We know, seems counter-intuitive. As parents, it's a constant battle of getting your kids away from those glowing squares that are seemingly glued to their hands, so this may be a difficult shift. Let them play more video games than you would normally. It’s a great way for them to stay connected to friends while staying healthy at home. Besides, has any kid in the history of the world ever complained about being allowed to play video games?
4. Wait ... more video games?
We know, we just talked about this, but what a great way for your kids to fight cabin fever and COVID-19. So, whether your kids like Fortnite or Minecraft or are missing sports and want to while away the hours with FIFA or go retro with Super Mario, embrace it. Looking for an educational twist for the younger ones? Think of PBS.org/games where they can play in Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood to be classroom helpers. Learning? Check. Having fun? Check. Staying inside to help flatten the curve? Check.
5. Family Game Night (or afternoon ... or morning)
Now is the time to pull out all those board games and have some friendly family competition. From the classics of Scrabble or Clue to more recent editions like Cranium, Apples to Apples, or Exploding Kittens, there are more board games than there is time to play them. So, find a comfy chair or spot on the carpet to curl up with Fluffy, and let's play!
6. Explore the Great Outdoors
It’s officially Spring! Temperatures are starting to warm up, birds are singing, and early spring flowers are starting to peek out of the ground. Now’s the time to explore the outdoors as a family while still practicing physical distancing! Our parks and green spaces are still open and waiting for you to visit. So, leash the family dog and head to one of our great parks for some fresh air and wildlife spotting. Just make sure to keep the kids off the playground, away from other families.
7. Take an Online Art Class with Local Artist Cindy Harris
Have you ever wished you could take an art class with a local legend? Well, now is your chance! Whether you're looking for a new way to engage your kids in the arts while they’re home or want to use your newfound free time starting a hobby to express your creative drive, Cindy is ready to inspire you. Cindy believes everyone is an artist; now is your chance to prove she’s right. For more information, check out our page on virtual adventures.
8. Create a Hands-On Kitchen at Home
You may not be able to go to New York Kitchen and take a class to learn how to make a full Italian dinner, but that doesn’t mean you and the family can’t come together to cook a meal. Make it fun and print out some new recipes or old trusties and give each member a part of the meal to cook. For younger kids, make teams and have each take on one element of the meal. Or, challenge your family to a week of homemade dinners where you try a different recipe every night. It will be a fun and creative way to spend time and turn mealtime into a family adventure.
9. Anytime is Storytime
Ganondagan State Historic Site and the Seneca Art and Culture Center may be closed but that’s not stopping them from entertaining and educating everyone about Haudenosaunee people, culture, language and food. Make sure to tune in during Storytelling on Facebook Live to hear Indigenous stories. You also don’t want to miss everything else they’re doing like virtual tours and sharing of photos and videos.
10. Find Family Zen
Staying active is especially important if you're inside for days at a time, but it’s not always possible to start an online workout subscription. Our County understands that, and there are places offering some free physical and mental health options. Victor Yoga Studios is offering yoga classes through Facebook. Tune in live or have each family member have their own private Zen time and tune in when it’s convenient for you. Self-care is just as important now as it ever has been. Take an hour to focus on decompressing and separating the at-home workspace with the at-home living space. Just think of it as your new commute!
11. Support Local, Have a Sundae Party
No need to worry about the ice cream shelves being ransacked at Wegmans. Cheshire Farms Creamery in Canandaigua has been deemed an essential business, since they are part of the food industry. What does that mean for you? You can call, order, and pay for your ice cream takeout and then pick it up at the window outside. Not only will you be supporting a local business, but you can take home ice cream for a sundae party! What ice cream toppings do you already have in your pantry from your grocery trip?
12. Plan Ahead, Purchase a Gift Card
Make it a game! Get your family together (or appoint yourself supreme head decision-maker) and pick 2, 5, 10 or more spots you have always wanted to visit but when the time came to it you always relied on your tried and true favs. Not only will your gift card purchase keep your money local and help small businesses, but you can use them as incentives throughout the year to visit!
13. Stay Fully Stocked With Local Brews
Lager. Ale. Stout. India Pale Ale. Pilsner. Porter. What team are you on? Many local breweries and grocery stores have tasty brews ready for pick-up.
14. Get Zoom and Host a Hangout
We are LOVING your virtual happy hour pictures with Finger Lakes wine, but whether you are imbibing or just catching up, connection is important during this time that can be lonely for many people. We are emphasizing physical distancing and social connection, so it is the perfect time to say hi to your parents, siblings, cousins, friends or even use this time to catch up with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.
15. Get AirConsole and Play
With over 150 titles to choose from, let your smartphone be your controller in this local, multiplayer gaming experience. Looking to play solo? They have that option, too.
16. Write a Book … For Real
You know those words in your head you never had time to put down on paper? Here’s your time. Dust off your dictionary and get started! If a book is too intimidating, start with a journal.
17. Learn Every TikTok Dance
We can't all be Charli D'Amelio (and yes – we had to Google her name) but we can get our heads in the game and learn every. TikTok. Dance. Need some inspiration? Jimmy Fallon got started last week!
18. Send a Handwritten Letter
What a great time to try your hand at the written word? Write a letter to a parent or friend who you may not be able to communicate with through digital means. Or, use this opportunity to get a pen pal! Martha Stewart rounded up some site to get you started!
19. Start an IG Stories Series
What has your family been up to while sequestered in your home? Tell the world using Instagram Stories! These clips last for 24 hours and are a great way to share content with your followers without clogging up the feed. Replacing words to popular songs with hand-washing tips? Share with the world – bonus points if it makes someone laugh!
20. Make a List of 100 Things to Accomplish
Learn to play the piano. Say 20 words in Italian. Sign the alphabet in American Sign Language. Clean out the ever-elusive crawl space in your basement. Fix that lightbulb that’s been out since Y2K. Build a list of 100 things to accomplish during your time housebound and see how many you can check off!
21. Netflix (Party)
Anyone else’s Twitter feed chock-full of reactions to Love is Blind or Tiger King? Watch in real-time using Netflix Party – a Chrome add-on that allows you to watch Netflix with your friends online. Who’s in?
22. Back to Basics
The trend for house-bound millennials in possession of a Nintendo Switch is all about Animal Crossing. For those of you feeling like you’re truly living out Groundhog’s Day, this game is all about playing solo or with friends and you do crazy things like fish, collect fossils and pay off student loans. (Wild, right?) This game is all about the passage of time, but your character is an animal instead of a human. Had to reschedule your Disney vacation? How about some time dusting off Rollercoaster Tycoon, and building your own theme park? These gaming trends prove that revisiting childhood games is a great way to get through this challenging time together.
23. Join or Start a Book Club
Reading is even more fun when you can share your literature with others! If you are currently in a book club, don’t skip your meeting! How about a Zoom call to check-in and share your thoughts on your latest pick? Currently, reading solo? How about joining a community like Reese Witherspoon’s book club – perfect as Women’s History Month draws to a close. Reese’s Book Club selects one female-written novel per month, and if you haven’t started following it yet, that means you have over 30 selections to choose from!
What fun things are YOU and YOUR FAMILY doing for social distancing fun? Please share in the comments below!