This summer is going to be bit different; with COVID-19 restrictions in place, it is important that we continue to follow guidelines and stay safe this summer. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun! We’ve come up with some ideas to keep you and your family busy this summer – remember there is no shortage of activities to do, you just have to get creative!
- Take a Nature Walk: Get some fresh air and visit one of Manatee County’s 33 parks, 12 preserves, or 4 beaches! We live in the sunshine state after all, so take advantage of the amazing weather and natural beauty that our county has to offer. You can view information about the amenities that each location has to offer, as well as news and updates here.
- Start a Virtual Book Club: Find a good book and start an online chat with friends! You can easily find book recommendations on Goodreads, Book of the Month, and Barnes & Noble. You can use apps like Facetime, Skype, Messenger, or Google to video chat and message to meet virtually with your group!
- Get Cooking: Try a new recipe and experiment with ingredients that you may not be familiar with! Find tips for cooking safely with children on Cooking with Kids. Summer is the ideal time to make colorful meals with all the fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season. Be sure to stay hydrated as well during the hot summer months – you can try a homemade lemonade or cut open a juicy watermelon!
- Be Creative: Feeling crafty? Anyone can be an artist – turn to YouTube or Pinterest for ideas, inspiration, and tutorials. This also isn’t limited to making art. You can finally get around to those DIY projects around the house, adding some décor, making a scrapbook, or having an at-home spa night!
- Gardening: Got a green thumb? Add some landscaping to your yard, or if you have limited space you can get some planters and pots to keep on your patio or front door! You can even add some greenery to the interior of your home and find some friendly house plants to liven up your space. UF/IFAS Extension and the Florida Master Gardener Program offer lawn & garden solutions as well as educational opportunities for you to learn about Florida Friendly landscapes and horticulture science.
- Online Learning: There are tons of resources being created and shared to help parents keep their kids involved and learning new things. We know it can be hard working from home and juggling family life, especially with younger children who may still be in school. We created a blog post with a list of helpful tools and resources for parents to keep kids busy and curious.
- Family Game Night: In the mood for a casual night in? Grab a puzzle to give your mind a break, or bring out a board game for some friendly competition! You can even download games and apps on your phone like charades or trivia to play with a small group of friends or family.
- Movie Marathon: Recreate the movie theater experience in your own home! Get your favorite snacks, find a cozy spot, and set the mood with some low lighting and a comfy seating arrangement. Many film studios made movies that were in theaters available on-demand so you can enjoy new releases, or you can use streaming services, in which case many of them have offered extended free trials. A movie marathon could be the perfect ending to a long day, and you can even make this a new family tradition.
We hope you will try these activities this summer and make lasting memories with your family. Please continue to prioritize your health as well as the health of others by following social distancing measures such as wearing a mask, and practicing good hygiene. Make the most of this summer and appreciate the time you have with your loved ones!
With the collaboration of Ilderina Kekic, Office Specialist, University of Florida IFAS Extension