With social distancing and governmental restrictions, it can feel like summer this year is canceled, thanks to the Coronavirus. However, there are still ways to connect with others while engaging in safe practices, but we may have to think creatively about creating that space. Here are a few ideas to start:
- Love the movies? Check out drive-ins or set up a personal outdoor movie session for you and your crew.
Drive-in movies once thought of as a thing of the past, are now making a comeback. There are several drive-ins in the Chicago/Chicagoland area, such as:
- Pilsen: https://www.chitownfutbol.com/chitown-movies
- Soldier Field (Movies and a 90 minute DJ set): https://chi-together.com/
- Lincoln Yards: https://davistheater.com/drive-in-movies/
- Bridgeview and Hoffman Estates:https://chicagodrivein.com/
If you are looking to do a more personal movie experience, consider booking a movie experience through PR Pop-Ups, a black-owned movie and music venue.
- Missing the cookout? Consider ways to cook together while apart.
While we may not be able to have large gatherings this summer, we may still be able to gather in other ways. If you are doing a cookout, consider limiting the number of guests and setting certain precautions, such as staying outdoors, spacing various seating, and requiring everyone to wear a mask. If you are looking for more outdoor space, consider checking out your local forest preserve to see if they allow small gatherings, such as Forest Preserves. If you have more health concerns about family members, consider doing a virtual cookout competition where folks can share recipes, and show off their skills.
- No summer camp for the kids? Set up summer camp activities at home.
Most summer camps focus on outdoor and craft activities. If you have teenagers, consider giving them the role of “Camp Leader” to help facilitate the camp activities. Craft activities could include decorating face masks, or you can search online for a few ideas. Sites such as Camp Wonderopolis, Wide Open School, and Pinterest can provide content ideas and set up ideas.
- Need a Change of Scenery? Consider taking a road or train trip. Road trips allow you to see new landmarks at your own pace. Sites such as Roadtrippers will enable you to plan your road trip and explore potential sites by setting your starting point and ending destination. If you prefer not to drive, Amtrak provides scenic route options via train.
While our summer activities might look different, we can still enjoy our summer as safely as possible. Talk with family or friends to share ideas of how you can creatively make the best of our summer. Consider doing more outdoor activities as well. Who knows? You may find a new summer tradition for you and your tribe to enjoy for years to come.
Chante’ Gamby is a writer and mental health therapist passionate about helping others live their best life. Follow her on social media @fringefam and at www.fringefam.com.