By Katherine Wright 

It’s weird to think about the pre-summer excitement of the past. At this point in the year, we would normally be eager with anticipation regarding the end of school work and the onset of summer vacation. Now, though, everything is totally different. While the conclusion of classes and warmer weather are definitely things we can still look forward to, all of the uncertainty in the world has made the approaching summer season feel completely different. 

But that doesn’t mean this season won’t still be enjoyable; we just might have to get a little more creative to have fun this time around. Here is a list of semi-serious ideas that will help spice up your current social-distancing routine with a bit of summer flare.

  1. For a virtual vacation experience, add luxurious beach backgrounds during your Zoom calls. It’s almost the same as the real thing! 
  2. Whip out the hose and sprinkler tot substitute your public pool. 
  3. Go camping in your backyard. To take it up a notch further, bring your mattress and TV into the tent for the complete glamping experience. 
  4. Hiking, roadside walks, biking and outdoor sports will continue to be your best friend. 
  5. Sunbathe on a towel in your backyard. If you’re really desperate for a change of scenery, you can buy bags of sand online and dump them on the grass for a sort-of mini-beach experience (It helps if you close your eyes and listen to an ocean playlist on Spotify).
  6. Use the bag of sand you purchased online to build sandcastles in your backyard.
  7. Order pints of ice cream to-go from your favorite local shop.
  8. Continue binge-watching everything on Netflix, but throw in some flip flops and popsicles for a summer-friendly experience. 
  9. Put sunscreen on just for the heck of it. Even if you’re not planning on leaving the house. It’ll smell like you’re going to the beach.
  10. Watch online tours of museums and aquariums. 
  11. Get experimental with your favorite smoothie or milkshake recipes.
  12. If you have access to an outdoor fire pit, try roasting s’mores — the ultimate summer food. If you can’t make an outdoor bonfire, you can also display a virtual video of a campfire on your laptop screen while making s’mores in the microwave. It’s kind of the same, right?
  13. Have a six-foot-apart picnic with your friends. You can even attach your picnic basket to a string to pass and food around if you’re worried about falling ill from their touch. 
  14. Get dressed up and serve a fancy meal in your dining room. 
  15. Maybe a sequel to Tiger King will come out that you can watch? Or a line of designer Joe Exotic summer clothing? 

Hopefully, this list will help you return to normalcy if social distancing protocol continues through the latter half of the year. Stay safe, stay healthy and have fun!