The pandemic changed the way the entire world enjoys free time. It’s hard to social distance six feet away from others during the usual summer fun activities of swimming, partying and playing sand volleyball. Though life is different, there are many ways to have fun and stay safe. We have five things to try this Summer while social distancing.

1. Get Into Nature

You don’t have to go camping with a bunch of friends to enjoy the outdoors. There are so many treasures and beauty to be found right outside your door.

Many state park and local hiking trails are open. This is a great way to get out and enjoy some exercise while experiencing nature at its finest.

You could also rent a mountain bike to take down some of these trails. Many places even offer horseback riding. If you’ve never ridden a horse down a trail, it’s a fun experience.

If you don’t feel like going on a hiking adventure, set up camp in your backyard. All you have to do is have a fun imagination to turn your backyard into the deep woods. Set up a tent, make a makeshift campfire in a firepit and dig out the sleeping bags.

If you normally spend money on a vacation this time of year, why not invest in something you can enjoy at home? Maybe buy that mountain bike instead of renting it, or even invest in an electric scooter to whiz around town on.

Getting into nature boosts your spirits and gives you a new outlook on fun.

2. Take A Virtual Museum Tour

You don’t have to leave the comfort of your couch to take a virtual museum tour. There are many famous museums around the world offering free virtual tours. Instead of taking a trip to Paris or New York to view some of your favorite art, enjoy it online. With school on hiatus, this is a great learning tool for kids, too.

Google Arts & Culture paired with over 2500 galleries and museums to bring this opportunity to anyone. You can view collections from places like the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam or the British Museum in London.

A virtual museum tour is all about getting a little culture, throwing in some education and looking at beautiful pieces of art at the same time.

If you aren’t into museums, there are other virtual tours online. You can take a tour of some of the most famous national parks. You can also listen and watch New York’s Metropolitan Opera nightly on a virtual show.

Any of these virtual shows or tours provide the perfect date night, too, without leaving your home.

3. Take A Staycation

It’s time for a vacation. The stress of this pandemic has everyone wanting an escape. The problem is that you don’t want to get on a plane or travel far to have this vacation. This year we all should go for a staycation.

Many resorts and hotels are offering Summer staycation deals especially for locals. You can find great deals on spas, retreats, golf courses, pools, and more. You get to support local businesses and get away at the same time.

Think about resting your head on a soft pillow and perfect bed that you don’t have to worry about making in the morning. It’s the simple things that will give you some relief of stress.

Play like you’ve traveled a million miles, and go wild. Order room service, lay by the pool all day and get some high quality spa treatments. A staycation can be as simple or as extravagant as you make it.

4. Jump In The Lake

Take advantage of your local bodies of water. It’s time to get outside and enjoy taking a dip in the warm temperatures. Rent a jetski or boat at your local lake. If you don’t want to take a ride on the water, find a quiet place to sit with your fishing rod. If you don’t have a lake nearby, find a small creek that you can wade in.

Take the kids so you can find all sorts of little treasures in the rocks. Many times at parks and lakes they have volleyball courts, basketball courts, soccer fields, playgrounds, and even BBQ grills. After a day on the lake, it’s the perfect place to relax with some barbecue.

5. Practice Your Photography Skills

Take a walking tour around your downtown or a neat place in the city. This is the perfect time to practice your photography skills. Even if you just have a smartphone, get out and see the hidden details of art in your city.

There are things like beautiful downtown murals in some locations, one-of-a-kind public art pieces and gorgeous scenes in nature.

Sometimes it’s fun just to get out of the house and explore places that have always been there, but you’ve never really “seen.” It’s so easy to take these places for granted. Get out and enjoy pieces of art in everyday life.

You also get some exercise during your walking tour. Stop in to local restaurants and shops to give them your support while you’re enjoying their area.

Don’t let the pandemic get you down. You can enjoy life without the crowds. There’s a whole world online and right outside your door just waiting for you to explore.