By Bria Scott
This summer is definitely going to be something like we have never seen before. We’ve been spending months in the house, wearing face masks for hours at a time and staying six feet apart — and there isn’t much traveling to be done. Most summer plans have been canceled, but not to worry, there are still ways to spice up your summer both inside and outside of the house. And yes, these activities are social distancing friendly!
Here are our suggestions…
Take a LoDa ArtWalk
The LoDa ArtWalk is up and running again, and there is no better way to spend a Friday night. As of June, they have operated as a virtual ArtWalk, which allows for open restaurants, walks throughout central downtown and virtual performances from artists. The organizers anticipate that it will be like this for the rest of the summer, but spending a night downtown is something you just can’t beat, performers or not. You can catch the next ArtWalk on the second Friday of July, from 6-9 p.m., so be sure you mark your calendars and prepare for a fun and relaxing night! To find out more information, visit mobilearts.org/art-walk.
Go on a picnic
Whether it is in a park, your backyard or even in the middle of your living room, make some yummy finger foods, grab a big blanket and go for a picnic! If you’d rather not dirty up your dishes, pop into a local restaurant and take some food to go. A picnic can be as simple as sitting at a picnic table and eating lunch or dinner with someone else or even just yourself. Most parks are operating under normal hours, and if you need a little help finding a park near you, here is a list of those in Mobile: cityofmobile.org/residents/parks-and-recreation/parks-in-mobile-al. And those in Baldwin County: livegulfshoreslocal.com/2017/02/15/parks-in-baldwin-county.
Blueberry picking has been all the rage around the Gulf Coast lately, and there are locations to do it all across Mobile and Baldwin counties. Grab a bucket, some friends and family, a mask and a couple of dollars and make a fun trip. Once you have picked all of the blueberries that your heart desires, consider baking a cobbler, making blueberry tea or lemonade, or even just eating them raw. A few local blueberry farms include Blue Moon Farm, Lyrene’s Blueberry Farm, Oak Hill Tree Farm and Produce or Powell Blueberry Farm. Prices to pick typically range from $10 to $20!
If you have some free time and you are looking for a way to get the family out of the house for the day, OWA is your place to go. The amusement park recently reopened for business, and while they are following social distancing rules, that won’t stop the fun! All guests are required by the amusement park to undergo a health check, remain six feet apart and masks are encouraged but not required. When you find the perfect day to visit, an amusement park day pass will cost you $22.99. If you don’t want to ride the rides but still want a day out of the house, try the comedy, magic and impressions show or Brandon Styles’ magic show, both for $24! If you are looking for more information on seasonal events and shows at OWA, check out visitowa.com.
Plant a garden
If you love the outdoors, are feeling committed to fresh foods and are OK with using a little elbow grease, then a garden is absolutely the summer project for you. There are many different ways to do this, whether you want to go small and do a box garden or big and plant rows of vegetables, fruits or flowers, it is all in what you prefer. If you are looking for a local nursery to pick these plants, there are many in Mobile and Baldwin counties. In Mobile, you can visit Laura Kay’s Nursery & Florist, Al’s 5 & 10, Zimlich’s Patio & Garden Center, Stokley Garden Express or A Bloom Garden Center, among others. A few of the nurseries in Baldwin County include Magnolia Landscape Supply, Perdue’s Flowers, Davis Nursery and Old Tyme Feed & Garden Supply. If you don’t have a green thumb, no need to worry, it can all be very simple … with a little soil, water and the help of Mother Nature you will soon have a garden for days!
Go camping in your backyard
All you need is a tent, some blow up mattresses, a blanket and a fire for some s’mores! An outdoor adventure is just what you need to spice up a typically boring night. If you don’t feel like setting up a tent and staying for the night, set up a drive-in movie in your backyard. All you need is an old sheet, something to hang it up on, a projector, a few pillows and blankets and you are all set. Make it a night to remember and throw in some yummy snacks and a scary story!
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