For those of you who have cancelled travel plans, those of you with travel planned in the near or distant future, those of you looking forward to celebrating a special occasion soon, those of you unsure about this year's family vacation... let's shift to Plan B. We are being forced to think outside of the box and reevaluate our immediate surroundings. Hopefully this list will inspire you over the coming weeks of social distancing and the months of alternative vacation planning.
For the immediate weeks of social distancing:
Hike, Bike, Walk, and Explore - Get moving... It's important that we remain active during these weeks and months and get a healthy dose of fresh air. Get out for a walk or bike ride. Use AllTrails app to find new hikes and walking trails near you. Turn your walk into a nature scavenger hunt for your kids. Can't get out, take a virtual tour of some of these national parks: Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
Garden Together - Whether you have space for an acre of vegetables or a patio with room for a pot or two of herbs. Take this time to get your hands dirty, dig in the soil and plant some of your favorites. Great activity to involve the whole family.
Backyard or Indoor Camping - Dig out your tent, sleeping bags and camping supplies. Pitch your tent in the backyard and enjoy a night under the stars. For those in the city or those surviving weeks of rain, build your tent inside. Grab some sheets and extra blankets, turn your chairs and couch cushions into structural elements for draping. Roasting marshmallows over your stove, shadow puppet theater with your flashlights, card games inside of your tent.
At Home Cooking Classes - Pull out your favorite recipes or google something you've been meaning to try. A baking day with the kids, wine and pasta night with your spouse or virtual appetizers with friends! One of our favorite travel experiences was Thanksgiving in Italy - Pasta with Nonna - http://www.nonnas.it Chiara and Nonna are now offering online pasta classes.
Spa Day - Take inventory of all your free samples, this is the perfect time to pamper your skin with a facial. Treat each other to soothing hand and foot massages, grab your favorite lotion and warm some wet towels in the microwave. Prewash your feet of course. Spruce up your fingers and toes with a fresh coat of polish. If you are heading out to the market or drugstore, add one more thing to your cart (treat yourself to a new polish color). Let your little ones treat you to a makeover.
Picnic on the Porch - or on the driveway or in the yard or in the living room, pack a blanket, plan your favorite snacks, some drinks, maybe an activity or two, and enjoy a meal together.
Journal - There will come a time where we will all reflect on these events, where we will share the stories with our children and grandchildren. Journal daily ( a few sentences or more) about how you are feeling, what creative outlets you are exploring, how you are bonding as a family or fostering relationships from a distance, how our society is coming together. These journaling will be priceless in the future.
Museums, Zoos, Theaters, and Concerts - These events have been canceled for the short term, but many locations have begun virtual tours of their facilities or set up interactive experiences around their content. The Cincinnati Zoo is bringing a daily tour to you 3pm Eastern at Cincinnati Zoo website. Some museum recommendations: The Louvre, NASA Space Center, National Gallery of Art, National Women's History Museum, The Vatican Museums, Epic Car Museums around the world, additional Museum Tours List New release movies coming direct to your home for on-demand purchase, click here. Many artists (Coldplay, John Legend, and others) are partnering with World Health Organization and performing virtual at home concerts... ENJOY!
Puzzles, Games and Cards - Grab that challenging puzzle or the game you never have enough time to play. Game on!
These suggestions are great for the immediate few weeks at home... vacation inspiration and travel planning recommendations for the remainder of the year will be coming your way soon. Take this time to enjoy your at-home experiences with those you love!