The best ideas to spend time together outside while social distancing

As long as you are following government social distancing guidelines, there are still a few activities you can do outside with some special people in your life

By Will Pankey


It is getting warmer and the sun is teasing everyone inside. While the country is still quarantining at home, some states and cities are looking to partially reopen with a return to something resembling everyday life. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have the green light to go outside as if everything is back to normal. You should still wear masks and display social distancing measures. But you can do that while still enjoying the outdoors with small groups of people. Here are a few ideas on how to enjoy the outdoors together.

Riding Bikes

Is there anything comparable to rummaging through your garage for 40 minutes, painstakingly shifting years of boxes and detritus to dig out the beat-up cruisers you and yours purchased six summers ago? That’s right folks, it’s time to put those two wheels to the road and get to riding that Huffy. Bicycling is an excellent way to enjoy the great outdoors together with one or two people and given the nature of the activity, you never have to be “together” all the time. One person can take up the rear and the other the head, and you have almost the perfect outdoor social distancing outing. Be sure to exercise extreme caution and use equipment to minimize injuries.

Going For A Hike

Of course, follow all local guidelines and read up on if trails are open in your city and state, but if they are, hiking is a good way to get some sunshine and fresh air. To really make the most of it, consider going during odd, low-traffic hours, either early in the morning or later in the day, and keep a good amount of distance between your hiking partner and others using the trail.

Venture out and hike a trail while maintaining social distancing.

Landscape Art Session

During quarantine, everyone is trying to pick up a hobby, whether that is baking, origami, or if you’re really ambitious, quilting. But another major hobby that is seeing a boost is watercolors and drawing. You’ve already sketched everything inside your house (including a weird nude of your spouse), maybe it is time to take your talents to the natural world. Teaming up with an art buddy and picking a serene spot with varied wildlife and views is a perfect way to spend a calm spring evening. Pitch up an easel or find a nice spot to sketch with appropriate distancing and get to flexing your brush and sketching skills.

Social Distance Picnic

How about a picnic? Again, please consult your local guidelines and notices about which parks and public spaces are still open, but a picnic while exhibiting the appropriate social distancing precautions is a great way to usher in the beginning of summer. Pick a park or grassy spot, space respective camps away from each other, and dig into a nice bottle of natural wine, cured meats and cheeses, and other picnic staples like potato salad and dips. An added bonus of social distancing picnicking is that everyone is responsible for their own plot of space and cleanup goes a little quicker.

Backyard Movie Night

Alright, admittedly this is only an option if you’re rich-rich and have the funds and an impressive backyard to house an inflatable movie screen. We are going to assume that you are fortunate to have both so that means a backyard movie night is in order. Fire up the popcorn and blow up the 22-foot movie projector screen, a backyard movie night is an easy way to shake up the stale “sit in front of the tv and scroll through Netflix” routine that happens every night. This makes spending time together outside an event. The only thing left is to figure out which movie to show.

Exploring a part of the city you’ve never been to before is a good way to get outside.

Social Distance Pool Party

We’re not talking about public pools here (even in normal times, were public pools the cleanest places?) but private backyard pools. If you’re lucky to have a pool or know someone with a pool, a very small gathering for a dip is a good way to spend some quality time as the days grow hotter. As long as the pool is maintained with chlorine, the risk factor is low when it comes to coronavirus. The only bummer is you might not be able to play Marco Polo like back in the day.

Walking Tours of Historic Neighborhoods

With a little online research and some planning, you can explore your city with a walking tour of different neighborhoods. Walking tours provide a way to get out of the house while learning trivia and fascinating stories about the makeup of communities and neighborhoods. Keep your distance and discover more about your city.