The snow has melted, the sun is beating down, and it’s time to get out in the great outdoors, quarantine style. Instead of planning trips to far-off places with friends and family, this summer is surely going to look different than a typical summer vacation. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of activity ideas right here to keep busy.

What’s better than a little camping trip?A chance to unplug, explore nature, and enjoy time with your loved ones without distractions. This year, let’s try it in the comfort of our own homes. While some of us are fortunate to have backyards, and flat ones at that, others will have to improvise with living-room or even  bedroom scenarios. But isn’t making do with what you have part of the fun of camping, anyway?

Picnic Ideas: Dust off the barbecue and set up a picnic table for no other reason than ‘tis the season. While you’re “camping” this time though, you have the privilege of also having access to the entirety of your fridge. Whip up a classic potato salad and a refreshing fruit salad, fire up some burgers, or grill a bunch of veggies. If your yard isn’t conducive to comfortable picnicking, just place a blanket or some folding chairs on your porch or driveway and soak up the sun.

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BIRD’S EYE VIEW: With lingering effects of the coronavirus putting the kibosh on vacation plans this
summer, make the most of your staycation right at home. Get yourself some binoculars and have a birdwatching
scavenger hunt in your back yard. Photo by Juliana Demarest

Activities: Remember that pre-Google experience of sitting with your thoughts, letting them resonate instead of filling your head with constant noise? During your backyard camping excursion, the activities are as endless as you allow them to be, without resorting to that all encompassing computer in your pocket. You can create a bird-watching scavenger hunt, paint or draw your surroundings, pull out a deck of cards, start a new book, write a letter to your relative or best friend, and play Yahtzee or Cards Against Humanity, depending on your audience. The goal here is to unplug, stay home, allow yourself to turn boredom into creativity, and spend quality with your roommates and loved ones.

Camping (or glamping): If a backyard tent isn’t your idea of a good time, I get it. Build a blanket fort with your kids, have a tea party with homemade fancy hats, or safari with their favorite stuffed animals. There are no rules.


Main Image Caption: BIRD’S EYE VIEW: With lingering effects of the coronavirus putting the kibosh on vacation plans this summer, make the most of your staycation right at home. Get yourself some binoculars and have a birdwatching scavenger hunt in your back yard. Photo by Juliana Demarest

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