Summertime is all about spending time with family and friends, which makes it extremely challenging for military families who are far away from family, especially during COVID-19. However, being distant from loved ones in no way means your summer can’t be fun!

This time of year is perfect for outdoor activities, and getting fresh air and exercise are amazing for your health, your children’s health, and can help you build up your immunity. You just have to be mindful and respectful while out and about.

1. Take a Beach Trip

A lot of public beaches are open and are safe if you implement proper social distancing rules. All beach visitors should stay at least 6 feet away from anyone they don’t live with and never share food, equipment, toys, or other supplies with people outside their own household. As long as you abide by the specific beach rules and COVID-19 social distancing measures, a beach trip can be a fun, family-friendly activity for you and your military family.

2. Visit National Parks

While social distancing and quarantining are certainly part of keeping everyone safe during COVID-19, road tripping to the closest National Park and exploring the great outdoors (while practicing your social distance) is a safe, family-friendly activity.

Spending recreational time outdoors is far better for your health and the health of your family then if you participate in indoors activities beyond your own home. So gather some snacks, maybe have a picnic, stay 6 feet apart from strangers, and enjoy the great outdoors.

3. Backyard Barbecues

Just because COVID-19 exists doesn’t mean you can bust out the grill and have a family barbecue. There are so many ways to do this safely. If possible, keep it to just the residents of your home. If you plan to invite more people, keep it to a small group of close friends who have been careful to practice social distancing. Plan activities that can be done while wearing a mask and make sure there’s enough space for social distance when people eat. Have plenty of hand sanitizer available and have fun!

4. Pool Parties

Experts say that chlorine kills most germs, and according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence to suggest that the virus spreads to humans through pools, especially when the pool is well maintained and treated.

That being said, it’s important to be careful in and around pools with children. Be sure to social distance, feel free to hop out and take a break if the pool gets too busy, wear your mask when out of the water, and don’t share food, toys, or other pool items.

5. Pool Party Alternatives

If a pool isn’t available, don’t fret. There are a lot of alternatives! Pools are almost synonymous with summertime, but current social distancing rules might make it impossible to get access to public or community pools. Assuming you don’t have a backyard pool of your own, you could use a lawn sprinkler or a hose for some old-school family-friendly activities. You could also get a kiddie pool, have an old-fashioned squirt-gun or water-balloon fight, or visit your closest lake.

6. Camping

Again, outdoor activities are way safer than indoor ones, so try a camping trip! If there are no campgrounds open around your home, you could camp out in the backyard, roast marshmallows, watch the stars, and make a whole night of it.

7. Bike Riding

It’s easy to practice social distancing while riding bikes. Having a daily bike ride makes for an excellent family-friendly activity, especially since your kids need physical activity despite the restrictions the virus has brought on.

8. Art Day

You don’t have to be an excellent artist to implement time for creativity and fun. Get some playdough or fingerpaint the younger kids and something more challenging for the older ones, like watercolors, then get ready to enjoy an afternoon of creative fun!

9. Hiking

This could be something as substantial as a day (or even overnight) trip climbing up your nearest mountain, or something less intimidating like picking a nearby park and walking around the footpaths. Just get outdoors, walk, move, breathe, and enjoy the time with family.

10. Home Movie Theaters

While theaters have been closed for some time, it still can be fun to get popcorn, a cup of your favorite drink, and watch a good movie. Try covering your living room floor with blankets and pillows, popping a big bowl of popcorn, and turning on one of your childhood favorite movies that your kids haven’t seen yet. Relax and enjoy the night in!

Don’t give up on summer just yet. Dig deep, pull out some of your favorite childhood activities, and try to enjoy the time you have with your family.

More Ways to Enjoy Family Fun:

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