COVID-Safe Spring Activities

Hannah Olah, Staff Writer

Spring has finally arrived and with temperatures rising people are eager to leave their houses to have some fun.  However, many people don’t want to repeat the spring pandemic activities from last year.  As fun as the daily walks and trips to the park were last year, we need some new and safe activities for this spring to keep things interesting and exciting.  Despite vaccines becoming more readily available, it is still important to practice social distancing and wear a mask to protect yourself and others.  So, here are some outdoor spring activities to keep you safe and entertained!

For those of you who prefer short outings, there are endless options that will get you out of the house for just a few hours.  Consider going on a hike or nature walk, there are plenty of trails and recreational areas in northern New Jersey that are just a short drive away.  The Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve is an excellent option for those who want to take a relaxing stroll through nature.  The trail circles a large lake, so if you’re lucky you may spot a pair of swans!  There are also benches and tables situated by the lake, so you can even bring your lunch and enjoy the scenery.  Fishing and kayaking are also allowed at the Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve, so if the weather is permitting you can give those a try, too! For those who prefer to hike, you can go to Ramapo Mountain or the High Mountain Park Preserve in Wayne.  If you’re going with family, consider having a picnic along the way.  For those who are not into hiking or nature walks, local zoos are open.  The Turtle Back Zoo and Bronx Zoo are excellent options if you want to get out of the house for a few hours and maybe take some cool pictures of the animals!

If you have a lot of time to spare, a day trip is an excellent idea.  The beach is a classic day trip location, as anyone in New Jersey is just a short drive away from the shore.  Cape May, Point Pleasant, Sandy Hook, and Wildwood are all popular locations for beach-goers.  If you are not a fan of the beach, there are plenty of other day trip options in the area.  Perhaps a trip to Hoboken; there are plenty of restaurants to try and not to mention, a gorgeous view of New York City.  A trip to New York City is also a good option, however, if you want to avoid crowds, NYC might not be your go-to.  I recommend going on a weekday to avoid high crowds and to stay away from popular tourist locations.  Outdoor recreational areas such as Central Park are ideal locations for social distancing.  

For those who want to stay at home, there are also plenty of options to stay entertained.  Now is the ideal time to plant a garden!  You could curate a garden filled with your favorite fruits, vegetables, and flowers.  If you don’t like getting your hands dirty, you could try backyard camping.  If you have a tent, set it up in your backyard and invite your family members to join you as you make s’mores, play games, and if you have an outdoor movie projector, you can watch a movie together!  Check the weather forecast before you outdoor camp though, you don’t want to get rained on in the middle of the night!  For those who don’t have a tent to backyard camp, set up an outdoor movie night.  Movie projectors are relatively inexpensive and a screen is not required: just point the projector to a flat surface such as your fence or the side of your house.

There are plenty of options to stay safe and have fun this spring, you may just have to get a little creative. Whether you’re hours away at the beach or in your own backyard, this spring does not have to be a repeat of last spring.  These are just a few out of the countless activity options available, so feel free to expand on these ideas to create your own fun activity.  Just remember to stay safe, wear your mask, and practice social distancing!