Now that Summer is in full swing, and things aren't quite back to 'normal,' here are some ways to enjoy time with friends or family, while practicing social distancing and staying safe.
- Animal Sanctuaries: There are hundreds of accredited animal sanctuaries in the United States, and thousands if you include volunteer and non-profit animal rescues. Most are desperate for donations to provide medical treatment, house, and feed the animals in their care. Check out this state by state listing; you may be surprised to find an animal park that you can drive-thru, keeping up with current social distancing recommendations. If not, many offer tours in large outdoor areas providing plenty of room to keep your distance while supporting a worthy cause.
- Drive-In Theatre: At their peak in the 1950's, there were an estimated 4000 drive-in theaters in the United States. There are only about 325 still operating in the US today, according to DriveInMovie.com who has a comprehensive state listing of the nostalgic drive-in theatres still operating today. Load up on snacks, and keep a safe distance from other moviegoers while enjoying a piece of Americana history. Some drive-in theatres are hosting events like raves, concerts, and other pop-culture favorites, so find a theatre near you and enjoy.
- Backyard Camping: Not everyone has a backyard, but if you do, consider spending the night in the great outdoors. Pitch a tent, fire up the BBQ, stare up at the stars, listen to the sounds of nature, and get away from your daily routine. Some studies suggest that people who spent at least 2 hours a week in nature saw an improvement in their mental and physical health, compared to people who didn't spend any time in nature. If you don't have a backyard, try switching things up, pitch a tent indoors, and put on nature sounds for an unusual change of pace.
- Take a virtual tour of the Louvre: As the world's largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France, it's a central landmark of the city. The museum's exhibition rooms and galleries showcase art through the ages, featuring some of the most recognizable and priceless paintings and sculptors. Visit the French kings' palace to admire some of the world's most exceptional art or appreciate some of the Western Civilization's most famous masterpieces, including the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci and the Vénus de Milo. The virtual tour is free, thanks to sponsors, and it provides a unique way to appreciate art from the safety of your home.
- Go to the zoo, via live animal webcams: Another way to get away without leaving your home is to find a zoo webcam that features your favorite wild animals. Find local zoos, or take a virtual trip around the world and see what the koalas are doing in Healesville Australia, or head to Ireland and visit the Dublin Zoo. We found webcams for hippos, platypus, baboons, penguins, polar bears, apes, tigers, elephants, giraffe's, burrowing owls, panda's, koalas and condors. Most webcams are sponsored, so it's not only easy and safe, but it's free!