By Danah Shuli
I plan, you plan, and Allah (S) is the best of planners. Like many of you, my family’s summer did not play out the way we had envisioned this year. I think most will agree that summer months equate to family vacations to faraway destinations, whether that’s domestic or international, perhaps a family event or some variation of a trip that requires traveling and spending the night outside of your home.
While most states have loosened their shelter in place restrictions and moved into their advanced phase plans, the overall numbers for Coronavirus cases in the U.S. are not looking good. Wearing masks, maintaining a safe distance from others and quarantining have become our new norm in order to protect ourselves and those around us. While being home with family and spending countless hours together has been an unexpected blessing in disguise, I know my family is in dire need of a vacation of some sort.
Being home for a prolonged period of time with no end in sight really starts to take a toll on adults and kids alike. We may not get to travel the way we had planned this summer, but there is always room for creativity and thinking outside of the box for things to do in town and even at home. Here are some staycation ideas to give your family a sense of leisure and fun time while still practicing social distancing and staying safe.
Some families have made the personal decision to take nearby vacations, such as going to the beach or mountains. However, not everyone will have that flexibility. Families with high risk and immunocompromised individuals don’t have the option of even taking a day trip without risking the health of their loved one(s). Certain beaches have also become COVID hot spots
, and many states now have travel restrictions in place
Image source: Pexel
Instead of going camping in the great outdoors or getting some much needed vitamin D, bring those vibes to comfort of your home and quite literally to your footsteps.
You’ll need some supplies and help from your family to make this experience worthwhile and enjoyable. With a little planning and a big imagination you can transform your backyard (or back porch/deck depending on where you live) into a fantastic getaway the likes of a camping adventure or a trip to the beach!
Supplies for Camping Under the Stars
1. Back porch/backyard 2. Camping tent 3. Sleeping bags and pillows 4. Flashlights 5. Fire pit – here is an easy DIY
! 6. Smores – kabob sticks or skewers, halal/vegan marshmallows, chocolate, graham crackers 7. Hotdogs, buns and condiments 8. Reusable water bottles 9. Family story time or games 10. Don’t forget to look up and stargaze!
Supplies for a Beach Side Oasis
1. Pool of some sort; in the ground (if you’re lucky!) or inflatable pool 2. Sandy beach shore – here is a creative DIY
! 3. Beach umbrellas 4. Beach towels 5. Sunscreen and bug spray 6. Beach balls and sand toys to build a sand castle 7. A refreshing drink to enjoy – try this frozen mint lemonade recipe
. 8. Your favorite ice cream, fruits and snacks. Try these delicious chocolate dipped frozen bananas
Movie Night on the Big Screen
Going to the movies seems like a thing of the past, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right tools and a great movie, you can transform your backyard or a room in your home into a theater-like experience. Hang some string lights and add cushions and pillows for an extra cozy and intimate setting.
This can become a weekly family night tradition where each family member takes a turn choosing the movie. Another indoor movie idea is instead of watching it on your TV, invest in a home projector, make a movie screen
, or use an empty wall to project a movie onto. You’ll need a mini home theater projector like this
to make it work. Take time to prepare a snack
and popcorn bar
. If your family is more into ice cream, surprise them with a cute ice cream sundae station
with all of the fixings!
Hidden Gems in your City
You don’t have to look far to enjoy some time off of your daily routine. With a little bit of your own research, I’ll bet there are countless outdoor activities that have probably been tucked away in your town or city waiting to be discovered. Remember to keep a safe distance, even while outdoors, and always have your masks on hand in case you run into high traffic areas.
Image source: Pexel
It’s important to go over these safety precautions with your family prior to leaving the house to ensure everyone is on the same page and has a great time. Below are a few ideas to search for and do around town:
1. Greenways – these trails are great for taking walks and riding bikes Hikes and trails. Look for those with creeks and streams for added fun in the sun! Visit a lavender farm or sunflower field - bring your camera and plan to take some nice family photos! 2. Drive-in movie theater – park six feet apart from others and enjoy from your own car! 3. Fruit picking – blueberry season is upon us! 4. Day trip to nearby mountains or beach (if you can find a spot that isn’t crowded).
I hope these suggestions have inspired you to get creative and look at vacations through a new lens. Allah (S) reminds us in the Quran that, “Verily with hardship comes ease,” and nothing lasts forever.
This time will pass and you will once again have the luxury of taking a road trip, maybe going to a family wedding, possibly flying and taking a proper vacation somewhere. For now, don’t forget to enjoy what you do have and make the most out of it!