Summer has looked a lot different this year to say the least. With the constant changes in safety precautions taking place, finding ways to enjoy sweet summertime as a family has become a challenge.
I am constantly trying to come up with creative ways to entertain my boys. Typically, trips to the beach or pool or zoo or waterparks were a no-brainer but now we are having to make sure we maintain safe distances, make our kids wear masks (which can be a task in itself) and avoid large groupings of people. It just seems easier to stay home sometimes.
So how are we coping? How are we determining what is safe and what isn’t for our families? How are we beating the heat during a challenging summer?
I’ve been scouring through the posts of local parents to see what kinds of things people are finding safe to do… and it seems like people are getting pretty creative and pretty outdoorsy. Here are some things I have found that Columbia parents are doing with their children this summer in light of a pandemic.
I see a ton of families discovering some pretty amazing hiking trails and waterfalls in the state. Places like Riley Moore Falls, Jones Gap State Park, Virginia Hawkins Falls, Palmetto Trail and more are drawing families from all over the state. What a great way to get the family out of the house, get some exercise and make some discoveries along the way.
While some brave souls are flocking to crowded beaches, I see a lot of families playing it safer and finding more remote beach areas to go to. While the price tag might be a little higher the less crowded beaches and the ability to maintain a safe distance are totally worth it. Hidden gems like Pawleys Island, Edisto, Hilton Head, Fripp Island and many more seem to have a safer atmosphere to enjoy the beach.
Unique Vacation Destinations
Beaches aren’t the only amazing vacation spots close to Columbia, there are many great places to go to like campgrounds, lakes and mountains in or near South Carolina. Places in the Blue Ridge Mountains like Lake Lure or Chimney Rock for instance have tons of things to do while social distancing or enjoy the peace and tranquility of cooler mountain temperatures and smaller towns. Ever think of just booking a house on Lake Murray for a long weekend? You could have a vacation without even leaving town. Check out the Buttonbush Cottage in Chapin. Now that is a place to social distance.
This is an activity I can really wrap my head around. There is so much history in our city of Columbia and surrounding areas. What a great way to spend an afternoon – walking around the beautiful historic district of Columbia, making a trip to the Biltmore Estate or discovering the beautiful historic Downtown Newberry is a wonderful way to celebrate local history with the kids.
I see many families taking advantage of boat/kayak rentals. Maybe you had to cancel your family vacation because you were uncomfortable with the climbing numbers of COVID-19 cases. Maybe rent a boat or some kayaks instead and discover what our gorgeous lakes and rivers have to offer.
Pick up a fishing license, pack a cooler and some fishing rods, and take the kids fishing. Columbia has some great rivers, ponds and beautiful lakes where you can social distance while learning patience and if you are lucky catch a few fish. Not to mention if the kids get bored fishing at the river, an hour or so of rock hopping ought to wear them out.
I have never seen so many people go strawberry picking than during this pandemic. I love this activity. Nothing like picking your own batch of strawberries with the kids and then taking them home to make something delicious. Makes a great photo opportunity too. Check out Cottle Strawberry Farms in Hopkins, SC.
Good old fashioned stay at home fun is a great way to spend your summer days. A popcicle and a sprinkler are about enough to put a smile on most children’s faces. There is nothing like a little blow up pool, some sunshine and cool glass of lemonade to make your backyard a little oasis. Life is all about the little things and if you are having fun most likely your kids are too.
So, if you are feeling a little uncomfortable with public places to take the kids there are always options of things to do. Sometimes we have to think outside the box, channel our inner outdoorsman, and find safe ways to enjoy the summer during a trying time for our state and country.