Getting Outside - Garden Picture

Have Some Fun for Free: 7 Ways to Get Outside, Away from Screens

Monday, April 13, 2020 |

Walk away from the screens! Literally!

In a personal quest for more information about the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s very easy to spend way too much time in front of a computer, a tablet, or your phone. Make time to go outdoors for fresh air and perhaps some sunshine. Even on a cloudy day, a change of scenery can be both calming and positively invigorating.

Just because Delaware beaches are closed until May 15 – by executive order – except for active exercising, we are fortunate to have an abundance of other options, such as trails and state parks. Other opportunities are as close as our own neighborhoods and backyards.

Things to consider when you’re stepping outdoors:

  • Stay home if you’re sick. While sunshine and fresh air may seem enticing after spending time in quarantine, don’t go to public parks and trails. Even with social distancing, it may be possible to spread germs. If you’ve been sick, check with your healthcare provider for details about what you can do.
  • If you’re headed for a park or playground, check www.destateparks.com for updates to see if it’s open before heading out. Most public playgrounds are off limits these days. While Delaware State Parks’ entrance fees have been waived temporarily, state-run nature centers and museums in those parks are closed. Municipal or county parks may have enacted similar restrictions.
  • There is no beach access from Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware Seashore State Park and Fenwick Island State Park, but active exercisers may visit other beaches, including beaches along the Delaware Bay. Keep a respectable distance from others while sharing the beach or trails – whether on foot or riding a bicycle.
  • Parks may have limited access to restrooms, and taking your own water is advisable. Don’t rent or share equipment to avoid the spread of possible contamination.
  • Set a new goal for yourself – outdoors. Have you always wanted to cross the finish line at a charitable 5K? Start now. Consider downloading an app to help coach you through the training process. Investigate other free apps that provide instruction and motivation while tracking progress.
  • Stay-at-home options are abundant. Prepare a section of your yard for a garden. Check online sources to see what can be planted now. Lettuce, spinach, and kale, for example, are among the vegetables that thrive in cooler weather. Take the time to research what will work around your home, and also what suits your needs and personal tastes.
  • Build a fire in a fire pit and toast marshmallows. Fly a kite. Make a fort with your kids. Be playful! You’re never too old to have fun, spend time with your family, and enjoy a low-cost play day at home.