Getting Ready for a Socially Distanced Summer (It Could Still Be Fun?)

So apparently this whole pandemic thing isn’t going away? The last two months of social distancing and shelter-at-home were just a preview for summer. Vacations, beach bonfires, county fairs … CANCELED. However tragic this may sound, this doesn’t mean that the whole summer is canceled.

The two brain cells I have left happened to bump into each other, and I’ve had a groundbreaking thought: We can be socially distanced this summer and still have a good time. Not every fun summer activity requires us being within six feet of other people. As the weather gets warmer and we finish up the school year, it's time to start preparing for the summer.

Time to bust out the Lysol spray and masks. Here’s a few tips on getting ready for our socially distanced summer.

  1. 1. Find a Spot to Cool Off

    Kellyn Simpkin-Noodle Swimming Pool

    Depending on where you are, beaches may be closed or have limited access. While SLO County beaches currently remain open, they could end up closed like L.A. and Orange County beaches if the situation worsens. That’s why it's good to have a backup plan. It's time to invest in a kiddie pool. Depending on your living situation and the amount of space you have, a small kiddie pool could be your best option. Starting at $20 at Target, they’re small enough to fit almost anywhere.If you have a yard, you have the option to get a larger inflatable pool to enjoy. 

    For all of us in SLO who still have access to beaches, we should do our best to keep them open. Be ready to take the time and find a spot to hang out on the beach that’s further away from other people. Follow any directions about social distancing and encourage others to do the same.

  2. 2. Plan a Socially Distanced Picnic

    All you need is a blanket, some food and open space where you and your friends can spread out. It's not summer if we don’t hang out with our friends, and having a picnic is a safe way to do this even during a pandemic. As long as everyone is distanced from each other, a picnic can give you the opportunity to enjoy the nice weather, see your friends, and forget for a second that this isn’t a normal summer.

    You can even make it a barbeque. Just make sure everyone brings their own plates and utensils to be safe. Whoever is in charge of the barbeque should wear a mask, and everyone should take turns serving their food in order to stay distanced.

  3. 3. Find a Place to Go Stargazing

    Depending on where you live, this may be harder to do. If you live in a place with a lot of light pollution, spotting stars can be hard. As you’re getting ready for summer, start doing some research to find a place with good visibility. You and your friends or family can take advantage of the warm nights, park near each other and hang out under the stars. 

    You can make a whole evening of this by finding a place to park to watch the sunset and wait for the stars to come out. Bring some snacks, blankets and post up on the hood of your car — six feet away from your friends. If you’re spending the summer in SLO, Prefumo Canyon is the perfect place for stargazing and seeing some amazing sunsets.

  4. 4. Make a Summer Playlist

    spotify, phone, headphones, music

    Even if this summer is going to be spent at least six feet away from each other, we might as well have a good soundtrack to go along with it. Have your friends add their favorite songs that epitomize the summer vibes. Be ready to play it whenever you’re on Zoom with your friends, having a socially distanced picnic or even just when you’re alone at home. It can definitely help bring up the mood when you and your friends wish you were chilling on the beach and going to parties. 

  5. 5. Zoom Calls but Make It Summer


    If you’re quarantined away from your friends this summer (assuming sheltering in home remains a reality), plan weekly Zoom calls with different summer time themes. Bust out the bathing suits, mimosas, beach umbrellas and sunglasses and pretend you’re with your friends on the beach instead of in your backyard holding your computer. 

    Take turns picking a theme for the call and then dress up, gather your accessories and change your Zoom backgrounds. Lay out in your yard, balcony or by a window and soak up the summertime vibes with your friends. You didn’t buy those new sunglasses and that bikini for nothing.



This summer is going to be different from most summers. It's up to us to try our best to accept that and still do our part to social distance. This virus isn’t going away anytime soon, so we have to make the most of this summer while still being safe. There’s no reason for us to stay trapped inside our homes; as long as we stay distanced, we can all enjoy the warm weather and still have fun this summer.