13 Fun Things to Do While Social Distancing
Here are some creative ways to stave off quarantine malaise, with help from local businesses.
Sigh. Normally, we’d be showering you with details about upcoming concerts, street festivals, theater productions and spring gallery openings. But these are not normal times. The good news is, there’s still all kinds of fun to be had. It just requires a little ingenuity. And it’s clear that our local business and retail community has plenty of that to share.
Editor’s Note: As of March 30, Gov. Ralph Northam has issued a stay-at-home order for the state of Virginia, to remain in effect through June 10. The order may put new limitations on some (but not all) of the activities listed below.
Write Your Masterpiece
Does your inner Shakespeare have something to say? Now just might be the perfect time to put your storytelling skills to the test. Submissions for full-length plays to potentially be featured in Signature Theatre’s 2020/2021 season of SigWorks: Monday Night Play Readings are due on April 6. Not quite ready for an undertaking of that magnitude? The Writing Center has moved its workshops online. Upcoming classes cover topics likes Creative Writing and Journaling Through Visual Poetry.
Work Up a Sweat
Sorry, there’s still no excuse not to. Personal trainer Ginny Wright of BBG Fitness is hosting live workouts via Facebook at 8 a.m., Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. She posts Instagram Cardio Challenges on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can also follow trainer Chauncey Graham on Instagram for his “Daily Dozen” home workouts. Gold Gym’s Stronger Anywhere program provides free on-demand videos and its AMP Personal Trainer program is free until May 31 with promo code FIT60. Onelife Fitness is hosting classes via Facebook Live. E60 Fitness is posting daily workouts on Facebook and Instagram and has membership options for home workout design, nutrition coaching and virtual trainings. In Falls Church, Body Dynamics is offering virtual one-on-one fitness, pilates and physical therapy sessions and small group training classes. Arlington’s Synetic Theater is even offering virtual fitness/dance classes taught by its dynamic actors.
And if your kids need to blow off some steam? The Little Gym of Arlington has launched its “TLG @ Home” series on Facebook. MyGym McLean and MyGym Vienna are also posting class content daily on their Facebook and Instagram pages. (Classes for tots 3 and under are posted at 11 a.m.; classes for kids 3 and older at 11:30 a.m.)
Visit Sun and Moon Yoga‘s YouTube channel for videos and live-streamed classes, all of which are available for replay at any time. CorePower Yoga is streaming classes on YouTube at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Karma Yoga in Falls Church is also offering its full vinyasa, tai chi, qigong and yin yoga schedule via live streaming. Similar options available at Blue Nectar Yoga, Mind the Mat, Spark Yoga and many others. Check the website of your favorite studio to investigate your options. Namaste.
Eat (and Maybe Cook) Something Tasty
Gourmet cooking on a Tuesday? Why not. If the inspiration just isn’t coming to you, try virtual classes from Sur La Table and, soon, Cookology. The latter also has an option for those craving a chef-designed dish, but who aren’t up to making one from scratch: Heat & Serve Meal Kits for pickup with accompanying how-to videos. (If you don’t feel like cooking at all, check out our running list of local restaurants that are open for carryout, curbside pickup and delivery. They need your business.)
Do Happy Hour
Whether you’re on a Zoom call with friends or sitting in your driveway (with chairs the recommended six feet apart) you can still raise a glass. A handful of area breweries are offering curbside pickup of your favorite craft brews. Among them: New District Brewing, which is also exploring doing a virtual taproom via Google Hangouts; Audacious Aleworks; Port City Brewing (which also has a delivery option) and Settle Down Easy. For wine lovers, try The Board Room, Arrowine & Cheese and Dominion Wine & Beer.
Now that Virginia has loosened its restrictions on alcohol deliveries, area restaurants with ABC licenses are also offering beer and wine to go. Many of them are listed here.
Always wanted to try brewing your own beer? The Brew Shop’s curbside pickup options in Courthouse include grain and hops—if you need grains milled they might need some extra time to do so. MyLocal Home Brew Shop in Falls Church is offering the same, plus online ordering, delivery and in-store pickup for those who need to crush grain and swap out a CO2 tank. And Caboose Brewing Co. in Vienna/Mosaic District has launched a Community Hops program whereby you can learn how to grow and harvest your own hops for brewing.
Launch a Scavenger Hunt
If you’re a weary parent struggling to keep your kids entertained, here’s an idea: Organize a treasure hunt and let them have at it. Using the printouts provided by Benecomms and their partner nonprofits—Real Food For Kids, First Fruits Farm, Rise Against Hunger, The Children’s Defense Fund and Kenson Kids—setup is only eight minutes.
In addition, many local neighborhoods are now orchestrating neighborhood-wide scavenger hunts, whereby residents place pictures or objects (like teddy bears) in their windows. Families can then do walkabouts, with kids keeping their eyes peeled to see how many they can find.
Arlington mom Mandy Carson Sutton, a speech-language pathologist with SkillBuilders, also put together this fun scavenger hunt of D.C. area landmarks if you feel like taking a drive with the kiddos.
Connect with Flowers
Nothing says “I’m thinking of you” quite like a bouquet of flowers. Fortunately, at a time when we could all use a thoughtful gesture, you can still send and receive them. Company Flowers is running a $75 “Flowers & Friends” special right now with free delivery. Call the store (703-525-3062), mention the special and get the latest spring blooms delivered to your friend or loved one.
Botanologica in Falls Church is offering wrapped bouquets for pickup at the shop on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4 p.m. (Deliveries may also be possible upon request.)
Galleria Florist has posted an online video tutorial for aspiring DIY floral artists.
Purge, Nest, Decorate
If you’re going to be spending some extra time inside, you might as well like what you see. Getting started could simply mean finally cleaning out the closet and getting rid of things you don’t need—read this essay on downsizing for some perspective—and then dropping those items off at the Goodwill of Greater Washington’s still-open donation centers. Or, maybe it means moving around some furniture—inspiration here—and finding fresh pieces to hang on the wall. Though it’s technically closed, Gallery Underground has still got you covered, selling art on its flickr site.
Do a Little Landscaping
Yes, you can still get some yard work done—weather permitting, of course. Hardware stores are considered essential, so many remain open (and many area nurseries are delivering flowers, bulbs and mulch). In Arlington, Bill’s True Value Hardware and Ayers Variety and Hardware both ask that customers continue to limit their exposure by not shopping in groups and keeping their distance in aisles and in line. Ayers is also willing to take orders and payment over the phone, providing curbside pickup.
And hey, if you’re sprucing up your yard, why not help the birds and bees while you’re at it? Read our recent story on how to plant a pollinator garden with tips from local gardening experts.
Learn Something New
Always wanted to learn how to code? Want to hone your management skills? Ever wonder what it’d be like to take an Ivy League sociology class? Now is your chance to do so—from home, for free. With over 450 Ivy League courses to choose from, you’re bound to find one that piques your interest.
For inspiration with a more local focus, listen to interviews with local women entrepreneurs via Awesome Women Entrepreneurs’ The AWE Show Podcast series.
Tour a Museum or Gallery
From your couch, that is. Thanks, yet again, to the wonders of technology, you can virtually visit museums here and abroad. The National Gallery of Art is posting daily “tours” to its Facebook page; Smithsonian has a handful of online exhibits plus 3D tools and images available for download via Open Access; and Google’s Collections lets you pick pretty much any museum you can find on its world map.
For a virtual tour of Falls Church Arts’ current exhibit, “A Woman’s Journey,” follow this link.
Enjoy a Live Performance
You can still see a theater production and support the arts without leaving home. Synetic Streaming will kick things off with Hansel & Gretel (the theater is asking individuals to pay what they can for tickets before they receive a link and password). Creative Cauldron plans to provide a similar pay-what-you-can online experience, and is also offering a Zoom-based Spring Break Camp for kids ages 4-14. Didn’t get a chance to see Signature Theatre’s recent production of Easy Women Smoking Loose Cigarettes? It’s available for digital streaming through April 12. And you can now watch the National Chamber Ensemble’s recent performance of The Remarkable Four Seasons on YouTube.
Read a Good Book
Odds are, this thought has already occurred to you. Just know that you’ve got options beyond the dusty books on your shelf. Local bookstores One More Page Books, Bards Alley and Barnes & Noble Clarendon have audiobooks (and good-old-fashioned paperbacks and hardcovers, too) for purchase, plus curbside pickup for people who order online or by phone. One More Page is also selling puzzles and a surprise box of books based on readers’ preferences. If you have a library card, you can also peruse the Arlington Public Library’s eCollection of books, audiobooks, magazines, newspapers, learning tools and research tools for free. Fines and returns are temporarily suspended.