5 Quarantine-Friendly Ways to Hang Out With Friends (That Won't Make You Wish You'd Stayed Home)

5 Quarantine-Friendly Ways to Hang Out With Friends (That Won't Make You Wish You'd Stayed Home)

Personal Growth

August 12, 2020

As lockdown measures in the U.S. drag on and on, you might find yourself going a bit stir-crazy -- especially if you're scrolling through social media and watching acquaintances throw huge parties, gather in restaurants, and lounge on the beach. So, here are our favorite ways to hang out with friends without getting COVID or FOMO.

1. Do a (masked) photoshoot

If you and your friends have DSLR cameras, or even nice-ish phones, you might be surprised how high-quality a photo can be when it's taken from >10 feet away. Meet a friend at a scenic location near sunrise or sunset to take photos with striking silhouettes, or dash out at golden hour so your friend can take your newest, artsiest profile pic yet. Then, shout your goodbyes and drive home alone, virus-free.

If you feel like taking this activity to the next level, you and your friends should dress up! Shimmy into that dress you never find an excuse to wear anymore, and exchange your house loafers for real, actual shoes.

Photo by VisionPic .net from Pexels

2. Non-contact sports

Think volleyball, badminton, tennis...anything that gets you far away from one another. The MayoClinic lists Frisbee and similar sports as low-risk social activities that you should likely be safe partaking in.

3. Drive-in movies

While regular movie theatres have closed due to the pandemic, drive-in movie theatres have experienced a nation-wide revival. If you and your friends are licensed, make plans to go see a show together! Delish has a great list of the best drive-in theatres in every state; your local newspaper also probably has some reviews of good theatres close to you. Tickets are usually relatively inexpensive (although nothing can beat Netflix prices).

4. Go stargazing

First, you and your friends need to find a field. A relatively large backyard will also do the trick, as will your middle school track -- you are mostly looking for somewhere far from city lights where your view of the sky won't be interrupted by trees.

Then, get yourself a nice astronomy app; iPhone users are often fond of Night Sky, and there are similar apps available to Android users. Grab a blanket, pour some hot tea in a thermos, and fall in love with the night sky. You can familiarize yourself with constellations, locate the north star, or, if you've done your research beforehand, catch a meteor shower.

You're going out at night, so be smart about your personal safety. Let your parents know where you'll be, and consider dragging your younger sibling along so you're never alone in an empty field.

5. Go hiking (but make it like...fun)

IDK about you, but my local trails have become far too popular lately, so if I'm going on a socially-distanced hike with friends, it needs to be circa 7:00 a.m. Those hikes also get a little boring if all you're doing is listening to one another breathe heavily through switchback #8. Spice it up!

Bring along a birdwatching guide and hunt down some finches, or set a goal to go on hikes of increasing difficulty throughout August. This is also a great opportunity to take some great pics -- see activity #1.

Also, a final note: Hanging out during a pandemic is complicated. Before you do anything with a friend, check in with them about their personal boundaries. Make sure all of your friends are virus-free, and make it obvious that it's ok to cancel plans day-of over scratchy throats or stuffy noses.

Use common sense. Chill responsibly.

Thumbnail attribution: Photo by Elijah O'Donnell from Pexels

Surya Hendry

Writer since Aug, 2020 · 1 published articles

Surya Hendry is an aspiring journalist from Seattle, WA. She currently studies at Stanford University and has previously been published at KUOW.