How To Have Fun In Virginia This Summer While Social Distancing
The long, hot days of summer are now upon us. But the summer of 2020 won’t look the same as many that came before it.
Kids won’t be off to summer camp cramped in twin bunk beds, learning how to start a fire or smuggle candy in the cabin after hours. People won’t line the streets watching parades, stand in line for carnival games, or marvel at a firework show.
Instead, the limited number of people who are out on the street will be wearing masks and standing six-feet apart. The impact of the coronavirus has left its mark on nearly every activity and social gathering we have.
But that doesn’t mean summer is canceled.
There are still plenty of ways to have fun in Richmond this summer while staying safe and not breaking the bank. Ready for some summer saving activities? Let’s take a look.
Summer is often synonymous with swimming, and current research from the CDC doesn’t suggest that COVID-19 spreads through water. So beach days and pool parties may still keep their slots on your summer agenda.
Keep in mind that while the virus isn’t shown to spread in water, it does spread person to person which makes it important to maintain social distancing at the beach, pool decks, and more. It is best to limit contact with people you don’t live with, so sharing beach toys for the kids or inflatable rafts with neighbors or fellow beachgoers isn’t your best bet.
Virginia beach is open for visitors! You can pack up the car and head out for a nice beach day, but try to get there early as parking is at a limited, 50% capacity. The beach also requires you to maintain social distancing and refrain from group sports like volleyball and frisbee.
Remember to bring your mask, because face coverings are required in all enclosed public spaces including restrooms and restaurants. Visitor centers are still closed for the time being.
The state of Virginia has extended outdoor group activities to 50 people, but the smaller the better. Try to keep gatherings small and when do you travel, follow the state and CDC guidelines.
A beach day is a really inexpensive and fun trip. You can lay on the beach, play in the water, and enjoy the scenic nature. The local farmer’s markets are also open if you need a break from the salty waves.
Pro tip: pack water and food from home so you don’t have to spend money on costly take-out. You can also make it a day trip, so you don’t have to pay for lodging. If you do want to stay overnight but aren’t comfortable in a hotel, check out VRBO or Airbnb for alternative options. These sites usually offer more reasonable rates than traditional hotels and offer different amenities.
Museums and cultural activities
Aside from the beach, Virginia offers many unique and fun indoor experiences. Between museums, libraries, and other cultural centers, there are many ways to engage with the local culture. How are these institutions impacted by COVID-19? Let’s take a look.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA is set to re-open on July 4. At this time, all guests will be required to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing while inside.
All special exhibits will be timed in order to limit the number of people in one space.
In-person classes for the summer are canceled but will be offered online via Zoom.
The Science Museum of Virginia is still closed to the public and doesn’t provide a re-opening date.
Though all in-person activities are suspended, they are ramping up their online activities like Science on Tap where local historians and other professionals dive into an interesting scientific topic.
The museum also has live astronomy shows, a STEM blog, and digital lunch and learn sessions. Check out their website for more information.
The Valentine Museum in Richmond, VA will re-open its doors on June 30 and admission is free in the summer, making this a great way to learn about Richmond history on a budget.
While the Virginia Public Library remains closed, it is offering readers curbside pickup for books. Head on over to the website, order your books, and pick them up at your scheduled time. Summer is a great time to catch up on some reading and books allow you to travel anywhere in the world for free.
In addition to great reads, the library has expanded its digital art collection as well as online workshops, classes, and story hour.
If you want to plan a fun stay-cation this summer, organize a weekend to Colonial Williamsburg. Between history, local charm, good food, and sites, you will have a great weekend just a few miles from your backyard.
There are so many wonderful things you can do outside this summer. From creek fishing in the George Washington National Forest to paddling the upper James River or renting a waterfront home in the Northern Neck of Virginia in Lancaster County, the outdoor activities are limitless.
If you are a big fan of dining out, many restaurants are opening their doors for outdoor and patio dining options. You and your spouse could revisit a favorite spot for a fun date night.
For those who have a green thumb, you will be glad to know that the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is set to open and re-bloom on July 16. All guests will be required to wear face coverings and the garden is also enforcing scheduled entrances and exits as well as social distancing.
Tips to save more this summer
With many institutions at limited capacity, social distancing is going to be an important part of nearly everything you are able to do this summer. In the aftermath of the pandemic, finances might be tight. Look for activities that don’t cost much (if any) money like planning a family picnic to the local park, going on a hike, spending time out by the lake, or tending to your garden.
Our team knows that this summer will look different for many people. But by being safe and prioritizing your health you will be able to make it one of the best summers yet.
As financial advisors in Richmond and Williamsburg, we love serving the people in our community and helping them thrive. Are you interested in learning more about how we can help you?
Mark Fonville, CFP®
Mark has over 18 years of experience helping individuals and families invest and plan for retirement. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and President of Covenant Wealth Advisors.