Lockdown is starting to ease. Hibernating and isolating for many are drawing to an end. What has only been a few stagnant weeks out of our busy lives has defined most people’s perceptions of 2020. It is the year we were given a list of things we couldn’t do due to the Covid-19 restrictions.
Our autonomy regarding all things modern (going to the cinema, nightclubs, grabbing a Starbucks or getting a manicure) was suddenly hoisted from our lives when governments across the globe decided to shut down social hubs and public places.
But harder still, our freedom for the more traditional past-times (visiting grandparents, browsing while shopping, getting a haircut and even hugging partners) was replaced with rules and guidelines to minimise the risk of Coronavirus infection.
After the biggest social, economic and political lockdown this generation has seen, many are left feeling grateful for the finer things in life, like their gardens or daily exercise. Others are hankering to return to normality, with a pent-up passion to re-enact those favourite activities that lockdown stole.
This blog post is a guide for both types of people on the spectrum above. It includes a list of 50 things to do after lockdown restrictions have lifted (within social distancing reason, of course.) We’re sure you’ll find something on this list that takes your fancy as the summer months pass us by.
Here is a list of the top 50 things to do after lockdown:
- Book a track day: Start the new normal in the fast lane. Get behind the driving wheel of a brand-new Aston Martin or Ferrari and let the speedometer race up. It will feel great to shift life up a gear after being forced to slam on the breaks in April.
- Join a running race: Research has indicated that the number of Brits who took up running during lockdown has more than doubled. Put yourself to the test and show off the training you’ve been doing. Whether it’s a fun run, 10k or half marathon, taking part in an official race will bring you a sense of achievements – and a medal.
- Go to the zoo: Tourist and natural attractions have been negatively hit by the imposed lockdown. Support your local zoo or animal sanctuary during this tough time while also planning an educational day out for the kids.
- Cycle a famous route: Make the most of local lockdowns being eased and get on the road or trail. There is a great list of UK cycling routes available here.
- Visit a library: Read through your family’s entire book collection? Or sick of staring at your Kindle’s glaring screen? Visiting your local library and checking out a book is not only good for the mind. It keeps community ventures open and you might even spot a new cover that takes your fancy. Find out more here about the rules and guidelines surrounding library safety.
- Go camping: We’ve all been desperate to get away, but some are maybe still uncertain about flying or ferrying abroad. Have a wallet-friendly and fun stay-cation from one of the UK’s best campsites. Keeping up to date with the camping guidelines is key.
- Go to a museum: Whether you’re thirsty for knowledge or are just keen for something other than watching Netflix. Visiting a museum and appreciating times gone by is a sure way to change your perspective on this current society.
- Get a real coffee: Supporting local, independent businesses is vital for economic prosperity, yes, know. But what about our own personal growth and how it’s been hindered by our lack of daily double espresso macchiato or iced caramel mocha?
- Book a romantic meal out: Time away from your house with your spouse will work wonders for your relationship. Call your favourite restaurant in advance to book a spot and look forward to date night like old times.
- Go to church: lockdown has affected the masses and how worship is done. Now restrictions have eased, attending a service or simply dropping into a cathedral to say a prayer will feel refreshing and restoring.
- Visit a theme park: plenty of outdoor space and enough room to social distance during queues for rides. Book online in advance and treat your family to a day of thrill-seeking fun.
- Go swimming: nothing can be more refreshing than jumping into a cold pool, especially during the 30+ degree weather in some parts of the country. Read up on the hygiene standards and guidelines at your local pool to enjoy a safe and stress-free swim.
- Challenge a mate to a game of tennis: With Wimbledon cancelled for the first time in 75 years, don’t be afraid to take matters into your own hands. Public tennis courts are now open via booking – just make sure you take your own tennis balls and rackets.
- Go to the cinema: measures have been implemented in most UK cinemas to provide you with a socially-distanced experience. Try taking your own snacks and drinks, and wear a face-mask to protect others.
- Get a manicure: manicures, pedicures and massages are now available again. But some beauty treatments are prohibited due to risk of transmission. Contact your local beautician or therapist to discover what things you can treat yourself to.
- Have a professional style your hair: box dyes, home trims and wearing hair accessories to hide greys are all products of the Covid-19 lockdown. Since salons re-opened on July 4th, appointments have been soaring. Booking in advance and taking precautions is necessary, but supporting your local hairdressers and treating yourself to a new do should definitely be on your to-do list.
- Go shopping for the sake of it: Spending your money on luxury items that were not available during lockdown is a sure way to boost the economy again. It’s also stress-relieving and has therapeutic qualities.
- Re-visit the gym: When will gyms re-open? When can I weigh-lift again? These are all questions plaguing those living through lockdown for physical and mental reasons. It is vital that when gyms do open their doors again, you abide by social distancing rules and follow individual company instructions.
- Go to the dentist: this may not seem like a treat to look forward to. It makes you realise that dental hygiene is an element of self-care when mundanities such as getting your teeth checked become impossible. Getting those pearly whites checked over could save you pennies and pain in the future, especially as lockdown may have encouraged you to treat yourself to extra cake, candy or alcohol.
- Book a holiday: Never has this generation experienced a civil lockdown like the Coronavirus pandemic. International travel has never been globally restricted like this. So, to make the most of your newfound freedom, make sure you research low-risk countries and get clued up on all the travel guidelines. If you need to self-isolate after returning home, put plans in place with work and other commitments to do so.
- Invite friends over for a film night: Netflix and catch-up apps have been a godsend throughout lockdown. But solo binge-sessions can become boring, so host a movie night or a marathon party for your favourite TV show – socially distanced obviously.
- Volunteer: It doesn’t have to be helping at a soup kitchen – plenty of online organisations could use a helping hand. Online volunteer groups exist where you can teach a class on your topic of strength. Or you could try dog-walking. Or litter-picking at your favourite nature spot.
- Learn how to ski: Because why not? You’ve got through months of running along the same route on your block, or watching the same home workout videos. Have some fun and pick up a new skill that you can *hopefully* put to good use when resorts re-open this winter.
- Go rock climbing: bouldering and abseiling centres were also hit by lockdown. In the UK, leisure facilities are led by the government’s 3 Step policy, meaning dates of re-opening are not yet secured. In Europe and the Sates, strict social-distancing measures have meant some places could re-open with extra hygiene rules. Whenever climbing walls do re-open, you should book in advance and show your support to those surface-to-surface ventures that were hit by lockdown rules.
- Visit castles in your area: landmarks such as castles, fortresses or other historical sites are a great way to plan a day out. Take a picnic on the banks – and your camera. Getting to know your local culture and history is also a must.
- Get a massage: working from home may have caused tension in your body from improper office equipment. Or maybe the stress of lockdown has caused your muscles to seize up. You may have even pulled a muscle or overworked your legs from running or walking during quarantine. Check out your local massage parlour’s website for guidelines and bookings.
- Go strawberry picking: Another fun outdoor activity that reaps sweet rewards. Explore endless strawberry fields and take home some treats for the family. Remember to social distance, wear a mask – and wash the fruits you pick thoroughly.
- Face your fears in a skydive: this is top of the list for fun things to do when lockdown ends. Nothing says freedom like jumping from a plane!
- Support your local charity shop: being stuck at home for months has most likely resulted in you sorting out all your old clothes or unwanted items. Drop them off (having disinfected/ washed them, obviously) at your local thrift store or charity shop. While you’re there, exchange some old things for new and help keep not-for-profit organisations open during these trying times.
- Visit friends and family: this has been one of the most difficult times for loved ones who live both far and away. Making time to visit your family and friends is highly important. Use online tools like government and council websites to check social-distancing rules daily.
- Go to a fitness class: organised exercise and people? What a thing we have missed! After lockdown, outdoor yoga, strengthening, Pilates and many more classes are on the rise. Check your local park info, or even reach out to personal trainers in your area who could do with the new clientele.
- Go fishing: get back to nature (And out of the house) by going on a fishing trip. You don’t have to be an expert to do this: simply head down to your local store or shop online for basic equipment. Make sure you choose a legal spot and use the right bait for the water-life in that area.
- Help at your local animal shelter: volunteers have been unable to help over the past few months. This means that rescue centres have also been massively hit by lockdown restrictions. Search in your area for dog-walking opportunities, or donate some items to their cause.
- Visit somewhere for a drink: pubs and restaurants are re-opening – what a luxury we have missed! Having a coffee or your favourite tipple outside of your own garden is something to look forward to – and, you guessed it, helps support our local establishments that are in need of your custom.
- Host a BBQ for friends: 2020 has been the summer of BBQ’s. There are plenty of tips on how to cook the perfect spread, but also on how to stick to guidelines and social distancing rules. Make sure food is not passed around and is low-prep to avoid cross-contamination. Asking people to bring their own plates and cutlery is also a good idea – and saves on doing the dishes!
- Go bowling: In England, bowling alleys were allowed to welcome back bowlers on July 18th. There’s now nothing stopping you going back to your favourite bowling haunt to hit some strikes. Take some water and snacks if need as food and drinks may not be served.
- Play crazy golf: it’s outdoors, it’s fun, it’s something fun and care-free to focus on. Give plenty of room between yourself and the players in front of you. Remember to wear gloves and a face-mask to eliminate risk of infection.
- Go out for fast food: learning to cook has been one of the benefits of lockdown. But there’s no denying we’ve all missed that cheeky cheeseburger and fries at our favourite fast-food joint. Say you’ll treat the family and head to the drive-thru today. Just remember to dispose of your litter properly!
- Play bingo: here’s a blast from the past – your grandma’s favourite! There is actually much pleasure to be found from joining a game of Bingo, and it can be quite therapeutic too. Book a game in advance with a limited number of friends and support your local businesses.
- Take the kids to the playground: when has a playground trip ever been declined? Easy family fun and plenty of fresh air to make up for those months cooped up inside. Take some snacks and hand sanitiser for when the kids come back from the bars or swings. Keep a close eye on little ones at all times as other children will be present.
- Go ice-skating: who would have thought in the peak of summer you’d consider visiting an ice rink? But then again, who would have thought the world would go into a dramatic lockdown over a deadly virus for half a year? Take some time away from the heat and pressure of normal life and put your skates on.
- Go-karting with your household: single-player activity, limited contact with others, and a day of fun – why wouldn’t you choose go-karting. Expect the same wheel-to-wheel action as the Formula One, and be safe in the knowledge that centres have to abide by new sanitation rules when disinfecting the karts and safety equipment. You will also be allowed to bring your own racewear and helmet – just ask in advance.
- Spend some cash at an arcade: this may not be your initial thought, what with all the surfaces, coins and dim warm rooms. But going fully armed with gloves, hand sanitiser and face-masks to an old-school arcade is a low-risk activity and a great way to get rid of all those coins you’ve collected and saved during lockdown.
- Enjoy Christenings and weddings: ceremonies like this were also banned, resulting in many families across the world postponing celebrations and milestone events. But now restrictions are lifted, and loved ones are again welcome to get together to celebrate new lives and loves.
- Visit a model village: visit a little world tucked away from normality in the form of model villages. Dotted throughout the UK, these miniature models can bring joy, nostalgia and even education to families and small groups. Being outdoors, it’s the perfect place to walk around, get some air, and support the tourism industry.
- Get your dog groomed: most of us have been yearning for a haircut during lockdown. But dogs too have been subject to the restrictions imposed by government leaders earlier this spring. Now pet stylists are open, it’s time to treat your pooch and let them shed some summer coat. Look for pet groomers in your area and show them your support with your custom.
- Climb a mountain: if you live near a mountain range, make the most of what’s on your doorstep. If you live a little further out, you can travel to a beauty spot to engage in some outdoor activities. Beware of lack of public toilets, and you may not be able to use cafes and pubs for bathroom breaks in the surrounding tourist towns.
- Take up a new allotment spot: gardening boosts your mental health, can strengthen your immune system, and most of all, gives you a sense of purpose. There’s nothing like the sense of achievement you feel when you grow some vegetables or flowers from seedling to bloom. Joining a gardening club or a joint allotment is also a great way to make new friends. It also lets you see your current ones – within social distancing guidelines, and outdoors, of course.
- Visit a food market: it’s all about local trade and fresh produce now, lockdown has taught us that. Make a special event of dinner time and plan ahead. Write down your recipes, and collect the ripe ingredients at your local farmer’s market or fish stall. It’s also great fun to have a wander and pick out some interesting new treats!
- Go kayaking: the great outdoors is your friend this summer. Why don’t you and a member of your household rent a kayak or canoe for the day and take in the vast scenery at your local river or lake?
Whatever activity you choose this summer, you’re sure to have fun and not take the small things for granted. Social distancing and an awareness of others are key – so too is your personal hygiene standards.
Make sure you have a three-layer face-covering wherever you go and plenty of hand sanitiser, water to keep hydrated– and a camera for all those memories you’re about to make.