Step-by-step, we’re edging closer to the way things were, but we’re not quite there yet, which is why we've been chatting to the most positive people in our social circle and picking their brains for ideas that will keep you busy, entertained and enjoying these last days in isolation. So whether you’re looking for ways to make the most of your time outside or hoping to have an adventure in the great indoors, here’s everything you need to fill the weekend ahead with some laughs...
Host An At-Home BBQ
Standing in front of a BBQ in the garden, wearing an apron, surrounded by all your mates is one of the greatest summer's pastimes out there. But just because we're in lockdown doesn't mean you can't indulge in this food fest -- and there’s two ways to go about it. Either you can gather up your mates with a Zoom invite and set up your laptop in the backyard, or you can get to know your neighbours a little better by having a few over-the-fence burgers. Whichever you prefer, marinate some premium cuts of meat, squeeze some lemon on your fresh fish, whip up some moreish sides and pop on some tunes. Local craft beer and Hawaiian shirt optional.
Make The Ultimate Blanket Fort
Virtual tours are definitely a great way to escape your four walls, but not to the same degree that’s possible with a furniture fort and, to help you out, IKEA has released instructions on how to build six different dens; adult (and kid) dens constructed from the most common household items like chairs, sofas and clothes pegs, with six blueprints for a castle, a fortress, a wigwam, a cave, a house and, of course, a camping tent. Basically, it’s time to find your fairy lights, grab that novel you’ve been glued to and fill your 'adventure bag' with supplies, because you may not want to leave your fort for a while.
Picnic In The Park
Filling a hamper (or Commuter) with picnic-perfect foods has always been up there with the best when it comes to enjoying the sunshine and, since the start of lockdown, an easy way to take your WFH lunch up a level. According to the latest government advice, we’re now allowed to sit in parks if socially distanced from those who live in different households, meaning we can once again picnic outside of our own back gardens. From big inner-city parks to those secret spots only you know about, pack your bag and make the most of this little slice of freedom this weekend.
Get Into Gardening
If you’re anything like us, you've probably cleaned every corner of your home - but while cleaning can feel like a chore, gardening does not. In fact, gardening is one of the best things we can be doing to fill our time thanks to the positive role it has on our mental health. And the best bit: you don't even need a garden to get started. Even if you only have a cosy balcony or tiny terrace, you can still reap the benefits of a herb garden. Or you can stay indoors and become the loving parent of houseplants. Whatever your garden situation, finding your greenthumb can help with any anxiety or depression you may be feeling.
Local Adventure For Two
We’ve all relished our daily jogs, but you no longer have to enjoy them in solitude with a podcast for company. We’re now allowed to buddy-up for some open-air recreation with one other person from another household -- so dust off your trainers and make the most of the sun this weekend. It could be a game of tennis or a round of golf. It could be a run around the block, a jog around the park or a stroll along the beach. Or you could just throw a towel and some swimmers into your bag and cool off with some socially distanced wild swimming for a much-needed mini-adventure.
Step Up To An At-Home Scavenger Hunt
We may not be able to spend long enough outside to enjoy a scavenger hunt right now, but you can still unleash that childlike curiosity and participate in an at-home scavenger hunt packed full of sophisticated twists to the game -- and it doesn’t get more sophisticated than the Big Smoke ‘Stuck At Home’ scavenger hunt. If you know, you know. If you don’t, this is a race against the clock where teams have to work together to complete a series of challenges, answering questions, taking videos and photos, and tracking down items as you race to be the first team back to base. It’s all about using your wits, your smartphone and little bit of creativity to be crowned the winner.
Not Just Another Games Night
Pub quizzes may be getting a little tired, but the virtual games night is just beginning -- and there’s so many options out there to keep your friends and family entertained all weekend long. You could appoint someone to be the 'happy hour host' and have them give you a live cocktail masterclass, play a good old game of charades or ask your Zoom tribe to each submit an unexpected fact about themselves before your call and see who can guess which fact belongs to who. Or keep it classic with a game of Guess Who? or Bingo, but with tons of wine and cheese involved.
Join A Virtual Supper Club
There’s a lot we miss about normal life, and eating out is at the top of that list. The food, the atmosphere, the company and excitement. We never took dining out for granted, but we’ll appreciate it even more when it returns. Until then, though, we’re thrilled to see so many supper clubs popping up online, and none more so than the Deli Cat Supper Club as launched by The Initiative. The concept is simple: this virtual series will allow you to whip up restaurant quality food from the comfort of your own home with the help of some of London’ top chefs. Simply sign up at sevenrooms.com and you’ll be sent a box containing all the necessary ingredients, including a paired wine, nibbles and a cocktail to warm up with.
A Day In With A Day Out
The popular app, Let’s Day Out, has recently launched a new initiative called, wait for it, ‘Let’s Day In’ and it gives you the chance to enjoy a range of virtual events. From live cooking demonstrations to virtual parties, art classes to workout sessions led by personal trainers, to online meetups complete with themes, this is a great way to get out this weekend without actually going anywhere. And what’s more, each event will be free-of-charge with an option to donate £1 to the World Health Organisation as a way of helping them find a cure for the coronavirus. What more could you want?