Safe Ways to See Friends During COVID-19

Restrictions are going up with COVID-19 numbers up again and being safe is the top priority. Indoor gatherings with friends are not allowed, but outdoor activities have been seen as generally safe (as long as you’re not coughing right onto your pals or anything). Here are some fun (mostly) outdoor activities you can do with friends. Though the restrictions allow groups of 10 to hang out, smaller groups are probably safer at the moment. Remember to wear a mask and keep your distance!

1. Get a Picnic To-Go

With indoor dining shut down, restaurants need your support! Why not grab a meal from your favorite restaurant and set out for a picnic? A picnic is a classic outdoor activity, and you can maintain social distance from your friends easily. Stanley Park and Granville Island are classic picnic spots, but heading to your local park works too! You can check out this list for more ideas.

2. Check out the VanDusen Botanical Garden and the Bloedel Conservatory

Take in some nature! VanDusen is a great option for an outdoor stroll, the meticulously curated garden is an absolute stunner. For a rainy day activity, the Bloedel Conservatory might be the pick, with free-flying birds and tropical plants abound. While we don’t recommend bringing a big group to either of these places, meeting with a friend and wearing a mask on your walk through is safe! As Bloedel is more indoors, you should only visit it with your core bubble. With tickets priced at $11.70 for VanDusen and $7.05 for Bloedel, this is a fun idea that won’t break the bank. Reserve tickets ahead of time!

3. Do a Photoshoot

Especially with cherry blossoms in full bloom, it’s the perfect time for a photoshoot. Check out this list for some classic spots. Grab a friend and some fun outfits, and hit the town. You could make it even more fun by picking outfits for each other at a thrift store beforehand! It makes exploring the city even more fun. 

4. Have a Beach Day

It’s slowly warming up and we’ve got some lovely beaches in town! If you don’t want to be in a more popular beach like Kits or English Bay, some safe options include Locarno, Jericho, Third Beach or Wreck Beach. Bring some snacks, drinks and a frisbee (make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before playing)! Even just hanging out and soaking in the sun is always a good time.

5. Check out a Farmers Market

Farmers Markets are a great way to support local vendors, and safely check out what Vancouver has to offer. At the moment, there is only the Riley Park Farmers Market open on Saturdays, and the Hastings Park Farmers Market open on Sundays. But as we approach May, more will be open. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s a fun way to pass the time. We recommend just going with one friend, or one person from  your household to decrease crowding. 

6. Stroll around False Creek

False Creek has a beautiful walking path all around. Starting at Olympic Village, you can take the path through Science World all the way to Yaletown! Or you can start in Granville Island if you really want a long walk. There are plenty of parks along the way so if you get tired you can take a seat and rest. During your walk, keep an eye out for seals and otters, as  they’re known to frequent the area. In 2019 a pod of killer whales were even seen in False Creek!

7. Take in Nature at UBC

UBC has a Botanical Garden, a Japanese Garden and the GreenHeart Treewalk where you can walk along short suspension bridges through the trees. Whether you want a moment of peace or adventure, the campus has you covered. Walking to the Rose Garden or the aforementioned Wreck Beach are both free activities if you want to save.

8. Set up a Scavenger Hunt!

If you’re a person who loves planning and adventure, set up a fun scavenger hunt for your friends. Make them pair off in groups of two to maintain small bubbles and set them off around town! Creating a walking path is ideal, so you don’t have to go onto transit. It’s a fun way to change it up from a typical walk, and you could even make it a competition.

9. Go for a Brisk Kayak Ride

Alright, you might wanna wait til it’s a bit warmer for this one but with Summer coming up a kayak ride is a safe activity with  a friend! Most kayak rentals won’t open until May, but thinking ahead is not a bad idea. Creekside Kayaks has a half year pass starting March 1st-September 20th if you are a big kayaker. If you’re lucky enough to own a wetsuit, it would be an ideal time to bring it out.

10. Hang Out Online

It’s been a year of this, but there are still great ways to spend your time online with friends. Downloading Tabletop Simulator to play board games with friends is a great way to try new board games that you might not ever get to try in real life! Games like Codenames are always popular, but branch out and try new ones – you can find basically any game in the Workshop. Or try some other online video games, Overcooked, Stardew Valley and Minecraft are all games to play online with friends. Check out this list for more. Of course watching a movie or a weekly TV show are easy ways to hang.

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