Finding safe ways to keep your time occupied can be tough right now, but CHALK has you covered.
Here are 10 out-of-the-box activities to try (socially distanced and with a mask on) if you need to break out of your same old routine.
1. Listen to live music at Uplift Coffee
We won’t be back to concerts anytime soon, but Uplift Coffee has rekindled a similar feeling right in their backyard. On Wednesday nights from 7-9 p.m. the local coffee shop hosts a variety of local artists spanning from rap, blues to folk.
Krys O’Brien, assistant manager of Uplift Coffee, says they encourage people to bring their own lawn chairs to listen to the music on their outdoor back patio at a safe distance.
“There’s not a lot of places right now where you can get out and enjoy live music and some great food,” O’Brien says. “It’s just a way to be able to social distance, you can be safe about it, and yet hear some great live music and just enjoy some great food and company.”
Uplift began hosting artists this summer, and O’Brien says they have had a great turnout ever since.
“I love seeing the new people that come each week,” O’Brien says. “I love the new faces.”
Uplift offers special desserts on Wednesday nights only in addition to their regular menu items.
2. Have a picnic at a park
There is so much potential for creativity when it comes to a picnic. You and a friend could bring a blanket and even get fancy with a cheeseboard.
If that’s not your cup of tea, take yourself on a little date and bring a book to read or jam out to your favorite music. Since this activity is outside, it’s easy to remain at a safe distance from others.
Some spots to check out are Clinton Park, Naismith Valley Park, Broken Arrow Park, The Baker Wetlands and Veteran’s Park.
3. Get ice cream at Sylas and Maddy’s
This is certainly a classic, but it’s a good one. You can never go wrong with grabbing some Sylas and Maddy’s to go and taking a stroll down Massachusetts Strreet afterward (with your mask on, of course). This makes for the perfect weekday evening activity when you need a brain break from video lectures and discussion posts.
4. Make a french fry platter
Looking for a fun snack idea with a couple of friends? Make a list of fast-food chains with fries, divide and conquer to obtain them, and meet back to reheat the fries and assemble them on a platter with sauces.
You can make this as elaborate as you want. Maybe even get dressed up for the occasion and make a night-in out of it.
5. Try iced coffee from places that shouldn’t sell iced coffee
Along the lines of the previous idea, brainstorm a list of places that shouldn’t sell iced coffee, check if they have it, and go try it. For example, Taco Bell and Burger King sell iced coffee. Don’t knock it till you try it, right?
To spice things up vlog (or TikTok) your experience trying the drinks. Since we are broke college students, team up with a friend to test out the drinks and bring an extra cup.
6. Play “Among Us”
If you haven’t heard of the game “Among Us” yet, you probably will soon. It’s a multiplayer game with the purpose of finding out who the “murderer” is.
This is ideal for social distancing because you can FaceTime your friends or make a Discord chat to play in the comfort of your own homes. It’s addicting and definitely worth the hype.
7. Take FaceTime photos
Have a long-distance friend or relationship? This idea is perfect for you. Essentially the concept is that you set your phone down where they tell you, and they screenshot the photos.
FaceTime your person, get ready on the phone and then walk them around your current location to get inspiration for photo ideas. This obviously won’t produce high-quality images, but it’s an outlet to switch up your typical phone calls to your long-distance humans.
8. Go on a walk and listen to a podcast
I know it’s cheesy, but a simple walk can spark joy. Sometimes it can be beneficial to walk in silence, but other times a podcast can provide a boost in mood. Try a self-help podcast or anything that will make you feel good inside if you need a break from listening to music.
If you are looking for a conversational, hilarious podcast, “What We Said Podcast” has the best vibes. In the self-help realm, “Manifest with Tori Desimone” has great health and wellness advice. “Crime Junkie” and “Lore” are ideal podcasts for the spooky season if you are into that.
Sometimes just a walk around campus or your neighborhood can be refreshing, but you could try out the Lawrence River Trails or Lawrence Nature Park as well.
9. Host a PowerPoint night
You’ve likely seen this idea on social media, but now is the perfect time to try it out with a couple of friends in-person or over Zoom. The concept here is to make a comedic PowerPoint presentation to your friends.
For instance, you could present “our friend group as fonts” or “rating things I’ve overheard on campus.” This can be an opportunity to get in some laughs and who knows, maybe you’ll find your true calling as a comedian.
10. Take photos of ordinary things
Now is the time to tap into your creative side and embrace everyday things. It’s safe to say we will thank ourselves later for intentionally documenting this time in our lives, even though it’s likely been full of extreme lows. Capture moments like what you ate for breakfast or how your makeup looked today — not to post it, but just for your future self. You’ll thank yourself later.