3 Ways To Have an Incredible Summer in 2020 Despite Covid

July 16, 2020
It is no surprise that summer 2020 is one for the history books! Not to sound like a broken record, but in addition to meddling in our schooling, employment and finances, Covid has its grip on our summer plans and doesn't seem to be letting go anytime soon. While the coronavirus has put restrictions on what we can do and where we can venture, there is a silver lining. Here are our favourite staycation trends thus far:
3 Ways To Have an Incredible Summer in 2020 Despite Covid

HOST THE PERFECT PICNIC

You have likely heard of glamping, where the great outdoors meets your personalized comfort and style. Along those lines and in view of the fact that many of our favourite summer hot spots are resorting back to take-out only service, a glammed-out picnic is the next best thing.

  • The Guest List | Invite your favourite person or people (be sure to honour your local guidelines on safe distancing and maximum gathering recommendations).
     
  • The Food | If you’re on a tight budget, try your hand at some healthy picnic must-haves, or get some take-out from your favourite restaurant. Support local small businesses for the win!
     
  • The Locale | Opt for a local green space or explore the city and venture out of your neighbourhood. For example, Montréal’s Botanical Garden boasts 75 hectares of thematic gardens with designated picnic areas that promise a picnic to remember.
     
  • The Theme | Now comes the fun part, choosing a theme. We love the idea of a typical British Picnic– a high tea hybrid of sorts. Are you working with a limited budget? Achieve the classic picnic with staples from the dollar store; a checkered tablecloth to use as a blanket, red and white napkins and cutlery, white take-out gift boxes for the food, and wildflowers in a mason jar.
     
  • Activities | Don’t forget to pack some simple garden games like a frisbee, corn hole, horseshoes, or even a simple football to toss around.

While we won’t advocate for alcoholic beverages in public areas without a license, we can suggest some summer favourites that can be enjoyed in the privacy of your backyard thanks to Esquire.

CREATE A BACKYARD HAVEN

We often don’t get the opportunity to invest in our backyards. However, as many summer destinations are off-limits and general worry limits our usual sense of adventure, the idea of a backyard haven is an option we can all get behind. Make smart investments, so that you can fully enjoy your hard work for many summers to come. After all, you may decide that a staycation is your new favourite vacation destination. There are a few things to consider when planning a backyard makeover:

  • Flowerbeds and Gardens | Sure enough, you might be thinking of adding a few annuals to your flowerbeds to bring life and colour to your space. However, it is worthwhile to spend a little more time planning before you buy. Ask your local nursery about which plants and flowers are native to your area. Not only will they thrive, but they might also provide practical help with drainage and irrigation. Consider blooming periods so that there is always something colourful and fragrant for your senses to admire.

    Last but not least, get creative with vegetation. Start a simple vegetable garden on a budget. Grow strawberries in a hanging basket or watermelon with a planter and trellis. Consult the Canadian Wildlife Federation for a full list of plants that are native to your location.
     
  • Replace Your Deck | If a deck is finally in the works, the dimensions and materials are not your only considerations. Imagine your perfect outdoor space. Dream big – you can always break it up into stages, developing your area a little at a time. For example, if you are working with ample space, perhaps you would like a simple bistro set when you first exit through the patio doors. Somewhere to sip your morning coffee or chat while your designated "Griller" mans the BBQ. Maybe you want an above ground pool at the far end of your backyard. Consider creating a space with multiple levels, a pool deck with space for a few lounge chairs and room to move around.
     
  • Create More Seating | Will you have a fire pit? Ditch your old camping chairs and acquire a collection of unique outdoor seating or a set of easy to stack plastic Adirondacks. If you’ve been putting off a costly conversational set or patio dining set, this summer could be the right time to invest. If you are able, visit your local retailer so that you can test the merchandise for set-up, comfort, and durability. If storage isn’t an option, remember to purchase the protective covering, ensuring your patio furniture lasts, regardless of what our Canadian winter throws at it.
     
  • Add Lighting | Atmosphere is everything, and lighting goes a long way in setting the right vibe for your evening garden use. A single set of string lights can transform even the simplest of spaces into a cozy lounge area.

Need some inspiration for your garden space? Check out these 10 backyard transformations from HGTV that are sure to get your ideas flowing.

GO CAMPING LOCALLY OR IN YOUR BACKYARD

Thankfully we can all appreciate a summer tradition that is still open for business – camping. Whether you’re planning on your usual camping trip or debating camping first, there is still much of summer left to enjoy at the hand of Mother Nature, even with Covid rules in play.

Not that into the idea of sleeping under the stars? Don’t rule out the idea of a tent just yet. Not only can the addition of a simple tent, set up in your very own backyard, provide a closer-to-home version of a family favourite pass time, it can also provide hours of fun for your kids. Whether it’s creating shelter from the hot sun or summer rain, a makeshift clubhouse, or a full flung backyard camping experience, a house adjacent tent makes for a memorable summer of fun. 

  • Try Glamping | A quick revisit to the idea of glamping might be the extra push you need to give camping a go. Bring your favourite set of sheets, a duvet if nights are cool and adorable throw cushions for a tidy finish. Add a braided rug next to your bed, or a crate that can be used to store bedding as a nightstand. String up some lights or invest in some homey lanterns for the full, glam effect. Game for more glam? Pinterest is the obvious go-to.
     
  • Choose the Right Tent | Will your tent be purely for sleeping or a little bit of everything? Will kids and dogs be frequenting your tent? If so, consider a tent that has divided rooms and a separate entrance to house shoes and keep the dirt (at least most of it) out of your sleeping area. If your kids are older, you might want to add a small, simple tent just for them, decked out with matching beds, lanterns, and personal flashlights. 
     
  • Prepare for Rain | Let’s face it, rain happens. If you don’t have the luxury of a tent with a common area for lounging, make sure to pack a large tarp and rope. A quick canopy over a picnic table makes the perfect shelter for waiting out the rain with a game of cards. 

Not sure if your favourite camping spot is open this summer? You’re sure to be tempted by these 10 Great Places to go Glamping in Canada from Reader’s Digest.

A fantastic summer is what helps us make it through our Canadian winters. Most provinces are in for a hot, sunny summer to sweeten the deal and after a pandemic like Covid, we are all in desperate need of some serious R&R. Whether you decide to travel as far as you can or make the best of your backyard, 2020 is sure to be the most memorable summer yet.

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