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Out of the Box Social Distancing Activities for Summertime around Boulder, Colorado

In an effort to relieve hiking trails, national parks, and bike paths from overuse and crowding, consider exploring other social distancing activities. Fortunately, Boulder County offers a variety of outdoor and indoor events to help keep us sane and entertained throughout the summer season. Here are a few of our favorites. 

Drive-in Movie

While drive-in movie theatres are not nearly as abundant as standard cinemas, our state boasts eight in total. Fort Collins and Denver each offer their own take on this alternative film viewing. Pack snacks and beverages, bring a blanket, and curl up in the comfort of your automobile to enjoy a lovely movie.

Plein Air Painting 

Pick up art supplies from one of Boulder’s many art stores and find a scenic spot at the park, in the front yard, or creekside. Plein Air has long been practiced by famous artists including Georgia O’Keefe and Claude Monet, and speaks to the art of getting outside of a standard studio. Use the picturesque Flatirons as your backdrop or paint tulips in full bloom as they color the streets of Boulder. This style of painting can be done alone or with others, while still maintaining safe social distancing guidelines. 

Create Your Own Rube Goldberg Machine

The whole purpose of a Rube Goldberg machine is to accomplish a simple task in a complicated way. Topple a string of dominoes that fall onto a lever that then turn a switch to power a blender, which will then whip up your breakfast smoothie. Or, put the kids to work using supplies from the garage to create a backyard Rube Goldberg machine that kicks a soccer ball into the goal. This activity sparks creativity, promotes critical thinking, and is a great way to kill time on a rainy afternoon. 

Learn a New Instrument 

Our city is rife with musicians in need of additional work during this trying time. Take up learning a new instrument like the guitar, saxophone, or piano and support Boulder’s artistic community. Virtual lessons are effective and convenient, and can be scheduled after work. Once you learn a few songs, you can even entertain dinner party guests when it’s safe to entertain again. 

Plant a Vertical Garden 

Vertical gardens are a fantastic way to supplement your inground crops. Use recycled wood, pallets, or hanging baskets to create a vertical garden that is both efficient and lovely to look at. Herbs, seedlings, and vines grow well in this setting. Moreover, this arrangement helps conserve water and prevents beds from drying out in the hot Colorado sun. 

Float Down Boulder Creek 

Grab a tube, floatation device, or kayak and paddle Boulder Creek. Spring snowmelt fills up this little river and creates fun, lively rapids gentle enough to float over in an innertube. Pack a picnic and people watch after running the river or get in multiple turns along the Eben G. Fine Park stretch of creek. 

Learn a New Skill

We’ve made it through trying homeschooling lessons and have overcome the initial transition of working from home. Now, with a little more freetime, we can finally learn that new skill we’ve been researching for months. Sign up for an online handstand seminar, practice juggling alongside a YouTube tutorial, or make a soufflé a la Julia Child. With ample time and resources, there’s no limit to what you can learn or improve upon. 

It’s difficult to come up with a variety of summer activities that also adhere to social distancing guidelines. However, there are plenty of things to do around our city with just a little out-of-the-box thinking. 

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