With travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders in place, it’s likely your spring break plans have been canceled. Even if you hadn’t planned on traveling this month, you probably wish you at least had that option now.
The good news is that even though you’re stuck at home, you aren’t doomed to binge Netflix and scroll through Facebook (again) for entertainment. You can give yourself the spring break you so very much need and deserve with these ideas.
1. Take some time off
If you’ve recently transitioned to working from home, it can be tough to set boundaries and dedicate time to relaxing. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean your work is any easier. It might be even more stressful, especially if you have a partner or kids around all day, too.
With more time at home and nowhere to go, you might feel guilty taking time off right now. But doing so is crucial for your mental health. So if you’re fortunate enough to have some paid time off saved up, use it. Plan a long weekend or even a whole week to completely disengage from work responsibilities and relax.
2. Just add water
Though you should limit online orders for nonessential items as much as possible, we’ll give you a pass on this one: If you have a backyard, driveway or even a deck, consider turning your outdoor space into a mini oasis by adding an inflatable pool or slip n’ slide. Weather permitting, hanging out by the water will make your spring break feel much more, well, springy. It’s a nice way to spend some time outside without breaking any stay-at-home orders (especially when paired with a glass of rosé and a good book).
3. Host a film festival
Whether you’re social distancing solo or with the whole family, a movie marathon is a great way to relax and mentally escape to another world. Check out the latest blockbusters (many movies have been released for home viewing early) or pick some of your favorite classics. You can also coordinate themes, such as action or horror night.
If you have the equipment, take your movie experience one step further by projecting films against a flat, white wall. Either way, make sure you have plenty of snacks on hand.
4. Go camping
Even though many campgrounds and parks are closed, you can still enjoy the experience of camping at home. Andrea Gentry, a blogger at Embracing the Wind, suggests creating a backyard campsite with a tent, tarp, hammocks or even sleeping “cowboy style” under the stars. “Cook your meals outside, play games and huddle around a campfire made in a fire pit,” she said.
No yard? No problem. Simply set up camp inside ― you won’t know the difference from inside your tent (or pillow fort). Gather some comfy pillows, soft lighting and take turns telling spooky stories with your partner or kids.
5. Go on a virtual vacation
Having to cancel springtime travel plans is undoubtedly disappointing. However, you can still experience the next best thing. Molly Fergus, vice president and general manager of TripSavvy, shared some of the ways you can be an “armchair voyager” and explore historical, religious and cultural sites around the world:
- You can view the Grand Canyon via 360-degree photographs on an archaeology virtual tour, go on a virtual hike past layers of earth to the famous Phantom Ranch, or float down the Colorado River on a rafting trip on the National Park System’s website.
- Take a look around the Sistine Chapel, which Fergus said is usually crowded in person. “A virtual tour is not only a great way to appreciate the chapel without the interference of too many people, but you can also see the gardens, Pontifical Villas, and Vatican City museums.”
- Wander through sections of the Great Wall of China through a virtual tour provided by You Visit. Click on the camera icons to see close-up photographs.
6. Tour a zoo or aquarium
Most attractions are closed down, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out. If you’re an animal lover, you’ll appreciate the virtual tours that many zoos and aquariums are providing. For example, the Cincinnati Zoo holds a home safari on its Facebook Live feed every day at 3 p.m., while the San Diego Zoo has a ton of live cams featuring polar bears, pandas, penguins and more.
7. Or check out a museum
Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t take in a bit of culture. With the help of Google, many museums have also started offering virtual tours, giving you the chance to see much more than you probably would on an actual vacation. Check out the British Museum in London, walk through the Musée d’Orsay in Paris or tour the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.