How to make the most of a summer stuck at home

It’s that time of year when high school newspaper staffs across the country try to capitalize on everyone’s excitement about summer by writing guides about how you can make the best of your time.

But how do you do that when the coronavirus has shut pools, movie theaters, theme parks, ball parks, concert venues and more?

You can always try to bring those things to your own home. Read on to find out how maybe you can trick yourself into thinking you aren’t spending your summer at home, even if you are.

Wanna catch a flick?

For many, watching a movie is a normal, everyday experience. However, going to the movie theater tends to be a more special experience, especially now that they are all closed.

But there are many ways you can bring that experience to your home other than just turning on a movie.

One way you can bring the movie theater home is to imitate the popcorn smell by popping some popcorn to make the area smell buttery.

Speaking of food, many people sneak food into the movie theater instead of buying it inside.  So to add to the experience of simulating a movie at home, get sneaky and hide your snacks in a purse or your pockets or even wear your cargo pants or an unseasonably large jacket.

The next way for you to bring the movie theater experience to your home is to watch the movie from start to finish without any breaks, just like it’s played in a real movie theater. Make sure you go to the restroom beforehand to avoid any accidents.

You can also turn the volume of the movie up very high and sit very close to the television in order to make it feel bigger.

In addition to this, you can make your own “special” movie theater seats out of pillows, blankets, couch cushions, etc. While you’re at it, make the room as dark as possible to capture the movie theater vibe.

Other examples for people to bring a movie theater experience to their homes include: eating candy that they only eat at the movie theater, watching a lot of previews before the movie starts, and having someone behind them kicking their seat.

Movie theaters are definitely not perfect, so you can also try bringing some of the annoying aspects into your at-home theater.

Have someone play noises of a crying child or flash their phone towards you with the brightness all the way up . Also, you can crank up the air conditioning to make it extra cold and layer your clothes to try and stay warm or use soda to make your floors sticky just like in a real movie theater.

Try these tips to come close to experiencing a movie theater in your home and maybe even pay yourself $8.75 for the experience.

Wanna take a dip?

When thinking of summer, visions of melting ice cream, splashing water, and relaxing pool days come to mind.

Most of these are things that can usually be found at a community pool or water park.

With all of those recreational places closed, however, it seems that social distancing has put summer on hold.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can recreate a fun and exciting pool day in the safety of your own backyard.

The first way is to throw it back to your childhood and plug in the old sprinkler system.

You can run through the spraying water, lay down a towel and let it rain on your back, or even just watch the mesmerizing rainbow that will appear on sunny days.

If you don’t have a sprinkler, use a hose instead. Spray your siblings with the water or create a fun fountain.

Try investing in a Slip N’ Slide if those two activities aren’t exciting enough for you. Creating a DIY version with a large tarp, dish soap, and lots of water will work too.

Using a pool tube to help you slide faster, or having someone spray water on you while you go down is a way to add to the excitement.

If you just feel like dipping your toes in the pool while you tan and jam to music, filling a kiddie pool or storage container with water is an easy fix.

You could even hop on Amazon and order a cheap mist fan to cool you down while you relax under the sun.

Missing the water park experience as a whole? Try setting up a “concession stand” by organizing snacks and drinks on a table, grilling up hotdogs and hamburgers, and writing fun, excessive prices for the food on a poster board.

Making a parent or sibling a concession worker could even add to the experience.

If you want to go even further and your parents own a truck, you’re in luck. Lining the truck bed with garbage bags and filling it with water works great to create a makeshift pool. Grab some pool noodles from your local Walmart and take a nice dip in the “pool.”

Playing screaming and crying children in the background of your relaxing tan session may even work to mentally take you back to your community swimming pool.

With these ideas, and maybe a few of your own, quarantine summer can be just as fun as the real deal.

Wanna eat junk food and puke on a ride?

For many, going to theme parks is a fun summer tradition that you can spend with both friends and families. Many families plan and wait all year for summertime to come around so they can make new memories.

Now that theme parks are closed, many may be upset and wondering how they can recapture the magic in the comfort (and safety) of their own homes.

One way you can transform your home into your favorite theme park is to make your own rides. You could use virtual reality or even just watch videos of the rides on YouTube and pretend it’s you!

Previous Disney parks visitors have uploaded videos on rides which can be found online.

If you’re feeling super creative, you could even try your hand at making your own ride using different things around your house.

Playing arcade style games is also a fan favorite at theme parks. The chance to test your skills and the opportunity to win a cool prize can reel anyone in.

You could also set up board games or your favorite game systems to mimic the experience of the games. Maybe even reward yourself with a stuffed animal.

Another fan favorite of theme parks is the food, and some may be feeling the nostalgia of their favorites.

But recreating recipes at home can be a fun experience for the whole family, and thanks to  Disney it just got easier!

Disney released some of their most famous recipes, including things like the dole whip and the beignets, so now you can enjoy them in the comfort of your own home!

Theme parks can be known for being expensive, so to simulate that aspect you could create your own admission tickets and even charge an arm and a leg for the food and drinks.

Another way could be to wait in as long as a line you can make, that way you can still feel the frustration and excitement. You could also try to mimic a crowd.

Theme parks are a great way to have fun and make memories, so when creating your own remember that the memories are what will last forever.

Wanna scream about sports?

During the beginning of summer, many people enjoy going to sporting events with their friends and family to not only enjoy the sport itself, but also the nice weather. But due to the virus, all sporting events have been postponed for the foreseeable future.

This does not need to stop people from experiencing the atmosphere and energy from these sporting events, as there are many ways to recreate the feeling of being at these events.

Of course, your go to choice could be to play “Madden” or “NBA 2K.” Since we have to stay in the house, you may find yourself with a lot of free time on your hands, so why not take your favorite team to the NBA finals or the Superbowl?

But there are other creative options for quarantine.

Since quarantine has started, many sporting networks have offered replays of many of the most memorable games played. In order to get that feeling of being back at the games, you could go outside and watch the game in your favorite team’s clothing, listening to the broadcasters.

You could also have a group chat or big Facetime call with all your friends and react to a game together. Since many replays are open, one person could pick a random baseball or basketball game that nobody knows the outcome to, and everyone could react to it together at the same time.

Branching off of this idea, you could also re-watch some of sports best movies to be featured with your friends on these group chats and calls, but make it more interesting. For example, everyone could turn on “Space Jam” and you all could see who could give the best commentary of the game being played.

One more way to emulate the feeling of being at the game would be to eat what you would normally eat at the games. Get yourself a fresh hotdog or nachos with some sunflower seeds or crackerjack on the side, and if you have the sweet tooth, get ice cream or some cotton candy.

These are just several ways to keep yourself occupied with the sports world during these times of quarantine.

Wanna make your ears ring?

Summer is fast approaching, which means teens are wanting to do something fun. Concerts are a summer thing, but with concerts being cancelled, what could you do now?

Well, there are many things becoming virtual, like school and sports, but what about a virtual concert? With speakers and music on a weekend night, it could be just like a concert.

Going outside, setting a speaker up, and dancing with the music would be a great way to have a concert, but what about smells, and even the long lines?

We all know how lines at concerts can be long, especially the bathroom. To stimulate this, you could get your family to line up at the bathroom door. Each member of the family could take a longer amount of time, and it would be just like a concert.

For the smell, well that’s a little harder to simulate. The exact smell of a summer concert is hard to recreate, but there may be some ideas.

Odors from shoes and pits are one smell of every concert. You can also smell pizza, beer foam, and sunscreen. Outdoor concerts will have sunscreen, because who wants to get burnt on a sunny afternoon? Nobody.

At concerts, sneaking in food is definitely a big no no, but since you’re at home it doesn’t matter! You could make anything for this music filled night, and sneak it into wherever your concert is taking place.

Outdoor concerts have people laying on blankets, and making it as comfortable as they can. At home, you can bring out your blankets and lay them on the ground, and be as comfortable as you want.

Credits: Movies – Bayleah Vogel, Pools – Morgan Daniels, Theme Parks – Zoe Collins, Sports – Matt Brazier, Concerts – Evan Miller.