Social distancing might be our catchphrase of the year (along with “new normal” and “you’re on mute”), but with coronavirus cases seemingly back on the rise in some parts of the country, it’s our best option for staying safe these days. As someone who loves going on adventures, I’ve definitely struggled this year as my sense of wanderlust has had to take a backseat. For many of us, it feels like our lives are on pause.
While mourning this year’s travel plans (and missing hugs from friends!), I’ve had to get a little more creative when figuring out how to spend my weekends. This time period has given me an even greater appreciation for all of the things I loved to do before, but it also introduced me to new places and activities I might not have otherwise experienced.
For those who have gotten a little stir crazy during this time (🙋🏻♀️), I’ve rounded up a few things to do to stay safe and have fun while socially distancing in Orlando and the surrounding areas.
Social Distancing Activities in Orlando
Take an outdoor yoga class.
Yoga is an incredibly restorative practice, especially for those of us who sit at a desk all day. As our weather begins to cool down, outdoor yoga classes can be a great way to incorporate movement into our routines while taking in the sunshine. For animal lovers, I highly recommend the goat yoga classes at Wildflower Farm in Orlando or at Goat Yoga DeLand. You may not be able to do a perfect yoga flow with baby goats running around, but I promise you won’t leave the class without a smile on your face. For a unique take on animal-based yoga, LunaSea Alpaca Farm in Clermont now offers alpaca yoga (!!!!!) with their baby alpacas. I took a class earlier this month, and absolutely fell in love with the sweet alpacas at LunaSea.
If you’d rather skip the animals but keep the sun salutations sunny, Mennello Museum in Orlando hosts relaxing lakeside yoga classes in the sculpture gardens on Sundays.
Go on an artsy scavenger hunt with Snap! Orlando.
Snap! Orlando is known for its downtown gallery, but did you know that they also have augmented reality art installations throughout Orlando? Through the CITY UNSEEN project, there are 10 augmented reality installations throughout Mills 50, Downtown Orlando and other nearby neighborhoods, which you can visit for free. Download the CITY UNSEEN app, then use the map to choose which sites you’d like to visit. Once you find the placard at each site, use your camera in the app to point at the placard, then follow the directions to see art come to life on your phone! This is a great way to enjoy a weekend afternoon. So far, I’ve explored the Turbo Oops mural and the 4th Wall Studio in Mills 50. I can’t wait to uncover more of these gems, hidden in plain sight!
Visit a beautiful hiking trail.
My happy place is Green Springs Park (pictured above) in DeBary, but the great thing about Central Florida is that the possibility for natural beauty is endless. I recently explored Lake Lotus Park in the Altamonte Springs/Maitland area, and it was 100% the oasis I needed. (Did I mention we spotted the most beautiful barred owl there?) I have too many trail recommendations to name here, but I highly recommend downloading the AllTrails app to discover hiking trails in your area.
Attend a Creative City Project event.
Creative City is royalty when it comes to putting on immersive, Instagram-worthy events. During the pandemic, they’ve done a fantastic job bringing joy and art into our lives while still keeping us safe. They hosted a socially distanced music event back in July at Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Center, with temperature checks, masks, sanitizing stations, and comfortably spaced-out seating to keep everyone more than eight feet apart. More recently, they have put on an interactive theatre event, Bright Young Things, in Downtown Orlando, and will be ringing in the holiday season with a special collaboration with Leu Gardens.
Enjoy the botanical gardens.
In Central Florida, we are not lacking in beautiful gardens. Take a trip to Leu Gardens to learn about the local flora and fauna, and I promise by the end of your visit, you’ll want to get married in the rose gardens. Admission is free on the first Monday of the month! Meanwhile, Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales boasts its own Singing Tower, a koi pond, and some pretty impressive history. (The gardens were even visited by Calvin Coolidge!)
What fun activities are you doing to stay socially distanced in Orlando? Share your favorites in the comments below!