Fun ways to stay sane at home this summer

By Stephanie Goodling
HAKOL Editor

What are your plans for this summer? Quarantine is getting old, but unfortunately, your vacation may still be cancelled.

Here are some creative ideas to make this summer fun and relaxing from home:

Get outside and discover something!
On a recent walk outside to get some much-needed fresh air and Vitamin D, my husband and I discovered a nature trail running along a creek only a few blocks from our new apartment that we had no idea was there! You may be pretty familiar with your neighborhood already, but there's no telling what you'll find if you take a different route or keep your eyes peeled on your next nature walk.

Or stay inside and try something new
Maybe indoors is more your style. I've been learning French by practicing daily with the free language app Duolingo. Maybe this is your chance to finally learn Klingon or to brush up on your Hebrew. I also have friends who have taken on cross stitch and embroidery for the first time and are loving it. And of course, the internet has a myriad of new recipes just waiting for you to whip them up in your kitchen.

Organize your friends for a food swap
Those new recipes you're trying? Share them!

"To keep busy and stay connected, my friends and I did a week-long dessert exchange back in May. Each night, one family dropped off a sweet treat for all the others. My kids had fun making and sharing Oreo cake balls!" said JFLV Director of Community Development and Operations Stephanie Smartschan.

You can do the same, or maybe turn it into a progressive dinner where each person makes a different course.

Reconnect with old friends
You know what the great thing about Zoom is? You're just as close to someone in your town as you are to someone on the other side of the country. Inspired by all the virtual events going on, an old college friend got in touch with the whole gang and scheduled a Zoom reunion. It was the first time in over a decade I'd "seen" some of these ladies, and it was like no time had passed at all!

Create a ritual for you and your family
I've been reading up on how having rituals can build stronger relationships. Pick something fun and meaningful to your family and do it often, whether that's having an indoor picnic, painting rocks with positive messages and hiding them around your neighborhood for others to find or simply gathering at the end of each day to express gratitude to one another.

Make #Summer5780 matter
Since the onset of quarantine, the Jewish Federations of North America have been there for you with Now, they have a whole hub of virtual Jewish experiences for all ages curated at Find your experience from journaling projects to tons of ideas for kids to a virtual spot for young adults worldwide to connect.

If you try one of these ideas or have your own unique summer projects in store, send me a photo at and you could be featured in the next HAKOL!