Written By:

Dr. Kyle Fagala, DDS, MDS

Board-certified Orthodontist, husband and father of 4, drummer, and ginger living in Germantown, Tennessee.

If you’ve been hanging around here for a while, you know that we like to feature a few blogs each year with some of our favorite things to do in Memphis. With school officially over (for most of us), this is when we’d usually be taking a look at all the fun family adventures happening around town this summer. But amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, many places are still closed, others are opened at limited capacity, and communities are still being encouraged to keep their distance from each other. It can be hard to plan for summer when we’re not sure what guidelines will be in place a month—or even a week— from now! 

Saddle Creek Orthodontics is all about finding the silver lining in everything. We think summer should still be a special time for parents and kids even if this one is proving to be quite a bit different than we expected. That’s why we got together to create this guide on how you can still have a good time while adhering to social distancing recommendations in the coming months! Keep reading for some fun ideas on how to make some special memories this summer.

Plan A Pizza Night 

Who doesn’t love pizza night? Parents don’t have to worry about cooking yet another meal and kids get to stuff their faces with cheesy, melty, gooey goodness. If you ask us, that’s the definition of win-win. Most restaurants are offering curbside pickup and others have delivery options, too, so step outside the Dominos box by ordering from a local favorite like Aldo’s, Memphis Pizza Cafe, or really dig down into your Memphis roots with a delicious BBQ Brisket pizza from Elwood’s Shack. If your family is feeling creative, kick your plans up a notch by ordering the personal pizza kit from Milano’s Bartlett location—it includes 4 personal pizza doughs, pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and one topping so everyone can DIY their own dinner!

Create your own drive-in movie experience

The Summer Quartet Drive-In has long been a warm weather staple for Memphis, but it’s temporarily closed. While we’re hoping to see them open at some point in the next month or two, this is the perfect excuse to create your own backyard theater! If you don’t already own a projector, make that your first stop. There are several available online for about $100, and they’re able to stream content from your smartphone, laptop, Fire TV, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and more.

There’s no need to buy a separate screen for your showings, although you can if you’d like to. A garage door works, and so will light-colored siding. However, the easiest option is to simply hang a white sheet up wherever you want to do your viewing! Good sound is essential for your set-up, so make sure you have a sturdy speaker on hand. We’ve hooked our projector up to an amp before and it was an excellent solution. Don’t forget about seating! For a real drive-in feel, pile blankets and pillows in the trunk of your vehicle and have everyone pile in if there’s room. And what’s a movie night without your favorite concession stand snacks? Check out this Malco offer for curbside pickups of popcorn, nachos, and candy. 

Plant a family garden 

There’s something kids just love about digging in the dirt, and it’s pretty soothing for adults, too. Get your daily dose of Vitamin D and improve your homesteading skills by planting a family garden! Check with your local garden center for soil—many will deliver for a reasonable fee. Are your children bouncing off the walls and full of seemingly endless energy? Put them to work with a shovel and dig up your own rows! 

Whether you plant flowers or vegetables, consider kid-friendly options that are fun to grow. Lamb’s ears have a really interesting texture, for example, while herbs like chocolate mint and cinnamon basil smell wonderful. Sunflowers grow very tall, and pumpkins can grow very large. With the weather warming up, you can plant seeds directly into the ground, a raised bed, or a planter. If you or your kids want faster results, consider purchasing starter plants instead! Memphis Botanic Garden has an amazing selection you can order from online, then pick up from their front desk. 

Get crafty with the kids

There comes a time in every Mid-South summer when you just want to beat the heat and humidity by spending some time indoors. Crafting can be a great way to stay cool and keep the whole family entertained! Choose crafts that will nurture your child’s creativity and tap into their five senses, like making fluffy slime, homemade play doh, or sculptures using kinetic sand. Tie-dying kits can be ordered online and delivered to your door for an engaging activity, and leftover jars can be turned into twinkling fairy gardens. We like this site for ideas that can be done with many items you already have around the house. 

7 Fun Family Options For A Socially Distanced Summer in Memphis

Camp out under the stars in your own backyard

Backyard camping is a blast! You don’t have to share the scenery with any other campers, and you can enjoy the great outdoors without all the packing and planning associated with a more traditional trip. (Being just a few feet away from a clean bathroom is a pretty big perk, too!) Plan an outdoor adventure for your family by setting up a cozy tent and lining it with anything soft, from yoga mats to cushy comforters. If you need a little extra padding, an inflatable mattress can help you get a good night’s sleep. Pile pillows inside and then make the whole setting magical by hanging solar lanterns or twinkling lights around the tent. This will not only illuminate the campsite with a soft glow, but make little ones feel more comfortable about spending the night outside in the dark! Bring easy board games to play or try to pick out constellations among the stars. 

Get moving with virtual workouts for all ages

Many gyms and fitness centers are still shut down or operating at a reduced capacity. Fortunately, you don’t need any special equipment to stay fit! Working out is a great way to pass the time and regular exercise can also help to strengthen your immune system. Moving your body reduces your overall stress level, too! There are a number of local businesses offering virtual workouts for free during this time. Check out one or more of these options to get the endorphins flowing for your whole family. 

Fit4Mom Memphis 

Sumits Yoga Memphis 

Envision Memphis 

mind/body HAUS  

Looking for more kid-friendly fare? Take a look at Cosmic Kids Yoga and Kidz Bop for PE teachers!

Do something kind for your community

High-stress situations like this can bring out the best in people, making it a great opportunity for you to talk to your kids about being good citizens and thoughtful neighbors! There are so many ways to spread a little love and kindness these days. You can write letters for residents in nursing homes who may be missing their regular visitors, draw uplifting art on the sidewalks with chalk, put rainbows in your window, make signs showing your appreciation for essential workers, or do something as simple as weekly donations to your local food bank

7 Fun Family Options For A Socially Distanced Summer in Memphis

SCO wishes you a safe and enjoyable summer

Although this won’t last forever, we know the landscape of our lives will likely look a little different for a while. That doesn’t mean everything has to change, however! There’s still so much to enjoy and appreciate from day to day. We hope that you’ll find this guide helpful as you look ahead to the summer holidays, and that you’ll be able to use these ideas as a springboard to making special memories with your family in the next few months. Stay safe out there this summer, and remember to keep smiling!

Best,

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