Hanscom’s Top Five: The ultimate summer 2021 checklist

June 7, 2021

A summer that shows evident signs of hope for normalcy returning is finally here! With more and more COVID-19 restrictions lifted throughout the nation, summer 2021 looks to be the closest we have seen of normalcy in over a year. 

That said, there are several more summer activities available to pursue. Below, I have created a list of the top five things the DGN community can do this summer to celebrate this thrilling new chapter of post-pandemic life.

A quick word of warning: If you are not fully vaccinated, please go about the activities in this article (and, for that matter, any other interpersonal activities) with caution and adhere to the latest CDC guidelines. With only roughly 41 percent of Americans fully vaccinated, many are still at risk of getting COVID-19—including yourself!


1. Eat Out!

After months of remaining indoors and families mainly having to prepare homemade meals or order food delivery, what a relief it is to finally be able to eat at a public restaurant with a lot less stress about COVID-19! 

Sure, people could have eaten out during the pandemic long before this summer. Nevertheless, for many, there was still that sense of unease about getting the virus. But now that the weather is warming up more and more, outdoor seating is available at several locations. Even eating inside restaurants now poses a lower risk.

With COVID-19 having harmed the American restaurant industry in significant ways, now is the best time to help and try to reverse the virus’s damage. Support Downers Grove’s restaurants’ recovery by eating at them and bringing friends or family along. Even just getting a quick drink or appetizer would make a difference—and would also allow you to immerse yourself in the refreshing presence of post-pandemic life!


2. Travel!

If there is one sign of this summer being the most normal we have seen in over a year, it is Memorial Day weekend’s skyrocketing travel rates. However, with many confined to their homes for most of the last 14 months, this occurrence is no surprise.

With the heavy load of anxiety that COVID-19 and lockdown have placed on the world, we all could use some significant de-stressing and relaxation in our lives this summer! Luckily, traveling offers several mental and emotional benefits, such as a boost in happiness and lower stress. 

So please, do yourself a favor and take a vacation! For a closer option, check out these 15 dazzling Michigan beaches or spend a few days at Wisconsin Dells. And for a more distant adventure, explore a few of these 30 American state parks or go sightseeing at these 40 enchanting Canadian locations. Even if it is just for a couple of days, you will soon find yourself feeling refreshed and revitalized by setting yourself free of the past year’s worry and distress!


3. Watch a movie in a theater!

Even though there are a lot more options for fun available this summer, there will, of course, be rainy, dreary days that limit some of these activities. That is where movie theaters will come to the rescue!

While the pandemic has had an unforgettable impact on movie theaters, the film industry has already demonstrated remarkable success this summer, with U.S. theaters garnering roughly $100 million from the business they conducted over this Memorial Day weekend. Moreover, movies that the pandemic delayed, such as Spiral: From the Book of Saw and A Quiet Place Part II, have gained immense popularity from the recent publicity they have earned after finally being released in cinemas. 

However, you can do your part in helping the film industry recover from the pandemic too! Invite a friend or family member to see one of the several films coming to theaters this summer. For those seeking a more family-friendly movie, Cruella is a perfect choice. And for horror fans like me, watch The Forever Purge and Old, coming out July 9 and July 23, respectively.


4. Garden!

Not that comfortable going out in public yet or at unease with the confusing new mask-wearing guidelines? Well, luckily, there is still plenty to do! 

With gardening, the most social interaction you will likely encounter is a friendly “hello” from a neighbor or two, and better yet, there is no need for a mask if you aren’t fully vaccinated! Moreover, not only does gardening provide multiple mental benefits, but it also leaves your yard looking lush and well-kept.

Not sure where to start? Check out these latest garden trends for some inspiration! And if you don’t know much about gardening and need some advice, make sure to take a look at these 10 helpful gardening tips!


5. Try something new!

With quarantine having caused many to adopt new hobbies and learn something new about themselves, it is clear that this past year has led to an upsurge of creativity and self-discovery. 

However, the pandemic coming to a close is not an excuse to give up such inventiveness we have developed or forget what we have found out about ourselves! As creativity comes with several health advantages and likewise self-discovery, we must maintain creative activities in our lives—and what better way to do that than through trying something new? 

So, pick up a book from an unfamiliar genre. Not artistic? Paint a picture, buy and complete an adult coloring book or sketch one of your pets! Not that athletic or don’t know much about sports? Go on a run or hit some tennis balls with a friend! 

It doesn’t matter if you ultimately don’t like something new you did. What matters is that you tried it, ventured out of your comfort zone and kept an open mind!

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