SPOKANE, Wash. — Many of us are aware of how the days seem to blur together as we physically distance ourselves from others during the coronavirus pandemic. It's really easy to feel like we're all starring in the movie "Groundhog Day."
But this time of isolation has led to many people picking up new hobbies, enjoying more time with family or exploring the great outdoors.
I reached out to our KREM 2 team to ask for creative (and safe) ways to break up the days in Spokane during the pandemic. Here are some suggestions from me and my colleagues.
Explore the outdoors
The great outdoors are open in Washington state.
You can visit one of dozens of state parks within Spokane County or within just a few hours' drive.
The following is a list of parks that reopened on May 5 in eastern Washington. For a full list of state parks reopening in Washington, click here.
- Alta Lake State Park
- Centennial Trail State Park
- Columbia Plateau Trail
- Conconully State Park
- Curlew Lake State Park
- Fields Spring State Park
- Lake Chelan State Park
- Lake Wenatchee State Park
- Lewis and Clark Trail
- Lincoln Rock State Park
- Lyons Ferry State Park
- Mount Spokane State Park
- Palouse Falls State Park
- Pearrygin Lake State Park
- Riverside State Park
- Rockport State Park
- Squilchuck State Park
- Steamboat Rock State Park
- Steptoe Battlefield State Park
- Steptoe Butte State Park
- Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park
- Twenty-Five Mile Creek State Park
- Wenatchee Confluence State Park
Parks run by Spokane County and the City of Spokane, including Manito and Riverfront Parks, remain open with social distancing requirements in place.
Some members of our KREM team have also had get-togethers with friends and family in their yards while social distancing. Everyone brings their own chairs, food and beverages, and sits six to eight feet apart.
If you have kids, KREM's digital director Sara Roth has a great idea for your family. She has been taking her toddler and baby on "flower walks" where they look for flowers of different colors. She also recommends an I Spy walk or a scavenger hunt.
Spokane Parks and Recreation also offered one tip for people who want to get some fresh air without leaving their home: try backyard birding. The Spokane Audubon Society has some tips for attracting birds for those who want to take up birding as a new hobby.
Virtual games and trivia
Are you missing game nights with friends? You can still have them virtually.
Some KREM employees have been playing Cards Against Humanity with their friends over Zoom. Jackbox Games is another great option for playing games with friends.
Spokane County Library District is also hosting two virtual trivia sessions, featuring TV show "Parks and Recreation" and all things "Star Wars."
"Parks and Recreation" Trivia will be held on Saturday, May 16, from 2 to 3 p.m.
"Star Wars" Trivia will be held on Saturday, May 23, from 2 to 3 p.m.
Registration is required for each trivia program and you can sign up online. All participants must provide an email address in order to receive login information. In these virtual contests, you can play solo or form a team with those in your household to play from a single device.
Virtual wine tasting
Wine-os, this one is for you.
Nectar in Kendall Yards has come up with a creative way to offer tastings online. You can join them “Wines To Survive Quarantine” on Thursday, May 14, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
A tasting kit is $15 for non-members and $10 for members. Participants will then join a Zoom call to learn about the wines.
Tickets are available for pre-purchase online and tasting kits are available the day of the tasting to ensure freshness.
Do you have a treadmill at home? Try taking a virtual walking tour while watching your TV, laptop or tablet.
One KREM employee says she has watched many of these walking tours, both professional and amateur, on YouTube. Some users have even made tours of Seattle and Spokane!
Her recommendation: search walking tour and then insert any of your interests.
You can also take virtual tours of museums or your favorite state parks in Washington.
Visit a local farmers market
Farmers markets are considered essential businesses during Washington state’s stay-home order.
The Thursday Market in the South Perry District recently reopened, while others will also open in May or early June.
FIND A GUIDE TO LOCAL FARMERS MARKETS HERE: Your guide to 2020 farmers markets in the Spokane area
Order takeout or delivery from a local restaurant
Looking for another way to spice up your routine? Order takeout from one of many local restaurants in the Spokane area.
Sara said ordering fun meals has helped her stay positive, including daily specials from The Grain Shed that feed two to four people.
Cocktails, beer and wine to-go are also allowed in Washington.
People ordering a cocktail to go must also order a complete meal, cocktails need to be in a container with a secure lid or cap to prevent consumption without the removal of the lid or cap, and pre-mixed cocktails must be placed in the trunk of the vehicle or in a place where the driver can't reach it.
Beer must be in growlers, kegs or factory-sealed bottles or cans, while wine and other spirits must also be in factory-sealed bottles.
Rock painting and hunting
KREM's Laura Papetti says her family has painted rocks made from clay. She then hides them in the morning and writes a poem, clue or treasure hunt.
Some people are continuing to hide rocks with encouraging messages around the Spokane area during the pandemic.
Go for a 'bear hunt' with your kids
Parents, here's a great way to keep your kids entertained: take them on a "bear hunt."
No, we don't mean that you will literally walk out into the woods and hunt for bears.
Residents of neighborhoods throughout Spokane have been filling their window sills with stuffed animals in an effort to promote exploration for local children.
So when it's time for the kids to take a walk down the street, why not turn their neighborhood stroll into a bear hunt?