What Families Are Missing Due to COVID-19 

Dining out at restaurants

Many of us have spent the past few months stuck at home due to the pandemic. We’re cooking more meals for our families, buying pre-made frozen foods out of convenience, and ordering takeout when we’ve simply run out of inspiration in the kitchen. There are some evenings when we wish we could just sit down at a restaurant and have someone ask us “can I start you off with an appetizer?”… and not have to do the dishes afterwards. Even as restrictions are slowly being lifted and restaurants are starting to reopen at reduced capacity, many people report that they do not feel comfortable eating at dining establishments yet. So, what can we do to have the restaurant experience while still physical distancing? Here are some ideas:

  • Turn your dining room into a restaurant — Try to recreate a dish from your family’s favourite restaurant (or order takeout from there). Set the table using the “nice” dishware and napkins, and maybe light a candle or two. If your children are into crafts, they could even make their own menus. Get everyone to change out of their sweatpants and PJ bottoms, get a little dressed up, and sit down at the table together. Bon appétit!
  • Dine out with a picnic in the park — Grab a picnic blanket and pack a meal to-go (or pick one up on the way). Find a nice spot at the park, beach, or in your backyard, and enjoy dining out in the fresh air! 

Going to the movies

Seeing a movie in theatres used to be a fun family activity that got us out of the house for a few hours and cost less than $50. It may be awhile before we can go see anything on the big screen again, but we’ve come up with a couple ways to have a fun movie night at home:

  • Living room cinema — Pick a film that your family hasn’t watched yet. Enlist any crafty kids in your household to make movie tickets. Make some popcorn (or any other concession stand treats your family enjoys). Dim the lights and enjoy going to the movies from the comfort of your own home!
  • Backyard theatre — If you own a projector, it’s easy to have an outdoor movie night at home. Just string up a white sheet, set up the projector, and arrange some camping chairs or blankets and pillows on the lawn. Get everyone to bundle up, make some popcorn, and watch a movie together under the stars!

Family vacations

  International travel plans have been severely disrupted and many families have had to cancel or postpone their long-awaited vacations. Right now, we’re all feeling like we need a holiday more than ever! We haven’t figured out a way to teleport to Thailand yet, but we do have a few suggestions for some family vacation-related fun:

  • Plan your future dream holiday together — Go online, look at books and magazines, and watch videos of potential travel destinations. Choose somewhere you’d all like to visit and plan your dream family vacation! Where would you stay? How would you get there? Which attractions would you visit? What would you do? What kinds of foods would you eat? You may not be able to make the dream a reality, but it’s fun to imagine the possibilities!
  • Be a local tourist — Pick a destination closer to home, or even in your hometown, and plan a family vacation there. Do some research and figure out what kind of attractions and activities are popular with visitors. Chances are, there are some novel experiences to be had even in a place you thought you were completely familiar with! 
  • Holiday at home — Bring your vacation destination to you! For example, if your family was planning on travelling to Mexico this year, you can recreate your Mexican holiday at home. Try cooking (or order-in) some of the local cuisine. Make margaritas (non-alcoholic for the kids, of course). Listen to mariachi music. Pretend the inflatable kiddie pool is your beach resort. It may take some imagination, but it’s better than nothing!

Date nights

After being stuck at home with the kids for the past few nights, parents are needing a date night more than ever! With the lifting of restrictions, date nights are gradually becoming a possibility again. 

We just have one tip for making it happen:

  • Hire an on call babysitter! Book online today and enjoy your date night.
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