By Michelle Reese
Governor Wolf issued a “stay-at-home” order for Bucks County on March 23 to combat the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. While schools and non-life-sustaining businesses are closed and gatherings with anyone outside of your immediate household are prohibited, getting outside for exercise and fresh air is allowed (with limitations). And we could all use the mood boosts that come from nature and Vitamin D right now, right?!
Here are some ideas of places to go or things to do in your own backyard when you need to get out of your house!
State Park and forest facilities are now closed statewide until April 30. This means you can't gather for group workout sessions, use the playgrounds, or have a picnic with friends. BUT you still have access to trails, roads and parking areas for passive and dispersed recreation such as hiking and biking, and boat launches and fishing are open.
Here's a graphic shared by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources that explains:
If you do go to the parks, you should still be staying at least 6 feet away from any others that have the same idea.
Here's a list of some of the spaces that you can visit during this time, while practicing safe social distancing:
NOTE: As of 4/20/20, county parks are now reopened after closing 3 weeks ago. Facilities such as restrooms and playgrounds are still closed. Visitors are urged to practice social distancing and wear masks.
Core Creek Park
East of Rt. 413 on Tollgate Road, Newtown
Delaware Canal State Park
11 Lodi Hill Road, Upper Black Eddy
High Rocks State Park
150 Tory Road, Pipersville
Lake Towhee Park
Old Bethlehem Road, Applebachsville
Neshaminy State Park
3401 State Road, Bensalem
Nockamixon State Park
1542 Mountain View Drive, Quakertown
Peace Valley Park
264 Creek Road, New Britain Township
Maple Avenue, Langhorne
Silver Lake Park
Bath Road, Bristol
River Road, Erwinna
Tohickon Valley Park
Cafferty Road, Point Pleasant
Tyler State Park
101 Swamp Road, Newtown
Washington Crossing Historic Park
1112 River Road, Washington Crossing
We're outside … now what? Bring your laptop outside for a change of scenery while you work from home. Do some yard work. Exercise. Read a book. Or just go for a walk.
If you have kids, you'll need to get outside to let them burn off some energy! (And they're likely going stir crazy in your house.) Read a book on a blanket. Play games. Blow bubbles. Ride bikes. Have a catch. Play Frisbee. Walk around the neighborhood.
The change of scenery is also a great way to get in some learning time in a fun way. Grab some chalk and do math problems, practice letters, and experiment with mixing colors in the driveway. Go on a scavenger hunt with varying themes depending on the child’s age: Find something that starts with these letters, colors, etc. Go on nature walks where you take pictures of different flowers, trees and birds. Research them when you get home.
Here's a list with lots of links of activities you and your family can do while enjoying the fresh air.
Classic Kid Games (Mother May I?, Red Light Green Light, Hopscotch, Follow the Leader, and more!)