Summer is winding down again, but this year it probably feels different. While many rejoice at cooler temps and yearn for the crispness in the air, in a year where a pandemic is causing people to go stir crazy and where chances of getting sick go down dramatically when outside, many are concerned about what the colder temperatures will bring. Soon, the backyard, over-the-fence meet-ups will be less comfortable as more layers are added.
From an economy standpoint, there is also concern. Many businesses have been aided by the nice weather as customers can enjoy the outdoors. What happens when those options go away?
Before we officially give way to the cold months, take advantage of the weather and spend some quality time outdoors. You don’t need to head “up north” to a cabin to enjoy the great outdoors; you can find plenty to do in and around the Midway. Here are some upcoming ways to leave the house and find entertainment.
Hit the patio
Many restaurants are only offering outdoor seating, so they will soon be faced with a decision – go to take-out only or re-open the dining room. While you still can enjoy dinner without a patio heater, make it to one of the many patios in the neighborhood. Urban Growler Brewing in particular has made a reputation for ensuring a safe, clean place for diners.
Go to the zoo
The Como Zoo re-opened in July. It remains one of the only free zoos in the nation and is at its best when you can walk around outside on a nice day. My family went to the zoo and Como Town for my daughter’s birthday in August and got to experience shorter lines and all the usual animals. The Como Zoo remains one of the best deals in town.
Golf has been one of the most popular activities this year. Its easier to do and keep a social distance and you’re outdoors. There are many courses in the area to choose from, and many beginners have been wanting to pick up the sport this year (if they can get golf clubs, which have been hard to find).
Little Africa Festival online
What about the events we still can’t go to in person? For the past six years, the Little Africa Fest has taken place live in Hamline Park. This year, the event has gone virtual Sept. 20-24. Attendees can join the festivities and listen to music and embrace African cultures and heritage. When I first heard about the virtual fest, I was happy they could do it but disappointed I would be missing out on the food. But then I found out about the Little Africa in a Box program where you can get food from African immigrant-owned restaurants during the festival. There will be a different restaurant each of the five nights and attendees can pick up the food prior to the start. I can’t wait to bite into the first sambusa.
In Minnesota we know the summer isn’t endless and we know what’s coming. Give yourself a few more outdoor memories for 2020 before you bring out the shovel and boots.
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