In the past few weeks, life has gone from business-as-usual to a completely different outlook on life that includes staying or working from home, limiting your exposure to the public, and limited access to facilities and buildings throughout the city. Despite the recent changes in attempts to slow the spread of Coronavirus, COVID-19, there is still plenty for you to do whether you are at home or looking to get out of the house for a few hours!
Looking for something to do with the kids? Not sure how to spend your future days at home? Tired of just watching Netflix and scrolling through the news? We have your solution! Take a look at the many different things that you can do in Calgary this April (both at home and out in the world) that will keep you busy during the COVID-19 social distancing periods!
Get Fresh Air Outdoors
Just because you are self-isolating or spending more time at home doesn’t mean you can’t get out there and get some fresh air! The city of Calgary is privileged to have manicured paths that are available to the public at any time. Whether you like to run, walk, bike, or skate, the city’s public areas and pathways will help you stretch your legs, get away from the screens, breathe in some fresh air, and prevent cabin fever (and don’t forget to bring the dog along!). Some popular parks and pathways include:
- Confederation Park
- Nose Hill Park
- Fish Creek Park
- Douglas Fir Trail
- Bowmont Park
- Bowness Park
- Edworthy Park
- South Glenmore Park
- Rotary Park
- And others!
For a complete list of all the pathways and bikeways throughout the city, be sure to check out the City of Calgary’s website for an interactive map to find the routes in your area!
Find a New Book
Despite the Calgary Public Library having to shut their doors mid-March, there are still plenty of options for you to get the pages and books that will keep you immersed in a story and help you escape the realms of our world with something fictional! Calgary Public Library has an app that enables you to download ebooks and audiobooks so you can still get your free book fix! The city of Calgary also has plenty of local bookstores that currently remain open and are ready to find the perfect book for you! Aside from ordering online from the big chain bookstores like Indigo, feel better about your buy by purchasing a good book from one of the many local bookstores, such as:
- Owls Nest Books (Open and free delivery)
- Books Between Friends
- Shelf Life Books (Open and delivery options)
- Fair’s Fair Books
- The Next Page (Open and free delivery)
- Pages on Kensington (Open and delivery)
- And others (check out our blog for a complete list of local Calgary bookstores!)
Not able to leave the house? No problem! Many bookstores have recognized the difficulty of the situation and are now ready to deliver the books you love straight to your door! Contact them directly to find out if they will deliver to your home!
Sign Up for an Online Course
With more free time at home, you may be wondering what to fill your time with. How about taking this opportunity to learn a new skill? Whether you have always wanted to learn how to do digital marketing for your business, learn to cook like a pro, or even learn another language – now is the chance to take some time at home and learn something completely new! Not sure where to start? A wide selection and various types of online courses are available at:
- Athabasca University
- Jumping Elephant Academy
- And others!
Find the local or globally popular courses that will give you plenty of new skills, get you certified in new areas, or simply help to keep you entertained!
Keep Up Your Exercise Routine
Although local city fitness and recreation centers are now closed, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to raise your heart rate! The best news is that you don’t even need to have access to a treadmill or a home gym - you can do an amazing workout right from the comfort of your own home with a few simple weights (either dumbbells, fill up some old milk jugs, or just find something heavy and get creative!) or your own body weight. Don’t know what to do on your own? Take a look at some of the online solutions via YouTube or local gym websites that will get you huffing and puffing, staying fit even when you’re stuck at home:
- Fitness Blender - Thousands of workout videos for FREE YouTube for any area of focus
- 9Round - Temporarily offering online 30-minute kickboxing workouts for members
- Gymondo Online Fitness - Register to access hundreds of fitness workouts (fees apply)
- Yoga With Adriene - Start your yoga practice with the help of FREE online guided videos
- Peleton - With the purchase of the Peleton Bike, get access to membership workouts
- Joanna Soh Fitness - FREE online videos and YouTube guided tutorials
- Evolution VN - A local Calgary home workout equipment provider with access hundreds of exercises online for members
- Amazon Prime - Members receive access to various fitness videos for all types of fitness
Don’t see the workouts you are looking for? There are plenty of online workouts and fitness solutions available online, simply search the type of activity or goal you have in YouTube and you will be able to find a multitude of workouts that can be done right from your home!
Continue Children’s Learning
The kids may be rejoicing that they do not have to complete more homework because school is canceled, but taking time to continually learn is important, for both you and the kids! For younger grades, there are plenty of online resources that provide educational programs, materials, and activities in the areas of math, English, reading, science, and more! These online resources are great solutions to help parents engage with their kids, keep the kids from getting bored, and help excel their learning from home!
- Starfall Education (K-3)
- Scholastic Story Starters (1-6)
- Reading Horizons (K-12)
- National Geographic Kids (K-6)
- Breakout EDU (K-12)
- Prodigy Game (1-8)
- Computer Combat Cards (Intro to Computer Science)
- Brain Pop (K-6)
- Canadian Geographic (1-6)
- Mathletics Canada (1-6)
Looking for more resources? Reach out to your child’s school, teachers, or local daycares for more ideas and resources!
Shop and Support Local Businesses
With the many closures of public places, corporate buildings, and public facilities, small businesses will struggle in the weeks or months to come. Do you have a local business that you love and support? Take this time to support them further! Many small businesses are offering online orders and local shipping (many are even offering FREE shipping!) of their local products to ensure that the community still has access to the things they need. Instead of heading to a large-scale corporation for stock, check out a local business in your area and support them instead! Look for small businesses that offer:
- Grocery or fresh produce (farmer’s markets or local producers)
- Handmade goods (support local business and buy gifts or home products handmade)
- Cleaning products (get stocked up on the soaps, sanitizers, and other cleaning solutions needed to prevent the spreading of disease)
- Bakery items (local bakeries)
- Local coffee (individually-owned cafes)
- Eco-friendly solutions (local refill stations and bulk distributors)
- Family-owned or local restaurants (Food delivery services, local eateries, etc.)
- And other small businesses in your area!
If you are unable to go out, consider ordering online from these small businesses, reaching out to see if they will provide shipping options for you, or simply purchasing gift cards that can be used at a later date!
Other Things to Do While at Home
Need some more ideas of what to do while in quarantine or self-isolating? Practice social distancing with these unique, fun, and engaging ideas that you can do at home or in your nearby area!
- Practice mindfulness and meditation
- Write thank-you notes to those in the service industries
- Bake or cook a new recipe
- Complete a puzzle
- Do a home workout using YouTube or other online videos
- Build a fort with the family
- Complete a home DIY project
- Give yourself a home-spa day (face mask, manicure, bubble bath, etc.)
- Start spring cleaning early
- Create a digital photo album or start scrapbooking
- Teach your pets new tricks
- Play board games with family (or online with friends)
- Go through your closet to see what still fits/is still in fashion
- Make a craft with kids or for the home
- Start an indoor garden
- Watch films that have been on your ‘watchlist’ for too long
- Have a pillow fight
- Go through the home and donate or sell stuff you no longer use
- Research local charities to support
- Print out adult or kids coloring pages
- Search new music and create playlists
- Journal, write a book, start a blog, or write poetry
- Have a nature scavenger hunt in the neighbourhood or backyard with kids
- Call/Skype friends or family you haven’t spoken to for a while
Make this April in Calgary a time spent enjoying moments with family, accomplishing the to-do tasks at home, and resting and recuperating for the time when the Calgary community will come back together once again!
Stay safe and take care!
Justin Havre is the top producing REALTOR® with RE/MAX First, Canada's very first RE/MAX brokerage. Calgary real estate is his passion; Justin specializes in Southwest & Northwest Calgary homes for sale. He can be reached at 403.217.0003 or contacted through this site.