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Things To Do With Family and Friends During the Holidays: COVID-19 Edition

Despite the ongoing presence of COVID-19 in our world, the 2020 holiday season can still be remembered as a period where we have fun with family and friends. Of course, this quality time will look different than in years past; however, this is the perfect chance to get creative in thinking of ways we can be with the people we love while being safe and socially distanced. If you need a place to start, I have come up with some ways you can get the most out of your time at home, without letting COVID-19 ruin the last few months of 2020.

1. Go to an orchard to satisfy your ‘fall experience’ cravings

There’s only one time during the year where we can get our fix of caramel apples, go pumpkin picking, find our way through a corn maze, and go on a hayride. Luckily, there are a countless number of orchards in the Philadelphia area you can visit to take advantage of this time of year! The one closest to my hometown, and one where I spent every fall growing up, is Linvilla Orchards in Media, PA. Others include Indian Orchards Organic in Media, PA; Styer Orchard in Langhorne, PA; Barnard’s Orchard in Kennett Square, PA; Solebury Orchards in New Hope, PA; Weaver’s Orchard in Morgantown, PA; and so many more. There will be some things that are not available due to COVID-19 restrictions, but this does not mean that the overall fall feeling has to be taken away.

2. Spend your Black Friday at an outlet mall

Although true outlet malls are few and far between they offer some of the best deals and sales on clothing, shoes, health and beauty products, and so much more. Additionally, outlet malls are fully outdoors; this way you can get the experience of Black Friday without being in a crowded, germ-infested indoor mall. For people that around the Philadelphia area, the closest and most popular outlet malls are the Gloucester Premium Outlets in Blackwood, NJ, and the Philadelphia Premium Outlets in Pottstown, PA. There are other, more spacious shopping centers in the area as well; however, these are the malls that will give shoppers the most stores to choose from without making multiple stops at other shopping centers.

3. Go to Christmas Village to get in the holiday spirit.

One of the best parts of Christmas time is festive activities with family and friends. We may not be able to go to each other’s houses and watch Christmas movies or bake cookies, but outdoor Christmas villages can provide an atmosphere that will get us in the holiday spirit. Christmas Village in Philadelphia is the only one I have visited, and there are so many activities including ice skating, pop-up shops, hot chocolate stands, and festive light shows! There are other Christmas Villages and places with Christmas lights in the area as well, including Koziar’s Christmas Village in Bernville, PA, and the Miracle on 13th Street in South Philadelphia, PA.

4. Celebrate the New Year with pots, pans, and the Mummers Parade

Although a fairly weird tradition, banging pots and pans at midnight on New Year’s Eve is a great way to celebrate socially distanced with family, friends, and neighbors. Historically, people would make this noise to ward away any evil spirits; however, it seems as though most parents give children a pot and wooden spoon so they don’t have to go out and buy noisemakers. Another tradition that has been alive in Philadelphia since 1901 is the Mummers Parade, where members of various clubs dress up and parade down the streets of Philadelphia in a competition with five divisions: The Comics, The Fancy, the String Bands, the Wench Brigade, and the Fancy Brigade. Although this historic event has been canceled for 2021, watching past Mummers parades and performances can get you in the New Year’s Day spirit.

COVID-19 has altered many experiences for the world in 2020, but we must stay positive and find ways to make the ‘new normal’ work for us. There are many things to do with family and friends while being socially distanced. Instead of letting this global pandemic dominate our holiday spirit, let’s be positive and make the most out of the beloved season (safely, and socially distanced, of course).

This blog post was written by Olivia Mianulli, Director of Diversity and Inclusion.

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