Making the Bank Holiday Different

Life in lock-down can mean that the days all begin to blur into one. If, like me, you already have absolutely no idea what day of the week it is, you may have only just realised that tomorrow is a bank holiday ! The start of the long Easter Weekend!

There have been numerous posts and blogs offering advice on how to survive lock-down and how to look after our mental health as well as posts advertising online resources for fun things to do or watch. I’m not going to tell you how to look after your mental health or the importance of routine, you’ve already heard and read about all that too many times. I am going to try to pull together a few of the resources and ideas that are available to help differentiate the weekend from the week. Maybe some of these ideas will help you to make the Bank Holiday Weekend feel a bit more like a holiday and less like just another 4 days in lock-down.

So, what would you normally do on a bank holiday weekend? A weekend away? Camping? Walking? Theatre or cinema? A meal out? See family and friends? With a bit of creativity and planning, many of these could be recreated at home.

We can’t have a weekend away, but if you are feeling hardy and have a tent you could have a garden camp-out, don’t forget the marshmallows and campfire songs (you may even be able to get your neighbours to join in….we did last weekend before the Queen’s speech, it was lovely to see everyone laughing and having some fun) !! If, like me, April is a bit too chilly for camping, you can save this one for the end of May bank holiday weekend instead..

Walking/cycling:…well, we may not be able to go far afield, but we can still go out for exercise once a day so make the most of the opportunity to get out of your house and explore your local area…most of us don’t know the area on our own doorstep as well as we know our favourite beauty spot, now’s your chance to get to know your local area too. While you are out, pop into your local shop for supplies for some of your other activities.

Theatre: You can’t go to the theatre, but the theatre has come home to us. Both musicals and stage plays can be watched on YouTube. Personally, I’m off to the theatre this afternoon to watch ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ before it disappears at 7pm to be replaced with Jane Ayre. Don’t forget the chocolate/sweets/ice cream/prosecco. Try these links for more information:

A meal out: Well, we may not be able to go out for a meal or a takeaway, but the meal can come to us. There are many pubs and restaurants trying to keep their businesses afloat and support their local communities by providing take-away meals. A quick search on the internet should help you find what is available in your local area. The closest to me in Copmanthorpe that I am aware of is Ye Old Sun Inn in Colton, where you can not only pick up a fabulous take-away but some essential groceries too (and some of Ashley’s amazing chocolate). You can place your order by phone, then, when you collect, ring them from the car park and they will bring your order out to you. Many other pubs and restaurants are also offering take away services, but , as I don’t know where you all live I’ll leave it to you to have a look online. Now is a great time to support your local businesses.


Your favourite takeaway: If you are set on your favourite Indian/Chinese/Thai/Burger/Pizza you could use the extra time that most of us have to make your own using a simple recipe, let’s face it there are a lot of fabulous recipes online. Alternatively you can see what your local supermarket can offer from their takeaway selection, picking up some marshmallows (for your camp fire), chocolates and ice cream (for the theatre) or popcorn (for your movie night) at the same time.

Movie night: This is one for NetFlix/Amazon prime/Now TV etc or maybe you could dig out some of your old favourite DVD’s and start to watch them again. Maybe you could swap DVD’s with some of your neighbours. Don’t forget the takeaway and popcorn (see above!)

BBQ: This is still possible so long as you have the gas/charcoal you need and can get some supplies. The supermarkets are well stocked again now, but if you don’t want to go to the big shops, your local butchers will be able to provide top quality meats and, again you will be supporting a small, local business. Your local greengrocers will be able to supply the vegetables for your kebabs and salad vegetables as well as fresh fruit to dip in melted chocolate for desert.

Family time: If you have the luxury of a garden, this is definitely the time to dig out those old garden games from the depths of the garage or garden shed, dust them off and start to play. Whether it is an ancient swing-ball set, hoop-la or a couple of tennis balls that you can throw at some tin cans, dig out what you have got and get creative to make some fun, silly games to play as a family. There are loads of ideas on the internet, here is one link (and a second one for card games), but a quick search will provide you with plenty of ideas.
Snap! 12 classic card games to teach the kids

Family time: To spend time with your wider family, and friends too, you can arrange a video call using WhatsApp/Zoom/Skype/Google hangouts etc. with a bit of planning you could organise a quiz, a bingo night or some silly games to play online.

And, of course, it’s Easter, there will be eggs to hide, eggs to hunt for, eggs to paint and decorate….and chocolate to eat…

So there’s a few ideas. What will you plan to do this weekend?

Personally, I’m off the the theatre this afternoon, racing around the world (on catch up) tomorrow, heading back to the theatre for Jesus Christ Superstar on Saturday or Sunday, enjoying a curry, catching up with family and friends via Zoom and playing games in the garden (swingball, football and badminton most likely). I’ll save the camping until it’s a bit warmer! Let me know what you get up to, it might give me some ideas for next weekend…

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