photo by Kate Nuelle
2020 has been one hell of a year, and it’s safe to say everyone’s stress levels are pretty high right now. While everyone’s first priority should be COVID-19 safety for themselves and others, this doesn’t necessarily mean we have to stay locked up inside. The weather is starting to change, so let’s get outside and get those endorphin levels up! Here’s a rundown of seven outdoor COVID-19 safe activities to do in San Antonio.
The Pearl Farmers Market is open every Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m to 1 p.m. The vendors wear masks and gloves, provide hand sanitizer stations at their tent and handle all the products themselves. Guests are supposed to point at what they want, rather than touch. Guests must wear masks and are encouraged to stay 6 feet apart, much like any other grocery store. If you are worried about the crowds, I recommend going earlier, which is also nice because it will be cooler! The farmers market is a great way to get outside, walk around a bit and support local SA food vendors.
JoyRide is a fitness studio that offers cycling, pilates, barre and high-intensity strength classes. Because of COVID-19, JoyRide has begun offering virtual classes. They have two services that require subscriptions, but JoyRide provides codes that give you the first 30 days free. “FORTË” provides you with JoyRide cycling classes. You can use the bikes in the Fitness Center, but make sure to bring a mask and make a reservation for the time slot you want! The second platform, “JETSWEAT,” gives you access to pilates, sculpt and circuit classes. Grab a friend and a yoga mat if you have it, and do the workouts on the Intramural field!
After a long week, sometimes you need to relax and enjoy a movie. The Rooftop Drive-In Movie theater is about 20 minutes away from Trinity — near Six-Flags Fiesta Texas —and they show movies every day from Sept. 25th to Oct. 18th. As October nears, the movies get spookier. Rooftop is taking safety very seriously, so all ticket purchases are online. Every service is contactless, and they make sure cars are spaced out appropriately and require that whenever someone leaves their vehicle, they must have a mask on. Additionally, they have Community Screening nights where tickets are only $5, and all the proceeds go to the San Antonio Food Bank and Black Lives Matter.
On the weekend when the weather is nice, go for a hike! Hikes are a great way to switch up your routine and get some good exercise. It doesn’t seem like SA would have very many hike routes, but there are a lot of trails available in the area, from Eisenhower Park to the Lost Maples State Natural Area. Just remember to bring your good shoes, water, snacks, sunscreen and a hat if it’s sunny. And of course, don’t forget to bring a mask and some friends!
To enjoy nature and some gorgeous plants, head to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. The garden is selling tickets online now to minimize social contact. If you bring your student ID, the cost for students is $13. It’s open from March to Oct. from 9 am to 7 pm Monday-Friday and 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday. You can sign up for a guided tour or walk around yourself. There are various attractions, from the conservatory to a trail with three distinct Texas ecological regions. Make sure to check their event calendar; sometimes they host morning yoga sessions, cooking classes and even cock
Take a trip to the zoo! It’s right by campus, so you can walk there easily. You can purchase tickets online, and they are $22 for adults. The zoo is open from 10 am to 4 pm every day, but on Saturday they stay open until 7 pm. Also, they are offering a drive-thru experience on Fridays from 5 pm to 8 pm.
7. Day Trip to Austin
Okay, so this isn’t in San Antonio, but it is still a good idea! Austin is so close at just an hour and a half drive away, and there are so many outdoor activities to do. You can look up hikes or go on Lady Bird Lake to paddle-board or kayak. You could also bring some blankets, get lunch to-go at a local Austin place — I recommend Kerbey Lane Cafe — and have a picnic at Zilker Park. You can bring a volleyball and play on the courts or bring a frisbee or Spikeball if you have it. If you’re looking for a more chill day, grab a speaker and listen to music or read a book while you’re there. Zilker is also dog friendly, so if you have a pupper at home, feel free to give them a fun day too!
Times are really tough right now, and to stay sane, we need to try to make time to do fun, and most importantly, safe activities! Getting outside, especially since it’s starting to cool down, and being active, is a great way to boost your energy level and raise endorphins. I hope you give some of these suggestions a try!