Have you looked at the calendar yet?
This year, the four intermediate days of Sukkot fall out on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. And we all know what that means: plenty of opportunity for Chol Hamoed trips.
But with COVID-19 precautions still recommended, we may have to change up our ideas of what a Chol Hamoed outing should be.
Sukkot activities have always been somewhat limited if you need to stay in proximity to a Sukkah. And in the current COVID-19 climate, of course, things are even more restricted. With travel rules, social distancing requirements, and maximum occupancy limits, many activities that in the past were go-to Chol Hamoed trips are now, in many parts of the world, simply not possible.
But don’t fret just yet! There are still plenty of fun & safe ways to spend Chol Hamoed.
Here are some of our favorite outdoor and indoor activities you can enjoy this Chol Hamoed Sukkot — COVID-19-style!
Outdoor Chol Hamoed Activities
COVID-19 or not, an outdoor autumn adventure has always been a marvelous way to savor the open air, get some exercise, and make lasting family memories.
With COVID-19 regulations in place, you’ll want to confirm details/reserve tickets before showing up at many of these activities. Oh, and don’t forget the masks, which may be required as well.
Bicycling is the perfect activity to do with extended family, as everyone can easily maintain distance while still enjoying each other’s company.
2. Nature hike
Spending time in nature is healthy for both the mind and body. And because every day of Chol Hamoed this year falls on a weekday, you’ll avoid the weekend crowds and enjoy a quiet oasis in nature.
3. Rent paddle boats
Fall is a great time to go paddle boating and revel in the changing foliage. With all the COVID-19-related closures, make sure to call in advance to confirm availability.
4. Pick your own produce
The month of October is ripe for picking apples! Spend the day at a pick-your-own farm, collecting seasonal produce, such as apples or pumpkins. Bake your bounty and enjoy it on the last days of Yom Tov.
5. Visit a zoo
Since many of the animal enclosures are outdoors, the zoo is a relatively low-risk activity. Check online before your visit; due to COVID-19 restrictions, you likely need to purchase a ticket in advance.
6. Play mini golf
Amazing for kids of all ages, a game of outdoor mini golf is guaranteed fun for everyone.
7. Smell the roses at a botanical garden
Your local botanical garden or arboretum is a wonderful place for a fall excursion, especially for older children and adults.
8. Go fish
Use fishing as an opportunity to teach kids coordination, patience, and even the laws of kosher!
At-Home Chol Hamoed Activities
It’s amazing how much fun you can have so close to home! Try your hand at a creative project, take advantage of the space in your backyard, or do something special inside your very own Sukkah.
1. Experience an at-home escape room
There’s nothing like the power of imagination to transform your living room into a Pharaoh’s Tomb or a Mysterious Museum. Best for kids ages 10 and up.
2. Take a virtual field trip
With a smartphone, a virtual reality headset, and the free Google Expeditions apps, you can take the kids on “field trips” to explore a range from educational experiences, including famous museums, national landmarks, and natural wonders from all over the world.
3. Rent a bounce house
Up for a splurge? Consider renting a bounce house for your backyard! It’s not cheap entertainment, but depending on the size of your family, it may come out cheaper than going to an amusement park.
4. Set up a scavenger hunt
Take the easy route and search “scavenger hunt riddles for kids”. With ready-made riddles for an outdoor scavenger hunt or an indoor scavenger hunt, you can easily set up a super fun scavenger challenge that younger kids will adore!
5. Make an edible Sukkah art project
Little ones will love making this adorable edible Sukkah out of graham crackers, pretzel sticks, frosting, and Trix cereal.
6. Celebrate with a backyard carnival
Keep it simple with easy activities like face painting, potato sack races, and hula hoop contests. This is a great outdoor activity to do with extended family.
7. Decorate your own vases
Who needs a ceramics studio? Enjoy the paint-your-own experience in your home with this Paint Your Own Porcelain Vases kit.
8. Create a fall-themed art project
Autumn is replete with gorgeous and natural craft materials. Kids can make their own projects using colorful leaves, pine cones, and acorns. For ideas, check out 500 Fall Crafts and Activities for Kids.
So whether you choose to venture into the great outdoors or opt instead for a special activity at home, there are endless activities you and your family can enjoy this Chol Hamoed Sukkot.