The Whatcom County Health Department Offers up Ideas for Physically Distant but Socially Connected Activities for When the Weather Gets Bad


Submitted by the Whatcom County Health Department

Fall is here, and with it comes grey skies and rain. It was easier to get together outdoors with friends for social gatherings during the sunny days of summer, but the colder, wetter weather can make outdoor gatherings more difficult. But as Pacific Northwesterners, we are very familiar with the rain, and there are still plenty of activities that can be done in less-than-beautiful weather. Here are some ideas for some physically distanced but socially connected activities when the weather gets cold and wet.

Bring back the ‘brella!

Backyard gatherings were very popular this summer, as they’ve allowed people to visit with friends and family while maintaining a safe distance. They can continue to be popular through the fall and winter by creating shelter from the rain, either with a tarp or a pop-up tent, or even…the dreaded umbrella. We know that most Washingtonians are too cool for umbrellas, but let’s make this the year that they stage a comeback!

You can also look around for covered areas around your neighborhood, such as covered gazebos or picnic areas at local parks. These spaces can serve as gathering places that can allow you to get together with a small number of friends while staying a safe distance from each other. You could also have a car meet-up or a tailgate gathering with one or two friends in a quiet parking area, and chat with each other while staying warm and dry in your cars.

Get out and about

Wet weather doesn’t have to stop you from getting outside and getting active. Gear up for the rain and take a walk with a friend around your neighborhood, or go for a hike together. Washington Trails Association has a great website with local hikes near you. Or, head to a local coffee shop or restaurant with outside seating and catch up over a meal or coffee. Some restaurants are adding more covered outdoor seating in preparation for the wet weather ahead.

Celebrate fall

Whatcom County has some amazing fall activities that are fun in any weather! Check out a pumpkin patch, or find a U-Pick apple orchard. It’s also a great time to take a walk and enjoy the changing leaves, before the wind blows them away!

It’s still safer to gather outdoors than indoors, but in any activity you decide to do with friends or family outside of your household, remember to:

  • Keep six feet apart.
  • Wear your mask.
  • Keep your gatherings small, with no more than five people outside of your household.
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