Guide to a socially distanced hangout

Tucker Ward, Staff Reporter

After months of isolation, many students are desperate to see their friends. Here are Lasso writer Tucker Ward’s top six ways to safely get together with all the people you’ve been longing to see since March.

The COVID-19 pandemic still rages on in America, but there are some creative ways to get out of the house and spend time together. As time wanes on and businesses begin to open, it’s easy to think social gatherings are safer – but they aren’t. When going outside, remember to wear a mask and stay at least six feet away from others.

Cherry Hill Park, located just beside the Falls Church Community Center, is the perfect scene for a picnic with friends. (Photo via

1. Have a picnic

“Since the weather is nice in the summer, I enjoy getting some of my favorite food and taking it to a park and having a distanced picnic,” sophomore Erin Tarpgaard said.

Falls Church is full of parks, which are a great place for a few friends to lay out their blankets and chat. Parks offer enough space to maintain social distancing while spending time outdoors with your friends. You can buy some food, bring your own, or just skip the food all together. 

Cherry Hill is a great location for a picnic with so many options for food surrounding it. You can get takeout near Cherry Hill at Northside Social, Panera, Chipotle, Liberty Barbecue, or Starbucks. 

2. Take a bike ride

“Going on a bike ride is a super nice change of pace from staring at a screen,” senior Jonathan Oppenheimer said. 

A bike ride offers an opportunity to get outside and get in some physical activity after sitting for classes all day. The W&OD trail is the perfect scene for a nice bike ride, or you can simply go around your neighborhood.

3. Play tennis

Playing tennis is a great way to social distance and spend time together. Bring your own racket and some balls and play a game or two. Several Falls Church parks have tennis courts, like Cherry Hill and Cavalier Trail.

“Exercising can get pretty boring alone, but tennis is a fun way to be active with your friends,” Tarpgaard said.

But you and your family may opt to stay completely isolated– luckily, in the age of technology, there are ways to be together without physically being together.

4. Houseparty

Houseparty is a video chat app designed for calling groups of people. The app also offers games including Uno, trivia, and more. 

“It’s nice to have an activity to do together while talking,” Oppenheimer said, “and it’s far more natural than just staring each other in the eyes through Zoom.”

Sophomores Isabel Costa and Tucker Ward watch Jeopardy! online together using Netflix Party. (Screenshot taken by Tucker Ward)

5. Netflix Party

Netflix party is a Chrome extension that allows you to watch Netflix content with friends. It syncs your video and has a chat feature for side conversations. I love to watch Jeopardy! because my friends and I can guess the answers with the contestants. 

6. Play video games

For those without a console, there are thousands of different online games that offer group play. Console games often have a party version that you can use to play with your friends. Using an online party chat or a seperate video call, you can talk to your friends and play in the same game together.