Loading your recommendations…

Going the (Social) Distance Together

There's no need to sacrifice community, comfort, and self-care at this time. We're not in this alone.

Posted By Ashley Strahm on Mar 20, 2020

You've checked news outlets. You’ve spoken with friends and family. When you’re not working, sleeping, or figuring out where your next meal will come from, you’re probably still wondering what you’re going to do with your spare time. After all, we’re not sure how much of that you’ll have.

We realize that for many of us, this moment is overflowing with unbridled uncertainty. This isn’t time off, and the suggestion that social distancing presents an opportunity for a staycation is tone-deaf at best. But this collective, shared season of turning inward still means that we’re going to have to take care of ourselves and our loved ones, and at Discover Durham, we spend most every moment thinking of how to do just that.

So, first, let’s do our due diligence as community members: let’s show awareness with our actions, invest in community relief efforts, and support our restaurants
and retailers.

Second, let’s take advantage of opportunities to seek joy, together.

Experience Durham Vibes from Your Couch

How many iconic Durham references can you enjoy with a remote in hand? Let us count the ways.

Watch “Bull Durham” … Again

With this film available on a number of streaming services, you have every opportunity to relive the magic of this cult favorite. From the Historic Durham Athletic Park where the movie was filmed, to throwback uniforms on our Durham Bulls Home team, to what we fondly call the ‘Bull Durham house’ where character Annie Savoy stole our hearts, we really, really love it. You can stream “Bull Durham” for free on Tubi.

Binge All Three Seasons of “Stranger Things”

The creators of the hit Netflix show Stranger Things are Durham natives (we’re going to share that fun fact until … forever)! The Duffer Brothers drew inspiration for the show from childhood memories of the Bull City, and it’s well worth the watch. How many Durham Easter eggs can you find sprinkled throughout the scenes?

Count the Lucky Strike References on “Mad Men”

No one is advising that you adopt the lifestyle (or revert back to the social norms) of “Mad Men.” What we are enamored with is Durham’s Lucky Strike references peppered throughout most of the scenes in earlier seasons.

See a Pivotal Piece of Durham History Again on Your (Small) Screen

“The Best of Enemies” premiered here last March during Durham’s 150th anniversary, and tells one story we have painted on one of our downtown brick facades … the civil rights struggle that occurred during school integration here (co-led by unlikely allies: activist and community leader Ann Atwater, and Ku Klux Klansman C.P. Ellis). It’s a historical tour de force that’s not to be missed. Learn more here.

Bonus: The book upon which the movie is based is available at Durham’s local bookstores for online order and delivery.

Virtual Magic

Social distancing doesn’t have to mean skipping your favorite class or forgoing a meal (or happy hour!!!) with friends. We’ve compiled a list of just some of the virtual options currently available to keep your down time on the upside.

Nurture your body and mind with online classes. Global Breath Studio is live-streaming yoga, meditation and mindfulness classes using Zoom, while Carolina Yoga Company is streaming yoga and Pilates, with core strength Vimeo classes available for purchase. Bonus points: you don’t need to use your camera or microphone so you can stay in your pajamas!

According to the Indy, Rebecca Newton, President and CEO of the Carolina Theatre of Durham, is starting a “Virtual Listening Room” this month to quell the flood of live music cancellations. "Co-created with the manager of the Wake Forest Listening Room Mike Allen, the project aims to keep local artists afloat by live streaming their performances. The Virtual Listening Room is still in its organizing stages, but the first show is scheduled for Thursday, March 26." Learn more about how the beat will go on.

En garde! The Mid-South Fencers Club is helping you to stay connected and moving with your fellow fencing community offering small group virtual practice meetings (for members and non-members alike).

Don your favorite Aza Comics character and cosplay your heart out with an assortment of online games, puzzles, superhero quizzes, music playlists, dance challenges, Women's History Month trivia and more - Durham-based Aza Comics is even hosting an online cosplay contest that adults and kids can participate in for prizes.

Feeling antsy? Get artsy and take a virtual tour inside the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University (and beyond) to see how the museum connects Duke’s Campus with downtown Durham. Meander through Sarah P. Duke Gardens, see where the magic happens at Cameron Indoor Stadium and more.

Bring your dog (or cat, bird, …) to work every day as you social distance in your home office/couch like Durham-based women-owned Three Oaks Engineering. Share the love over a virtual coffee break.

Missing human interaction (outside of your immediate family/better half/roommate)? Order your favorite meals via delivery (we have a great list here) and FaceTime or Skype a meal with your favorites.

Bull McCabe’s might be closed but their trivia is still on! Tune into their live stream Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. and quiz from home. Not only is it a distraction from cabin fever, all proceeds go towards Durham's service industry folks.

Watch a book?!? Spoken books take on a whole new dimension as internationally known Durham storyteller, Donna Washington presents a wide range of video stories online. From fairytales to folklore and a spattering of personal narratives there’s something for all ages and tastes.

Looking for outdoor activities intended to entertain the kids? Tune in to see Frog Hollow Outdoors facilitate Facebook live events twice a week with their camp programs coordinator for kids.

Stream Support for Local Partners

Ain’t no happy hour like a virtual happy hour and Kingfisher is mixing things up (see what we did there?!) with a nightly cocktail class. Tune in via Instagram as Sean Umstead creates some liquid favorites and help support their staff by leaving a Virtual Happy Hour tip.

Cook with Queen and Jay, the dynamic duo behind Indulge Catering as they host a virtual dinner party via Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Menus and recipes are posted on Thursdays and you can cook with Queen Precious-Jewel and Jacqueline “Jay” Zabriskie-White virtually on Sundays. Bon Appétit!

Jeddah's Tea is hosting virtual tea time, and it's well worth sipping and savoring.

There’s no shortage of musical escapism thanks to Merge Records. Supporting independent music since 1989, listen and watch from their extensive music library or make a purchase using their STAYATHOME coupon code for 15% off and free shipping — then have a virtual dance party!

For the Young and Young at Heart

All the kids are at home. Yes, you too! We’ve curated some pastimes that are sure to bring the whole family together.

Books, blooms, and board games

Indeed, libraries tend to inspire lots of group contact, but we need not sacrifice our community connection. Online story time with Durham County Library is available for both kids and teens to read together online. (Speaking of libraries, you’ll want to check out this video library edition of RPGs — role playing games — for kids.)

The local Durham County Library is allowing folks to use their mobile number to get a library card that can be used for the indefinite future. Find e-books, audiobooks and a full list of online resources here.

There’s no age limit for the fun board games can bring, and no amount of social distancing can keep folks from friendly competition. Facebook groups has turned out to be the perfect way to bring game night to virtual community spaces, and provide tons of opportunities to keep kids entertained at home. There's also our Durham 150 board game, which is filled with trivia and perfect for friendly competition, as well as the Museum of Durham History's online History Groves, with vignettes to get you caught up on Durham's prominent historical figures. (The museum's current rotating exhibit: A Creative Protest: MLK Comes to Durham is now available online as well!) Then, of course, you could always color.

Take and make your favorites at home

Who doesn't enjoy taking a chance at making a favorite dish like the professionals? Kits from Early Bird Donuts, Pompieri Pizza, and Crafts & Drafts NC come equipped with everything you need to make something culinary or creative.

In the wake of what may appear to be a season of stagnant schedules, allow growth to occur in your space. Order some of your favorite family blooms online at a local shop like Zen Succulent and start an indoor garden. That’s all the proof you need that yes, we’re all still growing.

Need more inspiration? The incredible folks over at Durham Magazine compiled another robust list of social distancing options to consider.

    About the Author

    Ashley Strahm

    Jersey roots, Durham fruits. Lover of all things edible, egalitarian and true. Find me clad in Birkenstocks, seeking Bull City Beautiful stories by trail, wheel and spoke.