How to have fun on a budget during coronavirus

As the Bay Area adapts to learning how to live during the coronavirus pandemic, many must consider their tighter finances, as well as social distancing and mask-wearing. KTVU’s Gasia Mikaelian has some ideas about how to have fun on a budget during COVID-19.

The Alameda County Fair is a summer destination for many who enjoy the rides, food and fairground atmosphere. While this year’s Fair won’t happen, the grounds have transformed into a drive-in movie theater, showing movies like Indiana Jones. The temporary theater is scheduled to show movies until August 1, and the price per car is around $35. Check out the schedule.

In addition to the Alameda County Fairgrounds, you can also catch a drive-in movie tonight at the San Mateo County Event Center. The West Wind Solano drive-in in San Jose, Concord and Sacramento are also all in business, and offering movies this summer.

If you can’t leave your home right now, try this fun trick: hang a white sheet on a wall, or attach it to an outdoor surface, and project a movie. Projectors are a little pricey, but could make a good investment if you watch a lot of movies. Here is one available to buy online for $120.

If you want to spend some time outside, perhaps a boat ride at Lake Chabot in Castro Valley is for you. Boat rentals are around $40-$50 for up to four people for two hours. A boat ride and a picnic could be a lovely day. 

Or, try fishing in Half Moon Bay. If you don’t fish, you can enjoy the beautiful beach and scenery. In Santa Clara County, try fishing in Spring Valley Pond or Sandy Wool Lake.

Do you miss going to a bar with friends? Try making your own to-go cocktails and meeting friends from a distance in a local park. You’ll save money, and have the added bonus of sunshine.

For those who are feeling adventurous, try creating your own scavenger hunt! You could do this within your own home, or around your town or city. You can have fun in a socially-distanced way, or even remotely, by using phones to take photos of found objects to communicate. This website has tons of scavenger hunt ideas for families and adults alike.