Staying Social During Social Distancing

Alex Velasquez, Reporter

      If you ask anyone around HB and what there is to do, a common response is that there isn’t really anything to do unless it’s summer. In the summer we have nice beaches and great outdoor restaurants. Normally, the movies would be an option for something to do, but with the combination of yellow-zone Covid restrictions and winter weather, the options in town are limited. However, if you’re willing to head into other parts of Suffolk county, there are some fun things to do that are safe. 

     Our theater in town is closed, but Island 16 in Holtsville is about a 30-minute drive.  It has reclining chairs and good options for candy and things to eat. Just last week,  some friends and I went to Island 16 and saw the movie Freaky. The experience felt clean and safe. We were required to wear masks and before we could go into our seats we saw that the workers were cleaning up and disinfecting the chairs from the people that were sitting there before us. 

     If you don’t like the idea of going into a theater, you can watch a movie from your car  at The Gateway Drive-in Theater in Bellport.  Over the holidays, they showed movies like “The Polar Express”, “Krampus”, and “Elf”. They use radio frequencies from your car that will play the sound from the movie into your car and the radio station channel into the big screen. You can check the website for the upcoming schedule. 

     There are other options for recreation that are open in a safe and socially-distant way.  One is All-Star Bowling in Riverhead. They require you to wear masks at all times, except when you are ready to eat. If you’re eating, once it’s your turn to get up you have to put on a mask but can take it off once you sit in your booth and are ready to eat again. They are only allowing 6 people per booth and do a thorough cleaning between groups of bowlers. Their website suggests making reservations due to occupancy limits. 

     If you want to do something to get your heart rate up and adrenaline going, you could  go to Cousin’s Paintball Long Island in Calverton. They follow strong social distancing guidelines as indicated on their website. When you play paintball, it is better to wear a mask so that you don’t get hit in the face with a paintball, so following Covid precautions is really easy.

     One more place that you could go, even for a date if you wanted, is the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead. It is open everyday from 10am to 4pm with social distancing guidelines outlined on their website. Their Facebook page is regularly updated with events as well, including trivia nights and dinners. 

    So next time someone asks you what there is to do around here, don’t automatically respond with nothing. Even though Covid has caused shutdowns and forces us to stay home for many reasons, there are many businesses that have found ways to stay open and provide customers with some needed distractions from the “new normal.”