Five social-distance-friendly activities that don’t suck!


Photo: Jakob Menendez

One lone onlooker sitting in the lifeguard chair at Constitution Beach, watching planes take off and land at Logan Airport.

By Jakob Menendez and Diti Kohli

Welcome to a semester at Emerson with no dorm parties, shows, or sporting events. While the pandemic has thrown the traditional “college experience” out the window, Boston still offers plenty of outdoor activities that are safe to do during this time. The Beacon Magazine compiled some alternate options for your weekend to-do list.

Disclaimer: Take care of yourself and others by wearing masks, social distancing, and frequently washing your hands while going out (or staying in). And carrying around your own mini bottles of hand sanitizer never hurt anyone.

Go to the ICA! – Located right on the water at the Seaport, the Institute of Contemporary Art houses one floor of modern sculptures and paintings and picturesque views of East Boston, Charlestown, and the airport. Plus, admission is free for all Emerson students.

Get out of the city! – Oh the wonders of the commuter rail! The high-speed line can take you to key spots miles from the city, like Salem (yes THAT Salem), Rockport, Plymouth, Walden Pond, or Manchester-by-the-Sea (yes, the one in the movie). Traveling on a Saturday or Sunday? Weekend passes are only $10 for unlimited rides.

Get to the Beach! – Some beaches in the city are still danger zones, packed with people, like M Street Beach, for example. But a couple quiet spots, like Constitution or Revere Beach in East Boston, could be the sandy retreat you’re looking for. If you want a full-on beach day, consider taking the commuter rail out to Nahant and dive into blue waters there.

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Buy a book from the Brattle! – The famed outdoor section of the downtown bookshop is a staple on social media, so it’s become a bit cliche. Still, the carts of cheap books (some as low as $1) make it worthwhile.

Go on a mural tour! – In July, artists ProBlack and Rob Stull created a map of prominent public art in Boston, with the help of the Museum of Fine Arts. The guide features 24 murals scattered through the city. It’s available at

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