During quarantine, every day felt like a blur to me. With hours upon hours of time on my hands, it was hard to stay occupied and entertained. Though the threat of COVID is still very much present, life is slowly returning to form. Still, the economy needs help. Many local and family owned businesses struggled to deal with pandemic closures and are now trying to recover. Now that we’re getting back to work and school, what can we do during our free time to help our local community bounce back?
1. Going to Local Restaurants or Food Trucks
Want to try something new? Or are you revisiting an old pre-pandemic favorite? This is the way to go, without going that far away from your house. I’d suggest a place like Papa Urb’s Grill on Weber Avenue, it’s a Filipino and American fusion restaurant but unlike most, it actually executes the concept well. It’s a great way to help rebuild the local scene and expand your palate.
2. Visiting a Museum
If you’re a history buff or like interesting facts and tidbits, going to a museum may suit you. When I was younger, I adored the Children’s Museum or Haggin Museum. At a museum, you may find out things you wouldn’t have thought of beforehand about local landmarks or places you see every day, so that the next time you pass by that old building or large tree, you might take a closer look.
3. Going to a Flea Market or Farmer’s Market
If you want to help fellow Stockton residents or local farmers directly, a farmer’s market or flea market is where you want to be. You see exactly where your money goes and who will benefit from it. My mother attended Delta College a while back, and we would frequent the market there in the parking lot. COVID has derailed many people’s way of life, but buying used items at a flea market and fresh produce at a farmer’s market is good for the environment, and your wallet, as well as helping people just like you provide for their families.
4. Volunteer Work/Community Service
This definitely has a lot of benefits and it won’t cost you much. The ongoing pandemic has made homelessness rates rise, as many fall short of paying their bills, get laid off, or get sick. I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum, lending a helping hand as well as being the one in need. During the holiday season is when places like the Emergency Food Bank are more packed. This is a small step, but you never know how much volunteering like this could help the less fortunate. There are many opportunities out there and it’s a chance to do good and meet new people from all walks of life.
5. Going to a Library or Used Bookstore
I know this is a common activity that you’ve seen on every list like this, but I don’t see enough people doing it! Libraries are great! They’re private, quiet, and comforting places in my opinion. Catch up on a book series you never finished, get an old favorite, or finally read those stuffy classics that everyone insists you read. At a used bookstore, you can even buy that book you’ve been eyeing for way cheaper. The best place to go for books, in my opinion, is Stockton Friends of the Library Bookstore. The people there are nice to talk to and the prices are low.
6. Watching A Local Stage Production
It takes a lot of work behind the scenes to create the amazing theater experiences many people have missed during the pandemic. Musicals and plays are both great events to experience. I’ve seen a few Delta College stage shows and I’ve really enjoyed them. I have also met a few people who have performed at the Stockton Civic Theater, and they’re very talented people. Don’t just take my word for it; try something new and see for yourself the talent at work.
When you go out this weekend, there are plenty of options out there for you to choose from. Attending local events and activities can be a great experience, and it’s a great way to give back to your local community.