There’s no avoiding the fact that this holiday season will be a little different compared to what we’re all used to. The coronavirus pandemic has meant that a lot of the traditional activities held to celebrate the holidays will have to be avoided this year. Thankfully, many groups have found ways to make our favorite holiday activities in Athens COVID-friendly.

If you’re living in off-campus housing near Ohio University and want to make sure that you can enjoy this cheerful season to the fullest, then check out some of the recommendations that we outline below. You’ll find a number of fun, COVID-friendly holiday activities that’ll have you enjoying this time of year while staying safe. 

Athens Farmers Market

It’s always fun to spend time at the Athens Farmers Market, but it’s extra enjoyable during the festive period, when there’s an additional dose of jolly atmosphere to enjoy. If you’re looking for a gift for your loved ones, then make sure to get down to the Market on State Mall where you’ll find that there are locally grown and locally made products that highlight all there is to love about Athens, Ohio. 

The farmers market takes place every Saturday from 9 am–12 pm. 

Pop-Up Shop Holiday Bazar

On a similar note, if you want to support small, local businesses this holiday season, be sure to check out the Pop-up Shop Holiday Bazaar, which will be taking place each Saturday until December 20, from 10 am–4 pm. 

The event has been modified to be COVID-safe, but you’ll still get to enjoy all the great products that they have every year. This is an excellent place to get your holiday shopping done or to simply feel the festive spirit

Drivable Holiday Lights Trail

If you love a good holiday light show and want to take a fun road trip, grab the 2020 Drivable Ohio Holiday Lights Trail map. Cities all around the state, including Columbus and Zanesville, all have different Holiday light shows going on through the end of the year, depending on location.

Meet Santa

Although it can seem childish to think about going to visit Santa as a college student, there are a few community events that will allow you to “meet and greet” Santa Clause from a safe distance. Don’t be shy; after a crazy year like this one, feeling like a kid again is sure to put a smile on your face!

On December 19 from 12 pm–2pm at the Fairfield by Marriott in Athens at Santa’s Drive Thru Adventure, there will be a contactless Santa meet and greet and opportunity for you to drop off a letter written to Santa. You might even get a free goodie bag!

On December 12 from 10 am–12pm, the Diles Hearing Center is putting on a Safe Santa Event. They will be accepting donations for the Athens County Children’s Services Santa Tree Project but encourage donations only if you’re able. Santa will be in a room with multiple windows, and guests will take turns stepping out of their cars to take pictures with Santa through the windows.

Horse Drawn Wagon Ride

You can take a free wagon ride thanks to John Hutchison Horse Drawn Wagon & Carriage Service LLC. You will see him on Court Street on December 18 from 6 pm–8 pm and December 13 and 20 from 11 am–1 pm.

Christmas Tree Farm

John Hutchison’s Christmas Tree Farm is also up and running. If you make it out to Vinton County Rd 4 on December 13 between 1pm–5 pm, Hutchison will take you on a horse drawn wagon ride through the trees so you can pick and cut your own Christmas tree.

The farm is open 24/7 and operates on the honor system when there are no employees to collect payment for your tree. Just remember—you aren’t allowed to drive through the trees!

Virtual Mini Workshops

The Dairy Barn Arts Center will be holding holiday-themed craft workshops on December 12 and December 17 from 5:30 pm–7:30 pm. You can register online, and you will have to pick up a material kit from the barn before your workshop begins.

There you have it! The pandemic has changed many things about the holiday season, but as you can see it’s still possible to have plenty of fun this year at COVID-friendly holiday activities that have been carefully organized.

Contact us at Wharton Rentals today to get set up in a cozy off-campus apartment this winter.

Wharton Rentals is committed to making the off-campus living experience a positive one for college students in Athens, Ohio.

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