We can all agree the world is a very different place right now with the ongoing threat of COVID-19.

During these uncertain times, we encourage you to remain positive as things will improve if we continue to listen carefully, follow the rules and minimise your risk by staying at home as much as you can, while still maintaining some level of sanity.

So, with Easter and school holidays upon us, we thought we would share with you 10 ideas you can do safely while still supporting your local businesses.

FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

1. CAMP AT HOME: It’s a great Aussie tradition to go camping over the Easter period with the whole family at their regular holiday spot. Why not still treat the family to this experience and pitch a tent in your own backyard?

The Caravan Industry Association of Australia (CIAA) has launched the ‘Camp at Home heroes’ campaign to inspire you to think outside the box. Visit the Let’s Go Caravan and Camping Facebook page for more on how you can join in the fun: https://bit.ly/3bFHru2

2. CAMP FOOD AND DRINK: Let’s be honest, it’s not camping without marshmallows, meat for the BBQ and your favourite alcoholic bevvie. While supermarkets are open, why not get creative and order takeaway or delivery instead. There are even a few places in Maitland delivering drinks to your door! Check out our takeaway and delivery section here.

3. FARM FRESH: get your hands on the freshest produce direct from the farmer. Pick up your supplies then get the whole family cooking a meal together at home. Find out where to secure the freshest local produce on Slow Food Hunter Valley and Organic Feast’s Facebook pages.

4. GROW AS A FAMILY: it’s time to grow your library… of seeds! You can now borrow seeds to grow your own vegetables and in return preserve seeds for the future. ‘Click & Collect’ seed varieties such as carrot, turnip, pea, garlic and beetroot and swede from your nominated Maitland City Library branch. For more information visit maitlandlibrary.com.au

FOR THE KIDS

5. KEEP THE KIDS BUSY: Maitland Gaol may have locked the gates, but have reworked some of their usual children’s activities to create some fun online resources. Make some real butter, liquid hand soap or download the app and explore the site from inside your own four walls. Check out Snitch’s spot here.

6. GET CREATIVE: Even though their doors have been closed at our very own Maitland Regional Art Gallery (affectionately known as MRAG), staff have been working hard to provide you with new digital experiences from mrag.org.au and via Facebook and Instagram.

Join in virtual tours of exhibitions, insights into the City’s incredible art collection and creative content for all ages.

Our independent galleries are also going virtual so make sure you follow them on social media.

FOR THE ADULTS

7. VIRTUAL COFFEE CATCH UP: The universe might be forcing us to slow down but it’s times like this where family and friends grow closer. Grab a takeaway coffee from your local then set up a virtual picnic in your backyard to enjoy and connect. Find out if your local is offering takeaway here.

8. SANE & SAFE: Cabin fever is real so we encourage you to stay sane and safe by walking around your local suburb.

9. OUT OF THE BOX: Are you missing sharing good wine with good friends? Maitland’s award winning boutique vineyard Tranquil Vale has been thinking outside the box and come up with an innovative way to continue to enjoy their products through a virtual wine tasting experience. Grab your mates and do a virtual wine tasting from the comfort of your lounge. To find out more click here.

10. #MYMAITLAND: we encourage you all to share your ‘holiday at home’ snaps on our socials.

If a positive can be taken out of this, there is time to reflect, set new goals and reconnect with family and friends virtually to support each other through these unusual times. We hope the above options will help break up the daily routine and adds some elements of fun to your Maitland days.