coronavirus

Parents and Kids Figuring Out What to Do This Summer

NBC Universal, Inc.

With Fourth of July fireworks, summer camps and community carnivals already starting to be cancelled throughout Massachusetts this summer, parents are faced with the prospect of getting creative to find something to keep their already-cooped-up kids entertained.

"It's a little scary, just trying to make sure we have plenty of things to do at home, canceling a lot of our vacation plans for the summer," said Anna Sinkus of Sutton.

"You almost have to act like a child because they have nobody to play with," said Rob Dearborn of Whitinsville.

"We camp seasonally, so as a family, it's a little heartbreaking," said Stacie Holmes, also of Whitinsville. "We might not be able to have the beach, there will be no arcade, it's kind of like we have to figure out what we're doing."

Figuring out what to do to stay in business, while keeping customers and staff safe, led Whitinsville's West End Creamery to open more than a month later than normal.

"Normally, at this point in our season, we'd be open for our ice cream, miniature golf and our barnyard jump," General Manager Mikaela Vandenakker said. "We're just doing our ice cream right now. We're doing it as a drive-thru process instead of having people walk up to our windows."

But birthday and bounce parties are canceled for the foreseeable future.

"I miss my friends," said Whitinsville first grader Ainsley Weihn. "I'm, like, really close to them."

And plans for a socially distant corn maze are proving tricky.

"It is very difficult," Vandenakker said. "We only have a certain amount of months that we make all our money on to survive the winter time."

So while we wait to see what happens this summer, many families are taking 7-year-old Weihn's advice.

"I mean, you can go outside and play," Ainsley said matter-of-factly.

West End Creamery and other seasonal businesses like them are hoping they'll be able to reopen gradually with restrictions so they don't lose the entire summer season.

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