Back to campus: Social distance, enjoy Richmond at these 6 outdoor, virtual activities 

Illustration by Catherine Lee

Rebecca Elrod, Contributing Writer

Social distancing in Richmond doesn’t have to mean spending hours in your dorm –– you can still grab some popcorn at the local drive-in, go kayaking in the James River or mountain bike with fellow students.

All of the activities in this guide are virtual or take place outdoors. Follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on how to protect yourself from COVID-19 with measures like social distancing and wearing a mask. 


Outdoor and at-home flicks


The Goochland Drive-In Theater shows double features of the latest movies in addition to classics like “The Empire Strikes Back.” Tickets must be bought online in advance and go on sale every Monday at 7 p.m. 

The theater, which is a 30-minute drive from campus, limits capacity and maintains a 6-foot distance between each car, according to its website. Patrons can also watch from outside of their cars, as long as social distancing is maintained. 

Admission: $20 per vehicle

Address: 4344 Old Fredericksburg Road, Hadensville, Virginia

Hours: Movies run Thursday to Sunday and typically start at 8:20 p.m.



The Byrd Theatre offers a vast selection of movies to stream from home, varying each week. Current films include “Creem,” “H is for Happiness,” “Measure for Measure” and “John Lewis: Good Trouble.” 

Admission: $9.99 or $12 depending on the movie



Exercising in nature


Through VCU’s Outdoor Adventure Program, or OAP, students can explore kayaking, bike tours and rock climbing on weekend day trips. Activities occuring throughout the week include stand-up paddle boarding and mountain biking.

Program coordinators transport gear and equipment to nearby trip locations, and participants are responsible for their own transportation to the site. The OAP can provide bikes if needed. 

Ventures begin near Cary Street Gym at the Outing Rental Center, where coordinators also teach bike maintenance and repair. 

Starting point: 130 S. Linden St. 



Residents can stretch at sunset during Community Yoga at the Maymont Children’s Farm.

Instructor Michelle Lee Landon will be hosting the last installment of this month’s weekly yoga sessions Tuesday at Maymont Park. This is a socially-distanced outdoor event, where masks are not required but are strongly encouraged to be worn before and after the class. Attendees will need to bring their own mat. 

VCU Recreational Sports also hosts weekly yoga classes inside Cary Street Gym and the MCV Campus Recreation Center. For more information, visit the RecSports website.   

Admission: Pay what you can

Address: 2201 Shields Lake Dr. 

Hours: Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 6-7 p.m.


Experience art from home


The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts offers virtual tours for participants to explore exhibits from the comfort of home. Audio-guided tours allow audiences to pick from three art collections for free. “The Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Sunken Cities” explores ancient Egyptian cities, significant religious ceremonies and other aspects of Egyptian society. The narrator explains the meaning of each item in a way that places the listener in ancient Egypt, bringing together the past and the present.



The Institute for Contemporary Art hosts a hotline that allows callers to experience non-visual artistic content like poetry, songs and spoken word. Singers and writers from across the country contributed to the project’s first volume, which is voiced by interdisciplinary artist Autumn Knight.

Free Hotline: 1-844-NOT-Z00M (1-844-668-9006)



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