Although we’re all social distancing physically, as humans we need to stay connected emotionally. Try out some of these ways to stay connected.
- Visit this page regularly or follow us on Facebook for new updates and ideas to keep you and your loved ones active, connected, and informed.
- Tag us in your posts and use the hashtag #SMTXRecTheCurve to share how you’re staying active and connected at home! We may be isolated, but we aren’t alone.
- For information on parks/facility closures and what activities/programs have been suspended visit our Parks & Recreation COVID-19 Info page.
The City of San Marcos Parks and Recreation Department is offering wellness checks to anyone 60+ who would like to be called during the stay-at-home order issued by Hays County. If you or someone you know would like a social wellness check, call 512.393.8412 and leave the name and phone number of the person to be added to the phone list.
For All Ages
The San Marcos Public Library has created a COVID-19 Resource Guide for our community. In it you can find general information and resources, as well as specific information about health, food, schools, and nonprofit organizations.
Food Resource Guide created by Alma’s Light - local food resources
Serve San Marcos has a listing of ways you can help out local non-profits.
School of San Marcos
Learn about all things uniquely San Marcos - science, art, & history.
COVID-19 Time Capsule
Print out this time capsule workbook and have your children fill out the pages so their future selves can look back on this time. There is even a page for parents to write a letter to their child. The time capsule was created by graphic designer and mother, Natalie Long, who has generously offered this worksheet packet for free download.
Connecting with Others
- 📱 Call or FaceTime a friend or relative you haven’t spoken to in a while to check in.
- 💌 Write a letter.
- 🍕🍔🥡 Support a local restaurant - Many restaurants are still open for take out or delivery orders. Support your favorite joints and order food for pick up or try out a food delivery service and have it brought to you.
- Adopt a nursing home - send emails or letters to residents of nursing homes.
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep. Make time to unwind.
- Take care of your mental health.
- Yale University: Free Courses on Happiness and Wellbeing
- Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
- 📚 Join the San Marcos Public Library’s Virtual Book Club.
Exercise your Brain 🧠
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Visit the San Marcos Virtual Library - The library has tons of free ebooks ready for your enjoyment.
- Work on Mindfulness - Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. Practicing mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress.
50+ Virtual Activities - visit our page for virtual activities for ages 50 and better.
For the Kids (or kids at heart)
Connecting with Others
- Hold a virtual play date through FaceTime.
- 📮📬 Teach a young person how to write and send a letter.
- Bedtime stories with Dolly Parton.
- 🌎🚀Story Time From Space - Videos of astronauts reading children’s books.
- Overcoming Obstacles - Life skills curriculum for students in grades K-12. Their resources include strategies for teaching social and emotional skills.
Visual and Performing Arts
- 🎶 Live stream local bands.
- 🎥 Watch movies/shows filmed in San Marcos.
- The Social Distancing Festival
- Daily Doodle lessons by Mo Willems.
- FreeKidsCrafts - Lots of categories of idea, templates and print outs.
- Crafts by Amanda - Free arts and crafts ideas
- Online digital coloring pages at www.thecolor.com.
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art - A wonderful, endlessly detailed way to get kids engaged in the world of art.
- Artsology - Helps kids learn to appreciate the arts by providing them with the opportunity to play games, conduct investigations, and explore different forms of art.
- Kids Think Design - Explores careers in fashion design, graphic design, interior design, book design, product design, film and theatre, architecture, animation, and environmental design.
- Cooking school
- 🥪 Healthy Eating - US Department of Health and Human Services guide for healthy eating.
Nature and Virtual Travel
- Virtual tours on our 50+ page
- Texas State Park Virtual Activities
- Gain new skills with the Texas Buffalo Soldiers by joining special workshops via Facebook Live, such as "Tracks and Trails," "Knowledge Is Power" and more.
- Join us for a series of more than 30 online Texas Outdoor Family programs throughout the rest of April, as rangers teach a variety of skills like tent setups, camp cooking, photography and fishing. Programming builds toward a statewide #TexasOutdoorFamilyCampIn on May 2.
- Many individual state parks are also sharing virtual programs. Check them out if you are looking for more outdoor knowledge!
- Get your hands dirty: You could have a yard, a patio, or even just a window sill and still be able to plant something this spring.
- Try these tips from Cornell’s “eBird” portal on wildlife watching from home.
- Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine’s blog offers a new Virtual Wanderlist each week with links to fascinating wildlife live streams, virtual tours of parks, museums and zoos, and distance learning. They’ve also put together resources like 12 Ways to Have Fun Today with Homebound Kids.
- Use these coloring books, journals and more to keep your state parks connections strong and your kids learning about nature:
- Take a virtual train ride.
- 🧜♀️ Take a virtual tour of the Mermaid March, the mermaid statues around San Marcos.
- 🎨 Take a virtual tour of the murals and sculptures in San Marcos.
- The Meadow’s Center for Water and the Environment’s Facebook page has Creature Feature videos and other educational material.
- 🌦 Albert’s Weather Classroom - KVUE news weather related learning.
- 🧠 Watch The Brain Scoop for hours of natural history fun and wonder. Hosted by the Field Museum’s Chief Curiosity Correspondent, Emily Graslie.
- 🤓 Peruse the Field Museum Blog, which digs deep into their science stories.
- 📲 Check out the Field Museum’s Facebook videos for Lives with our scientists, behind-the-scenes looks at the Museum, and more.
- Bring the Houston Museum of Natural Science home to you! Activities, tours, and videos including ones from their giant screen.
- Google Earth - Take a Virtual Vacation or explore the world! Use Street View to see places like you’re actually there.
- 🦈Monterey Bay Aquarium - Head to the Aquarium through their live stream.
- Virtual Museum Tours - Visit museums around the world through their virtual tours.
- San Diego Zoo - Check out their live animal cams and videos.
- The Environmental Nature Center - Educational videos geared towards school-aged children.
- 🐠 Aquarium of the Pacific - A collection of webinars, live-cam footage and classes for all ages.
- Nat Geo Kids - Learn about geography and animals from National Geographic.
- National Park Tours - Virtual tour of National Parks
- 🌱Gardening - Guide to gardening for kids
- Smithsonian Zoos and Museums - No need to travel to one of the Smithsonian’s zoos or museums — this website brings your child everything from live video of the National Zoo to the Smithsonian Learning Lab right to your screen.
- Virtual School Activities - Collection of links to virtual field trips.
- 🌌 Visit Mars - Actual footage shot by NASA’s Curiosity rover.
Just for Fun
- 🦕 Feeling a little lonely? Chat with Máximo, the world’s largest dinosaur.
- 📸 Photography Classes with Nikon - free for the month of April.
- Crafts for Senior Citizens
- Go behind the scenes with Disney Imagineers
- All Kids Network - Crafts, activities, mazes, dot to dot, etc.
- Highlights Kids - Fun games, recipes, crafts, activities.
- Maker Stations - 3 Free Weeks of Maker Stations to keep your children creating at home! Each challenge includes simple instructions using materials around the house, QR code video resources, and a student recording sheet.
- 🥧 Nomster Chef - Illustrated recipes designed to help kids age 2-12 cook with their grown-ups. Recipes encourage culinary skills, literacy, math, and science.
STEM and Educational Resources 🎓
- Eco Academy (PDF) - TDS provides curriculum and educational materials to staff and administrators, as well as students, instructing them how to recycle and divert waste, while teaching them why it’s important.
- The Thinkery has a great at home resource center for STEAM related fun!
- Explore the Field Museum’s learning resources, available for pre-K through high school students. They’re easily filtered by topic, grade, resource type, and language.
- 150 Educational Shows on Netflix
- 🐎Make a paper horse that walks.
- Scholastic Learn at Home
- Bed Time Math - Math as a fun part of your daily family routine.
- ECB - Games to get "into the book".
- Conjuguemos - Vocabulary, grammar, listening activities and games in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Korean, and Latin.
- Instructables - 3D printing projects and Coding projects, involving math and other K-12 subjects
- Science Spot - Science projects that can be completed with or without Internet access
- 🔬 The Happy Scientist - Just explore, have fun, and learn some science along the way.
- Climate Kids - This NASA initiative covers a wide range of topics including weather, climate, atmosphere, water, energy, plants, and animals.
- PBS Learning- PreK-12 digital media service with more than 30,000 learning materials
- Quizlet - For students to practice and master whatever they are learning.
- Brainscape - Offers over a million flashcard decks for every subject, entrance exam, and certification imaginable.
- 💸 Banzai - Exposes students to real-world financial dilemmas to teach them the importance of smart money management.
- A Better Way to Homeschool - A quick start resource to help families pull together a plan for surviving the next 1-2 months at home with their kids, but it can also be a time of slowing down and enjoying kids as they learn. Preschool through 8th grade.
Please note that the City of San Marcos does not endorse, collect payment on behalf of, or receive funds to advertise any of the third party sites or services listed or referenced on this page.