FARMINGTON — With schools canceled amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, children will be spending most of their time at home and health officials are urging people to practice social distancing.

That means avoiding crowded places. Many of the popular places to take children during school breaks have closed due to concerns with the spread of the coronavirus known as COVID-19.

Here are five things you can do to keep your family entertained while practicing social distancing.

1. Go fishing

San Juan County has plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities for you and your family to enjoy. The open space means you can avoid close contact with other people. New Mexico has announced its state parks will remain open for day use, although camping will not be allowed. That means you can still take your family to fish the quality waters of the San Juan River. Aztec's Tiger Park and Riverside Park as well as Lake Farmington also remain open and have been stocked with trout.

2. Hit the trails

If fishing isn't your thing, you can check out the many trails around the county. The trails provide opportunities for hiking, mountain biking and off-highway vehicles. All of those options are available in the Glade Run Recreation Area, where children can also climb on rocks and explore.

Mountain bicyclists can also check out the Alien Run and Mountain View trail systems in the Aztec area. 

Riverside Nature Center in Farmington is one of the city-run facilities that is remaining open. Families can visit the nature center to watch birds and feed the ducks.

3. Read books

While the public libraries have canceled upcoming library activities and events, Farmington, Aztec and Bloomfield public libraries remain open for people to check out materials. This includes books, audio books and even movies. The libraries are also available for people who need to use computers.

4. Experiment with arts, crafts 

Trying to keep children entertained? Set up an area for them to try new arts and crafts. This could be coloring pictures, crafting with polymer clay or even making tie-dye T-shirts. These supplies can be picked up at a variety of arts and crafts stores in Farmington, including Hobby Lobby, or even at stores like Wal-Mart. 

5. Work in your yard or plant seeds 

Growing season is just around the corner and right now is the time to start some seeds indoors. According to the National Climatic Data Center, the last frost for San Juan County will likely be in late April or early May. That means right now is a good time to prepare a garden plot or start certain seeds, like leafy green veggies, inside.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at

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