This is not the start to 2022 we envisaged back in the simpler days of November 2021. But that doesn’t mean January is cancelled. While we’re all being a little more cautious when making plans (“make sure you book an outdoor table” is the refrain in group chats across the country), there’s plenty of socially distanced things to do in Adelaide (and its surrounds) this month.

Get into nature

If you’re avoiding public indoor spaces right now, that doesn’t mean you have to hole up at home. Take a stroll through the Botanic Gardens (get a free guided tour to jazz things up), walk one of Adelaide’s nature trails, hit the Hallett Cove boardwalk or take things up a notch with a hike – and a pub visit to hydrate afterwards. Otherwise, grab a bike and a mate and hit one of these five scenic cycling trails, or try your hand at a new skill – from rollerskating to stand-up paddleboarding.

For the less cardio-inclined (me), pack a basket with snacks and rally the crew for an outdoor picnic (here are a nine beautiful spots to lay out your rug, including a garden with one of Australia’s largest fern collections and a colourful sea of rhododendrons), pitch a tent at one of these regional camping sites or roll out a towel at one of these five scenic swimming spots – and if you’re in need of a new beach read to go with it, here are some top recommendations from independent Aussie bookstores.

Support your favourites

As surging omicron cases and close-contact rules decimate rosters across the state, hospitality operators and staff are doing it tough like never before. Not to mention that SA’s current capacity restrictions mean many places can’t turn over enough revenue to make ends meet. So it’s more important than ever to support your local. Order takeaway direct from a restaurant (rather than a third-party delivery service), drink and dine outside (from beer gardens to rooftop bars to curb-side seating, there are plenty of open-air options), and remember to be patient and kind if places are understaffed and understocked.

Openings you might have missed

While you were staying in to avoid being named a close contact before Christmas, a few new eateries and bars snuck in at the close of 2021. There’s a disco-ready burger joint by the Gang Gang crew, with DJs and tropical cocktails; a seafood-centric beachside restaurant from a seasoned team of hospo pros; and a Mediterranean-inspired cocktail bar in the west end. For a refresher on what else opened in 2021, here’s our pick of the best new restaurants, cafes and bars to hit the city and surrounds. Want more dining inspo? We also rounded up team Broadsheet’s favourite food moments of the year.

Open-air movies

Adelaide’s Moonlight Cinema concludes this weekend, but you’ve still got a few days of open-air screenings (this year in Rymill Park/Murlawirrapurka), complete with fresh air, BYO picnics and a Mexican food truck. Catch sci-fi epic Dune, starring Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya and Oscar Isaac; Wes Anderson’s latest, The French Dispatch; a preview screening of Scream 5; or Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Switch off

If you’re back at work and already dreaming of your next holiday, book an off-grid getaway at one of these new regional boutique accommodations. There’s a tiny cabin among gum trees and grapevines in the Fleurieu, a secluded heritage cottage between two SA wine regions, and an off-grid house on the Eyre Peninsula with its own private beach and Lincoln National Park on its doorstep.

While you’re on the road, hit up one of these bakeries for some of SA’s best sourdough, syrupy-centred scrolls and cult-status doughnuts. Or arrive armed with ingredients to cook some of Broadsheet’s most popular recipes of 2021, including an Italian tiramisu exactly how nonna makes it and a life-changing hummus.