COVID-19 has significantly limited dining options across campus, leaving the Union almost deserted and Norman restaurants at lower seating capacities.
Luckily, OU’s campus offers a variety of COVID-19-friendly alternatives where students can congregate in smaller groups. Here is a list of outdoor locations to enjoy takeout or a meal from home.
Situated to the right of the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication on a patch of grass is a smattering of picnic tables. Enjoy catching some rays and people-watching from this spot, which overlooks the South Oval.
Tables allow for about four people to sit while remaining socially distanced.
The South Oval
Vibrant flower beds and a 360-degree view of campus makes the wide strip of grass on the South Oval a perfect place for picnics.
All you need to bring is a blanket and a basket or lunch box — depending on how fancy you want to get. Just make sure to keep your mask handy and try not to get too close to other picnic-goers!
The Duck Pond
If you are looking for a more natural environment, head over to the Duck Pond.
This location is 403 E. Brooks St. — across from Callaway House Apartments — offering commuter pass parking if you don’t feel like walking. There are picnic tables if you are hoping to study while you eat and places to picnic near the pond if you want to dine with the ducks.
It is also a great place to watch the sunset!
If you don’t feel comfortable eating your Chick-fil-A inside the Union, there is a set of tables outside of the east entrance.
The location is hidden away from the usually crowded campus, offering tables that seat about three to four people. Chairs are currently not marked to encourage social distancing, so be cautious if you choose to eat here.
Adjacent to the clock tower are a few sun-soaked tables, enclosed by foliage.
This location is extremely scenic and a great spot to eat when the weather is nice. As long as you don’t walk under the clock tower while traveling to this location, you should be safe to eat there.
The Walker-Adams Mall
Instead of eating your meal inside your dorm room, try taking food out to one of the tables on the Walker-Adams Mall.
This location is close to Raising Cane’s, Cate Restaurants and the Couch Restaurants, and it is a great place for impromptu gatherings. Once you're done with your meal, you can enjoy a quick swing before you return to class.