Even in such a strange, normality-disrupted time, creative people are making lemonade out of the big, fat lemon that is 2020 — as small events are popping up across the state to help distract us from the pandemic.

At still-young Rosabianca Vineyards in rural Northford (North Branford), they’re making wine from homegrown and California grapes and accompanying the vino with comedy, art and picnics in their country setting.

A comedy night July 16 sold out, although with all the COVID restrictions requiring distancing and keeping parties to five or less, there’s not a huge capacity. (Next comedy night is Aug. 13.)

Painting classes at the winery are also sold out in July and August at the 1536 Middletown Ave. location, but more dates may be added, so check their website, rosabiancavineyards.com, said the winery’s Lisa Rosabianca.

The winery also has pizza every Friday and Saturday and Sunday via rotating food trucks, she said. Typical hours are Friday, 4-8 p.m., Saturday 12-7 and Sunday 12-5.

For a scenic drive on a weekend or off day, check out Priam Vineyards at 11 Shailor Hill Road off Route 149 in Colchester (northeast of Moodus). They have a Friday night unWINEd Concert series in the vineyard from 6-9 p.m. and food such as oysters and shrimp or the occasional pizza truck. Standard COVID safety rules are in place, of course, so have a mask for arriving and exiting.

Picnic baskets are also welcome but not outside beverages. Tents and picnic tables are available, but bring your own blankets or folding chairs for lawn seating. Concert tickets are $14 in advance and $16 at the gate. Kids under 12 are free. Order advance tickets online at: priam-vineyards.com.

The Friday, July 24, band is the groove, rock and blues crew called Mixed Singles (with Tacos La Rosa Food Truck). Friday, July 31, will be the Nightshift band (1960s to 1980s music, with Pizza Pixie Food Truck). Hours 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday (but 5 p.m. on music nights).

Priam Vineyards is on the Connecticut Wine Trail and is a completely solar-powered winery and sustainable vineyard in the Salmon River Watershed area, and has been declared a nature conservation area by the World Wildlife Federation. It’s also the first winery in New England to be Vegan Certified by the BevVeg organization.

Out at Foxwoods, the drive-in show will turn to Disney flicks Thursday-Sunday, July 23-26, with “Frozen,” “The Lion King,” “Aladdin” and “Dumbo.”

And Oakdale Theatre may be silent on the live music front but it’s doing what it hasn’t shut its property down completely. The theater’s lot has hosted several successful community events, including drive-in graduations for Wallingford high schools Lyman Hall and Sheehan, and the Meals Masks and Music Food Drive in mid-June, which collected 10,500 pounds of food for the CT Food Bank and distributed over 1,000 masks said an official.

And the theater at this writing was planning another Pets, Masks & Music drive for Wednesday, July 22. The 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. event will collect pet supplies, dog food, cat food, leashes, collars, treats, toys, bird seed or a monetary donation for local shelters and animal advocates, set to music as you drive through.

Michael Andrews, general manager of Toyota Oakdale, said in an email, “It feels good to give back to the region that has supported us at Oakdale for over 60 years. We are in the business of entertaining, and we can’t do that right now — so instead , we will look to explore efforts to entertain in other ways — through community efforts like these.”

Connecticut Media Group