Summer is a magical time of year; the flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and everything is fresh and green.
When your family and friends get together, give one or more of these activities a try. Whether it’s a weekend adventure or something close to home, the sunny days ahead just can’t be beat.
#1 – Explore a New Campsite
Any weekend is great for camping, but it’s fantastic on long 3-day spans like the 4th of July weekend. Choose a spot at a state or national park you haven’t explored yet, and make sure you check early for availability. Better yet, get a few families or groups of friends together for a summer camp-style getaway. For many, it’s a tradition!
#2 – Go Fish
Warmer temps beckon anglers, but the whole family will enjoy a fishing expedition. Kids’ poles are readily available, but your youngest can use a cane pole or even a long stick with line and hook attached. Make sure children wear life vests for safety and plenty of sunscreen. If you catch enough fish, cook them over an open fire in the evening.
#3 – Light up the Grill
Grilled hot dogs and hamburgers are a must, but don’t ignore the many other talents the grill can offer. Warm morning pastries in foil or keep a metal pot of coffee warm. For snacks, skewer meats and veggies on small sticks for kabobs. Heat chocolate to pour on ice cream or for coating fresh strawberries and pineapple pieces. In the evening, make s’mores.
#4 – Attend a Parade
Memorial Day and 4th of July parades are so much fun, and the perfect way to honor those who have served our country. Enjoy the entertainment and crowds of fellow Americans.
#5 – Enjoy Live Music
Warm weather kicks off the first of many outdoor festivals, and many cities offer free music events, concerts in the park, etc. There’s nothing like enjoying live music while you’re sitting on the grass with a cool drink.
#6 – Go Nautical
If you have a boat or know someone with one, it’s a fantastic place to spend a day (or weekend). If not, rent some jet skis, wakeboard, kayak, canoe, or an inner tube and get out on the water.
#7 – Have a Friendly Competition
Large families or groups of friends can have a ton of fun with competitive sports. Use a court at a local park, divvy up into teams, pick a name, and let the games begin. If you have fewer people, try doubles tennis or even dodgeball.
#8 – Lawn Games
Having a relaxing barbecue? Spice things up with a game of musical chairs. Make it fun with a variety of seating: lounge chairs, benches, tree stumps, etc. You could also play tag, capture the flag, bocce ball, or hide and seek.
#9 – Water Games
When the sun gets high and the day becomes hot, water games are the entertaining way to cool down. Try one of the following:
- Squirt gun fights: the summer equivalent of snowball fights.
- Water balloon battles. Have at least 10 balloons for each player, and use different colors if you’re on teams. If you play as individuals, offer a prize for the person who remains dry the longest.
#10 – Hop on a Bike
Whether you own one or rent, a bike is an inexpensive and eco-friendly way to savor the long summer days. Cruise on an easy paved bike trail or go on a mountain biking adventure — and don’t forget to pack a picnic.
#11 – Candid Camera
Whether you’re into breathtaking landscapes, abstract compositions, or simply capturing life as it happens, the world takes on a brand new view in the summer. Whether you’re solo or with a group, grab your camera and get snapping! Share your favorite shots later by the campfire or with family and friends through social media.
#12 – Check out a Farmer’s Market
Many local growers will be selling their produce, and be sure to check out the fresh lemonade, kettle corn, and other delicious treats. Take your finds back home and grill up some fresh veggie skewers.
#13 – Plant a Garden
If you want to keep things low-key, gardening is a relaxing activity. Why not plant a few vegetables for upcoming meals or add a few varieties of flowers to grace your kitchen table?
Above all, enjoy the season in the way that suits you best – and don’t be shy about trying something you’ve never done before!