Remember when summer seemed to last forever? Summer vacations from school were the best times ever! We made memories to last a lifetime. Now, my favorite season seems to go away in the blink of an eye. Where does it go?!
Throughout the year, we often have grand plans for what our summer will look like… camping trips, road trips, trips to the beach. As adults, we have tons of responsibilities, and memory-making summer-time fun hits the back burner… hard.
Making the most out of summer doesn’t necessarily mean packing up the car and driving 6 hours away for a long weekend family getaway. If you can do that, totally go for it, but you don’t have to do anything as extravagant. Making the most of summer can include something as simple as eating lunch in the park, or waking up an hour earlier to go for a morning jog.
Don’t let summer slip away this year! Take control of your time. Make a plan for this summer. Seriously, pull out the calendar and mark off some days for FUN! Ditch the TV and unplug from your smartphone. Enjoy the outdoors, make memories, and live an intentional summer!
14 simple ways to make the most of this summer:
1. Be a tourist in your own town
I don’t know about you, but I live in a pretty small town, and yet there are still dozens of local shops and cafes that I still have never been to. Go explore your town and wander like a tourist. Even if you think you have experienced all that your town has to offer, go out and become re-aquanted with the “newness” of it all.
2. Attend happy hour
Sip a drink, order an appetizer and unwind after work on the outdoor patio of one of your favorite restaurants. Invite your co-workers or a friend to join you. The outdoor atmosphere is a nice change-up from the stuffiness of the indoor seating.
3. Visit your local farmer’s market
Have you been to your local farmer’s market lately? Think you’ll find just produce? Think again! They have so much to offer! I’ve picked up things like flowers, cheese, peanut butter, cakes, kumbucha, even beer. I enjoy just walking around to see what people are selling.
4. Host a BBQ
Who doesn’t love a weekend BBQ with friends? Even if your vegan you can still enjoy this tradition. There are so many delicious grilling recipes out there for all kinds of diets. To make it easier on you, go potluck style! Invite your friends, set the mood with some good summer-time jams, bust out the old yard games (giant Jenga anyone?), and enjoy good food with good company.
5. Host a clambake or low country boil
Love seafood?! If you’re a seafood lover, a clambake or low country boil is a classic summer-time experience to be had! It’s certainly a memorable time, and it’s easier than it looks. Throw all of the ingredients in one large steam pot, cook right in your kitchen or outside over a flame, drain the water from the pot and dump the goods right out on a brown paper covered table. For clean-up just roll up the brown paper and toss in the garbage.
6. Float on a tube
Who says you need to have a boat or a pool to enjoy the water?! One of my favorite summer things to do is relax and catch some rays while floating on the lake. Looking for something a little more adventurous? Try tubing down a river… just be aware of the rapids (life vest!).
7. Go for a hike
Hiking is fun, it’s great physical exercise, and it’s great for mental clarity! Hike with a friend or family member, with your dog, or solo. Escape from your life stressors – get out and immerse yourself in nature.
8. Go for a bike ride
Haven’t been on a bike in a while? As John F. Kennedy once said, “Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.” Tour your town or local park on a bicycle. You may just pick up a new (or old) hobby.
9. Eat lunch in the park
Can’t seem to find any time after work or on the weekends to enjoy the summer? Use your lunch break! Enjoy your break time outside and eat lunch in the park. Sometimes it’s just the littlest things in life!
10. Bring your dog to the park for a game of frisbee
Spend some good quality time with your dog in the park this summer. You’ll get exercise, and he/she will too. The both of you might even meet some new friends.
11. Bring your sweetheart to the park for a game of catch or frisbee
Channel your inner-child and enjoy a came of catch or frisbee in the park with someone special. Follow the game with a picnic style lunch.
12. Gather around a campfire
One of my greatest summer-time childhood memories is sitting around my uncle’s campfire telling ghost stories. Something about circling around a campfire with family and friends sharing stories just brings people closer together.
13. Go to the drive-ins
Enjoy a classic date night at the drive-ins. It’s cheaper than going to a regular theater, you have the privacy of being in your own vehicle, and you get to watch a new movie under the stars… what’s not to love?! It’s one of life’s simple pleasures. Just don’t forget the Citonella oil to keep the bugs away!
As kids, most of us were fascinated by space. Reconnect with that sense of wonder and spend an evening stargazing. Maybe it’ll help you see yourself as part of a bigger picture. Choose a night with a clear sky, lay out some blankets, prepare some beverages and snacks, and stare up at the galaxy. As some time goes on, your eyes will adjust to the night sky and more stars will come into view. It definitely will help to have a pair of binoculars or a telescope.
Summer is happening now! Don’t miss it – take every opportunity to go out and enjoy it! It’s good for your body, mind, and soul.