- May 26, 2009 at 3:49 pm #273699
I got this in an e-mail today and thought you might like to see these ideas too!
Even if money is tight, there are still plenty of ways to have an exciting summer. In fact, the best summer memories are often made up of small, simple pleasures. When the heat’s on, don’t sweat the big stuff.
Take time to sip lemonade, read a good book, and enjoy the beauty of nature.
1. Take a Hike
Being outdoors is like owning a pet – there’s just something healthy about it. It feels great to get back to nature, so while the weather is nice, why not explore some of the wonderful parks, trails, and reserves near your home? Bring a magnifying glass and pair of binoculars for a closer look at insects, birds, and other wildlife.
2. Read a Biography
Books are an easy vacation you can fit under your arm. They are distractions our tired brains love, and there are few things as gripping as a good biography. Many people throughout history have lived lives of achievement and inspiration.
So bring a blanket and find some shady trees – they were made for reading good books.
3. Make Real Lemonade
Summer just doesn’t seem like summer until you’ve had a nice cool glass of real lemonade. Try this recipe:
Peel three fat lemons. Cut them into smaller pieces. Drop the pieces into a blender with 1-1/2 cups of sugar and 1-1/2 cups of water.
Use the blender to chop until coarse, then strain into a pitcher. Add ice cubes. Adjust as needed.
4. Host a Neighborhood Block Party
Summer is always a season of change, meaning at least one new family will move into the neighborhood. So why not host a potluck block party and give everyone a chance to get to know one another better? You can oftentimes obtain a special permit from your city that allows you to block off the street.
5. Go on a Field Trip
Remember the time you were reading about the art museum that wasn’t far from your home? Summer is the perfect time to explore all that your community has to offer. How about visiting an aquarium, aviary, or zoo?
Or try your state capitol building.
6. Sleep Outside
Most of us have fallen asleep outdoors a few times in our lives, or at least slept with the window open. Brigham Young once said that summers were meant for sleeping outdoors, and that the fresh air does the mind good. So take a trip back to your school days and enjoy sleeping under the stars.
7. Go to a “Dive-in” Movie
Sometimes you need to take a break from the sticky summer night heat. One great way to spend a summer evening is cooling off while watching a good movie. Many water parks show movies on giant screens while people relax in the pool.
Can’t find any in your area? Opt for a matinee. A nice cold soda and a dark, cool theater can provide a much-needed break from the hot summer sun.
8. Take a Dip
Studies show that 86 percent of all the swimming you’ll do in your life is completed before you’re twenty years old. And most of that was done in the summer. Make this the summer of swim.
Visit the community pool, or better yet, take a trip to the ocean or a nearby lake. You can do some beachcombing or fishing while you’re there!
9. Have a Yard Sale
Yard sales are a great way to get organized and cleaned up before the school year starts. Get your kids involved and let them earn some money. They may not want to give away some of their toys, but they might be interested in selling them.
Have a yard sale – and don’t forget to sell some of that good lemonade.
10. Eat Homemade Ice Cream at Sunset
Making ice cream is one of the crowning events of any summer – eating it while watching a beautiful sunset makes it even more special. This event needs to be planned and executed as though your summer depends on it. Go all out – get berries, cones, and whipped cream to dress up simpler flavors, which are easier to make and tend to turn out better than complicated flavors.
Make it a fun time you’ll always remember.
11. Attend a Concert in the Park
Many cities host a series of free concerts during the summer months, often with a wide variety of music from Celtic to bluegrass to classical. So grab a blanket or a lawn chair, pack a picnic, and sit back and enjoy!
12. Go Horseback Riding
Most people don’t have the chance to ride horses very often, so saddle up and go on a mini adventure. Even if you’re not an experienced rider, there are many businesses that can accommodate beginners. This will be great for kids, too, who tend to enjoy close contact with animals.
13. Visit an Amusement Park
If horseback riding isn’t your style, you can always opt for a horse on carousel. Most amusement parks have something for everyone to enjoy. Even if you’d rather not take a spin on the roller coaster, there is sure to be dancing, singing, or some kind of entertainment for you to enjoy.
14. Attend a Festival
During the summer months, festivals are everywhere. So grab the kids and spend the day learning about the food, crafts, history, music, and dance of another culture. From Greek to Scottish to Polynesian, you’re sure to find a great cultural event to attend.
Check your local paper for dates and details.
15. Shop at a Farmers’ Market
Local farmers’ markets are overflowing with fresh, delicious fruits and vegetables. In summer, you’re sure to find perfectly ripened tomatoes, sugar-sweet corn, and delicious watermelon. Go to localharvest.org or farmersmarket.com to find a farmers’ market near you.
16. Pick Fresh Fruit
You can also enjoy the bounty of summer by going to the farm yourself to gather juicy strawberries or plump blueberries right from the field. Later in the season, try picking peaches or apples from a local orchard. Check pickyourown.org to see if there is a kid-friendly farm in your area.
17. Clean Up a Park
With the kids out of school, it is often hard to keep them busy with productive, meaningful projects. So grab some gloves, some garbage bags, and a rake and head to your neighborhood park. After you finish cleaning up, let the kids spend some time at the park to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
18. Build a Fort
Kids love to have a special place of their own. Let them drape sheets and blankets over some tables, chairs, and piles of couch cushions for a few days, or round up some scrap lumber and cardboard boxes for the perfect outdoor escape.
19. Attend a State or County Fair
A great event for the whole family, local fairs usually have carnival rides, games, food, entertainment, competitions, crafts, and displays. It’s the perfect way to celebrate your local culture.
20. Go Stargazing
Warm summer nights are perfect for stargazing. You can make it as simple as admiring the stars in the night sky, or, with a little planning, you can catch meteor showers, locate constellations, and even find out when other planets will be visible. Find a secluded area near your house that has less light pollution so you can enjoy the full glory of the night sky.
Go to stardate.org for lots of tips and a weekly calendar of celestial events.
21. Complete a Triathlon
Races are popular and common in the summer, and the days are long enough to give you ample time to prepare. Find a “sprint” triathlon, a form of triathlon that typically includes shorter, more achievable distances for novice racers. Your whole family can participate in the training, making it a summer of health.
It can also bring you closer together as you all work towards a common goal! If you can’t race, find out how you can assist with one.
LDS Living, May/June 2009; Photo by Sebastian Danon
- May 29, 2009 at 3:04 am #422125
Thanks, I think we will do a few of these. Just this afternoon I was thinking about taking our telescope (freebie from DH service award) that we have yet to use, out to the park and having a moonlight picnic (beer & a few snacks) before the mosquitos come out.
- June 5, 2010 at 6:07 pm #428196
This was just the sort of thing I came here looking for today! Classic info!
- June 6, 2010 at 6:31 pm #428203
Thanks! I’m making the lemonade without a doubt! It sounds Yummy!
*This Summer I’ll be yard saling for things for my DS2’s log cabin room redo. I already bought some paint off the $5 rack of Home Depot. I bought curtains, a blanket, some pictures & decor already for deep discount, or at GoodWill.
I found a corner desk set out for the trash. Score! He’s been wanting this for so long and I’ve finally gathered enough together after a year and a half to start this room redo.
The yard sales will just add the finishing touches.
*I’m going to freshen our bedroom. I’ve already started decluttering, and plan to get rid of everything that makes the room feel crowed. I’m going to rearrange the furniture, and replace the bed skirt and curtains with ones I have stored away.
I’m also going to move pictures from the living room to hang in the bedroom.
*I plan on making lots of homemade ice cream. I’ve got a great new recipe that uses milk powder and peaches.
*We’ll go to the fair to see fireworks.
*DS1 and I will go to the free family movies every Tues & Thurs. morning at a local theater
*We also are going to do playdates at a friend’s house who has a pool.
- June 6, 2010 at 6:45 pm #428205
Oh what fun! It doesn’t have to cost an arm and leg to have fun, just takes a little imagination! And your your case a little time to bring it all together!
Stay safe and have fun!
- June 6, 2010 at 8:40 pm #428210
Thanks Cherlyynn, You’re right it doesn’t cost an arm and leg to have fun and enjoy the Summer. I figure we could mope about not getting to go on vacation and waste the Summer away feeling sorry for ourselves or we could do something productive and enjoy time with friends and family!
I can’t wait for lemons to go on sale so I can try the lemonade recipe. It’s so hot today it sure would be great right now!
- June 6, 2010 at 9:54 pm #428211
Did you know you can freeze Lemons? When they are on sale I nab as many bags as I can and shove them in the freezer. If I need lemon zest, running a fine grater over a frozen lemon gets me all I need quickly.
Want fresh lemon juice, grab the lemons out of the freezer and let them sit a little bit then cut them in half and juice them. I still have a few bags of lemons and limes in the freezer. Hope they last until the next big sale!
- June 7, 2010 at 5:26 am #428216
Get Out! Oh I’m so going to do that! Thanks!