Summer is getting closer every day, and now is the time to start planning how to enjoy the warmer weather. The funny thing about summer is that at the beginning, it seems like it’s going to last forever. Without thinking, you can find yourself halfway through the summer, though, having nothing to show for it but a high electricity bill from running the air conditioner all day. We’re not saying there’s anything wrong with spending hours relaxing, but there are so many things to do, either alone or with your family, and the longer hours are too precious to waste.
To help you get started as you plan out how to get the most out of summer, we’ve pulled together a few suggestions of things to do:
1. Check out the free summer events put on by your community.
The warm weather makes summer a perfect time for outdoor gatherings. Many cities take the opportunity to host free events in local parks that are family friendly. Local bands and musical ensembles will often perform free concerts. Others will host movie nights, projecting films up onto a big screen after dark. Fireworks displays are common around the 4th of July. Take your family and pack a blanket or a few camping chairs. (Be considerate of people who might be behind you, though, and forego the chairs if you would block their view.)
Check the newspaper to find events going on in your area, or visit your city’s website.
2. Go camping.
There’s nothing quite like setting up a tent and a fire pit and sleeping out in nature. Drive to a camping area within reasonable driving distance of your hometown and enjoy the great outdoors.
Camping comes in a variety of flavors. For some, camping means carrying everything you intend to use on your back and hiking miles before you reach your campsite. For others, it’s a much more “civilized” affair, complete with a trailer that has soft beds and hookups for electricity and plumbing. The great thing is that you can tailor it to fit your own preferences.
For some people, a typical camping trip may be impossible, whether due to proximity to a good camping destination or to having children who are too young for the full camping experience. If you want to camp but can’t take the kids out, consider setting up a campsite in your own backyard. Pitch a tent and set up sleeping bags outside. Tell stories around a fire pit, if you have one available, and roast marshmallows for s’mores. Once it starts to get late, Mom and Dad can even slip back inside with the younger children while the older kids spend the night in the tent.
3. Start a new exercise regimen.
New exercise habits don’t have to wait for the new year. Take advantage of the warmer weather and start a jogging routine. Determine your running goals and set up a course to follow. To keep yourself accountable, invest the help of a personal trainer or find yourself a running buddy. You can keep each other safe and provide company as you run.
4. Go swimming.
It may seem cliché, but there is a reason summer instantly brings visions of the beach to mind. When the temperature rises, one of the best ways to cool off is to jump in the water. Surfing provides a way to cool off and an intense workout at the same time. Even if you don’t want to get in the water, you can lie out a towel and enjoy the sun while reading or napping.
Swimming isn’t only an option for people who live on the coast, though. You can find public pools or even search classified ads for backyard pools for sale in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and other landlocked towns. If your home has a pool, invite friends over for a pool party and a barbecue. Or you can even just take a quiet moment to take off your shoes, roll your pants up, and soak your feet for a while.
5. Plant a garden.
Technically, the planting should actually happen in spring, but once you’ve got your garden going, it will provide you with a project that will continue throughout the entire summer. There’s something satisfying about raising something from a seed or a small plant into healthy vegetables. Depending on what you plant and how much, you may even end up with more food than you can possibly eat on your own. Share any excess with your neighbors and friends. Hopefully, they will appreciate the gift, and you can also use it as a chance to get to know your neighbors better.
Summer is a great time to try things you’ve never done before or revisit some old favorite activities. It’s warm, the days are longer, and in all honesty, sometimes people just seem friendlier in the summertime. However you decide to fill your time, though, make sure not to waste it!