It’s no secret that that this year has been looking a little different then most. With stay at home orders, social distancing and restricted travel, it’s now so important that we find ways to satisfy our mental health and keep active during these most celebrated months. I wanted to list at least 15 different activities that anyone can do to have some fun this summer and make lasting memories along the way.
1. Picnic In The Park
This may be one of my all time favorite activities to do during the season. Pack your favorite foods, your coziest blanket and plant yourself in one of the best spots in town. Growing up, I remember our mom always taking us to the local park and picking up food for us to sit outdoors with while we watch the ducks treading down the stream and listened to the crickets sing beyond the trees. This summer past time can be done with your children, significant other, or the entire family to bring a little spontaneity to meal time.
2. Drive-In Movie
No, we can’t time travel. But we CAN hop in the car and head out to the local Drive-In movie theater which could be the next best thing. The nostalgia runs deep with this summer activity which I am always here for and ready to dive into. Check your area to find the nearest theater and see what shows they’re playing for the weekend. I personally love to visit during classic movie nights, but they also show today’s newest films that could be great for the family! Don’t forget to watch the dancing hot dogs and popcorn during intermission time.
Whether you have a boat, a local dock, or just a pond near the backyard, this relaxing summer venture is great for finding that peace and quiet we all need every now and again. Whats great with this is you could have a fishing buddy or go completely solo and still have a great time. I recommend going either really early in the morning or enjoying a nice evening break near the water.
4. Bonfire In The Backyard
Grab those graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate bars cause a bonfire is in the works! Find an awesome playlist that corresponds with the groups current vibe and enjoy the warmth, sounds and smells that an awesome backyard fire pit can give. No greater way to start some awesome conversation.
With my current downtown apartment living, this is a hobby that I cannot wait to establish once we make the transition to a house. I dream of the day that I can add all the color and smells to my backyard to get that beautiful private oasis. That being said, don’t let apartment living stop you! Grab some affordable pots and research plants that can thrive either indoors or on balconies with certain sunlight requirements.
6. Outdoor Yoga
Grab the mat and find a space of tranquility as you open your mind to the peace around you. Practicing yoga daily is on my to-do list because it has helped me tremendously with my flexibility and the silent nature of it really did help me relax. This can obviously be done indoors or outdoors, but why not add some sunshine and nature sounds to your experience?
7. Hosting a BBQ
Everyone knows the image of the backyard grilling station and the mouth watering smells that come with it. Discover your inner Grill Master and cook up those summer classics like burgers, hot dogs and chicken (among other favorites). Not into meat? No problem! Portobello mushrooms can be a great meat substitution that tastes great on the grill along with a side of grilled corn on the cob and a heaping side of pasta salad and watermelon
8. Star Gazing
Get out of the bustling city and head out to the country to find a night sky that’s not affected by light pollution. If driving a few hours for the complete darkness isn’t possible, look towards the south in an area with the least light and no major cities in that direction. With this tip, you’ll be able to possibly see a better view of the Milky Way.
Now more than ever, volunteers are being used to help communities around the country to help regrow and strengthen our small towns and big cities. Check out your local food bank. See if your local Habitat For Humanity needs a few more hands. Getting down and dirty isn’t really your scene? No worries! Help plan events within your town and give your creative skills or organization skills to those who could use the help. Your town doesn’t really do many events? Create them! Start a summer concert series or farmers market to get people together.
10. DIY Crafts
Impress everyone with how creative you can be with trying out a new hobby! Sometimes I can bite off more than I can chew with the crafts I attempt, but as long as you’re having fun and expanding your skill set, no hurt in trying! Some crafts that I have tried is painting furniture, knitting, embroidery, candle making and tie dying. All challenging in their own way, but totally worth it.
11. Baking New Recipes
Something about writing down a successful attempt at a new recipe and adding it to the recipe book is so satisfying. I’ve learned from experience that this activity is not only great for you, but totally yummy for the rest of the family as well! Nothing more classic then baking an awesome apple pie topped with a dollop of vanilla ice cream to quench our cravings.
12. Themed Movie Marathons
Either cozy up on the couch, sprawl out with pillows on the floor, or even take this next option outside to create an awesome movie marathon night. Take your new baking skills and utilize it to create a yummy snack to make your marathon even better. Can’t forget the popcorn though. It’s essential!
13. Walk or Bike Ride Downtown
Take in your local towns history by going for a nice, relaxing stroll throughout the streets. Try and make note of the repeating architecture that is being displayed within your community or discover the beautiful trees that line the streets. Take a break at the local coffee shop and take a refreshing drink along with you for the rest of the way!
13. Water Fun In The Sun
The water balloons are getting filled and the teams are made. One team gets the front yard, the other gets the back. And so it begins! Running around in the sun getting soaked is always a fun way to make the day go by. Growing up we always had water gun fights and ran around trying to tag the other person. We also always hooked up the hose to a classic sip n’ slide which took hours of the day!
Usually this took place in the backyard for us kids growing up, which was always such a blast with friends! A few times we also took our camping to a more exciting level and stayed at a campground. Either way, it’s always an adventure sleeping under the stars and loading up the tent full of your favorite blankets and pillows.
15. Game Night
It’s a no-brainer that grabbing the board games such as monopoly, clue, scrabble, or anything else you find in the closet can fill in some of the boredom. Add a pizza into the works and you’re looking at an awesome night. You could also even leave the board games out of it and grab a bunch of the neighbors to play a good old fashioned event of NIGHT GAMES. Flashlight Tag, Kick the Can and Ghost in the Graveyard are just to name a few.
With this year being a bit different, these are just a few ideas of many that can be done to occupy your time during these summer months of social distancing. We may not be able to hit up that summer concert like normal, or head out to the weekly farmers market and shop. But hopefully we can all find something that we enjoy doing with our ourselves or families to make the joyful memories of a lifetime.