(Includes affiliate links.)
Cheers to a new “Things to Do” post! It all started with 50 Things to Do Together (Other Than Watching A Movie) – because my husband and I were pretty burnt out from sitting on the couch every night and watching TV. It goes against my theory (or maybe supports it?) that life is only as exciting and fulfilling as you make it (see blog name).
It started as a list of date ideas, but the more I wrote, the more I realized they are things anyone can do together – married couples, boyfriends and girlfriends, roommates, families. It seems like a lot of people are looking for bonding and exciting things to do together.
So today’s version is 50 things to do together over the summer! If there’s any time to get out and do something adventurous and out of your normal routine, it’s summertime.
Oh, and just so you don’t throw around the “I don’t have any money” excuse, I’m including plenty of ways to do these things, for whatever budget you’re on.
Get ready to make some amazing memories this summer, with these ideas:
1. Go to the pool. Get a membership, get a guest pass, make friends with someone who has one, sneak into a neighborhood pool (just kidding…maybe…), whatever you have to do. For bonus points, get an amazing pool float.
2. No pool available? Get creative, elementary school-style – set up a sprinkler, or get a kiddie pool and dip your feet (pretend it’s the ocean).
3. Invent-your-own tropical drink, with various juices and fruit (alcohol optional for ages 21+).
4. Give yourselves the spa treatment with cooling products – here’s some DIYs to try: Whipped Coconut Oil Cooling Lotion; Cucumber Mint Facial Mask; All-Natural Mists. Or you can BIY (buy it yourself): Body Shop Peppermint Cooling Foot Lotion.
5. Go to a local festival. There are tons of concert series, day-long festivals, weekly events. Try looking up a community calendar.
6. Got a whole bunch of baggy t-shirts? “Upcycle” or refashion them into something cooler (literally or figuratively): No Sew CrissCross Back T-Shirt; Kimono; T-Shirt to Tank Top; Makeover Oversize T-Shirts; T-Shirt Headband. Not your thing? Tie-dye is always a fun option!
7. Go star-gazing. We did this in my hubby’s pick-up truck in the country, and just enjoyed the peaceful moment. You can even do your research ahead of time and look for specific constellations or comets. Or just watch for shooting stars.
8. Play on the playground! One of our favorite games in the campus ministry was “Grounders” – one person is “It”, and counts to 10 (or so), while everyone else positions themselves on the playset. The person who is It has to keep their eyes closed and feel their way around the playset, trying to tag people. At any time, It can call out “Grounders!”, and everyone who is touching the ground is out. Anyone who is out can be It with the first person, or can sit out, until the very last person, who becomes It in the next round. This is better for older kids, since it can be tricky getting around the playset with your eyes closed.
9. Watch a local baseball or soccer game. We went to a friend’s soccer game the other night, and had fun chasing the kids and watching the action.
10. Go to a drive-in theatre! None around? Check out community events and see if anyone is doing an outdoor movie night. Lots of churches and libraries opt to do these over the summer (for free!). Usually it’s okay to bring snacks – pick up your faves at the dollar store on your way.
11. Make some iced coffee, and keep it on standby in the fridge. Here’s one great way to do it! Try different creamers to make different yummy flavors.
12. Have a picnic at a park or by a creek.
13. Build a bonfire. Make sure you know that it’s okay where you live. Also fire pits are inexpensive to buy or build. Plus you have to get yourself some s’mores (“How can I have s’more? I haven’t had any yet!” “You’re killing me, Smalls!” Name that movie.)
14. Drive to the beach, lake or river. We have a lake nearby with a community park, that has a small fee to sit on the beach and swim. Many rivers and lakes offer boats, kayaks, paddle boats, or floats.
15. Take a walk or hike.
16. Enjoy a farmer’s market – try new treats, get some of your groceries there, buy flowers!
17. Sidewalk chalk your whole driveway/patio/whatever. Get artsy! It’s cheap, and easy to clean.
18. Go camping. Even if it’s just in your backyard. Or pick a state park to visit – it’s an inexpensive way to get out of town.
19. Hold a yard sale! It’s the season to clear out old junk, and plus make a little cash for more summer fun.
20. Get some sparklers for some nighttime outdoor fun. If you have a DSLR camera, use it to capture “writing” or designs with the sparklers – here’s a great tutorial.
21. Watch the sunrise or sunset – whichever is prettier where you live 😉
22. Have a squirt gun fight. Take it up a level by leaving a squirt gun where the other person/people can find it, and then hide with your own! Want even more? Invite a family over for dinner, and do the same thing, hiding in the backyard.
23. Hammock. (Is that a verb?) Grab a book, tie up your hammock, and just chill. Or take a nap. That’s a good option, too.
24. Wash your car – cool off and check something off your to-do list at the same time!
26. See who can make the best ice cream sundae, or ice cream flavor with a base of vanilla ice cream plus any mix-in you want, cold stone style. Or try making ice cream! No Ziploc bag required. (Here’s a recipe for no-churn + mix-ins.)
27. Or save that ice cream and have a “float party” – get a whole bunch of different kinds of sodas, and maybe a couple flavors of ice cream. Don’t forget a straw!
28. Start a pick-up game of touch football, ultimate frisbee, soccer, or whatever at a local park. Meet some new people!
30. One of my favorite things to do at summer camp was the shaving cream fight. If you have a place where you can do it without causing trouble, grab some cans of shaving cream and clobber each other!
31. Try gardening. Start with an herb garden if you’re new; or tackle vegetables if you’re ready for something more advanced. (We’re an herb garden kind of family…)
32. Grab a table outside at a new or favorite restaurant. Or eat on the porch or in the backyard, just to switch things up. Or host a backyard dinner with friends!
33. Make your own popsicles. Use pureed fruit, fruit juice (I like limeade) or coconut water, and add fruit. I also love the idea of adding gummy worms, or blending up a smoothie for now and put it in popsicle molds for later! Iced coffee popsicles are also an option. (Here’s a popsicle mold we use and love.)
34. Collect fireflies in a jar (a favorite childhood pastime). No fireflies? Make a DIY Galaxy Glow Jar.
35. Go berry picking! Look up a local berry patch. It’s usually pretty inexpensive, and you can eat as you go. Wear a hat to avoid sunburn.
36. Start a prank war among friends. Remember, pranks are funny practical jokes – do your homework and don’t do something to damage someone else or their property. Or if you’re nicer, drop off encouragement packages of cookies or something else to friends – it’s fun to do the “ding dong ditch” method, and keep it anonymous.
37. Learn how to play a new backyard game you’ve never tried, like badminton, croquet, corn hole, or bocce. Or translate one of your favorite indoor games to an outdoor arena – like a Giant Jenga or Yard Twister.
38. Have a movie marathon. I KNOW, I KNOW, the original “Things to Do” list was about not watching movies, but this list is for a different purpose. And really, when else can you do it but summer? I think once in a while, a movie marathon just works. Think Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Bourne Identity, Avengers/superhero; or go with a theme – ’80s movies, sci fi, a certain actor or actress. Add themed snacks for more creativity, and if you want to go all out, dress up!
39. Get crafty and make some practical stuff for your next outdoor adventure: Mason Jar Citronella Candles; The Sunbathing Companion (a beach bag travel tote – imitated here with a cute flamingo print); Pallet Planters; Summer Lip Balm.
40. Cook up some gazpacho (cold Spanish* soup – thank you, Karla!) for dinner. There are a couple variations of it in this post, but you can search online for all kinds of different flavors and styles.
41. Make up a batch of sun tea.
42. Raid your library for free books, CDs (for your road trip), movies, TV shows, and don’t forget, classes and events. It’s also just a cool place to hang out (literally).
43. Give your inner six-year-old a nod and make the biggest bubbles you can. Watch all the neighborhood kids stare in wonder and amazement.
44. Cooling off at the mall? Add in a scavenger hunt – see who can find the coolest or funniest flip flops, sunglasses, Hawaiian shirts, etc. (Take pictures on your phones modeling them, so you don’t have to buy them or hunt everyone down.)
45. Set up a huge relay race in a park, and invite friends to join. Different activities might include jump roping, wheelbarrowing someone from one spot to another, sack racing, etc.
46. Since no one really likes a big heavy meal when it’s hot outside, have a tapas or appetizers night instead. Invite friends to bring an appetizer to share; for more activity, have them teach everyone how to make it. For the 21+ crowd, try a wine tasting to go with it.
48. Take a road trip with a purpose. Pick a theme based on an interest – like the best antique shops, music stores, Southern restaurants, free concerts, local breweries, coffee shops, etc. Look them up beforehand, then go out and hit them all!
49. Hang up a tire swing, or put together this simple wooden swing, for hours (or minutes) of cool breezes and fun.
50. Take a summer class together! Maybe at the college level, or a community class, or do a workshop.
I’ll be adding more ideas periodically to my Pinterest board, so follow along if you’re looking for more!
What are your favorite things to do over the summer? What did I miss?