If you’re a busy parent, summer months can easily seem long and slow. But at the same time, it can feel like the leaves turn orange and golden before you know it, and autumn has begun. Before the slow summer days pass by, make the most of this season and celebrate its beauty. With your kids on vacation, you can turn summer into fun times to slow down and experience life at its finest.
Here are a few ideas to savor the summer days:
Throw a picnic.
Surprise a loved one or gather a group for a picnic. Play games like beach volleyball or backyard games like bocce ball and cornhole, and you’ve got a party. Don’t forget to bring wine and cheese!
Go for a walk in the rain.
Grab your rain boots or go barefoot, and bask in the summer rain without an umbrella. Stomp at the puddles and let your mind daydream. Kids would love playing in the rain!
Sit around the fire at night.
Set up a fire pit, bonfire, campfire – whatever you have – and gather your loved ones together. Exchange funny or scary stories while roasting marshmallows. Better yet, make s’mores!
Go full on camping at a national park and bask in the beauty of nature. The trip to the campsite can be fun enough!
Nap in a hammock.
If you don’t have a hammock, install one. There’s nothing like napping while enjoying the fresh summer air. If sleep doesn’t come by easily, read a book in a hammock.
Host an impromptu dinner party or a summer cocktail hour.
There’s always a reason to celebrate and have a party – it’s not necessary to have a special occasion. Invite your closest friends and family. Gather some flowers from your garden to decorate your table. Grill some seafood and make a fresh salad. String up some lights in your yard and let the party go well into the night.
Attend an outdoor concert.
It doesn’t matter if it’s your favorite band or not. Attending a summer concert is extra fun!
Whip up cocktails.
Use summer as an excuse to try out new summer drinks, or make more of your favorite sangria, vodka lemonade, margaritas, bloody Mary, or an old-fashioned sun tea.
Have slow-style sexy time with your partner.
Having fun during the summer doesn’t have to cost a thing. Whenever and wherever the mood strikes, just do it. Just don’t get caught, especially if you have kids!
Spend some time on the water.
Summer is the time to wear your swimsuit and be one with the waters. And we’re not talking about a swimming pool (though it’s a safe choice if you’re with young kids). Go to the natural waters and go surfing, rafting, river tubing, kayaking, canoeing, boating, water skiing, or any combination of the above.
Visit parks every weekend.
Make it a family summer goal to visit a new park around your area every weekend. Try all the stops from nature centers, botanical gardens, wilderness areas, to arboretums.
Take a tour at a local vineyard.
Go grape-picking and enjoy a vineyard tour with your loved ones.
Have a family movie night.
Streaming films at Netflix is fun, but what’s even more fun than that? Playing old family videos and watching it together. Montages of your eldest son trying to walk for the first time, your wedding video, your daughter’s ballet recital when she was five – these stuff are precious memories for your family, so make summer the time to go watch them again for nostalgia. Share funny and meaningful stories late into the night.
Sure, it’s not the most ideal season to start planting something, but still, some crops have potential. Go herb gardening in containers or planting a row of lettuce and some hearty root vegetables in your garden. Every day, ask your kids to help watering the plants!
Take your kids to the backyard for an afternoon of blowing bubbles. Watch them run and try to pop the most bubbles – you’d cherish this memory especially when your kids go older.
Eat ice cream.
Ah, the simple joys during summer. Beat the heat with some delicious ice cream, and make it an opportunity to try out new flavors.
Play board games.
If your children are bored, bring out the board games! Allow them to pick their favorite and you can even turn it into a tournament one morning.
Meet the dawn.
One morning, try meeting the dawn. Go jogging, hiking, yoga, or on an early morning fishing trip. Make it an opportunity for a quiet time with yourself or with your partner before the kids wake up.
Play with water balloons.
Get the water balloons and let the kids have a water balloon fight! Playing with them makes it more fun and it will give them even more precious memories.
Build a fort.
Tickle your kids’ imaginations and build a fort with them using boxes and blankets. You can also use last year’s Halloween costumes to play dress up in the fort!
Enjoy summer produce.
Replenishing your pantry and fridge? Skip the grocery store and head to your local farmer’s market and load up on fresh, seasonal produce. You can buy extra to store in the freezer so you can enjoy them even when they’re off-season.
Parents, especially those of young kids, need some alone time from time to time. Go on a solo date with yourself and visit the museum, drive to the beach, dine at a burger joint, or go to the mall and shop.
Splurge on a real vacation.
Real vacations, with no work emails or calls allowed, are essential for maintaining work and life balance. Carve out the time to relax and take a week-long break. Take a trip to the place you’ve always wanted to go to. If you prefer a staycation, take some day trips for a change of scenery.