While you’re suffering through a heat wave, it may seem like summer is lasting forever. But as the back-to-school ads remind us, it’ll be over before we know it. So if you’re determined to make the most of summer while you can, here are ten classic summer activities to make sure you fit in before fall.
1. Go Stargazing
The peak of the Perseid meteor shower is coming up in mid-August (the nights of Aug. 11-12 and Aug. 12-13 in 2018). If regular stargazing isn’t exciting enough for you, those are the nights you’re most likely to spot fireballs shooting across the sky. All you need is a dark area, and some patience. More information about the best way to watch the Perseid meteor shower here.
2. Pick fresh fruit
Berries are a summer mainstay, but peaches or other stone fruit are also ripe for the picking in the summer. If you can resist eating them straight from the source, turn the fruits of your labor into jams, preserves, pies, cobblers, and crumbles.
3. Take a road trip
Life is busy, so if you don’t have time for a multi-day cross-country road trip, even a day trip counts. There are probably places worth visiting within a few hours drive of where you live. Bonus points if your trip is to somewhere you’ve never been before! (Be sure to read the ultimate guide to road trip games before you hit the road.)
4. Make frozen treats
If you have an ice cream maker, what are you waiting for? It’s time to fire it up and make some ice cream. Popsicles are a delicious alternative that don’t require any special appliances.
5. Watch movies outdoors
All but five states in the US have at least one drive-in movie theater, and especially if you’ve never done it, it’s a really fun way to see a movie! DriveInMovie.com will tell you the closest drive-in to you. If it’s too far away to be practical, many places have outdoor movie nights in parks, or even on city rooftops. Or you could always throw your own backyard movie night with our guide.
6. Have a picnic
It’s a well-known fact that food just tastes better outdoors. Prepare a meal, pack it up, and eat it on a picnic table or blanket in a park. Make this waterproof picnic blanket to protect against soggy lawns, and follow this guide to packing the perfect picnic.
7. Go swimming
Whether it’s a manmade pool, lake, river, swimming hole, or the ocean, getting wet is classic summer fun, and a great way to cool down.
8. Throw a Party
If you need a reason, make it a homemade-ice-cream-tasting party, a pool party or an outdoor movie night (see 4-6 above). Otherwise, just put together some drinks and snacks, and invite your favorite people over. You can keep it as simple, or make it as complicated, as you want. Steal ideas from posts on how to throw a backyard summer solstice party, how to throw the ultimate DIY summer party, and the secret that will take your parties to the next level.
9. Roast marshmallows over a fire
Do it while camping, picnicking, or stargazing. If that's not in the cards, build your own backyard DIY fire pit.
10. Go camping
Get back to nature by sleeping in the great outdoors. Bonus: The stargazing is usually great, and every meal is a picnic.
Did I miss anything you consider a summer must-do? What's on your summer bucket list?