Pretty much everybody looks forward to the summer. When you’re a kid, this is because school’s out and you suddenly have a lot more free time. When you’re a teenager or young adult, it tends to mean you’re looking forward to planning some trips or activities with family and friends. Even working adults look forward to the season, if only because everything tends to feel a little bit more relaxed and it’s a good time to squeeze in some fun activities with the family.
Here’s the thing though: for a lot of us, “summer activities” only go so far as the beach, or other cliché summer vacations. There’s nothing wrong with these vacations; millions of people flock to the nearest beaches as soon as summer arrives for a reason. But sometimes it’s nice to change it up, either with a different kind of vacation or even with a recreational activity you can enjoy at home.
If that sounds interesting to you, here are some suggestions for fun summer activities that have nothing to do with the beach.
Throw A Party
Half the joy of summer is that we can stay outside for longer hours, with lingering sunlight and warm temperatures. Because of this, why not consider taking the money you would otherwise spend on a beach getaway and putting it toward a big party, or even a series of parties with friends. You can invite any friends and family within reasonable distance, have the neighbors over, rent party supplies to make it a little more special, and fire up the grill. Adults can enjoy cocktails while kids run about playing with each other, chasing fireflies, and generally enjoying the atmosphere. Think of it like a more special version of a standard cookout. And if you really want to ramp things up a notch, consider making it a neighborhood thing. See how many neighbors will agree to a rotation in which someone hosts a party each week during the summer!
Start An Outdoor Game Night
Again, the fun of summer largely comes down to being able to spend more time outdoors. So instead of looking for a trip away from home to relax, think about taking an ordinary activity and simply moving it outside. One that comes to mind is a game night, either with the family or friends. If you have kids, simple card games or board games like Risk, Monopoly, Life, etc. can be a lot of fun to play on a patio table. If you’re having friends over, brush up on your blackjack game and poker tips and make a more adult evening out of it. Whatever the specifics, a regular game night once or twice a week can make for a great way to pass the summer.
Explore Your Inner Handyman
It’s not exactly an alternative to vacation, so this idea is a little bit of an outlier. But if you’re looking for something to do at home and you want an excuse to enjoy good summer weather, take the opportunity to bring out your inner handyman. There are plenty of outdoor jobs, from roofing to painting to gardening, that tend to need doing during the warmer months of the year. In some cases you can hire a professional to do these jobs correctly. But again, if you’re looking for a project and you want to spend time outdoors, it’s a great time to learn how to tackle these jobs on your own. You’ll enjoy the sense of accomplishment, and you’ll make yourself a more capable homeowner for the future.
Take A Different Vacation
Not all summer activities have to be at the beach or at your house, of course. If you’d still like to take a family vacation, start researching places to visit that have nothing to do with the beach or family destinations. There are all kinds of options to consider depending on your family’s interests. You might consider visiting some of the nation’s stunning natural parks, for instance, or exposing your kids to a major city like New York or Chicago. For a relaxing trip, you might consult the tourism bureau of one of the quaint towns near the Great Lakes, or consider renting a mountain cabin somewhere in Appalachia. Or if you really want to go above and beyond, make this a time to book an overseas trip on which you and your family can explore more of the world.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with a standard beach trip. But if you want to try something more unique, either for vacation or recreation, these are ideas worth considering about this summer.