Sip on some lemonade, cruise with the windows down and crank up “Summer Nights” because the sunniest season of all is in full force. Chilly winds and rainy days are behind us, and we have bucket loads (pun intended) of to-dos for the months when the sun shines brightest. Print or screenshot our ultimate summer bucket list and check them off before the season ends. Our list is made to optimize the long days with fun that starts as early as sunrise and runs into those cool summer nights.
You know as well as we do that any sunny and warm afternoon begs for a lunch outdoors. Pack up the sandwiches, carrots, hummus and cookies (obviously), and stroll over to your favorite park to take advantage of the beautiful day.
2. Make Homemade Popsicles
Who said popsicles are just for kids? Fill your summer afternoon with a popsicle-making experiment. Whether your drink of choice is Coca-Cola or orange juice, pour it in a popsicle tray and turn your favorite drink into a delicious summer treat. For a grown-up treat, pour your favorite mixed drink in as a refreshing new twist! We love these popsicle molds.
3. Yoga in the Park
While the quiet and dim-lit aura of a yoga studio may be calming, so is the sunny warmth that hits your skin as you strike a pose in the park. From the lovely greenery to the cool summer breeze, you’ll find yoga in the park brings a different kind of peace and calmness only found during the summertime. Find a local spot to practice this summer.
4. Visit the Zoo
Summer is never complete without a trip to the zoo — where there is no age limit! Feed the giraffes with your friends or spice up a date night by spending the evening with lions and zebras. Tip: Look online to see if your local zoo has a “zoo brew” — a fun evening filled with plenty of wine and tiger selfies, with proceeds going towards a cause.
5. Take a Road Trip
The summer heat brings the temptation for taking a vacation to a new extreme. If you don’t have enough time to jet off to a destination far away, pack a small travel bag and take an adventure to a local gem. With the radio turned up, your bestie in the passenger seat and a new place ahead of you, there is no better way to spend a Saturday.
6. Rent Stand-Up Paddle Boards or Kayaks
These water sports designated for the summer can be a real workout or a relaxing pastime. Whether you’re putting your arm strength to the test by paddle-boarding or enjoying the view of the lake from your kayak, you can’t go wrong with either activity.
7. Go to a Festival
Whether it’s a local mac n’ cheese fest or Chicago’s Lollapalooza, there is always a summer convention out there that will be just your cup of iced tea. Each year there are new festivals that will either please the palette or the ear. Throw on your summer dress with a hands-free crossbody and wander through a festival near you.
8. Start a Garden
Take your love of home décor outdoors and design a colorful landscape that speaks to you. Gardening makes an especially fun summer-long activity, in which you get to see your flowers grow and blossom before your eyes. Nothing will put a smile on your face like pulling up to your house after a long day of work and seeing the vibrantly-colored garden you created.
9. See a Drive-In Movie
Drive-ins are a summer classic. There’s no fear of being shushed when you whisper a comment to your girlfriend and homemade snacks not only are allowed but welcomed! Best of all, it’s common for drive-ins to play two movies back to back.
Tip: Drive-ins tend to play films late into the night; our fleece throw blanket is the perfect sidekick to keep you cozy as the temperature drops.
10. Create an Ice Cream Scavenger Hunt
Become the ice cream taste-tester you were always meant to be by making your favorite summer treat into a game. Venture into every ice cream parlor around town until you and your friends have found the ultimate treasure: the best ice cream shop in your city.