It’s the dog days of summer—and we’d better take advantage of them while they’re here! Soon enough, it’ll be back to the grind. Let’s forget about that now, though. You’ve got sunshine to enjoy and water to splash in!
Looking for some ideas on how you can soak up the most fun? We’ve got you covered!
Here are our top 20 things to do on a hot summer day:
- Head to the pool. Whether it’s in your backyard, at a community center, a friend’s house or the local YMCA, the pool is your best friend on a hot summer day.
- Indulge in your favorite cool treats. Grilling is amazing, but sometimes you don’t need more heat. Instead, cut up a watermelon, make popsicles, infuse some water with fruit, or make a big pitcher of sweet tea.
- Go ice skating. The heat can make you nostalgic for winter, so have at it! Hit your local ice skating rink for some fun, exercise, and the ultimate air conditioning.
- Make a movie. With the kids out of school, you can put all that extra time to good use. Create a script and dole out parts or just wing it.
- Attend a concert in the park. Summer is when everyone heads outside, including musicians. Check your local community board, Parks and Rec Department, or notable shopping centers for live music in the evenings. Extra points if you bring a picnic and some wine!
- Binge-watch. Who says summer has to be all about go-go-go? Slow it down and spend an afternoon or evening with the shades drawn and the TV on. Pick your favorite show or start a new one. You’ll have great summer memories from now on anytime a new season airs.
- Hit the library. Has it been a minute? That’s okay. Not only do libraries typically have awesome AC, but they’re chock-full of programs for the whole family, not to mention tons of beach reads.
- Grab a book and hit the beach. Did someone say “beach reads”? Oh yeah, we’re there. Nothing is better than a fun, lighthearted book that can be picked up and put down as you bask in that beachy glory.
- Have a home campout. This can go one of two ways. Summer is a great time for backyard campouts, complete with s’mores and movies. But if the heat is a factor, you can also camp out in your living room. Your kids won’t mind either way. They’ll just love that you’re doing something novel.
- Host a water balloon fight. Yup. We went there. Whether it’s a sneak attack on your kids or partner, or a formally announced event within the neighborhood, grab some balloons and a hose and head outside. It’s like our childhoods just reappeared.
- Find a splash pad. Have little ones around? Few things make kids giddier than unpredictable squirts of water. That’s why splash pads are everywhere. Having trouble finding one? Water parks, shopping centers, playgrounds, and community centers are typically good places to look.
- Feed the ducks. Ponds generally come with lots of natural shade—and some feathered friends who would be oh so grateful if you gave them birdseed or halved grapes. These environments are also great places for a picnic, especially if there’s a shaded playground—or splash pad—nearby.
- Grow an herb garden. Or a flower garden. Or a vegetable garden. This can be a great morning or evening activity. It teaches kids some responsibility, promotes healthy living, and gives them an opportunity to get their hands dirty.
- Play tourist. When was the last time you saw your city from an outsider’s perspective? Chances are good that there are desirable vacation destinations not far from where you live. You just may have tuned them out over the years. Well, tune back in. See the famous sights and sounds. Take in a play, ballgame, or boat cruise. Eat at the ice cream shop with the line halfway around the block.
- Run through the sprinklers. Ah, the old-fashioned “splash pad,” am I right? Return to a classic and watch both kids and adults go giddy with delight. Don’t have your own sprinkler system? Head to a park or ball field, or use your hose and an attachment.
- Go fishing. Mark Twain was on to something. No lazy summer is complete without a little quiet time in nature. Just you, a lure, some water, and those stubborn fish.
- Try a new water sport. What’s your fancy? Waterskiing, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, surfing, wakeboarding, skimboarding, paddle boats? The activity doesn’t necessarily need to be a “sport,” but do something that gets you on or in the water in a new capacity.
- Create a signature summer drink. Lisa’s Lemonade, Sharon’s Sangria … take whatever drink you and/or your kids love and put a new twist on it. Add fruit. Make it sour. Blend it. Splash of rum. Tajin rim. Just get creative. Think the OG version of the drink is already perfect? Add skewers! Cheese, fruit, olive, and pickle garnishes—not to mention little umbrellas—can take any drink to a whole new level.
- Find a watering hole. This could be a lake you’ve never visited or a waterfall that’s only accessible via hike. Hit Google Maps or the AllTrails app and find some water that’s worth exploring.
- Attend a parade. It’s the thing summers are made of! The Fourth of July may be over, but we’ve got Labor Day to look forward to, in addition to local city milestones. Is your community celebrating a birthday? We bet there’s a parade for that. Amusement parks and fairs are also great sources of parades. None in your area? Start one instead! Establish a theme, get the neighborhood involved, and then bust out the wagons and tinsel!
Remember that summer is what you make it. No need to add pressure if you’re already feeling stressed—and no need to add heat if you’re already feeling hot. Make this time of year all about whatever you crave, whether that’s relaxation, adventure, sun, or shade.
Enjoy the next month and, as always, if your summer plans involve a new home, we’re here for you.