22 Things Everyone Should Do at Least Once Before Summer’s Over
Don’t let the last few warm, beautiful days of the season go to waste! Ice cream, stat!
Flag down the ice cream truck
The catchy jingle, the delight of choosing one of the novelty treats, and, of course, the cool satisfaction of eating said treat on a hot afternoon—nothing says summer quite like an ice cream truck. Could you buy an entire box of ice cream bars at the grocery store for the same price as one from the truck? Sure, but where’s the fun in that? Make it even more magical and buy a frozen treat for a nearby child. Not sure where to go? Try the best ice cream shop in your state.
Walk barefoot in the grass
Strolling barefoot through soft grass is the perfect way to get out of your daily bubble and smell the roses (literally!). The smells, sounds, and feel of nature will soothe your work-weary soul and melt away stress. It may even offer some unique health benefits; according to proponents of “earthing,” walking barefoot can help with insomnia and other afflictions. In case you need more reasons to get off the couch: 15 great reasons to take a 15-minute walk.
Read under a tree
Unplug and take a fun novel, gossip mag, or other light-hearted read outdoors. Set up under your favorite tree and enjoy the stillness and tactile pleasure of reading a real paper book. Bonus: Everyone looks smarter reading under a tree. It’s pretty much science.
Visit a farmer’s market
Many cities offer a farmer’s market on summer weekends, allowing you to support local farmers and up your health game in the tastiest way possible. Come for the fresh veggies but stay for the interesting crafts, bright flowers, sweet honey, hand-made sausages and new friends. Pro tip: Use these 13 strategies to get the best deals at the farmer’s market.
Go to a concert or play in the park
From Shakespearean classics to local bands to movies to music festivals, your park entertainment options are endless in the summer. Check out your neighborhood Facebook page or city website for dates and times. Even better, many of these events are free or very low-cost. While you’re out don’t forget these cute and chemical-free ways to protect against mosquitoes (another unfortunate summer staple).
Run through a sprinkler
Think playing in a sprinkler is just for kids? Adults can play this refreshing game too and it doesn’t even require a swimsuit. The next time you see a sprinkler watering the grass in the park or at your neighbor’s house, take a few running leaps through it. Skip. Laugh. Frolic. You’ll dry, we promise.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a place still frequented by fireflies bring back happy childhood memories by capturing a few to put in a bottle. Their gentle flicker speaks of warm, summer nights. (And then let them go. Seriously. They’ll die if you leave them in the bottle. And no, “feeding” them grass doesn’t work, even if you thought it did when you were a kid.) You might even want to do this at one of the 15 greatest American campsites.
Play the cloud game
Finding shapes in the clouds is a simple way to take a break and have some fun. And all it takes is a grassy spot with an unobstructed view of the sky, where you can lay down and look up. When’s the last time you looked up at the sky? Only rule is you can’t say “bunny”—you can be more creative than that. Having a creativity block? Ask a kid to help you.
If you think clouds are fun, the night sky will blow your mind—especially if you can get far enough away from city lights to see the milky way. It’s worth the trip to the mountains or out to the countryside. Seeing the vast expanse of eternity laid out on a clear summer night will change. your. life.
Camping is the quintessential summer activity yet so few of us actually head for the hills. Being outdoors (and away from cell service) is a great way to reset and get in touch with nature. If you’re worried about not sleeping well outside your own bed, science shows camping can actually help cure insomnia. No tent? No problem. If you go car camping you can even sleep in your car and if things get rough you’re only a short drive from home.