Now that we’re officially several weeks into summer, you may be looking to add activities to your summer bucket list if you’ve already managed to check several off. We’ve got you covered! Here are 13 fun summer activities that you should consider adding to your summer plans:
Idea #1: Visit a national park.
The National Park Service has information about events taking place at the 417 areas operated under the umbrella of the NPS in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, and its website offers trip ideas. Only 118 of these 417 areas charge entrance fees. That fee is waived four specific days of the year in 2018.
United States citizens or permanent residents age 62 and older can also purchase a $20 annual pass or $80 lifetime entrance pass to the National Parks system. The pass may entitle you to a 50% discount on amenity fees at some of the parks, but does not cover all additional fees that you may need to pay (e.g., a camping, swimming, boat launch, or interpretive services fees, special recreation permit fees, or fees charged by concessioners).
If you want to get a jumpstart on your summer bucket list for 2019, you might consider going to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to see the synchronous fireflies!
Ideas #2, #3, #4, and #5: Enjoy nature, locally!
There are other outdoor activities that you might enjoy when the weather beckons you outside that do not necessarily require traveling to your nearest national park, which might be a little too far for a daytrip. Go swimming, boating, or fishing at a local lake or enjoy a walk in the woods. These are fun, often free (or low-cost) activities that you can enjoy solo for a little “you time” or with friends and family.
Idea #6: Spend some time at a local park.
If you want to get outside, but you’re not in the mood for strenuous activity in the heat, take advantage of the warmer weather and attend a movie that is being shown outdoors. Many towns have “Movies in the Park” on select evenings throughout the spring and summer months. While the movies might be ones you’ve already seen, sitting on a blanket under the stars with some popcorn and your friends and neighbors can be more fun than sitting at home on the couch.
Make a day of it! Pack a picnic and head to the park for the afternoon. Bring a book or other easily portable diversion and spend a couple of hours in the shade eating and relaxing. Parks are also great places for people watching!
Idea #7: Attend local festivals.
Many towns plan food, wine, music, art, or other festivals when the weather is warmer and it’s still light late into the evening. Your local chamber of commerce should have information on these and other events happening in your town.
Ideas #8, #9, and #10: Visit museums, aquariums, and performing arts centers.
Many of us would like to get out of our homes for a few hours during the day and have some fun, but don’t relish the summer heat. Head to a local museum, aquarium, or theater to check out a new or time-limited exhibit, a new addition to an aquatic family, or go see your favorite band when they pass through (or nearby) your town on their summer tour!
Idea #11: Visit a local zoo.
If you love animals and don’t mind the heat, visit your nearest zoo to see any newborn animals and check in with the long-time residents.
Idea #12: Volunteer with a local organization.
Is there an organization that you’ve been wanting to donate your expertise and time to? Summer is a great time to do it! Local libraries and community centers may be sources of programming requiring volunteers. You can also do an internet search to find volunteer opportunities in your area.
Idea #13: Tackle a DIY project.
Maybe there’s a larger project at home that you’ve wanted to work on, but it’s best done in the warmer months —think cleaning out the shed or a smaller landscaping project. Maybe you’ve wanted to build something (a new kitchen table, a bookshelf), and your backyard is the perfect spot to do it. The weather is more likely to cooperate now— don’t wait! Enlist the aid of family members and friends if you think that four (or more) hands will be better than two.
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