If the weather near you is anything like the weather near me, you’re probably constantly glistening (girls don’t sweat right?) and doing everything you can to stay indoors or at least under the shade. With temperatures in the Southern US at above 100F for recent weeks, it’s hard to want to get out. But it’s the end of summer right? The season for fun in the sun! So here’s my list of things to do both in and out of the hotness, for you hotness, before we dip into the chill.
Head to the Drive-In, Movies in the Park or City Symphony Concert: Most cities have a movies in the park program, even if you don’t have a drive in close by. Buy your favorite beverage, indulge in a funnel cake or sneak in your flask and enjoy the warm evening air and open sounds.
Early Risers: I am by no means a morning person. That said, summer mornings are dewy and deliciously cooler than the rest of the day, so make the most of ’em with a brisk walk around your neighborhood, breakfast in your backyard or porch, or just a quick meditation outside.
Crack Open a Good Book: I love to read, and summer is a perfect time to sit by the pool, in a hammock, or under or in your favorite tree, and stretch out with a good adventure.
Pooltime: Get to your favorite local watering hole, pool, lake, or beach (if you’re lucky!) and spend some time as a water baby. Don’t forget your sunscreen! Wear beautiful hats to protect your skin and hair while looking glam.
Plot an Adventure: Whether real or fictional, make an escape plan from your everyday. Research mountain climbing in Iceland, archeological digs in South America, or find a creative boutique hotel to hide in for a night or two.
TV Marathons: Yes, television is bad for you, but what’s it good for if not an indulgence every now and again. I’m currently on a Cosby Show and 30 Rock fix.
Volunteer: It may not seem like the most glamorous way to spend your free time, but the wonderful thing about volunteering is that you can find something you’re passionately interested in to contribute to. Writer? Check out your local homeless or community paper and write something! Musician? Throw a small benefit for charity. Not only will you get those warm fuzzy feelings, but you’re still forwarding your passions – using your powers for good!
Find some Fans: Ceiling, handheld, or palm fronds held by oiled down humans, make some waves and spend time letting your hair blow in the wind.
Fresh Food with Friends: Are you a cool cookess or baking beauty? Even if you’re challenged in the kitchen, find an easy appetizer and have a fancy party with friends, fanciness optional only in food.
Clean Out: The days are still long so make use of your extra sunlight and organize the one scary drawer (or closet in my case!). You’ll feel rejuvenated and like your time was well spent.
Take your Time, and Naptime: I’m a huge fan of the nap, and although I’m usually a busy person, I like to use the summer heat to slow me down a bit and take my time luxuriating while the warmth turns my muscles to molasses.
Get in a Southern Mind: Okay, so maybe I’m a little biased, but hot and heavy summer weather always makes me want to listen to slow jazz, visit cemeteries and drink bourbon.
Cave walk: If you live in the Southern United States, you have plenty of options from vast auditoriums to repelling into holes into the earth. They stay deliciously cool year round and even if they’re touristy, you can enjoy the cheesiness of a light show. If you’re somewhere a little less cave-ridden, make your own couch “cave” or delve into the depths of your basement.
Visit an Arcade: You might have to travel a bit to find one, but grab your quarters and hit an old school video game mecca. Even if you’re awful, thank your stars for modern technology that you can just go home and play it on your computer for free.
Concoct new Cocktails: virgin or otherwise. Scour your grocery, taqueria, bodega or liquor store for strange ingredients and make up delicious new brews. Hint: fresh fruit is always a great choice.
Get Fit: You’re sweating anyway, so why not make it count? Become a runner, no matter how far you go, or practice your weight lifting skills while hefting grocery bags. You don’t have to join a gym to change your attitude about fitness, especially if you can get a nice tan while doing it.
Explore a New Museum: or revisit an old favorite. Haunt the halls examining great works of art, or quirky local sculptures.
Stroll the Farmer’s Market: Bonus points if you come with new recipes to try. My latest obsession: squash blossoms, fried and stuffed. Mmmm.
Pick up a new Skill: Take a dance class, buy a harmonica and book, or join an online language clinic. You can expand on a skill you already have, or immerse yourself in a completely different world, getting out of your comfort zone. Don’t put expectations on yourself, just go, have fun, and see what happens.
Take Day Roadtrips: in search of giant Muffler Men, delicious diners, or just the next cup of coffee. Treasure hunting thrift stores and antique malls along the way is always encouraged. Roadside America is a great way to find out if there is a monument to weird near you.
Dye your Hair: grow it out, or chop it all off. Make a change from your usual style, even if it’s just a wig for a week.
Pack a Picnic: Take those new cocktails and wonderful Farmer’s Market picks out to a field in the middle of the city or the middle of nowhere, and enjoy an old fashion, blanket on the ground, picnic. Spend it solo with a great book and reading tree, or take your lover or friends.
Take up Astronomy: Stargazing is always fun, even if you don’t know your dippers from your Polaris. Buy or borrow a cheap telescope and make up new constellations. When I lived on a third floor apartment in Chicago, we bought grass for our porch, and lay stargazing smoking hookah, and listening to the bustle of the city below.
Organize a Water Gun/Balloon Fight If you’re an apartment dweller, take over your local park with a water frenzy. Get enough friends and establish teams, or just a free for all, wettest one wins!
What’s on your end of summer list?