Looking for things to do together over the summer? For fun things to do in summer at home or out, read on.
It’s summertime, and it is time, wouldn’t you say?
I’m ready for the sun, ready to be out of my house, ready for us to explore and adventure, to get sentimental, to splash and eat juicy fruit and enjoy time together. If there’s any time to get out and do something adventurous and out of your normal routine, it’s summertime.
Years ago, I wrote a post called 50 Things to Do Together (Other Than Watching A Movie) – because my husband and I were pretty burnt out from sitting on the couch every night and watching TV.
It started as a list of date ideas, but the more I wrote, the more I realized they are things anyone can do together – married couples, boyfriends and girlfriends, roommates, families.
This version is all about the season of sun – things to do together over the summer.
What are some fun things to do in the summer? These are the best summer ideas for any budget, at home or out and about, together with friends, as a couple, or as a family. Get ready to make some amazing memories this season.
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1. Go to the pool.
Get a membership, get a guest pass, make friends with someone who has one, sneak into a neighborhood pool (just kidding…maybe…), whatever you have to do. For bonus points, get an amazing pool float – donuts, seashells or flamingoes, anyone?
2. No pool available? Splash another way.
3. Invent-your-own tropical drink.
4. Give yourselves the spa treatment with cooling products.
Or you can BIY (buy it yourself): Mineral Body Lotion; Rosemary Mint Lotion; Cooling Eye Stick; Hydrating Eye Gel; Cooling Glow Mask; Lavender Complexion Mist (use code JENN10 for 10% off your first order).
5. Go to a local festival.
There are tons of concert series, day-long festivals, weekly events happening in the summer. Try looking up a community calendar.
Quarantine Note: I know right now not everything is open, and you may not feel comfortable going out even if it is. You can always invite a few friends over for a backyard concert or barbecue. (Keep socially distant as applicable.)
6. Got a whole bunch of baggy t-shirts? “Upcycle” or refashion them into something cooler (literally or figuratively).
7. Go star-gazing.
We did this in my hubby’s pick-up truck in the country, and just enjoyed the peaceful moment. You can even do your research ahead of time and look for specific constellations or comets. Or just watch for shooting stars, abundant in summertime skies.
8. Play on the playground or in the park.
Some of the most fun summertime activities happen in the park.
One of our favorite games in the campus ministry was “Grounders” – one person is “It”, and counts to 10 (or so), while everyone else positions themselves on the playground. The person who is It has to keep their eyes closed and feel their way around the playset, trying to tag people. At any time, It can call out “Grounders!”, and everyone who is touching the ground is out. Anyone who is out can be It with the first person, or can sit out, until the very last person, who becomes It in the next round. This is better for older kids, since it can be tricky getting around the playset with your eyes closed.
9. Watch a local baseball or soccer game. (Or play your own game.)
We went to a friend’s soccer game the other night, and had fun chasing the kids and watching the action.
10. Go to a drive-in theatre!
It seems like this is the only option to see a movie these days.
None around? Check out community events and see if anyone is doing an outdoor movie night. Lots of churches and libraries opt to do these over the summer (for free!). Usually it’s okay to bring snacks – pick up your faves at the dollar store on your way.
If all else fails, a fun summer trick is to hang a sheet on the side of the house and use a projector to screen a movie from the lawn. You can even have friends over and do a socially distant movie time, depending on the size of your yard!
11. Make an iced beverage, and keep it on standby in the fridge.
Iced coffee, tea, lemonade, or juice. (Here’s a pitcher that helps.) Try a new recipe or concoct your own.
Here’s one great way to do it! Try different creamers to make different yummy flavors.
12. Have a picnic at a park or by a creek.
One of our favorite afternoon activities is bringing some snacks down to the creek, and wading and splashing for a cooler afternoon. (Here’s a cute picnic set to keep everything handy.)
13. Build a bonfire.
Make sure you know that it’s okay where you want to do it. Fire pits are inexpensive to buy or build. Plus you have to get yourself some s’mores.
(“How can I have s’more? I haven’t had any yet!” “You’re killing me, Smalls!”)
14. Drive to the beach, lake or river.
Head to a community or state park with a small fee to park and beach. Many rivers and lakes offer boats, kayaks, paddle boats, or floats.
15. Take a walk or hike.
16. Enjoy a farmer’s market.
Try new treats, get some of your groceries there, buy flowers!
Even if markets aren’t open where you live, chances are, farmers are still offering goods for sale. It’s a great opportunity to shop and support local.
17. Sidewalk chalk your whole driveway/patio/whatever.
Get artsy! Sidewalk chalk is cheap, and easy to clean. Doodle or really hone in on your drawing skills. This sidewalk chalk has the best and brightest pigment.
18. Go camping.
Even if it’s just in your backyard. Or pick a state park to visit – it’s an inexpensive way to get out of town.
19. Hold a yard sale or curb alert.
It’s the season to clear out old junk. Make a little cash for more summer fun, or find a local free-cycle page and post your stuff for someone who needs it.
Remember to social distance, don’t donate if you’re sick, and use plenty of hand sanitizer.
20. Get some sparklers for some nighttime outdoor fun.
21. Watch the sunrise or sunset.
Whichever is prettier where you live. Find the perfect spot and bring a drink to relax and enjoy.
22. Have a squirt gun fight.
Take it up a level by leaving a squirt gun where the other person/people can find it, and then hide with your own!
Want even more? Invite a family over for a summer backyard dinner, and do the same thing, hiding in the backyard.
23. Hammock. (Is that a verb?)
Grab a book, tie up your hammock, and just chill. Or take a nap. That’s a good option, too.
24. Wash your car.
Cool off and check something off your to-do list at the same time.
25. Have a glow party.
26. Make ice-cream sundaes.
See who can make the best ice cream sundae. Or a new ice cream flavor with a base of vanilla ice cream plus any mix-in you want, creamery style. You can even try making ice cream! No zip top bags required.
27. Or save that ice cream and have a “float party”.
Get a whole bunch of different kinds of sodas, some float glasses, and maybe a couple flavors of ice cream.
28. Play outdoor sports.
Touch football, ultimate frisbee, soccer, or whatever you feel like.
29. Build an outdoor fort or treehouse.
Love these simple DIY options – as in depth as you feel like going!
30. Shaving cream fight!
One of my favorite things to do at summer camp. If you have a place where you can do it without causing trouble, grab some cans of shaving cream and clobber each other!
31. Try gardening.
More tips on garden-starting here.
32. Grab a table outside at a new or favorite restaurant.
Or eat on the porch or in the backyard, just to switch things up. You could even host a backyard dinner with friends!
33. Make your own popsicles.
Use pureed fruit, fruit juice (I like limeade) or coconut water, and add fruit. I also love the idea of adding gummy worms, or blending up a smoothie for now and put it in popsicle molds for later! Iced coffee popsicles are also an option. (Here’s a popsicle mold we use and love.)
34. Collect fireflies in a jar.
One of my favorite childhood pastimes. No fireflies? Make a DIY Galaxy Glow Jar.
35. Go berry picking!
36. Start a prank war among friends.
Remember, pranks are funny practical jokes – do your homework and don’t do something to hurt someone else or damage their property.
Or if you’re nicer, drop off encouragement packages of cookies or something else to friends – it’s fun to do the “ding dong ditch” method, and keep it anonymous.
37. Play a backyard game.
38. Have a movie marathon.
The original “Things to Do” list was about not watching movies, but this list is for a different purpose. And really, when else can you do it but summer? I think once in a while, a movie marathon just works.
Think Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Bourne Identity, Avengers, Justice League; or go with a theme – ’80s movies, sci fi, a certain actor or actress. Add themed snacks for more creativity, and if you want to go all out, dress up!
39. Get crafty.
40. Cook up some gazpacho for dinner.
It’s a cold Spanish soup. (Thanks Karla for clarifying!) There are a couple variations of it in this post, but you can search online for all kinds of different flavors and styles.
41. Make up a batch of sun tea.
42. Raid your library.
Get free books, CDs (for your road trip), movies, TV shows, and don’t forget, classes and events. It’s also just a cool place to hang out (literally).
If your library isn’t open yet, have you dug into the online resources they provide? Free books and audiobooks through apps, newspaper subscriptions, and more.
43. Make some gigantic bubbles.
Give your inner six-year-old a nod with this huge bubble tutorial. Watch all the neighborhood kids stare in wonder and amazement.
44. Scavenger hunt.
You can do this at the mall (if it’s open) – see who can find the coolest or funniest flip flops, sunglasses, Hawaiian shirts, etc. (Take pictures on your phones modeling them, so you don’t have to buy them or hunt everyone down.)
Or set up a scavenger hunt in your town. (See #dateyourtown bingo for more ideas.)
45. Set up a huge relay race in a park.
Different activities might include jump roping, wheelbarrowing someone from one spot to another, sack racing, etc. You could even invite friends to join (in a socially distant way).
46. Tapas night.
Since no one really likes a big heavy meal when it’s hot outside, have a tapas or appetizers night instead.
This is one of those fun summer ideas to do with friends. For more activity, have them teach everyone how to make it. For the 21+ crowd, try a wine tasting to go with it.
47. Make a couples or family circus!
Learn some new circus-style tricks to impress your friends. It’s one of those crazy summer bucket list ideas that you have to try. But be safe!
Slacklining is fun too! It’s basically a tightrope, and you can’t resist trying it.
48. Take a road trip with a purpose.
Pick a theme based on an interest – like the best antique shops, music stores, Southern restaurants, free concerts, local breweries, coffee shops, etc. Look them up beforehand, then go out and hit them all!
49. Swing this summer.
Hang up a tire swing, or put together this simple wooden swing, for hours (or minutes) of cool breezes and fun.
50. Take a summer class together!
Maybe at the college level, or a community class, or do a workshop. Online workshops or tutorials count.
I’ll be adding more ideas periodically to my Pinterest board, so follow along if you’re looking for more!
Want more? I’d love to share with you a free Summer Bucket List PDF printable.
To access it, sign up for the What You Make It email list. You’ll get the password for our free member resource library, and emails 1-2 times per month with a personal note from me, post links, and other fun surprises. (Don’t worry – we respect your privacy, never sell your email, and won’t bombard your inbox.)
How about you?
What are your favorite things to do together over the summer? What did I miss?
1 – Toni Cuenca on Unsplash
2 – Tyler McRobert on Unsplash
3 – Ryan Franco on Unsplash
4 – Julia D’Alkmin on Unsplash