The Best Things to Do in Summer

Image of fruit covered pancakes, a picnic basket, a canoe and a starfish in the sand with a banner that reads 18 things to do in summer.

Summer officially ends in September, but there is still time to check a few items off the summer bucket list.

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This post is about ideas on things to do in summer as part of a summer bucket list.

During the warm weather season, there’s very little reason to be bored or be boring. Whether you are exploring the world or having the best summer staycation at home, now is the time to take advantage of what summer has to offer.

Summer is the perfect time to draw up a bucket list of things to do—especially those things that are fun and celebrate the warm season. It’s time to celebrate—whether you’re eating a hotdog, singing songs around the campfire, riding a Ferris wheel, or catching up with a great book in the park or on the beach.

Here are some ideas on how to enjoy summer before the warm season ends.

The Summer Bucket List

From exploring the best that your city has to offer to enjoying the stars, here are 15+ ideas for a summer bucket list.

1–Take a Road Trip

Planning a summer road trip is a peak activity during the warm season, whether you are planning a weekend trip or planning to go for weeks at a time. Day trips for local sightseeing and eating are another great way to explore new things and make memories this summer.

2–Find Your Favorite Summer Outfit(s)

Summer wouldn’t be summer without having that perfect pair of denim shorts or that favorite sundress that you are always reaching for. Don’t forget to accessorize with the perfect tote bag, sandals, and sunglasses.

3–Cookout on the Grill

Now is the time to cookout on the grill. Great recipe ideas include grilled wieners for hotdogs, grilled sausages, foil packet meals, and burgers. Cooking outside on the grill gives food a flavor that is hard to recreate indoors.

4–Go Berry Picking

Summer is the best time to pick edible fresh berries at a local u-pick farm or stand—ranging from plump, ripe strawberries in early summer to blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries during late summer and early fall.

These berries are perfect for eating fresh, to use for making flavored water and other drinks, or for using in delicious recipes like fruit cobbler or homemade jam.

5–Make Infused Water or Tea

Infused water and iced tea, made using seasonal produce like sliced fruit and muddled herbs, make the perfect drinks for summer. Stay hydrated and satisfied with easy homemade drinks like Blueberry Mint Water and Peach Iced Tea.

6–Visit the Beach

Few things are more fun than packing up the beach bag to head to the beach for a day trip. Be sure to pack beach essentials, like sunblock, sunglasses, beach towels, and a great book to read.

7–Read a Book

A summer reading list is a must have, whether you are perched on the sofa for a relaxing summer staycation or making a big trip to the lake house or to the beach.

In any case, it’s great to have a great book to immerse yourself in this summer—it’s the perfect entertainment for those times when you are waiting in the lobby for a flight at the airport or relaxing in a comfy chair at the beach.

8–Plant a Garden

Summer is the perfect time to try your hand at gardening, whether you are creating an ambitious raised bed garden or tending to a few plants in pots on the patio. Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and basil and other herbs are great vegetables to try growing in the summer.

9–Visit a Drive-In Movie Theater

Drive-in theater are a nostalgic pastime that only take place during summer. If there is a drive-in theater near you, consider watching a movie under the stars.

10–Find Something Free to Do

One of the best things about summer is that many cities and towns offer free activities to participate in, like concerts, plays, or street festivals. Summer can be a great time to see an outdoor concert, watch a Shakespeare play in the park, or discover a new favorite food truck at a local festival. Summer is the perfect time to be a tourist in your own hometown, city, or state.

11–Visit the Farmer’s Market

As the weather warms up, the farmer’s market is the perfect place to pick up seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, like vine-ripened tomatoes, sweet cucumbers for salads and sandwiches, hot and sweet peppers for making salsa and for the grill, and juicy watermelon to make refreshing drinks and watermelon salad.

12–Make Homemade Ice Cream

The warm days of summer are perfect for eating ice cream. Homemade ice cream is especially delicious, and it’s easy to make using simple ingredients. Plus, you can customize your ice cream to make your own flavors, like Strawberry Basil Ice Cream or Peach Ice Cream.

13–Go Camping

Besides taking a road trip, few things say “summer” more than going camping. Late summer and early fall can be a great time to go camping as temperatures start to cool down and camping spots become more readily available in some places.

Make a camping list to help you keep track of what to pack for a camping trip, and don’t forget to bring the big repellent!

14–Make S’Mores

S’mores are a classic camping food, but you can also roast marshmallows over the fire pit while spending time with family or friends at home. Perfect s’mores start with Graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate bars.

15–Sit Under the Stars

Sitting outside at night to watch the sky and look for stars and other astronomical formations and features, can be one of the best science-y yet relaxing things to do in the summer.

Listening to the sounds of croaking frogs and chirping crickets—and looking for fireflies, adds charm to the atmosphere. Don’t forget to bring a telescope and a guide book to help identify night sky formations and stars.

16–Enjoy Dining Al Fresco

There is something so special about eating a meal outdoors, especially when the food and drink are good. Summer can be a great time to find a restaurant that you’ve been wanting to try, that happens to have a patio for outdoor dining in the summer. Or recreate the experience at home by preparing one of your favorite meals and serving it fresh outdoors at home.

17–Start a Journal

Summer is the perfect time to start a journal that helps you to keep track of your summer reading list, budget spending money this summer, or plan your dream vacation, and it gives you a place to brainstorm fun ideas and be creative.

18–Take Up a Hobby

Summer is the perfect time to pursue a new hobby, like learning how to make tie-dye t-shirts, wine tasting, making art, or learning basic astronomy at a local observatory or astronomy club. It can also be a good time to take up hiking with friends or volunteering.

This post was all about summer bucket list activities.

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  • Photos by Taryn Elliott / Pexels
  • Photos are used for illustrative purposes only.

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