Ahhhhhh….Summer Fun. Summer is finally here and it greets us with open arms, warm sunshine and long (hopefully somewhat relaxing) days. I don’t know about you, but I find it’s so easy to just continue with my same old routine in the summer – there are still so many things to do and sometimes it’s hard to slow down. These thoughts have been swirling in my head the last week or so (admittedly, we were on vacation at the time) and it really made me realize that if we hadn’t made a point to *get away* and make the time to slow down, we probably wouldn’t have slowed down much at all.
Now, I realize that not everyone can get away for a week’s vacation (we don’t do it every year, either) – but I’ve come up with my top 5 favorite summer fun ideas…and they don’t cost much at all – in fact, most of them are FREE – and you don’t have to travel far to do them.
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Summer Fun Idea #1
- Watch a Sunrise – at least once.
I know, I know…I hear you. Summer is for sleeping in and lounging around in your jammies. I get it. I’ll be the first confess that I’m not a morning person by nature. But there is *something*….something very special.…about watching a sunrise. A physical reminder that we are given a spectacular, often overlooked gift. A New Day.
Whether you choose to grab a comfy throw and find a solitary spot to go just by yourself, or whether you want to take a special someone along with you, I strongly encourage you make it happen. At least once. If only once.
On the last night on our vacation, my oldest son (13) asked me if we could get up early and go for a sunrise walk on the beach, just the two of us. Did I want to drag my buns out of bed at 0-dark-thirty? No. Did I want to miss out on an extra hour of sleep? No. But when your teenage son asks you to an ocean-side stroll to watch the sunrise, you do it. Because you know it’ll be worth it- both in making a memory with him (because you never know when he might not want to do that with you again) and because you rarely see a sunrise…much less one over the ocean. 😉 So we did. And it was beautiful. No earth-shattering conversation happened and no brilliant insights were discovered. But we celebrated the simple, ordinary beauty of a new day dawning and listened to the waves lap against the shore in the dusky pre-dawn light. It was perfect.
So. That being said (all.the.words.)….watch a sunrise. 🙂 No matter where you are. Whether it’s from an apartment balcony overlooking a bustling city; a quiet country setting, or overlooking an ocean or a lake. Take the time. MAKE the time…to watch a sunrise. You’ll be glad you did.
Summer Fun Idea #2
- Take the time to read a good book.
Reading? On a summer fun list?
Yes. 🙂 In our high tech, everyone-has-a-screen-in-their-face-at-all-times world, read a book. A real one. With actual paper pages and a binding.
I’m talking to myself here, too. I spend way too much time on screen. Yes, as a blogger, I realize this is the nature of my job – (and I love what I do) but maybe all that time in front a screen makes it even more important to read a real book. I just recently gave myself time to sit down with an actual book. I LOVE reading. But it’s one of those things that has been relegated to a “luxury” item. That shouldn’t be, though. There’s even evidence that states that reading a “real” book is good for you. So grab a good book (here are some NY Times best sellers for you), a comfy spot and get lost in a great plot or a book full of ideas that inspire you. Here’s my list of favorite home inspiration books.
Summer Fun Idea #3
- Roast Marshmallows and make S’mores with people you love.
You don’t even have to like marshmallows to do this. Lol! 😀 I’m not a huge marshmallow fan (unless properly toasted), but I still enjoy sitting around the small fire pit we have in our back yard and roasting marshmallows with my family. There’s something about the smell of wood fire smoke, searching for the perfect marshmallow roasting stick (or you can purchase a cute pack here), seeing the smiling faces and hearing the laughter swirl around you that just says “summer”. The fireflies do their dance and sparkle in the shadows and
the mosquitoes carry you away it seems that everyone relaxes in the flickering flames of a bonfire.
For an added bonus, leave your cell phones and screens indoors. Unplug. Just for a little while.
Oh – and you might want some bug spray (non-toxic,please) to keep away those pesky mosquitoes. Don’t let them put a damper on your fun! 😉
Summer Fun Idea #4
- Go to your local Farmers Market.
One of our favorite Saturday morning traditions is to grab a cute market bag and head down to our local Farmers Market. With the whole “Farm to Table” movement gaining traction (yay!), there are more and more local markets sprouting up every year. Our Farmers Market offers so many things. Everything from seedling plants, bushels of potted flowers, herbs, fresh picked and arranged bouquets, free-range eggs, homemade cheeses and bakery items, crafts galore, homemade soaps, and I could go on and on. It is home-grown, homemade gloriousness. 🙂 Unless you’re growing your own produce in your own gardens and making all your own homemade everything, a Farmers Market can’t be beat.
Here’s a little hint: the best pick of all the goods is available the earlier you go. 😉 But even if you can’t go early, still make a point to go. It’s the perfect way to support a local farmer or a family who has worked hard to grow and make the best for you. While I do shop the grocery stores and big box stores like everyone else, I also try to support the farmers and families in my community as much as I can. I’m happy to give my money to a person instead of a big giant corporation. *steps down from soapbox* 🙂
Summer Fun Idea #5
- Sink your toes into some sand.
And no, you don’t need an ocean for this. 😉 Even our small local lake has a little sand bar. Maybe it’s just me, but sinking my toes into warm sand is right up there with roasting marshmallows as far as things that scream, “Summer!”. Take a deep breath, be still, and count your blessings. Do you have your health? People who love you?Were you able to walk down to the shoreline on legs that could carry you? Can you hear the water? See the sunshine? Be thankful. In all the hustle and bustle of Life, it’s oh, so easy to take for granted these “little things”. Again, I’m preaching to myself, here, too. I can get caught up in the little annoyances of life – and then I hear of sad news…it quickly puts all of my “problems” into perspective. So pause, take a moment to be thankful for the good in your life…whether you can find some sand to sink your toes into or not. 😉
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So tell me…what are YOUR favorite free/almost free things that you like to do for summer fun?