The summer season is here. Finally, we are able to spend hours outdoors. From sunrise to sunset, we long to be in the fresh air, enjoying the precious sunshine and warmth. Now that Summer is here, let’s make sure we make the very most out of this season. Some people feel as though they have to do extravagant things in order to make the most of the summer, however I will share with you a few things that you can do to make the most out of this summer doing simple everyday things.

1. Watch a sunrise

Sunrise

One of the most wonderful ways to begin your day, is to watch a sunrise. Yes, the sun rises early and you may have to make special arrangements to actually be on time to see this spectacular show of nature.

Check out when the sun rises in your area. Grab a coffee (or your favorite morning beverage). Grab a camera or your smart phone. Be ready to experience a magnificent art show in the sky. The reason I suggest this is that there is something so incredible about seeing the beauty of the morning sky painted by the rising of the sun. It gives you an opportunity to see how grand our world is. The vastness of the sky, the morning sun peeking through the horizon, and the parade of color that is exhibited is amazing.

Something about watching a sunrise aligns me with the complexity and simplicity of life at the same time. If you make the extra preparations to watch a sunrise, your day will begin on a fabulous note.

2. Be a tourist in your own hometown

Tourist

Let’s face it, we live day to day viewing our surroundings with our eyes half shut. Our area is pretty much “old hat.” This summer, I encourage you to take the eyes of a tourist and look at your town and the towns surrounding you, in a fresh way.

Do a bit of research on what may be available in the area. Have you driven by a certain place time and time again, thinking, I really should check that out? One way to become a tourist in your own area is pretend that you have guests coming and you will need to be their tour guide. Find all the interesting sites and things to do in your area. Make an itinerary for the pretend visit.

Now go out and enjoy your town. Make new memories while you trek familiar territory.

3. Fly a Kite

Kite flying

Have you ever seen the sheer thrill on a child’s face when they see a kite flying in the air? Learn to enjoy the pleasure that comes from simple fun.

A sense of freedom overtakes me every time I put my kite up in the skies. From the moment of catching the breeze and releasing it higher and higher into the skies until I reel it back in, I have a childlike abandon. My tensions seem to release whenever I am flying my kite. Time stands still as I gaze upward. I feel emancipated from daily cares. I know it sounds crazy and it is difficult to put into words exactly how it makes me feel but I encourage you to grab a kite, (it doesn’t have to be an expensive one), find a suitable place to fly it, and set yourself free in the wind for a period of time.

Enjoy the refreshing feeling you get from a timeless activity.

4. Build a Sandcastle

Sandcastles

Live by the seaside, what a wonderful thing! When I am able to sit by the shore, there is a magical feeling inside of me. Feeling the sea breeze, hearing the sounds of the waves crashing, and seeing the immensity of the ocean calms me in ways that nothing else can.

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Another side to beach-life is to be carefree like a child. Building a sandcastle is a daunting task yet so enjoyable. Hauling the buckets of sand and water to make the castle is just plain ‘ole fun. The joy in watching your castle come to life is priceless.

I used to think this was just a thing for kids to do; until one day when I joined in. In today’s world,which causes us to be so “busy” most days, a dose of sandcastle building is one of the simple things that can be so enjoyable. Go ahead and try it!

5. Go for a Nature Walk

Nature Walk

So many articles and quotes have been written about the benefits of walking in nature. says,

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” –  John Muir

 

“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

 

” An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” - Henry David Thoreau

I agree with these statements wholeheartedly. Spending time walking among nature is a satisfying experience for your soul.

If you want to make the most of the summer, try adding a nature walk into your schedule. Not only will you be getting great exercise, but also be surrounded by the incredible beauty of nature. When you walk, take the time to be mindful of the moment. Bask in the raw beauty of all that surrounds you. 

6. Plant a Garden

Garden

“The glory of gardening; hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. to nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul,” Alfred Austin

Imagine your first bite into a vegetable that you just grew in your own garden!  The yummy juices and succulent flavors are indescribable. This is the harvest of your labors.

In most things, the best part is the finished product, but in gardening there is joy all along the process; from the planting of the seeds, to seeing the blossoming of the buds, and then the glorious taste of freshness. You don’t have to grow vegetables, you can grow herbs or flowers instead.

Planning for bursts of color in your garden beds will brighten up each day’s view. The first time I planted a garden, it was so rewarding to look each day at the progress of growth. I could sit for hours just to enjoy the beauty of the blossoms. As the saying goes, life begins in a garden.

7. Watch Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks are fascinating! The colorful display lights up the night sky and the eyes of all those watching. The powerful booming sounds echoing add to the show. Many of the firework shows have displays that are timed to music.

Young children have bright eyes and animated expressions on their faces when they see the sky light up. Even if you aren’t a child any longer, fireworks can make you feel like a kid again. I remember seeing fireworks at Disney, as an adult, honestly for a few fleeting moments, I believed in fairy tales!

8. Go Camping

Camping

Camping refreshes the soul. Quality of life is added when we take time away from everyday life to simplify life and unwind in nature. In today’s world we are running full pace living lives of frenzied activity and packed with electronic devices. When is the last time you unplugged and spent time with your family connected to nature?

In the quietness of nature, you can clear your mind. Camping exhibits the simplicity of life and all the beauty around us, that so often we take for granted. Waking up to the morning light with the sound of birds and other wildlife starts the day off on a relaxed pace. Spending hours outdoors with the ones you love will bring you life time memories.

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One of my favorite pictures of my dad was taken during a camping trip. Every time I see that photo, I smile and have a special memory of our times together. Spending the evening beside the campfire talking can be just what you need to reconnect with your family. Don’t forget to enjoy the amazing starry skies that are on display once it gets dark.

9. Go to an Outdoor Concert

Outdoor Concert

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” Plato

Lucky for me and my family, we have a few places in our area that offer free outdoor concerts in the summer. Of course, not everyone knows about them. I stumbled on them years back. When my daughters were young, it was traditional that we went to a beach concert every Thursday evening.  It was so fun to hear the music and see the kids dancing and playing around in the sand. This is a family friendly event and it doesn’t even cost anything! I am happy to say that now my daughters and I are bringing my grandchildren to this event! We look forward to it each week.

The kids have a blast, as well as the adults. Check out what is in your area. Outdoor summer concerts are quite popular now and many towns and cities are having them.

10. Go to a Sporting Event

Outdoor Sporting

Take me out to the ball game! Take me out to the crowd! Can you hear that song playing in the back of your memories? Family ties are strengthened whenever you go to an event of some type. Memories are made that last a lifetime.

It can get costly if you go to the major sporting events, however, there are many local teams that play in the summer. Search around and find a game or two that you can go to with your family. Outdoor car tracks, tennis, softball, volleyball, soccer, and baseball are just some of the outdoor sporting events available.

I recently had so much fun with my 4 grandchildren at a car race. We would pick out a car we would want to win. Every time that car came around the track we would cheer and scream. Even my 2 year-old grandson got into the action. I laughed so hard at the expressions on everyone’s face. What a great time had by all!

11. Spend Time with Family and Friends

Friends and Family

The best way to make the most out of this summer is simply to spend quality time with your family and friends. Summer is an awesome time to “make memories” that will last a lifetime. During the summer, the days are longer; allowing us more time to be outdoors.

Make sure to schedule times together with the ones you want to be with. Often times, we say we want to do “such and such” with someone and before we realize it the days have come and gone without even getting together.

Make family dates throughout the summer. Dedicate a special day of the week that you meet up with them and spend time doing something special. Maybe have a cookout once a week, or go for an evening walk together, or have a movie night. If you plan these events, you will be sure to be able to spend special times together.

12. Take Photos

Photos

“Every photo you take communicates something about a moment in time- a brief slice of time of where you were, who you were with, and what you were doing.” Kevin Systrom

I overheard a young lady saying she needed to get a new phone because her pictures were full on her phone. I had to chuckle to myself. I guess she hadn’t learned how to save and remove her photos. I also thought to myself, wow, she has taken a lot of photos and made a lot of memories.

It is always good to remember the special moments we make each day. How much better when we can have that memory in a photo!

So many hours have gone by just looking at pictures we have taken.  Remember when… Oh I remember this day and place….. Laughter fills the air as we sit and giggle over funny expressions, old hairdos, out-of-style glasses and so much more.

Summer is an awesome time to take photos! Now with smartphones it is so much easier than ever to smile, snap and click!

13. Star Gaze

Stargaze

“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” Vincent Van Gogh

I don’t know all the scientific names and locations of stars and planets in the sky, but I don’t let that get in the way of stargazing.  I love gazing into the skies above me and seeing the magnificent display of stars. Laying on a blanket under a starry sky isn’t just romantic, it is also very relaxing. Hot summer nights offer us the opportunity to do this.

If you live in or around a city, you may want to find a location that offers a darker sky for better viewing. Another excellent tip: download an app on your phone that will tell you exactly what you are viewing. There are many different apps for you to choose from. It is really cool to actually begin to learn the constellations and where they are in the night sky. Enjoy the vastness of the skies.

14. Host an Outdoor Costume Party

Costume Party

Costume parties are so much fun.  Most of the time we are limited to wearing costumes just for Halloween. I suggest hosting a summer outdoor themed Costume Party.

Invite a bunch of your family and friends to a Luau Party,  a pirate party,  a princess party, a superhero party or plan your own costume themed party. Along with being able to wear a costume, you will be able to enjoy fresh air and games and some party themed food too.

Every now and then I will do some internet browsing for fun parties to plan. The list is endless. I am certain that you can find one that suits your party needs this summer.

15. Travel As Much As Possible

Travel

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Saint Augustine

I know as soon as the word “travel” is mentioned, many of us have ideas of far away exotic places. While it is awesome to be able to visit those places, sometimes it doesn’t fit into our plans or budget.

Travelling obviously will take more time, money and planning than the other activities. I have found that there are some trips that you can find, with some research, that are not overly costly. I think of travel as a form of investment. Travelling is an education. The more places you are able to visit, the more knowledge of the world you acquire.

No matter where you go, there is a learning experience waiting for you. Stretching our minds through travel is a wonderful thing. The world is a big place; try to take in as many places as you possibly can.

This summer, no matter where you are or what you are doing, I wish you  sunshine, love and laughter.

Featured photo credit: Close up portrait of happy smiling couple in love laying in wood white floor. Wearing retro clothes and sunglasses. Reflection of palm trees in glasses. via shutterstock.com

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