5 Activities You Need to Do in the Peak of Summer

Jun 20, 2024 | Main Blog | 0 comments

Summer is a season that never fails to bring about a sense of anticipation and optimism.

Living in Chicago has made me cherish the months when I can finally put away the thick puffy jackets and boots and don my light linen and sandals. This is a time when my city truly comes alive, and every weekend is filled with neighborhood events, from art fairs to festivals and farmers markets. Everyone is on the same page about making the most of the longer and warmer days.

For those of us living in the northern hemisphere, the summer solstice is on June 20, marking the longest day of the year and the first official day of summer.

As such, there’s no better time than now to think about the activities best enjoyed in the height of summer. Here are five activities to put on your social calendar this season that will help you make the most of summer.

1. Get lost exploring your city

How often do you wander around your neighborhood, without a destination in mind?

If you live in a city, there is bound to be a pocket or neighborhood you’ve never really explored. Pop on your best walking shoes, pick an area, and go for a stroll or hop on a bike.

In Chicago, where Divvy bikes are stationed everywhere, I love to bike around and ride along the lake, taking in the cool breeze and the buzz of seeing people everywhere.

You could also sign up for a walking tour – there’s always something to learn about the history or architecture of your city.

2. Try a new outdoor activity

On a hot summer’s day, there’s nothing better than getting in the water to cool down. Go for a dip at the beach, or in a pool. You could lounge and sunbake on giant inflatables, or get active by doing a water sport, such as jet-skiing or surfing. Better yet, a water activity can also be turned into a social event with friends and family – you could go for an excursion to a water park or hire a boat for one afternoon for a cruise with a large group.

If you’re not a water person, ask your friends to join you for a hit on the tennis court, or head out to the golf range. Adult classes for various outdoor sports tend to open in the warmer months, making this the perfect time to try out a new sport.

3. Sign up for a class

With the sun setting later in the evening, the day still feels young when you’ve logged off work at 5 pm.

Why not sign up for an art or dance class, or learn a new language? How about working on a new skill, like photography or creative writing?

There are so many adult beginner classes available out there, you simply need to find them. As a starter, look up what your local neighborhood community, nearby colleges and schools, or even public parks are all offering. If none of these community hubs have classes that interest you, then look online. Many courses are available on sites like Coursera and Skillshare.

You could also sign up for a fun workout class, like yoga or reformer Pilates. You could sign up for membership programs like ClassPass, which gives you access to a wide variety of fitness studios, to keep things interesting.

Trying something new will not only reinvigorate your brain and keep you young, but once summer is over, you’ll feel accomplished about having done something productive with your time.

4. Organize an outdoor event with friends

Keep an eye out for upcoming events that you could attend with your friends. Are there any outdoor movies, festivals, or fairs taking place soon? Are there any music artists who will be touring in your city?

Why not organize an outing where you go to a sports game with your friends? It can also be exhilarating to experience a buzzing atmosphere among enthusiastic fans, even if you don’t follow the sport closely.

You could also organize your own event if you can’t find any that you want to attend. Consider setting up a picnic or barbeque in the park. If you have a backyard at home, you could organize an outdoor movie night, or set up a firepit and invite your friends over for drinks.

5. Visit a national park

Unsurprisingly, summer is often the best time of year to visit national parks in cooler regions, giving visitors warm enough weather to enjoy their daytime hikes. Why not work on a bucket list of the top national parks you want to see?

You could also take things up a notch by camping inside the national park, disconnecting from the digital world and immersing yourself in nature.

In the evenings, spend your time outdoors stargazing, with a night sky that’s much less affected by light pollution. With the exception of areas located at higher latitudes, summer can be a great time for stargazing, giving you temperate weather after sunset and clearer night skies.

There is something incredibly restorative about surrounding yourself in nature and away from the chaos and normalcy of day-to-day life.

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