Celebrate summer and all of its unique qualities in simple fashion this season. Skip the giant bucket lists that only add pressure and stress and instead simply embrace the season with uncomplicated and frugal means.
Get yourself into a natural body of water near you. Swim in a lake, dip your toes into the water from a dock, walk in the water along the shoreline.
Take the canoe or kayak out. Rent a paddleboard.
Water parks are great and they shouldn’t be completely avoided if that’s an enjoyable thing. However, make some time to simply enjoy natural, non-chlorinated bodies of water as well.
I, personally, am not much of a swimmer but I do like to be near water. I love the sounds of rapids and waterfalls. I love to walk along the shorelines of lakes and rivers and do it often. I’ll get my feet and ankles wet when the water is warm enough but you won’t likely find me in bathing suit.
All that to say, do what best fits your personality and interests.
Take a walk or a hike. This doesn’t have to be some grand backpacking trip, though if that’s your thing go for it. A walk in the park during lunch is good enough. I can’t express how important it is to get outside.
If it’s especially hot, humid, or uncomfortable pick the times of the day when it isn’t. Go for a walk early in the morning before the heat sets in. Find a shady cool spot in the mountains (assuming you have them) and get out there in the middle of the day.
Dine Al Fresco
Go for a picnic. Eat on the porch. Simply eat outside. It doesn’t have to be every meal or even every day. Just try for a handful of times over the course of the season and enjoy it. Do it alone and do it with loved ones.
Build a Campfire
Even if you don’t actually go camping, build a small fire if you can (and it’s safe for yourself and won’t cause any wildfires). Use one of those patio burn pits or build a fire in a ring at a campsite.
There’s something inherently relaxing about a campfire and while it can truly be done any time of year, there’s something about summer camping and s’mores that is very special.
Send a Postcard
Go buy a stack of those tourist postcards from the local grocery store and send them to loved ones far away. Seriously. Send postcards from your hometown. And if you go on vacation somewhere else, send postcards from there too.
This is a great way to not only celebrate summer and whatever makes your home special but also a way to connect with others without feeling like you have to write a long letter.
It’s also such a wonderful touch in these days where communicate more often online than through snail mail. People receiving those postcards are sure to smile and maybe even hang them on their fridge for a while.
Attend the Local Festival / Fair
Pick a local festival or two (no, it doesn’t have to be every one) and attend. Go to the festival and eat the food, buy the crafts, listen to the band, cheer on the folks in the pie eating contest. Enter something homemade into a local competition.
These are important things, even for us introverts and homebodies. These are things that make our communities awesome and it’s important that we keep them going – especially all those old-fashioned ones.
Buy Local Produce
Hit the local U-Pick farm and get fresh fruit. Go to the farmer’s market and buy some bread or salad greens. Simply find a way to support whatever foods are local and in season for your area.
Afterall, any celebration could use pie – celebrating summer should be done with a pie made from local fruit if at all possible.
Eat the Summer Food
Gorge on all of summer’s seasonal food. Eat the watermelon and spit the seeds out with some kids. Have zucchini for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Savor every bite of a delicious in-season and homegrown or local tomato.
Pick the Flowers
Harvest those roses, sunflowers, daisies, and more. Fill jars with them and put them on the dining table. It’s a simple thing but it allows to celebrate the beauty of the natural world that isn’t always present and allows us to do so inside the walls of our homes.
Let the kids pick weeds and make them into crowns.
Save and use some flowers for crafts like bookmarks, dyeing, body products and more.
Preserve Some Summer
Make a jam with those summer berries. It doesn’t have to fill the entire pantry but a few jars of summer preserves are mighty tasty in the winter.
Dry some herbs for winter tea, too. This is the easiest thing to do and it takes precious little time. It also doesn’t heat up the house like a canner might.
Sleep Under the Stars
Go for a camping trip, even if it’s just in the backyard. Sleep outside under the stars and listen to all the sounds nature has to offer. While this can be done in most any season, summer is the most pleasant and easiest for most of us.
Again, this doesn’t have to be some grand adventure if it’s not your thing. Find a campground that’s not terribly far away and give it a try for just a night or two.
Keep It Simple
You do not have to do all the things to celebrate summer. Remember to keep it simple and in harmony with your own intentional life.
Going to the U-Pick orchard can be a wonderful thing. However, so can going to the local orchard’s fruit stand and just buying a box of already picked fruit. Choose your adventures wisely so that it’s fun and not stressful.
Remember this is no right or wrong way to celebrate summer. Make it personal and impactful for you and your family. Just find a way to take notice of the season before it slips away.