Though it doesn’t feel like it around here, tomorrow is the first day of summer. I’ve been keeping a mental list of things I want to do this year while the weather is nice, and in honor of the beginning of the season, I thought I’d share some ideas.
1. Visit a local amusement park
I’m not talking about the big, well-known parks run by Disney or Six Flags. Nope, I mean the weird little parks that only the locals know about. For me, that’s Enchanted Forest and Oaks Park, which I haven’t been to since I was a kid, and which my husband and some of my friends have never visited. They look kitschy as can be (especially Enchanted Forest, if this article is accurate), and definitely worth a visit. Surely you have some equally weird local attractions in your neck of the woods.
2. Try new hairstyles
It can be hard to look good when it’s way too hot, but it can also be a great time to experiment with new hairstyles. Last summer I learned how to do some fun up-dos to get my hair off my neck. This summer I plan to try out some braids. The other day I taught myself how to do a fishtail braid with this tutorial, and I’m dying to try out some of these or these tutorials. If braids aren’t your style, whip up some sea salt spray or beach hair spray for sexy waves.
3. Go to a drive-in
Have you ever been to a drive-in movie theater? I never have, but I recently discovered that there’s one nearby (99W Drive-In), and now I’m determined to go. There aren’t many left, and who knows how much longer they’ll be around, so if you have access to one, you should go!
4. Grow a garden
Last year was my first year growing a vegetable garden, and it was a lot of work, but the harvest made it totally worth it. We had tons of cherry tomatoes, and for the past couple of weeks I’ve been enjoying the strawberries from the plants we put in last year. Homegrown fruits and vegetables are SO MUCH better than anything you can get at a supermarket. If you don’t know where to start, this site is helpful.
5. Have a picnic
No matter what you’re eating, food tastes better outdoors. Grab a blanket, make some sandwiches (or if you want to get fancy, this tart), and take your lunch outside. Bonus: Pack a basket, and make or buy a cool picnic blanket.
6. Make popsicles or ice cream
Even though I’ve already got a pretty good collection of recipes for ice cream and frozen pops, I’m always game to try a new one. You better believe that I’ll definitely be sharing some recipes for frozen treats this summer.
7. Go to a beach
If you don’t live near the ocean, you must have a nearby river or lake with a beach. I live about 2 hours from the Pacific Ocean, but there is no way I’m swimming in it. Even in the middle of the summer it’s absolutely freezing. But there are some local rivers and lakes that are perfect for a refreshing dip on a hot day. I plan to head out to Sauvie Island, or find a local river to float down on an inner tube.
8. Watch meteor showers
Summer is a great time to look for shooting stars. The skies are usually clear, and the weather is conducive to laying outside at night. Here’s a guide to this year’s meteor showers.
9. Sew a cute summer dress
A sundress makes a great summer sewing project. It doesn’t take too much fabric, and if you pick the right pattern, you can put it together pretty quickly. Something like this looks really easy.
10. Hike someplace you’ve never been
Photo by Marc Adamus
Last year I said I was going to visit Oneonta Gorge, and I never made it out there. Doesn’t it look magical? This year I’m definitely going to go. Don’t let the summer slip by without visiting someplace new and exciting!