Since graduating high school I have been guilty of coming up with tons of fun summer plans and never following through.
Instead, I have spent my summers working, taking summer classes, and watching Netflix.
But soon those college days will be behind me and it's time to focus on myself, my life, and what I like to do! If you have time ahead of you that you have no clue what to do with, this article is for you.
1. House Hunting
One of my absolute favorite things to do is look up houses for sale in my area online and read about them (price, rooms, baths, yard, etc.). A couple times a month I'll do this and make a list of houses I could see myself in and drive by them to see how they look in person. It's fun to think about where I'll be in the upcoming years and it's given me a fairly good idea of what I'd like in my first home too!
2. Thrift Shop Challange
This is a fun idea for partners, friends, or family. Set a budget around $15.00 (or whatever is appropriate to you) and see who can come up with the best outfit. Best could be a relative term here, also. Where your outfits somewhere and find a non-partial judge. Or, pick out outfits for each other to wear!
3. Find a Hobby
If you have a busy time during the academic year with school, work, or whatever else you may have going on, once all of the activities slow down you realize you aren't sure what to do with yourself! What do I like to do when I am not running around from place to place. Find something fun that you may not have thought about trying before. Try gardening this season, or get into a sport you used to love in high school. Maybe the outdoorsy stuff isn't your favorite, so get into a craft or cooking. There is something for everyone!
4. Visit the Library
Even if you aren't a huge fan of reading there is something for you at the library. Lots of local community libraries put on events and clubs for residents to participate in. There are activities for kids and adults! For example, my local library has an adult coloring club where a group of people get together with their adult coloring books and just hang out twice a month. Meet new people for a likely free event that also promotes your community library!
5. Go to a Festival
I can only speak for Michigan because I have lived here all my life but I imagine it's safe to say for other places, that summer is the season of festivals. There are tons of things to celebrate, and just like there is a hobby for everyone there is a festival for everyone. Cheeseburger Festival, Greek Fest, Lilac Festival, Gipsy Mood Goddess Festival - I'm not making this up those are all festivals in Michigan! Music festivals, cultural festivals, and seasonal/community celebrations are great ways to pass time this summer!
6. Window Shopping
A lot of people don't like to window shop because they don't get to take anything home with them - but be creative and keep an open mind. I like to window shop for things you wouldn't make a split decision about buying, or at least I wouldn't. You could window shop for clothes for an event coming up, you could window shop for furniture or home decor in the house you are dreaming of buying (this is my favorite kind of window shopping), you could window shop for a trip you are planning or hoping to take in the near future. The possibilities are endless!
7. Start Thinking About Christmas
Okay, this may sound a bit over the top, but hear me out. Winter stuff is all on clearance right now. Start brainstorming ideas for gifts now and see if anything is on sale! I like to shop for Christmas throughout the year like this because it takes a huge financial burden off of me come November/December when most people are buying everything all at once!
Let out your competitive side with a cook-off! Get your friends together and pick a dish or cuisine and appoint a few judges, or keep the dishes anonymous and judge each other! Not a great cook? That's okay, see who can make the best simple foods or "college dishes". The "college dishes" one can be fun and show how creative we get with almost no money and no nutritional value.
9. Grown-Up Party
Staying on the idea of cooking, trying throwing a party that is a little more elegant than a house full of strangers getting so drunk they don't remember it. Invite your friends over for a dinner party with a planned out menu with a wine to compliment it. You will instantly feel like you're 35 years old but in a good way.
10. Go "Hammocking"
You might be thinking, okay but what do I do once I've found a spot and gotten into the hammock...? Finding the perfect spot may take some time, but it is worth it when you have the perfect place to relax. Listen to music, read a book, bring a friend, take a nap. You won't be sorry.
11. Surprise Trip
Take turns planning a surprise day trip with your friends. Set a budget for everyone to have for the day and come up with themes or just a bunch of random activities to fill the time. The time you're spending together is the real activity, but you're likely to remember days like these for a long time.
While movie theaters are nice, see if there are any outdoor theaters near you. Some of them, like a drive-in, may cost money, but some communities (like mine) have free outdoor showings of movies for kids and adults. If you don't have anything like this near you make your own with your friends and family! All you need is a projector, a large flat surface, and a big white sheet. Any way to take something you'd usually do inside and make it an outdoor activity will be fun, especially when you're thinking back on it next winter and planning your next summer events!
13. Play Cards or Board Games
My family plays board games as if they were a competitive sport you could watch on ESPN. It gets very real very fast, but we have a great time. This is something we try to set aside time for year round, but in the summer we take the games outside to soak up the sun and fresh air while we have the chance. Get creative with your games; don't just stick to the same old Monopoly and Sorry (even though Sorry is one of my favorites). Find fun, obscure games that you and your family will like. Over the past couple years my family has invested in a game called Bonkers, an old board game from the 70s my mom and aunt used to love as kids, a game called Big Foot because some people in my family are into the show Finding Big Foot, and more recently we have found a Bob Ross board game.
14. Garage Sales
One person's junk is another person's treasure. You can find some of the coolest things at garage sales that you never knew you needed or wanted. Or have your own garage sale! Pick a weekend or week to get rid of all the clutter in your life. A lot of neighborhoods have designated weekends where they all plan their sales on the same days to bring about a larger crowd, so check in with your neighbors!