The seasons fly by so fast that if we don't stop and look around once in a while, we'll miss them completely. And once summer is over, all we want to do is cozy up at home, and entertaining outdoors doesn't sound as appealing, which is why we designed the ultimate summer to-do list. Honestly, we need to make the most of that sunshine while we have it, and writing things down is one of the best ways to hold ourselves accountable.
But what should be on a summer to-do list anyway? We think it should be easily attainable, not hard to plan, and affordable… In case you need a little seasonal inspiration, find out which 19 things should be on your summer bucket list. You've got about 10 weeks left—you've got this.
Cook Pizza on the Grill
Because you've always wanted to and you're constantly looking for another excuse to put your grill to good use. Have friends over, and put out a toppings bar… whoever creates the craziest combination gets to take home a prize (make it something good). PS: Don't forget to have some gluten-free crust on hand.
Have a popsicle cocktail.
A popsicle cocktail is just as good no matter if you make one at home or have one at a fancy rooftop bar (the only difference is the price). Take your pick, and stay in—or head out—with friends. Bonus points if you look at the weather and do it on the hottest day of the week to seriously chill out.
Watch a movie in the park.
This should involve an outdoor screening you're into, a picnic blanket to cozy up on, and all the treats you can stuff in your bag. The trick is to jet out of work early so you get the good seats… We know from experience that you won't be able to see anything if you're in the back.
Order dessert from an ice cream truck.
Do you remember how you felt as a kid when school was out and the ice cream truck's bells came dinging around the corner? Once you begged your parents for some spare change, you nearly ran around the corner to make sure you got your treat of choice. Play up the nostalgia by ordering your favorite childhood treat (push pop, screwball, Mickey Mouse ice cream…).
Make it through your beach reads list.
You know you have one, and you know you're dying to cross off each and every title. Savor the time spent lounging outside, inside, or anywhere else with your e-reader or stack of paperbacks. By the way, book club books aren't included (this should be for your reading pleasure only… no work involved here).
Host a barbecue at your place.
Dish up chicken wings, burgers, hot dogs, and maybe even some karaoke after dinner. You don't need much of a theme when it comes to a cookout… Just make sure to have food, drinks, and maybe some games, and you're in for a stellar day (or night).
Play a few rounds of beach volleyball.
There's nothing quite like a game of volleyball in the sand (even if you're not particularly athletic). With the waves in the background, what could be more relaxing? Also, you may need something to burn off all those calories (yes, half this list is food).
Break out some sparklers.
Romance just so happens to be in the air whenever the sparklers come out. End a date night by letting "a few sparks fly" on the back patio with someone special. If you get super flirty, let your partner know you care by drawing a heart in the air with the flame (this may be a great time for an Instagram pic, too).
Wear bright colors.
Yes, we all love wearing black, but it's not so normal to wear neon hues mid-January, so break them out now. Also, you're likely nicely bronzed at this point, and poppier colors will make your tan stand out. If you're not into bright clothes, opt for a bold pout instead.
Eat corn on the cob.
Does anything say summer more than eating buttery, salty, corn on the cob with those tacky corn-shaped holders you used as a kid? We can't say they really make the process any less messy, but they definitely do bring back some memories. Pretty soon, corn will be out of season, and you'll be craving it, so get on it.
Bike the boardwalk.
If you've never done this, you're seriously missing out—you can pick up major speed on the boards, it's ideal for people-watching, and your trip usually ends somewhere near a doughnut shop. This is best done in pairs since boardwalks can get pretty crazy, and you don't want to lose each other. (By the way, some beaches only allow bikes on the boardwalk in the morning, so make sure to check the rules first.)
Do a little gardening.
Get your hands dirty outside. Even if you decide to plant a mini herb garden, go to town. Watching something grow every day is a fun experience, plus the process of gardening itself can be quite cathartic and relaxing. If you get ambitious, plant your favorite fruit or vegetable so you'll always have it in the house.
Take a boat ride.
It doesn't matter if it's a canoe, a small speedboat, or you're adventuring out on a yacht cruise—summer isn't summer without being on a boat. If you ask us, we prefer packed lunches and tubing to beat the heat on sunny days (it's never as hot when you're on the water).
You couldn't forget those knots from sleepaway camp if you tried. Find something—anything—to tie-dye, and have some fun. Do a bunch of different bandanas for your friends, or even pick up some cheap pillowcases to try out new patterns on. This activity is all about the experience.
Go blueberry picking.
Blueberry season is nearing. Visit a blueberry farm, and purchase one of the "pick-your-own" baskets. Take your time weaving in and out of the bushes, picking only the best-looking fruit you can find. Some local fruit farms even sell seasonal treats like blueberry cobbler or cake that you can take home with you (it never hurts to have extra sweets around).
Wear a flash tat.
They may be a little ridiculous at times, but they make Instagram posts so much cuter (and summer is the time to show a little skin). Wear them to the beach, to an amusement park, or to celebrate someone's birthday. The sky's the limit since you can customize yours through shops like Love & Lion.
Go to an outdoor concert.
Watching your favorite bands or musicians is always fun, but the crowd's mood is always better when they're not crammed inside an arena or venue. If the location allows, take the opportunity to tailgate.
Spend time at a carnival.
Let your inner child run free with turns on all of your favorite rides… Ferris wheel included. Have a "dinner" composed of fried dough, caramel popcorn, and even some cotton candy.
Take a nap outside.
Hammock naps might actually be the best, but anywhere outside will do for your little snooze fest. There's something so freeing about letting yourself sleep "off hours," and when you combine that with the freedom of the outdoors, your z's just got a heck of a lot better.
Tell us, have you ever made a summer to-do list? Which items might we have missed?
Up next: the best quick summer weekend escapes.