Summer 2023 is officially here! Let’s make the most of it.
From ways to cool down and relax to classic summer games and outings, our summer bucket list has all the essentials for enjoying the lazy, hot and and fun-filled days ahead.
Watch a Sunrise/Sunset or Stargaze
Summer is the perfect time to take a minute and enjoy a natural wonder. Starting your day with a sunrise or ending it with a sunset can help you enjoy a moment of calming beauty. Stargazing can be fun any night of the year, but the clear nights of the warmer months just can’t be beat.
Go to the Beach
Days spent by the shore define summer in the Northeast. Search our beach guide and find your place on the sand.
Visit a Local Farm
Support your local growers by picking up the freshest fruits and veggies of the season at your nearest farmers market or pick-your-own. There’s nothing like freshly picked berries, peaches and tomatoes, straight from the farm to your hand.
Some of our favorite u-pick spots include Four Town Farm and Ward’s Berry Farm in Massachusetts, and Lewin Farms on Long Island. Check the availability and hours of the farm you’d like to visit ahead of time and find out whether you need to make a reservation.
Read a New Book
Settle into your beach chair and get lost in a good book. Make a summer reading list of the year’s must-reads. Barnes & Noble has a summer reading list for all ages to get you started. If you’re feeling ambitious, try a book that could lead to a new skill like playing an instrument, making a different cuisine or crafting.
Head to your yard, the beach or a nearby park and play a game with family or friends. It might be hard to draw yourself away from the cool confines of your air conditioned space, but the sunshine will do you good! Just remember to stay hydrated and reapply your sunscreen.
Toss around a Frisbee or ball, or set up a net for games like volleyball or badminton. Cornhole, horseshoes, croquet and Spikeball are crowd-pleasers. And kids can entertain themselves for hours in the driveway with simple sidewalk chalk, drawing and creating games like hopscotch, four square and outdoor Twister.
Plant a Garden
Although the spring and fall are prime seasons for planting, certain flowers, fruits and veggies can be planted in early summer too. See our seasonal flower chart and check your local nursery to see what’s available. Due to the heat, be sure to monitor and water your plants often.
Plan a Picnic
Picnicking is a classic summer bucket list item. Although it takes a little planning, our guide can help you with all the details from the food, to the supplies and the top picnic spots near you.
See Something Amazing
Watch a baseball game, see your favorite performer in concert, marvel at the artwork of a master at a museum or experience the twists and turns of a roller coaster at your favorite amusement park. No matter what event or attraction you go to this summer, you can get exclusive tickets and savings of up to 40% with AAA Tickets.
Mix a Summertime Drink
You have to stay hydrated when the weather gets hot. Squeeze lemons to make fresh lemonade, brew your own iced tea or mix the two to make Arnold Palmer. For the adults, drinks like margaritas and sangria are always a poolside hit.
What dessert embodies summer more than a s’more? Make this classic summertime treat and try new flavor combinations by using different kinds of chocolate, adding peanut butter, Nutella or fruit or subbing out the graham crackers for cookies or brownie brittle. If you can’t roast over a real fire, you can use a grill or your oven, but be careful.
Have a Movie Night
Pop some popcorn, pour your favorite beverage and settle down for a movie. Re-watch a classic film or personal favorite, rent a newer movie or start marathoning a series, director, genre or other theme. Stay inside where it’s cooler or view a film under the stars with a projector in your yard.
Go on a Walk, Hike or Bike Ride
Enjoy the nice weather and get some exercise. The Northeast is home to a bunch of great biking, hiking and walking trails. If you haven’t biked or hiked in a while – or ever – take it slow, stay safe and hydrate.
For more ways to get fit while spending time outside, check out these outdoor workout ideas.
Camping out in your backyard with your kids can be a lot of fun, too. Avoid electronics to make the experience feel more authentic!
Enjoy a Frozen Treat
Whether it’s ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato or Italian ice, nothing satisfies like a cold treat on a hot day. You can even try making your favorite frozen treats at home and customize them to your liking.
Create a Summer Playlist
You may want to enjoy some background music while you’re cleaning around the house, playing outside, gardening or going on a road trip. Whether you like oldies, past summer hits or songs with “summer” in the title, think about what summer means to you and make the perfect playlist.
Cool Down With Water Fun
If taking a dip in a lake, pool or ocean isn’t an option for you, there are still plenty of ways to cool off during a hot summer day. Turn on the sprinklers, fill up some water balloons or water guns and get ready for a water battle!
You can bring the beach to your backyard for your little ones with these fun products.
Clean Your Home
Though warmer weather may not be ideal for cleaning out an attic, cooler spaces like the basement, garage and any air-conditioned rooms in your home are perfect for summertime cleaning and organizing.
While you’re going through your stuff, consider selling the things you want to get rid of to make a little extra cash.
What’s on your summer bucket list this year? Tell us in the comments below.