If you feel like summer is slipping through your fingers, you’re not the only one. So much of what makes summer great just hasn’t been possible for most of us this year. Long days spent at the beach, hiding out in the air conditioned movie theater, and leaving work early on Friday for patio happy hours didn’t happen this year. And of course, summer vacations feel like a distant memory at this point. These sacrifices are worth it and are the least we can all do as we work together to overcome 2020’s challenges, but it’s OK to feel sad that a season we all had so much hope for this year didn’t look the way we wanted or needed it to.
To make the most of these last few weeks of summer, we’ve rounded up a list of fun—and most importantly, safe—ways to enjoy these final summer days.
1. Reconnect with friends
Who doesn’t miss those long summer days spent with friends as a kid? One of the best parts of summer is enjoying our longer days out in the sun socializing. While that may not be possible right now with social distancing still being a necessity in many parts of the world, you can still make a point to spend time with your friends from a distance. In March, Zoom happy hours, long phone calls, and snail mail were all the rage. It’s understandable that most of us got burnt out on the whole virtual friendship thing, but make an effort to foster some type of connection with your pals—whether that be with a picnic on the grass spaced appropriately, a video call on your porch while you watch the sunset, or a virtual game night with your favorite frosty drink in hand.
2. Enjoy a nostalgic movie night
Circling back on the whole-summer-as-a-kid-was-awesome thing, try to plan a nostalgic movie night with your favorite childhood movie. You may not be able to go catch the latest and greatest blockbuster in theaters, but you sure can fire up The Sandlot while munching on some on-theme s’mores (’90s kids will know exactly what we’re talking about). Host a Disney movie marathon with your favorite candy or fire up that inspirational sports movie that always makes you cry after grilling those tasty Impossible Burgers you can’t get enough of!
3. Dine al fresco
While you may not be able to escape to Italy anytime soon, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a little al fresco dining in your backyard or on your patio. Similar to being on vacation, indulge in a special meal, open a great bottle of wine, and really take your time. There’s no need to rush! Try whipping up one of these super craveable recipes.
4. Stay out late
Chances are, you’ve been a bit of an early bird since stay at home orders were put in place, so why not mix things up and stay out late? (As long as you’re keeping your distance of course!). Watch the waves crash on the beach, lay on the grass at your favorite park and gaze at the stars, or play a board game with your roomie on the front porch until the wee hours of the night.
5. Head to a drive-in
Most of us dreamed of going to a drive-in movie growing up, but sadly those theaters were few and far between. Nowadays everyone is finding creative ways to have fun and stay safe and drive-in theaters are back! Pile into the car with whomever you’re sharing a space with right now and make sure to pack all your favorite snacks. That’s right, there’s no need to buy overpriced movie candy anymore.
6. Lean into a beach read
You know the one: the book you’re too embarrassed to admit you couldn’t put down. Fill up your tub, take a good soak, and lose yourself in a cheesy romance novel or a young adult book with an absurd plot. Even if you can’t make it to the beach this summer, you deserve a juicy read. BTW, at The Everygirl we love beach reads (no shame ever on this front!) and have rounded up a ton of great options here.
7. Let’s get physical
It seems safe to say—and please pardon our French—that the idea of a “bikini body” is total BS. Before summer ends, try working out for your health, not for swimsuit season. Find a way to stay fit and focus on burning off stress and anxiety, not calories. A game of tennis, a long jog, or a yoga session on the grass will help you get outdoors to enjoy that gorgeous end of summer weather and keep you feeling good. Prioritize finding a workout or physical activity that you can enjoy (and want to do long-term) and start working on creating healthy habits that you can carry into the fall season.
8. Plan a faux vacation
Not really though, please stay home for now. Even though a real vacay may not be possible, it’s not too late to plan a great escape this summer. Who doesn’t love a good theme? So why not plan a themed night around your favorite international vacay. Bake (or buy, we get it) your favorite French pastries and stream any movie you can find set in Paris. Play French music while you bake and wear your favorite striped shirt. You could try tapas and tango music for a Spain inspired date at home or could celebrate all things Anglophile starting with a Downton Abbey marathon and a good cup of tea. Get creative and don’t be afraid to be silly.
There’s something to be said about staycations, and right now, they’re even more appealing than they were before. Since most attractions and restaurants have been closed for months, you may be dying to simply explore your own town. We all miss our favorite shops, cafes, and local museums, so if your area is starting to open up, put on a mask and go have some fun. You can also totally indulge at home. Splurge on takeout and a new bottle of wine, invest in that fluffy bedding you’ve always wanted, put on a face mask and enjoy some peace and quiet at home (with a pitcher of Aperol Spritz if you please). If possible where you live, plan a mini-road trip that takes you to a luxe AirBNB or go camping. There are safe ways to get away if you do a little planning!
10. Take a dip
Before summer ends, prioritize getting in the water. Whether it be at your local beach, lake, river, or a pool, head out early to avoid the crowds and soak in the amazing feeling of getting too hot from sunbathing and run straight to the water for a cool off. We’re feeling refreshed already.
11. Fire up the grill
Have one last bbq this summer, even if your only guest is your S.O. Pick up all your favorite BBQ/picnic foods (you’ll thank us when you have leftovers tomorrow) and take your time cooking outdoors and enjoying the fruits of your labor.
12. Embrace the great outdoors
It’s no secret that we’ve all been cooped up for months. Don’t let these last few weeks of stunning weather slip through your fingers. Spend an entire Saturday (or better yet, take a day off work in the middle of the week) and head outside. Now that you’re outside, stay there all day. Find an activity that you love, play a round or two of basketball on the driveway, and grill up some fresh corn. Even if you’re just in your own backyard, try to stay outside and really embrace your favorite parts of summer.
13. Wear the damn shorts
Last, but certainly not least, strip off those leggings and wear the damn shorts. You won’t be able to much longer, so give your legs some breathing room and enjoy the ease and comfort of your favorite cutoffs.