At last, the days are starting to get a little warmer and a little longer, which means we can finally start to think about all of the fun things this summer has in store. After still living under lockdown rules for the past couple of summers, this is truly our first ~real~ summer where we’re back at it in full swing. So whether you’re hanging out with friends, spending quality time with family, or having a solo moment, taking advantage of the best time of the year (yes, it’s definitely the best) is a must. But, trying to find fun new things to do is a problem we’re all too familiar with—why is it always the hardest thing to think of?
Well, don’t worry, because we’ve put together a go-to list of some of our fav summer activities that’ll keep you occupied all season long. From the outdoorsy moments that take full advantage of the warm weather to creative new hobbies you won’t be able to get enough of, we’ve got you covered with the ideal summer bucket list:
25 Things To Do This Summer
1. Weekend road-trip
Committing to a full-blown weeklong vacay isn’t always the easiest thing to make happen, but that doesn’t mean you should have a trip-less summer. Plan an easy, low-stakes, 2-3 day trip somewhere close by with friends, family, or your partner and blast a killer road-trip playlist all the way there.
2. Put on a yard sale
Not only are yard sales a great way to make some extra cash and get rid of stuff you no longer need, but they’re a super fun way to spend time with your friends when the weather’s nice. Chilling outside, decluttering your closets, and the gals also get some more money to spend at happy hour or on their summer nails? Sounds like a game plan.
3. Drive-in movie
Don’t stay cooped up on your couch or in a cold, dark movie theater. Find a local drive-in movie or movie in the park, grab some of your favorite snacks, and enjoy a cool summer night while watching some classic films everyone knows and loves.
4. Take a pottery class
If you’ve been wanting to pick up a new hobby and want a break from the hot sun, a pottery class is something you have to try ASAP. It’s a super relaxing activity, you’ll get some cute new decor or dinnerware, and you can also do it on your own and make new friends in the process.
5. Go to a music festival
Summer is the season for music festivals (yes, there’s more out there than just Coachella), so if you’re an avid concertgoer and looking for a weekend getaway, start looking for tickets now. Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, and Bonnaroo are just a handful of the major ones out there, but exploring local, smaller festivals and outdoor concerts in your area is just as fun, too.
6. Find an outdoor workout group
No matter where you’re living this summer, there’s definitely some sort of outdoor workout group you can sign up for. Whether it’s a running club, beach volleyball team, or morning yoga classes in the park, they’re a great way to get you outdoors, keep you active, and meet some new people with similar interests (or even better, fellow people who were also forced out there by their friends).
7. Paint & sip night
Grab a couple bottles of wine and then swing by your local art supply store to put on the ultimate paint and sip night. In fact, this is such a fun way to get a group together and do something other than hit the town or watch TV. And you can also move the party out to the backyard or patio to enjoy the sunny weather.
8. Join a summer book club
Committing to a year-round book club can be a bit daunting, so putting one together or joining one that just wants to chat about the new hot reads of the summer everyone loves is a perfect way to have something consistent on your schedule to look forward to.
9. Throw a dinner party
Adorable, over-the-top, at-home dinner parties are one of 2023’s most beloved trends, so you’ll definitely be seeing a ton of them this summer. Plan a menu, set a cute table, and then dress up with your friends for an outdoor dinner that’s both delicious and IG-worthy.
10. Hit your local flea markets
Any excuse to go shopping, right? Summertime is the best season to go to an outdoor flea market (look around on Instagram and Facebook to find ones near you!) where you can snag some vintage clothes, accessories, and decor to amp up your summer style while enjoying the sunny weather, too.
11. Plan a staycation
Even if a one-night getaway is all you’re able to do, you can still make it one of your best summer memories. Book a room at that little hotel you always drive by that looks super cute or even a local AirBnB close by for a much-needed break from reality with your friends, partner, or even a little solo trip for the soul.
12. Try gardening
Whether you have a whole yard you’ve been dying to spice up with some flowers or want to put a couple of little plants on your windowsill, the summertime sun is the perfect environment to dive into your plant mom era.
13. Jewelry making
Beaded jewelry is one of this summer’s biggest accessory trends, so try making your own pieces for a one-of-a-kind look. Pop by your local craft store for all of the materials you need, find a nice outdoor spot to set up in. And then spend your afternoon making a fun summer craft to create some pieces that fit your taste to a tee.
14. Try new happy hour spots
Don’t get me wrong, we love being regulars at our favorite local bars and restaurants, but to keep things fun and fresh, try scoping out some new spots with your friends to see if you stumble upon a new go-to. In addition, it’ll keep your weekly outings exciting and allows for a nice change of scenery, too.
15. Camping trip
Even if camping doesn’t seem like your thing, the summer is the best time to give it a go. It’s always too cold the rest of the year, so take advantage while you can! You can also head to the beach, the mountains, or even just set up a tent in your backyard for a night out in nature.
16. Take a cooking class
Remember that dinner party we mentioned earlier? Well, here’s your chance to learn some recipes to make it unforgettable. Cooking classes are a really fun way to pick up a new hobby, meet new people, and of course, eat some 10/10 food in the process.
17. Get into the water
Whether it’s swimming, surfing, kayaking, tubing, or simply basking on a floaty, doing some sort of water activity is obviously the best way to stay cool and have fun on a hot summer day. It’s really just as easy as finding the nearest body of water and making a whole day out of it.
18. Find volunteer opportunities
With some quick research on local opportunities to help out in your community, you can find a ton of volunteer positions (like helping at a summer camp or assembling and handing out care packages to those in need) that still get you outside and allow you to give back. It’s fulfilling and fun—what more could you want?
19. Go stargazing
Astrology girlies, this one’s for you. I know that this one sounds a bit cheesy but bear with me here. Drive out to an amazing view point with some blankets and snacks to see some beautiful constellations on a warm and clear summer night—you will not regret it.
20. Go wine tasting
Live out your Napa Valley dreams and grab your group of girlfriends to go to a winery and sip on some high-quality bevs in the sun. You can really complete the vibe by going for a coastal grandma chic look, too.
21. Try out a film or digital camera
Sure, iPhone pictures are great—but photos on a film or digital camera make for such a cute way to capture those main character summer memories. You can pick up a disposable camera from your local convenience store or snag a reusable one from a local film store and become the beloved photographer your friend group desperately needs.
22. Keep hot girl walking
Hot girl walks aren’t some big new idea, but they should especially be taken advantage of in the summertime. It’s the perfect way to stay active, get outside, and spend some quality time with yourself or have someone join you for a much-needed catch-up convo.
23. Go to fairs and carnivals
PSA: fairs and carnivals are not just for families and children. Grab your friends or significant other and channel your inner child by playing fun games, going on rides, and eating all the ice cream sundaes and fried food your heart desires. It makes for a 10/10 full-day activity that’s guaranteed to make you laugh all the way through.
24. Have a picnic
Finding a nice outdoor spot for a simple picnic is a perfect date idea or an easy way to get outside with your friends. It can be as low-maintenance as tossing down a blanket and picking up some sandwiches, or you can browse Pinterest for some set-up inspo and make a whole afternoon out of it.