What are you doing this summer?
Summer is finally here and there are so many fun summer activities that you can do! If you’re asking yourself, “What am I going to do this summer?”, then I have your answer (65 of them actually)!
I’ve created the ultimate guide of fun summer activities for you to enjoy with your family, kids, friends or on your own.
Each year, for as long as I can remember, I’ve made a list of all of the super fun summer activities and events that I want to fit in to these glorious summer months. I write all of my ideas down for inspiration if I’m looking for something to do or so I don’t forget to register for an event or make a reservation. But mostly, my master list of fun summer activities is a great reminder to enjoy each summer day, to take in every moment and savor it all!
I hope this ultimate guide to fun summer activities will inspire you, make you happy and have you enjoying the best summer ever!
1. Ride a bike
Remember how great it felt to ride your bike when you were a kid? That sense of freedom and the wind in your hair? Well, you can feel that way again! Take that bike out and hit the road by yourself or with friends or family. You can just go around the neighborhood or venture further to a park or trail. I got a great new bike for my birthday a while ago, so bike riding is definitely on my summer activity list!
2. Plant a garden or flowers
Go ahead and buy some seeds to plant and watch them grow! You don’t have to have a green thumb or be an avid gardener, you don’t even need to have a lot of outdoor space! Growing vegetables or flowers in pots makes gardening accessible to almost everyone!
Some dollar stores even have little planting kits that come with pots and soil and packages of seeds are super inexpensive. This can be a fun activity for anyone and kids and adults alike will love watching their seeds grow!
3. Have a bonfire
Sitting around a bonfire with friends and family is a memorable and fun summer experience. I still remember bonfires from when I was just a child. Whether you’re roasting marshmallows to make s’mores or just telling stories around the fire, a bonfire is a must-do activity for your fun summer activity list.
4. Go for a walk
A simple but great summer activity! Grab your friends or family or head out by yourself and go for a walk! Whether you’re in a park or in the city, it’s fun to walk and explore. If walking is already a part of your daily routine, why not try walking somewhere new? Explore a new neighborhood or park and enjoy the beauty of summer around you.
Are you stuck in a cold air-conditioned office all day? Head out for a walk on your lunch break to take in the summer heat and the fresh air!
5. Go to a beach
The beach is the quintessential summer destination! Lying on the sand, splashing in the water and relaxing in the sun…what better way to spend a summer day. For me, the beach is my number one destination during the summer. I wait all year to relax on the sand and feel that warm breeze off the water! A great place to spend time with your family or friends, the beach is the place to be this summer! Don’t forget the sunscreen!
6. Relax in a hammock
This might seem a little cliché, but relaxing in a hammock is a great summer activity! If you don’t already have one, there are a variety of types you can buy. I just ordered this one which comes with all of the accessories and I can’t wait to try it! But regardless of which type you have or how they’re set up, a hammock will always be a great spot to unwind, relax and enjoy the summer.
7. Build a sandcastle
Making a sandcastle might sound like a children’s summer activity, but it’s actually a lot of fun no matter what your age! Make it into a competition if you’d like or as a way to keep yourself busy if you’re done lying around on the beach and your friends aren’t!
8. Eat ice cream or a popsicle
Now of course you don’t just have to wait for the summer to eat ice cream or a popsicle, but they sure do taste good on a hot summer day! Try making your own or try a new flavor! Or just buy that box or container from the frozen food section that brings you back to your childhood days!
9. Exercise outside
What better way to refresh our workout routine than by taking it outside! Get off the treadmill and jog through your neighborhood or a park. Try practicing yoga outside by signing up for a yoga class in a beautiful outdoor setting or grab your phone or iPad and use a great yoga app and take it outside! Check out my review of the best free yoga apps available here. Exercising outdoors will help to inspire and motivate you to keep going! Don’t forget to drink plenty of water!
10. Visit a park
Parks are beautiful places to visit year round and are a great destination during the summer! Bring a blanket to have a picnic (see # 12), Frisbee to throw around, bring a baseball to play catch or a soccer ball to kick around. You can also just relax with your favorite summer book and take in the beauty around you.
11. Go Swimming
Whether in a pool, lake or ocean, swimming is the perfect fun summer activity. It’s a great way to cool off on a hot day and who doesn’t love splashing around in the water? Go grab your swimsuit and towel and go swimming! It’s funny, I love to spend my summer days on the beach but up until this past summer, I realized I hadn’t actually gone in the lake for the longest time! I quickly fixed that and I’ll definitely be going swimming again this summer.
12. Have a picnic
Having a picnic can be so much fun and you can make it as elaborate or as simple as you’d like. You can prepare a gorgeous meal to bring with you, pack some simple sandwiches and salads, or even grab some take out on your way! Head out to a park (see #10) or your favorite scenic spot and have a picnic this summer.
13. Attend a festival
The summer is a perfect time to go to a festival! Check out the different types of festivals that will be going on in your city or town and you’ll likely be surprised at how many there are! From jazz to food to cultural festivals, these are fantastically fun summer activities to try!
14. Listen to outdoor music
There’s something about being outside in a beautiful environment listening to live music. It just feels so special, doesn’t it? Check out what outdoor concerts and other music events are going on in your area and definitely plan on going to at least one concert event this summer!
15. Dine on a patio
Depending on where you live, this might not seem like a summer-specific activity! But for me, living in a place where we’re mostly indoors for the winter, there is nothing better than getting outside to a patio to eat! A must-do summer activity!
16. Hike on a trail
Whether you want to push yourself and hike along a mountain trail or take it easy on a beautiful walking trail, hiking is a really fun summer activity. Put on some great walking shoes and pack a small backpack with some essentials (sunscreen, bug spray, hat and snacks to name a few) and go for a hike this summer!
17. Go boating
If you own a boat, this is already on your fun summer activity to do list! But if you don’t have a boat, why not look at chartering one for a special day on the water? Or talk to friends to see if you can join them on their next boating adventure? You can try water skiing, wake boarding or tubing for some excitement, or just sit back and enjoy the beautiful summer day!
18. Catch a fish
This can easily be done on a boat (see #18) but it doesn’t have to be! Depending on where you live, there could be great fishing spots nearby. You can practice catch and release or catch that night’s dinner. Make sure you get a fishing licence before you go.
19. Play golf
Golfing is a great summer activity and can really work for families and kids too! If the kids are too young to play, you could rent a golf cart and bring snacks and activities for them. Spending some time outdoors on the links can make for a great summer day!
20. Read a book outside
I don’t know about your schedule, but it seems to me that most people are so busy these days that reading tends to get put into the “I’ll-quickly-read-a-few-pages-before-I-fall-asleep” category! So how about actually scheduling some time to grab your favorite summer book and head outdoors to read? Listening to the birds singing while you read is so enjoyable! Bonus points if you’re in a hammock (see #6) while you’re reading! A super fun summer activity!
21. Pick berries
Last summer our family made our way to a strawberry farm where you could pick your own strawberries. It was a blast! Go early to avoid the heat and wear shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty. We walked down the rows picking these huge, amazing and super juicy strawberries. Trust me, you’ve never tasted a strawberry like this before! See what kind of farms or orchards there are in your area and head out for some great summer fun!
22. Shop at a farmers’ market
Farmers markets are truly a summer treat! They are often filled with beautiful fruits and vegetables, delicious baked goods and fun crafts for sale. Bring some cash with you because without a doubt you’ll find some beautiful items to buy! Great for families and kids too, check out your local area to see if there’s a farmer’s market near you!
23. Bake with fresh fruit
If you’ve just picked your own fruit (see #21) or visited a local farmer’s market (see #22) you might be wondering what to do with all of the beautiful fresh fruit you just bought! Well, eating it as is can be fantastic but what about trying a new recipe to bake it up! Fruit crumbles, pies and squares taste wonderful with fresh fruit! I used this pie recipe for our freshly-picked strawberries and it was amazing! So enjoy baking with fresh fruit this summer for a special treat.
24. Cook with fresh garden vegetables
Using fresh garden vegetables or herbs for your next meal is a wonderful way to celebrate summer! The flavors are so vibrant and fresh that you can easily put together a simple salad or meal with your garden bounty.
25. Watch the clouds
Why not take some time this summer to relax and look up at the sky? Remember when you were little and could see animals and castles in the clouds? Try reliving those days this summer for a fun and memorable activity. Taking these types of moments to be mindful is a great way to relax and boost our happiness. You can read more about mindful breathing and ways to feel happy here.
26. Bird watch
While you’re enjoying some time in the great outdoors, why not try to identify the birds around you? You can buy a bird watching book or guide, or look online for bird species that can be found in your area. I found an interesting (and free!) bird watching app that you might want to try! It’s called “iBird Lite Guide to Birds” and you can get it here. Bird watching is a fun family activity that kids can enjoy too!
27. Explore on a road trip
There are few things that say “summer fun” more than a summer road trip! It doesn’t have to be a long vacation, but could be if you have the time! Whether by yourself, with friends or family, travelling and exploring the open road is a great summer adventure. Pack some great snacks and get the perfect summer playlist going (see #47) and you’ll create some great summer memories.
28. Try new food trucks
Food trucks are so popular and with good reason! They’re so much fun and the food is delicious! There are so many food choices available from classic street food to gourmet foodie trucks. The possibilities are endless! Why not head out and try some great food trucks this summer for a fun summer activity?
29. Do a walking tour
Whether you’re on vacation in a new city or having a stay-cation in your own city, walking tours are a great summer activity to try. Most cities have various walking tours available during the summer with a range of options. You can try food and drink tours, historical tours or even architectural tours. There’s usually something for everyone and you can enjoy the walk as well as the city you’re in.
30. Go camping
Going camping is a classic summer activity and always a memorable time. Whether you want to pitch a tent, rent a trailer or book a cabin or yurt, getting away from the city and camping in the great outdoors is a special summer adventure. Great for a family vacation or some time away with your special someone, camping is a really fun summer event that you won’t soon forget.
31. Try stand up paddle boarding (SUP)
Have you tried stand-up paddle boarding yet? If you don’t have your own, why not ask a friend to borrow theirs or look for a local rental shop? They’re great for some fun exercise on a hot summer day and playing around in the water is the perfect fun summer activity. I haven’t yet had the chance to try stand-up paddle boarding, but it’s high on my fun summer activity to-do list!
32. Enter a fun-run
Whether you’re a seasoned, veteran runner or not, there’s probably a fun-run type running event that’s going on in your area that you can try. Quite often local charities will sponsor short runs or walks to raise money. They’re so much fun to participate in, you get some great exercise and a charity benefits. Now that’s a fun summer activity that everyone can enjoy!
33. Be a summer photographer and make an album
You know you’re going to be taking pictures all summer long of your adventures, but why leave them in your camera or phone? Print some of those gorgeous snaps and make a summer album! You don’t even have to wait until the end of summer to make it. Why not email some pictures in to be developed once a week? Say on a Monday after your super fun weekend? Keep putting them in an album and by the end of the summer you’ll have an amazing keepsake! Hint: Set a weekly reminder in your phone to have the pics printed!
34. Make homemade lemonade
Can we just all agree that fabulous lemonade on a hot summer day is fantastic? Yes? Ok, good! While there’s nothing wrong with the store bought versions, there’s nothing quite like homemade lemonade. So grab your favorite recipe and ingredients and mix away! This “Best Lemonade Ever” recipe is quite good, just adjust the sugar to your taste. Making homemade lemonade would also be a fun summer activity for kids! They could even set up their very own lemonade stand if they’re feeling entrepreneurial!
35. Visit a botanical garden
Is there a botanical garden in your area? If there is, I bet it’s been a while since you last checked it out! Why not mark it in your calendar, grab some friends or family or kids and head out to enjoy the summer beauty!
36. Walk on a boardwalk
Going for a walk along the boardwalk is such a fun and relaxing summer activity. There’s a sense of nostalgia and history, and there is so much beauty walking along the beach on a boardwalk. This is an easy and fun summer activity to put on your to-do list. I also highly recommend pairing it with eating ice cream or a popsicle (see # 8)!
37. Go to the fair
Is there a fair coming to a city or town near you this summer? If so, you should definitely make that part of your summer to-do list. With rides, games and fun food, a fair can be a super fun summer event! Most fairs have great attractions for children and families too, so definitely check one out this summer!
38. Play mini golf
If playing a round of golf isn’t your idea of a good time (see #19), then maybe mini golf is more your style! There are some really great mini golf courses around these days that can be as easy or challenging as you want. Take your family or a group of friends and try it out. You could even make a smaller wager to really up the ante!
39. Gaze at the night sky
When is the last time you looked up at the night sky and watched the stars? If you can’t answer that question (and even if you can!) this is a must to add to your summer activity list. Try driving outside of a city and away from the bright lights to really see the beauty of the night sky. If you have access to a telescope, bring it along! There are also some pretty cool meteor showers that you can see in the summer night skies depending on where you live. Check your local astronomy resources to see when they might be.
40. Watch fireworks
We love fireworks, don’t we? People will come from all over to see a fireworks display! And with good reason, they’re beautiful and kind of exciting! Have a look to see when they’re scheduled in an area near you and mark it down in your fun summer activity calendar!
41. Host a BBQ party
Summertime means it’s time to head outside and fire up the grill! Plan a fun menu with some great grilling foods and invite some guests! You could make it a pot luck and have people bring some of the items, or go all out and do it all! Hosting a barbeque is a great summer activity that will make some wonderful memories.
42. Relax on the deck, porch or patio
Yes, I know this isn’t an activity solely reserved for the summer, but how awesome does it feel to sit out on a deck or porch during the summer? Talk about relaxing! Bring out your favorite book or beverage, relax and take it all in!
43. Watch the sunrise
If you’re not a morning person, this may not be the summer activity for you. But I highly encourage you to give it a try anyway! Watching the sunrise is so beautiful! The colors and the peacefulness, it’s a great thing to do in the summer. And now that you’re up so early, you have extra time to fill your day with more summer fun!
44. Enjoy the sunset
A beautiful summer sunset…how wonderful is that? If you don’t know a great sunset-watching location near you, do a little bit of research to try and find a great viewing area. Once you know where you want to go, try planning a nice evening and head over to your sunset spot! Bring a blanket in case it gets chilly and enjoy the beautiful summer night.
45. Watch a summer blockbuster movie
We know those movie producers save the big, out of this world, blockbuster movies for the summer! They’re often the sequel you’ve been waiting for, the non-stop action movie or the hilarious rom-com. The biggest stars, the biggest budget and the big-time fun. Watching a summer blockbuster is definitely a fun summer activity to do with your friends or family.
46. Walk barefoot
Now you might be wondering why this is in a list of fun summer activities, so let me explain. Walking around in the grass or sand with bare feet feels great and I think it helps us to be more present and aware of our surroundings. And since we want to take in every awesome summer moment and enjoy it, I think taking the time to walk barefoot is a great idea!
47. Create a summer soundtrack
I’m a true believer in the power of great music and how it can really make us feel great (read more about how music can make you happy here). Summer is the perfect time to make a special playlist full of upbeat and fun songs that will have you singing along with the windows rolled down!
48. Read a summer novel
I love to read but I find that I’m often so busy that my bookmark can stay unmoved from a page for a long time! But in the summer when there’s usually more time for leisure and fun, reading a great summer book is high on my list of fun summer activities! I just started reading “You’re a Badass” by Jen Sincero and so far I’m really enjoying it! So whether it’s a trashy romance novel, crime thriller or inspirational story, reading in the summer just feels so good.
49. Run through the sprinkler
I know what you’re thinking…but trust me on this one! There’s a reason that kids love to have the sprinkler set up on the lawn and scream with joy as they run through that cold water. It’s super fun! So throw your reservations out the window, set that sprinkler up and start jumping over that spray of water. I guarantee that you’ll be smiling ear to ear and laughing just as much as the kids! This is such a fun summer activity and I bet you haven’t done it in ages!
50. Create a summer collection
One of my favorite things to do during the summer is walk on the beach and search for beautiful beach glass for my collection. Over the years since I began collecting it, I’ve amassed quite a beautiful collection of the multicolored, smooth glass. It’s a bit like treasure hunting for me!
So why not start your own summer collection? It could be of stones, shells, beach glass, anything that makes you happy! Starting a collection should definitely be on your list of fun summer activities. It’s great to do as a family too and the kids will love “treasure hunting” with you!
51. Press flowers
Isn’t it lovely to be surrounded by gorgeous rainbows of colorful flowers during the summer? We bring them into our homes and fill our outdoor spaces with them (see #2). Well, why not press some of those beautiful flowers as a keepsake or for a future art project or craft? It’s the perfect and easy summer activity!
Simply take the flower that you’d like to press, place it in between two sheets of wax paper and carefully place it between the pages of the heaviest book that you own. Now just forget about it for a while and when summer is over, unveil your masterpiece!
52. Take in some outdoor arts
Quite often you will find that theatrical performances or art shows will schedule an outdoor date during the summer. The outdoor venues just add so much ambiance to a beautiful performance or a great backdrop to an art show.
Another less formal way to enjoy some outdoor arts is to watch the great street performers and buskers. There are often talented artists and musicians at your local touristy areas. So check your local venue guides for scheduled performances or just enjoy exploring and enjoy some street performers! Either way, enjoying outdoor artistic performances are fun summer activities to add to your must-do list!
53. Visit a water park
If you haven’t been to a water park in a long time or think that it’s just for kids, think again. Water parks generally cater to all ages and are a great summer activity for families and groups of friends. Grab your swimsuit, flip flops, a towel and sunscreen and you’re set for a great day of summer fun!
54. Start a summer journal
If you don’t normally write in a journal, this might not seem like a great summer activity to you. But imagine writing about all of your amazing summer adventures and fun-filled days and then having the opportunity to read all about them and relive those moments in the future. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? There are some gorgeous journals you can buy, any color and style imaginable. Just choose one that speaks to you and you’re on your way!
55. Watch a movie under the stars
Now this is not the same as watching the theater blockbuster (see #45). It’s now becoming quite common for parks and outdoor venues to set up screenings of classic, favorite movies during summer evenings. Bring a folding chair or blanket and get ready to enjoy that movie you love that you probably haven’t seen in forever!
Whether you’re with a group of friends or want to snuggle up with someone special, an outdoor movie under the stars is a memorable summer activity to mark down on your summer to-do list.
56. Start coloring
If you’re looking for relaxing summer activities to do when maybe the weather isn’t ideal or you’d like some time to yourself, try coloring! Adult coloring books have definitely become popular over the last few years, and for good reason. There are beautiful and creative designs available in any theme you can imagine.
There’s a huge range of coloring book choices from The Walking Dead (here), to calming and relaxation books (here) or a “color me happy” book here! And treat yourself to some beautiful coloring pencils just for you! Coloring really allows you to focus on one task and can be a great way to calm anxiety and reduce stress.
57. Work on a jigsaw puzzle
Looking for a great rainy day summer activity? Start a jigsaw puzzle! I know what you’re thinking, it’s a bit of an old-school activity, but jigsaw puzzles can be fun! And what a great feeling when you finally finish it! Get your family or kids involved too to help you search for that piece you just can’t seem to find! I like this retro candy wrapper one but there are jigsaw puzzles for every age and interest! Jigsaw puzzles can be a fun summer activity when a day outdoors isn’t in the forecast.
58. Play a board game
Much like starting a jigsaw puzzle (see #57), playing a board game is usually reserved for days when indoor activities are on the menu. But that doesn’t make them any less fun than a day outside. For me, you can’t go wrong with the classic Monopoly! But there are so many board games available for every age range, you’ll definitely be able to find one that you’ll enjoy with your friends or family.
59. Make homemade jam
Looking for something to do with all of those fresh berries that you picked at the farm (see #21) or bought at the farmer’s market (see #22)? Why not try making your own homemade jam or jelly? There are simple recipes recipes available online and jam jars and supplies can usually be found in your local stores.
I found this great article about how to make freezer jam and I’m going to try it this summer! Making homemade jam is a fun summer activity that will allow you to remember and enjoy your summer fun long into winter.
60. Mix your own sangria
Sipping on a flavorful glass or two of sangria while sitting outside on a deck or patio (see #42) is a fantastic way to enjoy a summer day. Sangria is a delicious drink that originated in Spain. There are so many variations, but it’s usually a combination of delicious fruits and fruit juices and wine.
This recipe from The Pioneer Woman is a combination of rosé, peaches, raspberries and strawberries (use the ones you picked – see #21!) and it’s delicious. Served cold, it’s a refreshing drink to serve to guests or enjoy yourself. Making your own sangria is easy and should definitely be on your list of fun summer activities to try.
61. Go shopping
It definitely doesn’t need to be summer time to go shopping and I actually highly encourage it throughout the year! But shopping in the summer can be a lot of fun. Beautiful summer dresses, bathing suits, shorts, t-shirts and tank tops; summer clothing tends to be so much more vibrant and colorful!
So go ahead and try a bold, colorful pattern! Of course, we can’t forget our favorite summer jeans to pair with all of those beautiful tops. Check out my review of the jeans I ordered from France here! Get some summer shopping onto your summer to-do list and feel great in your pretty summer clothes.
62. Fly a kite
Can you even remember the last time you flew a kite? For most of us, it’s probably been a while! Yet, when we see someone flying a beautiful kite we can’t help but watch and smile. You can buy an inexpensive kite from your favorite box store or order this huge, rainbow beauty! Either way, just grab it and head out to a wide open area on day with some decent wind. It might take a few attempts, but you can do it! And you’ll love this fun summer activity!
63. Jump off a dock
If you are lucky enough to spend some time by the water this summer, I highly recommend taking a running leap off a dock! There’s something so exhilarating about jumping and splashing into that water! Of course, once you’re in there, it’s time to go swimming (see#11)! On a hot summer day, a jump off of a dock into that refreshing water is great fun!
64. Try a new hobby
Is there a new hobby that you’ve wanted to try but have never quite found the time? The summer is a perfect time to try a new hobby, so I say go for it! From knitting or crocheting to water skiing or baseball, the long summer days give us more time to give it a go! So choose that new hobby you’ve been thinking about and make it a must-do on your list of fun summer activities!
65. Volunteer your time
Volunteering is a great way to spend your time any time of year. It feels good to help others! But since most of us have some extra time during the summer, why not make volunteering one of your must-do fun summer activities?
There’s always a need for volunteers at all of the fantastic summer events taking place as well as local charitable organizations. You can help deliver meals, volunteer at a fun run (see #32) or even volunteer to walk a dog!
Did you know that there are animal shelters that are always looking for people to walk the furry friends that live there? I just found out about this the other day, what a great way to volunteer! Contact your local animal shelters to see if you can help!
What are you doing this summer? If you’re not sure how to answer that question, then this ultimate guide of fun summer activities is for you! These 65 fun summer activities that you can do with your friends, family, kids or by yourself, will have you feeling happy and on your way to having the best summer ever!
Make sure you download your free copy of this Ultimate Summer Guide of fun summer activities to read or print and refer back to throughout the summer!
Wishing you happiness!
P.S. What are your favorite fun summer activities? What are you most looking forward to about this summer?