Hey there! It’s been a while! Life (mostly work) got crazy and I experienced a little stage fright after some unexpected (but positive) feedback on one of my posts (more about that in my weekly-ish email), so I took a little time away. But now I’m back in BlogLand and happy to get going again!
As I’ve recently returned to work after a little knee surgery and am just getting used to leaving the house again, it has me thinking about how to make Summer (my least favorite season) more enjoyable and also how to be more intentional with my time.
The Bearded One and I used to go out a LOT – like really, a freakin lot. When I was living in the city we’d go to all kinds of festivals, the aquarium, out to dinner, you name it – almost every single weekend we were doing something. Even in the Summer when my face was melting off. (I had a really great tan then btw…). Anyway, flash forward to life “in the woods” and our inner homebodies have come out in full force. People often ask me if I’m “doing anything fun” for the upcoming weekend, and more often than not, my answer is, “yes!! I’m not leaving my house!”. Yikes.
While it’s great to love home, be at home, never leave home LOL, I’m challenging myself to get out more, do more, and to be more intentional with my time and with our relationship. It’s easy to just melt into the couch, but that’s not so great for a love life IMO.
So yeah, I’m currently fighting the mental model that I need to do nothing alllll weekend to recover from a stressful week. I totally think you should have do-nothing time (build it in!), but I’m feeling like we need to switch it up. If we’re doing more fun, exciting stuff, could that actually take my mind off the stressful shit even better than becoming a Couch Muffin (the shape that comes with never leaving the couch LOL)? I’m betting so. But I’ll keep you posted.
Like I said, Summer is not my favorite season. I despise the heat, the bugs, and dear lord, Virginia humidity is something else entirely. SO I have to find ways to make Summer more enjoyable, otherwise, I become a shut-in and see how high I can run that AC bill up.
The thing I do love about Summer, though, is the longer days. I can wake up before 6 am and it’s light outside and I feel like it stays light until midnight (not quite, but you get it). That feels like such a gift – and leaves so much time for activities! LOL
So for the dates. I like to have options, both indoor and outdoor, for when I need to pull a date out of my back pocket. Most of these don’t require a ton of planning or a ton of money, thank goodness. Just one “pro tip” for ya though: leave the cell phone in your purse, or if you absolutely have to have it for pictures, turn it on airplane mode so you can be fully present and really enjoy this time together. Anyway, let me know what your favorite Summer date is and if you try any of the dates below!
20 Summer Date Ideas
- Dine al fresco: At the park, in the woods, at the lake – whatever is beautiful and accessible to you. Take a blanket and a picnic basket or hell, use a picnic table at the local park, just whatever you do, take bug spray. (Bonus: these are some of my favorite picnic foods)
- Host your own film festival: Have an outdoor movie night with friends or just the two of you. Set up cozy pillows and blankets and project your fav Summer flick onto a screen, sheet, or side of the house. And for the love of Pete, take snacks and bug spray!
- Go Old School: No projector? No problem. Thankfully drive-in movie theatres are still a thing in so many cities/towns. Find one near you, take snacks and a comfy blanket and have the perfect romantic evening. Drive-in movies are made for Summer.
- All’s Fair in Love & War: (spoiler alert – this one’s my favorite) Get yourself some water balloons and Super Mega Annihilation Water Guns. Fill said balloons and weapons. Leave an ominous note for your partner and wait…preferably in a well-hidden strategic location. Then…ATTACK!!! And win. Always win.
- Try Something New, Together: Another great date you could do solo or with a group of friends. Pick a theme and try something new – it could be new margarita and taco recipes or something more exotic like ceviche. Just make it fun, try something new, and do the prep together. That’s the best part.
- Keep Cool: Who doesn’t love ice cream!?! Seriously. At least some iteration of it (snow cones, froyo, whatever). Have a sweet date night and grab a cone together. My personal favorite is a super cute little local ice cream stand, but any ole Baskin Robbins will do if you can’t find a local fav.
- Be a Kid: Check out the closest go-kart track or trampoline park. Getting silly and active together is bound to lift your mood and create some super fun memories. And hey, you’ll need a shower afterward, so maybe…you know, make that part of the date ;).
- Adrenaline Rush: Depending on what’s local in your area, you could try rafting (white water or otherwise), zip-lining, or a ropes course. Just something to get your blood pumping and to challenge yourselves together.
- Reach for the Stars: Grab a blanket and head to a park, lake, or your front porch to do some star gazing. See what constellations you can pick out. If you’re super fancy and have a telescope (do you? are you that legit??), def take that with you. But otherwise, your eyes will work just fine.
- Get Outside: Hiking, camping, fishing…all the best things in life. But please….take the bug spray (see a trend here??).
- (Don’t) Feed the Animals: Head to a local aquarium, zoo, petting zoo, etc. I LOVE anything that lets me see super cute animals and I love it even more if I can pet and/or feed said animals. See pics below of one of our favorite date places, Roer’s Zoofari Park.
- Let the Sun Be Your Guide: Like I said, the longer days are my favorite thing about Summer. So what better ways to appreciate the glorious sunshine that o wake up and watch the sunrise together (cozy up in a nice blanket before it gets too hot) and to wrap the day up by having a sunset dinner together, outside. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, although it could be – anything from your front porch to outdoor tables at a restaurant overlooking some body of water, just make it your own and make it special.
- Light My Fire: Y’all…I’m from the country and I LOVE a good bonfire. Seriously, there is nothing like nights around a fire with friends, food, and maybe some drinks. So, make this work for you – whether it’s a big ole bonfire by the pond, a fire pit on your porch or s’mores on the grill, get that fire goin! (Safely, of course)
- Let it All Hang Out: So, plastic kiddie pools are like 10 bucks at Wal-Mart. Get one, fill it up with super cold water and splash around like idiots. Maybe invite the pups in. They’d probably like that (one of mine won’t, but still…). Also, if you really want to level this idea up, get a Slip n’ Slide….you remember those right?? The bumpy ride down the hill covered in soap, water, and whatever else you pick up along the way? A hell of a good time if you ask me.
- Dog Days of Summer: The dogs need love too! Take the pups on a walk, to a dog park, or on their very own hiking trip. Just remember, take lots of water, for you and for them. Maybe even a spray bottle. I told you, I hate being hot. Also, just remember to keep the hike length and time appropriate for the weather and their age. Don’t make them hate Summer too.
- Treasure Hunt: One of my favorite things about trips to the ocean as a kid was collecting seashells. Didn’t matter what beach or body of water, I could usually find some sort of treasure nearby. So, channel kid-Audry and take a trip to a nearby body of water and collect some seashells, fossils, driftwood, pretty rocks, whatever you can find. Just explore, relax, and try to look at the world like a kid, full of curiosity. Bonus: if you find some super cool treasure and have a crafty bone in your body (I don’t) you could make some sort of memory box or ornament or something to commemorate your Summer outing.
- Lazy Days: Sometimes the best date is to take time to reset by yourself. Treat yourself to an afternoon in the hammock with a good book. Maybe you can even convince your S/O to bring you a yummy drink with an umbrella in it. Spend time doing something you both enjoy by yourselves for the afternoon and then hook back up for your sunset evening or hot nights by the fire. Treat yourself so you can treat each other, ifyouknowwhatImean ;).
- Cook Like a Caveman: Does it sound like I like fire? Cause I kinda do. Grilled food is the essence of Summer, IMO, so whether it’s over your fire pit or on a fancy grill, cook your dinner by fire and enjoy the tastes of Summer. This could be as simple as hotdogs to as fancy as steak and grilled corn.
- Enjoy the Finer Things in Life: True confession time: I love wine. And Virginia has some really good wineries. And multiple “wine trails”. So yeah, I guess I’m pretty lucky on the wine front LOL. But just about anywhere I’ve been has some sort of local wine scene and checking out those family wineries can make for a perfect afternoon. Just you know, be responsible. And safe. Also, take cheese and bread if you can. You get a bonus picnic in and have something to nom on while you’re enjoying the wine.
- Get Away (For a Day): Head to a local B&B, boutique hotel, Airbnb, etc. (Bonus if you live somewhere with one of the super fancy treehouse Airbnb’s LOL) and spend a night or two. Pretend you’re from out of town and enjoy everything the area has to offer from the eyes of a tourist. We have a really cool historic local hotel that has a fantastic spa, so getting the massages and spending time in their pool is a major highlight for us. I know this one can be a bit more costly but can also make for the perfect Summer getaway when you don’t really have the option for a vacation. With my family living so far away and us driving home for Christmas, I usually bank most of my vacation days for December, so short and sweet Summer trips are a major bonus for me.
I hope you all enjoyed the date ideas and I can’t wait to hear how you’re keeping your Summer smokin hot! 😉
Also, just a quick reminder that I still have some spots open for my From Stress to Success personalized coaching program. If you want more info about that, check it out here. And if you’re ready to get on a free call and see if it’s for you, fill out this application. Can’t wait to chat with you and see how I can help you take your life to the next level!