Someone asked me this week, “Are you sick of summer yet?” and I surprised myself by answering a hearty, “No!” For the first time in as long as I can remember, I’m holding on to the end of summer with joy.
Sure, my schedule is whack, my to-do list is stretching pretty long, and I don’t love the heat. But balancing that, I’m really enjoying the freedom to plan each day as it comes, long days, and going on adventures. We have almost four more weeks before my girl starts kindergarten, and I’m trying to pack in all the fun we can get in those days. We’re sleeping in, going swimming, having lots of art and reading time, and going on at least a few more adventures.
Whether summer is wearing on you at this point or not, here are six ways you can savor the last little bit of the season.
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Hit a farmer’s market
The markets are booming with amazing and delicious food right now. If you haven’t been to a market yet this summer, get to one now! Plan a meal or two around the best of the season: Corn, peaches, peppers, squash, and berries are all at their best at the end of summer. For more ideas for making the most of a trip to the market, check out this post from a couple of weeks ago.
Plan a quick trip
It may be late in the season to go anywhere super popular without running into crowds, but you still have time to take a mini trip. Go camping just for overnight or for a weekend. Fly somewhere you can get to in just a couple of hours. Visit a friend you haven’t seen for a while. Have an overnight in a city you love. Right now I’m planning a weekend in San Diego to visit my brother, which is an easy commuter-plane hop from the Bay Area.
Be a tourist in your own town
If a trip out of town isn’t in the cards before the end of summer, check out what is right around you. If you had friends visiting, where would you take them? Then take your family! Right around us we have the historic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, both major tourist destinations. They are crowded with tourists right now of course, but because we are close we can adjust our visit times and just make a short visit to minimize the crazy. Do you have a museum you haven’t visited in a while or a state park or amusement park nearby?
Find a U-Pick Farm
One of my favorite things to at the end of summer is to pick berries or fruit and make jam, so I can enjoy the tastes of summer in the middle of winter. Even if canning isn’t your jam (see what I did there?), visiting a local farm where you can pick blackberries, strawberries or apples can be a really fun outing, even with tinies. My mom and I took my daughter ollalaberry picking when she was two. She wasn’t interested in picking berries when we told her she couldn’t eat them all, but she happily played in a mud puddle in between the rows while we picked a couple of quarts of berries on either side of her. If you aren’t planning on preserving the bounty, just limit how much you pick.
Perfect a summery drink
The spicy margarita I wrote about on Liz’s blog a couple of summers ago is still my go-to summer drink, but this year I’m perfecting my gin & tonic game (I’ve discovered the secret is Fever Tree Tonic Water). If you are looking for a great non-alcoholic drink, check out this blackberry lemonade or strawberry almond milk, both great uses for those berries you picked!
Have a family game night
I have some friends who have a whole bookshelf filled with games in their dining room. I love that they are so committed to playing as a family and with their friends! Some of the games we love to play are Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne (even our 5-year-old can play!) and Wild Craft. We also love puzzles, which can stretch to fill a whole lazy weekend, if you get a big one.
How do you feel about the summer ending? Are you ready for it to be over, or want it stretch it as long as you can?