Play a game.
The phrase "play outside" means different things to different folks, but I've found it difficult to find anyone who doesn't enjoy playing games outside. And there are some traditionally warm-weather games that are just better in the summer. While it's still warm out, toss a Frisbee around, play catch with a baseball, even give KanJam or Cornhole a try. If you're a frequent victim of nostalgia like I am, old-school games like capture the flag, freeze tag, even water balloon fights and goofing around at local playgrounds are great ways to put off the end of summer.
Go for a swim outside.
Not only did I grow up in an upstate New York town famous for its deep gorges and dramatic waterfalls, I was also lucky enough to spend childhood summers in the 1,000 Islands. As a result, the majority of my warm weather memories involve me hurling myself into the St. Lawrence River or into a swimming hole. Though we might not all have access to refreshing freshwater rivers in northern New York for summer sunset swims, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy one last dip. Before the temperatures drop, find yourself a local swimming hole, a beach, even a lake or a pool, and take the plunge.
Build a bonfire and roast some marshmallows.
Nothing says "summer" to me like the smell of a bonfire and a mouthful of burned marshmallows. When I wasn't busy swimming in the St. Lawrence, my family spent many a warm weather night building our fair share of gigantic riverside blazes. We'd have a bag of Stay Puft marshmallows on hand, and after reducing a giant pile of wood to blue and white coals, we'd feast on s'mores. I loved roasting the outer layer of the marshmallow, peeling it off, eating it, and then sticking the remaining bit of marshmallow back into the fire. It's pure heaven every time, and the process always reminds me of warm summer nights.
Go for a boat ride.
Spending summertime on a river and the rest of my childhood living near a lake resulted in my nurturing what's turned into a lifelong passion, nay obsession, with being in or on the water. Going for a boat ride on the St. Lawrence, watching jet skiers, and using ferries to get from our little sanctuary town to Canada always made summers a little more special. Before it's too chilly, get yourself into a boat, on to a jet ski, even in a canoe or a kayak. Spending time on the water is a perfect way to stave off the colder months for just a bit longer.
Explore your town's summer activities.
Though living in a major metropolitan area like Philadelphia can make getting to wilderness a challenge, there's never a shortage of things to do on summer nights. Visiting seasonal destinations like Spruce Street Harbor Park and attending movie screenings in local parks have made this summer in the city particularly enjoyable. If you're not close to a city as big as Philadelphia, many communities still offer summer movie nights, summer concerts, and plenty of other ways to enjoy being outside when the weather's warm. Find a local spot with a summer-themed event like a movie screening, take a picnic, and enjoy.
Try a new activity that's best in warm weather.
Hiking, backpacking, and mountain biking are among my favorite summer pastimes. If you're resourceful enough, technically, you can participate in all of those activities in the winter. Though whitewater kayaking can also be a year-round sport, it's a sport I'd never dream of trying for the first time in cold weather. After realizing Labor Day was fast approaching, I begged a friend to take me whitewater kayaking on the Lehigh River in Pennsylvania. It was an incredible experience being a beginner again and finding a new way to enjoy a familiar body of water in the summer. Whether it's a water-based sport like stand up paddle boarding or a land-based sport like hiking or backpacking, there's no time like the present to try a new activity.
Visit a local farm or farmer's market.
Picking strawberries and blueberries at farms in the Fingerlakes was always one of my favorite warm weather activities growing up. Between harvesting fruit straight off of the vine and visiting the Ithaca Farmers Market, fresh produce was never difficult to find in my house. If you live in a place where farms and farmers markets are seasonal, make sure you get to one before autumn hits. And of course, once autumn is here, go back for apples and pumpkins!
What are some of your favorite summer activities? Think you'll be able to get them all in before the weather changes? Sound off in the comments!
**Katie Levy is a regular contributor to the Sierra Social Hub as part of #TeamSierra. Learn more from Katie on her site: Adventure-Inspired.