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12 Simple and Almost Free Ways to Enjoy Summer

I like to share travel experiences and enjoy exploring new places for food and drink, hotels and sights.

Summer View in Guelph, Ontario

Summer View in Guelph, Ontario

1. Take a Walk Along a New Path

Summer is ideal for getting in the longer walks, with the long nights here to stay for a while . . . why not get out and take an extra walk on a new trail or even side street you haven't been to very often. Keep your routine, and add to it or just change up your walking view for an easy change in outlook. You may spot some new scenery (however simple) that moves you and puts a pep in your step.

Bunny Appreciates the Summer View

Bunny Appreciates the Summer View

2. Admire the Scenery in the Height of Summer

Summer offers views of lush green growth all around us. The beauty of its simplicity can be overlooked, but if you pay attention it can surround us with comfort and beauty that doesn't cost a thing to experience. Combined with the birds singing, rabbits hopping and butterflies dancing, the green nature views alongside the pretty flowers are to be treasured.

Daisies Among the Green

Daisies Among the Green

3. Listen to the Summer Vibes Outside

Taking regular walks, quick strolls and sitting on your balcony or patio, the sounds of summer are simple pleasures. The chorus of birds chirping, children playing and animated conversations of people gathering during these weeks of long nights offer an easy way to take in the season with simple appreciation.

4. See Sensational Sunsets

Sunsets can be so soothing and inspire awe at the same time. This is one of my favorite summer experiences. I am lucky to view colorful sunsets from my balcony in the city, and I am always appreciative of the myriad of colors that envelope the sky.

I still dream of seeing more sunsets in faraway places, at the beach and look forward to exploring sunsets everywhere while still holding dear the ones closest to home.

5. Experience Patio Season

Whether or not you have a wonderful backyard to enjoy all summer, a change of scenery is nice to experience as well. With outdoor dining now available again (in Southern Ontario), it's a great time to enjoy dining al fresco and sipping a beverage at a few nearby local establishments over the summer. Summertime patio season is always great but this year it offers even more appreciation, comfort and a good time with friends.

6. Enjoy an Easy Day Trip

With travel is still not an easy thing to do this summer, it makes us enjoy an opportunity for a quick day trip even more. Here in Southern Ontario, there are many cute towns to visit within an hour's drive. Places like the beautiful village of Elora, charming Stratford and a multitude of towns offer plenty of charming shops, scenery and dining options. It switches up the routine to head out of town, and this year it will actually feel more like a mini-vacation to head out for a drive somewhere! So wherever you may live, take advantage of some local towns to explore.

7. Savor Summer Salads

This is a great time of year to enjoy some fresh summer salads. You can create some unique and colorful combinations of hearty salads, or light and refreshing options to beat the heat. Watermelon, feta and mint or baby spinach with raspberries and Walnuts—just a couple for my list. For something more filling, try a wedge dinner salad. Mine included cherry tomatoes, cucumber, hard boiled eggs, chicken and a homemade Thousand Island dressing. Delicious!

Dinner Wedge Salad

Dinner Wedge Salad

8. Experiment With Summer Drinks

Whether you choose a cocktail, mocktail, wine, beer or a mixed drink, try something new. Tried and true favorites are fantastic, but if you need an easy way to switch up a routine, prepare something you have never tried before or haven't had in a while.

I haven't picked a new summer cocktail to try yet (I am looking forward to it!), but for now even a Gin and Tonic (with a new gin brand!) will be a refreshing change to enjoy for the season. And I will get back to enjoying an iced tea to beat the heat as well.

9. Enjoy an Ice Cream Outing

One of the all-time classic experiences in summer is enjoying an ice cream cone outside. If you are at the beach, even better—but ice cream can be made into an outing even if it is in the city. Treat yourself and enjoy this simple summer luxury with a friend, your family or on your own. The nights are long and it's the perfect time to stroll with a treat. A favorite in my city of Guelph Ontario is called the Boathouse and it's a go-to every year. This year I am excited to find a few new ice cream joints to check out!

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View From the Covered Bridge with Ice Cream From the Boathouse

View From the Covered Bridge with Ice Cream From the Boathouse

10. Treasure Time With Family and Friends

We can always appreciate our time with family and friends. Getting together even for smaller visits feels more special this year. While we still need to be careful about social distancing and can't see everyone we want to just yet, it feels wonderful to finally be able to meet and enjoy a simple visit and appreciate each other's presence just a little more this year.

11. Switch Up Your Summer Playlist

It's summertime and time for the playlist to get more upbeat. It could be anything from retro '80s hits to something that transplants you to a tropical vacation in your backyard. We often fall into a routine with many things, including music and even if staying close to home, music offers an excellent escape to wherever you wanna go. Our music choices can alter our mood, keep us company and give a bit of a lift to get-togethers with friends. Listen to what moves you and makes you happy.

12. Take Time to Play

Summer is a time to not always take things too seriously, even though it is an unprecedented serious time in our society. There are easy breaks we can take from it all. Whatever play means to you, let yourself partake in it. Get outside, play some backyard games, try mini-golf again, play cards, chat for hours with a friend, watch a comedy, sing '80s classics and dance under the moonlight. Just have a bit of fun in a small way. The moments add up and help our spirit. Enjoy the summer vibe!

© 2020 Nella DiCarlo


Nella DiCarlo (author) from Guelph, Ontario on June 24, 2020:

Thank you all for your kind feedback and ideas on ways to enjoy summer this year.

FlourishAnyway from USA on June 22, 2020:

I stick close to home due to the virus and enjoy nature from my yard and neighborhood mostly. I have bird feeders, hummingbird feeders, bird baths, and feed neighborhood community cats which I have fixed. I also plant flowers, strawberries and a few vegetables to enjoy.

Manuela from Portugal on June 22, 2020:

You have some simple but very good ideas to enjoy the summer. For this year these are a most as with covid-19 we should be careful.

Liza from USA on June 21, 2020:

What a great list of ideas on how to spend the summer, Nella. I do enjoy a short outing with my husband. However, we are still taking extra precautions because the pandemic is surging up in our state. However, I love spending time at home by cooking, reading, and making healthy drinks. Thanks for sharing the ideas!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 21, 2020:

Nella, Your article has such a nice variety of suggestions for sumer. I love seeing the flowers and I have always loved hearing the birds sing. I have a bird feeder close enough to my window to see them. Walking outside away from crowds is what the doctors suggest anyway to stay healthy.

Liz Westwood from UK on June 21, 2020:

This is a great list of suggestions to make sure that we enjoy a staycation this summer. This is a continuation of the theme that lockdown started of us learning to appreciate the simple things of life and the world immediately around us.

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